Watch Warhaus waltz alone, directed by Willy Vanderperre

In a shadowy, empty bar, the Belgian artist spills his heart to whoever will listen in a haunting new video

Empty, dimly-lit bars are where great things happen, where romance or heartbreak can flourish in the shadowy, smoky environs of a downtown club. That’s the apt setting chosen by Willy Vanderperre for the new video from Warhaus, the enigmatic solo project of Maarten Devoldere from Belgian band Balthazar, taken from his debut album We Fucked A Flame Into Being (a DH Lawrence quote, no less).

According to Warhaus, “Machinery” is about “not being in control, being consumed by love and excess. The old fashioned idea that the stars function as the wheels in a machine as one big higher force. The song starts simply with me offering yet another 3-minute pop song to its power, as if to please it, as if to ask to let me off the hook for a night. Lots of songs on the album are about trying to seem on top while being at the mercy of a woman. Me and Willy wanted to imply that duality in the performance of the video.”

It’s an arresting, haunting watch – Warhaus performing alone onstage in what appears to be a closed bar, his shirt unbuttoned and tie loose, singing to a gyrating, peroxide blond woman who is later joined by a bearded stranger.

“The song – sexy, sleazy, dark, dictated the vibe and the atmosphere of the piece,” says Vanderperre. “We went for a location that we all have been to in our lives, a party we all were at. It could be a wedding or an office party. The night is over, smoke in the back of the room. This guy goes onstage to sing a song. He has had all night to find the courage to do so. Maybe tries to impress a girl. He sings and tries to be smooth, which makes him vulnerable and sexy. There is a certain discomfort in his moves. The song moves me, the opening lyrics are so genius: I don’t claim to be anything, except yours to consume tonight. Just simply sublime.”