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Skjermbilde 2017-11-28 kl. 11.43.26

Smerz’s ‘Have Fun’ video is like an Illuminati Mean Girls

The Scandi-R&B duo bring their eye for the unsettling to a prom-night party

There’s a murmur of uneasiness running through the work of Smerz, the insular R&B vehicle of Henriette Motzfeldt and Catharina Stoltenberg. Inspired by acts like Jessy Lanza and late footwork pioneer DJ Rashad, the Norwegian duo are fast perfecting a sound that is slow, sensual and thick with suggestive whispers that sound like the voices in your head.

Now they’re back with a self-produced video – their third in the last two months – for “Have Fun”, which finds Henriette hanging out with friends at a glamorous prom-night party. But there’s the feeling that something is a little off here, odd expressions crossing people’s faces in among the Insta-perfect smiles and popping champagne corks. The look may be Mean Girls, but the vibe is pure Eyes Wide Shut

“For us it’s about all those social situations where you can suddenly feel a bit distanced or forced,” say the band of the video. “It’s staged to a classic Oslo Christmas prom pre-party, as this is maybe a situation where these dynamics, for some, become more present than usual. I think the song can reflect this ongoing stream of thoughts inside your head when you are trying to make yourself comfortable in a situation where you’re maybe not that comfortable. You are talking to yourself.”

What’s more, say the Copenhagen-based pair, they were able to use their natural discomfort at being on camera to explore those feelings of self-consciousness: “I think we both can be socially awkward and insecure in front of a camera. By keeping the shots where this is exploited, you can (reveal) something without being a pro director or actor.”

Smerz play at London’s Electrowerkz on December 14