U.S. band Sylvan Esso recording a music video for its song "Ferris Wheel" from its forthcoming album Free Love entirely in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is precisely the sort of feel-good, end-of-the-summer content we need right now. It's not the first time a band has made a video using the record-breaking Nintendo game, but so far it's the cutest.
It's also a reminder of the novel ways musicians and other creatives are dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has most of them (and us) hunkered down at home.
It's summery and it's sweet — In the video (above) the Animal Crossing version of frontwoman Amelia Meath is having a jolly good time passing by popcorn stands, singing to other Animal Crossing characters, staring at lava lamps, and occasionally disassociating (which is totally understandable given our times).
Bandmate and husband Nick Sanborn also makes a few appearances, far more in fact than he does in the live-action video for the song (below), which features somewhat more exuberant choreography of Meath dancing than is possible in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It's great to see the band taking advantage of the game's recently added custom fireworks feature to display its logo... rather than dick doodles.
Sylvan Esso isn't the first band to use Nintendo's hit of 2020 for a quarantine era music video. That honor belongs to Sad Alex and the track "Hypotheticals" (below). Not only are musicians using Animal Crossing to create videos, but fans are using it to create videos for popular hits, and some of the results are as extremely creative as they are wildly hilarious.
The perfect platform for creativity — Elijah Wood uses Animal Crossing to ask people very kindly if he can pick some fruit from their gardens. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are using Animal Crossing for political campaigning. And there's already a full-fledged talk show on Animal Crossing by video games journalist and screenwriter Gary Whitta.
This influx of new gamers and public attention has, of course, helped Nintendo boost sales of the game immensely. But it's also a testament to the game's unique flexibility. It can be easily converted from a regular game where you tend to your island and decorate your little house to full-on fashion shows, political campaigning, scenes out of famous films, and a whole lot more.