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Practical Joke

by Staircase Paradox

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about

During the first lockdown, we used to send demos to each other. As if not to forget what drives us and keep hope in the resumption of live shows... one day.

“Practical Joke” was one of them. It was one of the first songs on which Pauline, Billy and I had worked remotely. The first that was really thought as a band of 3 people. And it was the first song we worked on when we returned to the studio (almost in all legality with far-fetched travel certificates).

Since that day, this song has never had the same shape or the same color. It's dough model. Initially, Billy was to be on drums throughout the song (live and in the studio). Pauline would be on synth'bass and I would be on piano/synth. Two weeks before our first concert post lockdown, I broke down and asked to be able to focus only on singing in the first part of the song. The drum machine therefore naturally replaced Billy - who thereby was able to magnify my piano/synth part from the beginning. Three weeks ago, the 3 parts that make it up were sung alternately by me, Billy and Pauline. But when we mixed it, because of a volume error, my voice happened to be always in lead, like a « red thread ». It was approved. The ending, on the other hand, has always oscillated between a rehash of With or without you by U2 and a tribute to Michael Jackson before becoming… Practical Joke.

As always, a huge thank you to Iséo Furudoï for his work, his support, and his always "post-modern" ideas.

So… what is this song about? What inspired these lyrics?

Practical joke means "bad joke", a situation comedy that is done to the detriment of somebody. The lyrics are on a subject that I’ve been wanting to address for a long time (and on which we all brought our light and harmonies) and which was brought back to my attention by Phantogram's Fall in Love: the relationship of seduction until the other falls in love. The absolute trap...

Between the hunter who seduces without falling into the trap of feelings, and the prey who has an irrepressible need to fall in love. Between the one who gives the impression of controlling the feelings of the other, and the one who keeps getting back up to believe once again that he is the hero of a novel. Between those who drown in the waters of perfection and the gaze of the other to leave an indelible imprint, and the one who lives only for this feeling of having stars in their eyes and butterflies in their stomachs. In the end everyone is just trying to find meaning to a human relationship, marked by reflexes and old patterns, wounds and ego, fear and excitement. A vast joke where everyone plays with the other and with themselves.

The music video was entirely thought out, directed, edited and produced by the great (in size as well!) Maxime Lauret (whom we love, without it being a joke). A musician and an inspired, critical, dark and sensitive director. We can only love him. He had directed the video for « Terrific Tips » for us. For the record, this video was made in one take in the heart of Tokyo featuring the also great (but less in size) Maiya Goshima, living and translating the song like a messenger in the city.

For the needs of the filming scheduled on August 31 (when we had not even finished recording), we had the joy of being able to count on about fifteen of you who did the honor of accompanying us indoors and/or outdoors with their phones to contribute to filming the whole thing (in a 9:16 format). A huge THANK YOU to Mélanie Allanic, Palem Candillier, Cindy Cartigny, Alexandre Chouippe, Alexandre Gontard, Noé Jacomet, Stéphanie Lebiez, Lina Magnan, Christophe Péreuil, Alexis Pitallier, Elisa Razafimahatratra, Stanislas Reignier, Camille Velard, Charles Westrelin, Milan Zuidema.

If you want to know how the idea of the video – for which he necessarily had « carte blanche » – came into the head of the Great Maxim… ask him if you get the chance. But for me, it transcribes perfectly the weight of the projection of the others on oneself.

lyrics

My heart has been deserted
Your fall's been orchestrated
Your eyes will see what I say
My love will be a million miles away

Catch me

I fight, it's you or me babe
I'm luring you and I win
A play I run too many times
Before, the one you will regret

Call me in the dark, call me in the dark
Silent. Now !
As we're living,
As we're dreaming
As we're loving
We keep trying
And the more we fell, and the more we fell
And the more we failed

credits

released October 13, 2022
Music, lyrics & video by Staircase Paradox : youtu.be/g0bfSAUezFY

Amélie : vocals, synth, piano, production, samples, drums
Billy : piano, vocals, production, samples, drums
Pauline : synthbass, vocals, production, samples, drums

Mix & mastering by Iséo Furudoï (@Gashasound)

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about

Staircase Paradox France

Indie-pop band based in France. Songs range from euphoria to melancholy, in a hybrid style between dream pop, indie rock & shoegaze. Some kind of bizarre love triangle Interpol / Warpaint / Queens of the Stone Age

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