Virtual insanity: Elliott Vincent Jones

By Jacob Lilley

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“I’m a quiet man. I’m a loud man. I’m a silly man. I’m an angry man. I love romance, Fela Kuti and a fine meal. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke but life is still pretty fun. I lounge, travel the world and play music for people who care to listen. That’s it. Hi.”

Introducing Elliott Vincent Jones: Canadian singer-songwriter and architect of the oddball universe in which he lives. If you haven’t already seen one of his wacky live shows, make sure to put it on your bucket list – but don’t fret, his vivid imagination is also manifest in the madcap VHS-style videos that accompany his music.

For years VHS had been avoided like the plague, but recently filmmakers have been reviving the old format to give their videos that edgy, vintage look, like something out of an 1980s blockbuster. With his 80s electronica vibes, Elliott’s music is certainly congruent with this style of filming, but he openly admits that he isn’t 100% sold on the idea.

“Asking the Deaddirector (ACC studios) to direct two of my videos really helped shape a VHS aesthetic (see Faces on the Floor and Acapulco), but I’m not too big on VHS look. It’s all [about] the colours and the vibes. The viiiiiiiiiibes.”

Elliott’s latest music video ‘All Day’ isn’t filmed using VHS, and with a more relatable narrative style that eschews his usual wtf montages, is this a different direction he wanted to take? A new public image perhaps?

“[I’m] not sure. My art will forever be bouncing around the style spectrum, I like spontaneity and like most things I’ve created in my life were concepts I’ve made up on the spot.”

Dawawine is one of Elliott’s most viewed videos on YouTube, with just under 16k views. To watch the video may seem like you’ve taken a handful of shrooms, but the method behind the art is fairly simple: not too much thought. The beauty of music videos is making a narrative in your own head, and this video is pure art.

Making an appearance in Dawawine is fellow Canadian singer songwriter/producer Mac Demarco, with whom Elliott frequently tours. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to see a collaboration between the two (imagine new age pop meets alternative rock), but no, don’t hold your breath.

“Mac and I have known each other for a long time now. We have never collaborated on anything together or have done anything musical together; just pure friendship. When we are in the same city as each other we always catch up, and I was very fortunate for him to let me open a bunch of shows.”

So what can we expect from Elliott Vincent Jones next? We can only wait and see, but you can certainly guarantee one thing: it won’t be ordinary.


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Cover Photo by Devon Little