Jake Webb – the Perth-based producer behind Methyl Ethel – is dancing in his latest video. Doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Since the Methyl Ethel project first materialised with Oh Inhuman Spectacle back in 2015, Webb’s performance has leaned more towards the cerebral than the physical; even a dancier cut, like last year’s surprise hit “Ubu,” features an almost aggressive stillness in its music video. But mere seconds into “Real Tight,” premiering today on Noisey, Webb sets a speaker on the floor of a dance studio and just goes for it. He’s swaying and jumping and attempting a kind of leap that I could only really describe as a ‘prance’.
If there were ever a good time for Webb to start pulling out pop frontman dance moves, it’d be now: Methyl Ethel has achieved an extraordinary level of success over the past couple of years, with “Ubu” going Gold on the ARIA charts and placing in the top five of the Hottest 100. And “Real Tight” is one of the most pop-adjacent tracks he’s ever made, complete with a swelling chorus and some of the most achingly personal lyrics in the Methyl Ethel canon. Known for filling his verses with abstractions, “Real Tight” finds Webb making things plain and simple “I cannot lie/ I don’t feel right,” he sings on the track’s chorus, a simple plea that’s striking in how forward it is, compared to earlier Methyl Ethel songs.
The latent heartbreak in “Real Tight” is hard to notice at first if you’re watching the song’s Matt Sav-directed video: Webb’s dancing is wonderfully, self-consciously weird, the kind of over-the-top moves you pull when you just want to dance the sads away. Intercut with hazy closeups of his eyes, the clip finds perfect middle ground between the pain of the song’s lyrics and the pop credibility of its production. Watch “Real Tight” above.
“Real Tight” is taken from Triage, Methyl Ethel’s third record, due for release in February via Dot Dash and 4AD. Preorder the record here.
This article originally appeared on Noisey AU.