How do you take a song packed with luscious, new wave basted layers of addictive hooks, drums and glimmering vocals and make it even better? If you’re Brooklyn psych-pop duo Sensual Harassment you pair it with some equally dreamy found footage that brings with it a mysterious and romantic tale all its own.
While searching for vintage beach scenes on YouTube for inspiration for their “Capri Suntan” video above, Sensual Harassment lead singer Todd Thomas came upon some poetic, 60s era, 8mm clips of a young woman in a white bathing suit. The user who posted the clips turned out to be the son of the couple in the video. The footage had been lost for 25 years and only recently rediscovered.
What’s more per Todd: “The son told me that this video, made before he was born, was the only example he ever had of his parents being happy and in love. Not long after the video was filmed the couple divorced, and the father Melvin P. Miller sort of lost his mind, and never got his life back together, which made the snapshot in time element of the video even more relevant… There is a bittersweet element to the footage that I can’t escape. But for that brief moment, there was so much beauty and clearly love between the couple – as evidenced by the way the white bathing suit woman looks at the cameraman (Melvin).”
This music video, with its footage taken before the ubiquitous presence of mobile devices and social platforms, portrays not just a summer gone by, or a romance long dead, but also a prior era’s way of experiencing the world, that in retrospect, seems to possess a bygone sense of wonder.
As Todd Thomas put’s it “People don’t look at cameras the same way they did in 1965. That snapshot Melvin started and we finished is worth so much more re-contextualized in our current era… Because despite all our modern conveniences, I think what many of us are longing for is a simpler time and more innocence.”
Photo courtesy Sensual Harassment | Photo Credit: Haydn Davies