Lawrence Rothman invites you into a darkly imagined world with his new music video for “California Paranoia” (feat. Angel Olsen) directed by longtime collaborator Floria Sigismondi. The haunting ballad is a teaser from Rothman’s upcoming debut album produced by Justin Raisen, which will host vocal features from the likes of Charli XCX, Ariel Pink and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.
LA-based singer/multi-instrumentalist and character chameleon Lawrence Rothman always embodies nine different personas for all of his videos and songs. He stays true to form in the visual for “California Paranoia,” first appearing as an albino male nurse in an Old Hollywood mental institution dispensing antipsychotic meds to the 51/50s in his charge.
Soon, however, the inmates (also played by Rothman) dervish him into their delusions. Rothman’s beautifully grotesque menagerie of alter egos cavort and writhe as strange and fantastical imagery floats by. He, Rothman, appears to be the only true salve for their “California Paranoia.” The bizarrely compelling narrative matches the dreamy and dark tone of the song, leading up to the gruesome final scene that puts a visceral punctuation mark on the end of the film.
Floria has shot and art directed all of Rothman’s previous video releases. The duo will also be creating an independent film based on Rothman’s nine characters titled “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,” which Floria will direct in spring 2016. Lawrence Rothman’s debut album with be out in 2016 via Downtown Records.