The Dan Boeckner-led electropop project Operators are releasing their sophomore record Radiant Dawn in just a couple of weeks. Together with drummer Sam Brown and keyboardist Devojka, the trio have shared the second single off the album, “I Feel Emotion,” an upbeat, shimmering track that belies its vulnerable and introspective lyrics. “We are prisoners here in our own way / How can you live life under impossible weights? / I wanna watch the sea rise / I wanna watch the flood come and wash it all away.”
The single comes with a video from directors Caleb Bardgett and Johnny Dunn “set in a world newly-devoid of human life, and these TV sets are the last artifacts of human emotion, playing loops from lost transmissions from some other space-time.” Devojka explains the song and video like this:
“‘I Feel Emotion’ is a song for anyone who feels like they don’t know how to be alive in the world today. The video we made for ‘I Feel Emotion’ is compound nostalgia. It was inspired by a video installation I saw at an exhibition at MOMA called ‘Toward A Concrete Utopia, Architecture in Yugoslavia 1948-1980’. The installation was a stack of tv screens playing short loops taken from what looked to be old commercials and footage of people in various states of everydayness. As a first generation ex-Yugoslavian, I was surprised to find myself fascinated and moved; the intimacy of a woman ecstatically twirling with her purse flung on her shoulder in her smart and modern skirt completely arrested me. I come from a long line of pain, and I’ve been estranged from my family for some years now. Making the video was a way to connect to this heritage; something equally familiar and foreign to me. I combed through hours of footage from old Yugoslavian films looking for those intimate moments – the moments that happen between the BIG EVENTS in our lives.”
“I Feel Emotion” follows last month’s “Faithless.” Operators’ last album was 2016’s Blue Wave. Since then, Boeckner released Wolf Parade’s fourth studio album Cry Cry Cry in 2017 and played a series of sold-out shows in which Operators performed songs from the Handsome Furs' catalog. Operators will make a stop in Seattle on Sunday, June 9 at Neumos.
Below, watch the video for “I Feel Emotion” as well as Operators’ performance for KEXP at Iceland Airwaves in 2015.
The record follows 2016's Blue Wave
KEXP has a special love for Operators in the live setting. Sure, synth-heavy brainchild of Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits) would fit on KEXP's airwaves regardless, but we have history together. Three days after the band announced it existed, they played on KEXP and later in...
"I felt a blue wave coming on." If there were any way to sum up the trying events that led up to the amalgamation of Dan Boeckner's latest project Operators, the album's title track does it pretty well. Dan Boeckner, responsible for Wolf Parade (alongside Spencer Krug) and Handsome Furs (alongsid...