We’ve long been aware how magnificent cross-disciplinary art practice can be. A band with a graphic designer in their midst, a videographer with a collaborative illustrator, or even a photographer and their muse seldom grow weaker through shared experience. It’s a wonderful thing.
Recently ruminating over older music videos, I found myself coming over and over again to the work of British musicians who found a place amongst the chic, Adidas-infused street style attributed mostly to London. Think the clips from Glass Animals’ first record, or Skepta’s constant cry-outs for his black tracksuit mafia.
But at the head of the pack was always Jungle, the soul collective formed in 2013 who found worldwide acclaim and a Mercury Prize nomination in their self-titled debut LP. Now imagine my surprise when I learned every single one of their clips were directed by the same person.
Embodying every reason fashion and music have always been bound together, Oliver Hadlee Pearch is the English creative we should all be paying attention to.
Outside of his director credits with Jungle, it turns out Pearch has built up a huge fashion editorial catalogue. Having regularly worked with Dazed, Vogue, i-D and Zara (to name a few), the modish quality of his video work starts to make a little more sense.
But it’s a thin line to tread. The worlds of both music and fashion are often barred behind gatekeepers of, for lack of a better word, ‘vibe’. The minute you start to take yourself too seriously, you’ll be skewered.
Yet Pearch’s work bears an almost undetectable note of silliness, minutely sending up the culture from which it takes influence.
Whether it’s a practiced eye, a sense of overwhelming confidence or even a fluke, we’re impressed. Quietly cool while abiding to, even dictating, stylistic trends, Pearch’s work seems effortless.
Almost in stark contrast to the ultra-suave clip for Busy Earnin’, Pearch’s gaze in follow-up music video Time sends up the mode he established.
Trading a synchronised group of carefully curated characters for two dancers you could mistake for your grandparents, it belies all expectations you may have previously gleaned.
If you’re into his video work, I heartily recommend a deep dive on what the man has been up to over the last couple of years. It’s far more high-fashion than it is music, yet you’ll find the same elegant, erratic edge hasn’t gone anywhere.
Keep up to date with Oliver’s work on Instagram.
Jungle is about to embark on a rare Australian tour with Falls Festival. Find the set of dates below.