Flavorwire Premiere: Slim Twig’s “Slippin’ Slidin'” Video Confronts the Power Dynamics of Sexual Objectification


Slim Twig’s “Slippin’ Slidin'” is, by his own estimations, a “cock rock analogue to Kanye West’s similarly phallic ‘On Sight.'” Like Yeezus, the Toronto psych experimenter’s forthcoming fifth LP Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig begins with this sonically menacing bit of swagger. But translating that attitude visually took “Slippin’ Slidin’,” an ambiguous take on sexual politics, to an uncomfortable place that leaves viewers with more questions than answers: “Are we owned in some sense by those that take pleasure from our bodies? Are we equal to, or submissive of someone while we objectify them, or are objectified ourselves? Is it possible that liberation may in some instances be a consequence of being objectified?”

These are the aspects that Twig asks me, and you, to consider while watching his “Slippin’ Slidin'” video, a collaboration with LuLu Hazel Turnbull that Flavorwire is pleased to premiere below. “The image of a human walking another human as a dog was something that we felt seemed to amplify some of these questions in a playful way,” says Twig, aka Max Turnbull. “Questions are always better than explicit meanings.”

Listeners may find themselves filled with questions when they hear Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig, out August 7 via DFA Records and featuring standout vocal contributions from U.S. Girls’ Meg Remy (Turnbull’s frequent collaborator and wife). His latest big-riffed stunner is an album no less ambitious than the Lolita-inspired, symphonic rock freakout A Hound At the Hem, reissued in 2014 by DFA two years after its original (and obscure) release. “The more antiquated and ignorant it appears to be a rock ‘n’ roller in the Aughts, the more fertile this ground appears to me,” Turnbull says, citing acts like Royal Trux, Thin Lizzy, and Blue Cheer guitarist Randy Holden as “deep inspiration.”

On Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig, Turnbull mines rock’s grimy past as a means of loosely discussing politicized topics relevant to right now: gender fluidity (“Fog Of Sex (N.S.I.S)”), wage inequality (“Textiles on Mainstreet”), public rape in time of camera phones (“Roll Red Roll (Song For Steubenville)”), and the fight for legalization (an over-the-top cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s “Cannabis”). He calls it “a protest album as obscured by smoke.”

“I am fascinated by the idea that music sounds different when stoned,” he adds of the album’s tactile approach to production. “So while I have very little interest in being a spokesman waiving a pot leaf flag, I do think it would be an achievement to be able to recreate that feeling of heightened listening for people without the use of any kind of substance.”