video premiere: icona pop’s ‘brightside’ is a blissful ode to friendship

The dynamic duo sound off about their newest visual — a chill, colorful celebration in an empty Chinese restaurant.

by Emily Manning
21 November 2016, 3:35pm

In 2012, Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop released the music video for their mega hit "I Love It." If you're one of the 111 million people who've seen it, you remember its depiction of charged-up nights out through ecstatic visual effects — basically, the riotous song distilled. Four years later, Icona Pop's Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo are still partying side by side, they're just riding a chiller wave. "Brightside" — the pair's infectious new single — laces drum hits through mellow synth melodies. Today, i-D reveals the single's accompanying video, an ode to hanging out with your best friend.

"We wanted to write a song to celebrate our friendship," Icona Pop says of "Brightside's" euphoric spirit. "We've been a band for eight years now and we've been through so much together, both good and bad." In the karaoke-style video directed by Christine Yuan, Hjelt and Jawo have a mirror-filled Chinese restaurant all to themselves. They hit the bar, dance through the dining room, and chill out in the dark by the light of an aquarium. Press play on the premiere below, and find out where the pair dream of partying.

Tell us about this track. The beat is tight!
Thank you! We've been taking some time off touring to just be in the studio. It's been amazing and this was one of the first songs that we wrote together with our friend Joni. The song is about being there for a friend who is having a really hard time. Our friendship has just grown stronger over the years; it's pretty amazing.

What were your creative starting points for the video?
We wanted to do a video with only us in it. No special effects or five different outfits, just raw and simple. We always say that it's important to be bored sometimes to be creative. We chose to do it in an empty restaurant because it represents that it doesn't matter where we are, we can always have fun as long as we have each other. We also made this video with a small crew of our talented friends to keep it even more personal.

What drew you guys to this particular venue and these particular looks?
We loved the venue because it had a little bit of a mysterious touch to it — along with some different scenery to play around with and great colors, too. It felt like a typical restaurant where we could be on a night somewhere in the world after a late studio session or a show. We picked outfits that we felt comfortable in. We love suits and wear them a lot!

If you could have a two person party at any time, in any place, wearing anything, what would you pick?
We would choose to have a party at a private beach where we could swim naked with a huge sound system, blast amazing music, drink endless amounts of champagne, and wear dresses made out of real flowers.

Icona Pop's "Brightside" is available on Apple Music and Spotify.



Text Emily Manning

Video Premiere
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Icona Pop
Caroline Hjelt
Aino Jawo