There are plenty of strange hobbies out there, but whoever thought up tea blowing must’ve been downright bored. And no, tea blowing is not simply cooling down a nice cup of chamomile with a gentle breath; it’s shooting water out of a tea kettle using the power of your lungs. Silly, sure, but in the video for Cass McCombs’ Angel Olsen-featuring “Opposite House”, it’s actually kind of beautiful.
The clip for the Mangy Love track sees two very serious — bordering on competitive — tea blowers creating playful arcs of liquid as they carefully arrange trick shots like frat boy showing off his pong skills. As the clip rolls on, with McCombs and Olsen sitting in the corner singing their song, the tricks get progressively more complex until there’s a literal fountain of tea bubbling up from the table.
You can watch it above, and read director Jonny Look’s explanation for the video below.
“After hearing the track I focused on channeling some of the surreal elements of Cass’s lyrics as well as the endless beauty and gentleness of it’s soundscape. I wanted the surreal elements of our video to be somewhat connected – so it wasn’t just surreal for surreal sake. Something funny, and a little strange.
During the chorus, Cass and Angel both sing ‘Oh Why?,’ and I thought that watching people blow tea across the table might have the viewers ask that same question.
For most of my ideas I try to balance beauty and silliness. It’s a kind of an inside joke – something that will hopefully make you chuckle at the very end. I wanted to present the video as though it could all be real – as though we found some ‘Tea Blowers’ to perform as a backdrop to Cass and Angel’s performance. I wanted the viewer to be amazed after the first trick, stunned at the second, and then confused by the third. Hopefully by then they feel in on the joke.”