Handsome Furs Party Naked. In Portland. (Featuring NSFW Photos.)
Montreal duo Handsome Furs created a bit of a stir last week upon revealing the album art for its forthcoming record Sound Kapital. That art—a dark, moody photo of a tattooed naked woman standing beneath the East end of Portland's Fremont bridge—was taken by Portland director Scott Coffey. It's a still from the band's forthcoming video for first single "What About Us," a song which has been shooting around the Internets and is streaming/downloadable above. The soon-to-be-released video, Coffey promises, will absolutely feature more nudity. (More artful-but-perhaps-NSFW photos at the bottom of this post.)
Pictured: Director/photographer Scott Coffey
Handsome Furs are no strangers to sexy photos: A quick Google Image search of the band will find you a handful of provocative press and magazine shots (the band is made up of husband-and-wife duo Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry, after all). And yet full-frontal nudity is still, apparently, a big shocker on U.S. shores. We can't imagine major U.S. retailers like Target and Wal-Mart carrying the disc (these are the people who thought a few stray pubic hairs on the Black Crowes' Amorica were too much for the kids to handle). But there's something extra absurd—in an era where some conservative politicians are stressing American citizens' right to see graphic photos of a freshly murdered Osama Bin Laden—about all this hullabaloo over a tasteful nude.
The album cover in question:
The Furs' Alexei Perry commented on the cover art via the Handsome Furs' website:
"I am so thrilled that folks finally get to see one image from the album artwork. I've been biting my tongue for it to come out. I am immensely proud that Sound Kapital features the work behind three brilliant photographers: Bradley Sellers, Scott Coffey and Matthew Niederhauser who shared our vision of expressing what it means to be human in this frequently oppressive modern landscape. The night images in the album were taken in America and the day images were taken in a very bizarro waterpark in downtown Beijing.
It's hard to be alive…but less so when there are people who make such beautiful images to share with us. You have to become your own heroes in this world, I think. Strength, fearlessness, utter rawness and absurdity are our human rights."
As for the video, Coffey says he shot it just a few weeks ago while the band was visiting Portland. "We shot without a permit so it was scary and very cold," he says. The video shoot was Coffey's idea, but the band selected the still as its cover image. Coffey says the Furs are also scoring a movie he'll be shooting this fall. And he adds (in all caps) that "THE NEW RECORD IS SO SO SO SO GOOD. There is a song on it called 'Serve the People' that is as good as the Clash's 'Straight to Hell.'"
That, to us, is more titillating than boobs.
More photos from the Portland video shoot (all images courtesy of director/photographer Scott Coffey):
Here's Coffey's previous Portland-shot video for Handsome Furs, "I'm Confused":