The Yeah Yeah Yeahs reach new heights with the video for their new single “Despair.” Skyscraper heights. 102-story, 443-meter, Empire State Building heights, to be exact. “There’s been a lot of career highs and lows over the years of being in a band, but in the end, how many can say they shot a video on the top of the Empire State Building? We win,” says singer Karen O. “Move out the way, King Kong, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are gonna get real with you up in this piece!”
“Despair” is the second single off the NYC-based trio’s album Mosquito (Interscope), which entered the Billboard Top 200 this April at #5. The concept for the was to pair New York’s quintessential landmark with New York’s quintessential band. However, until now, no band had ever shot a video atop the World’s Most Famous Building. ”The Empire State Building’s iconographic presence is not limited to any date or age. We are happy to offer our magical canvas, the real magic of the real New York City, to this video,” says Anthony E. Malkin of Malkin Holdings.
Mosquito is produced by Dave Sitek and Nick Launay (working separately), with one track produced by James Murphy. The bulk of it was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornilla, TX. Dr. Octagon (Kool Keith) appears on one track. “I gotta say I had a ‘the impossible is possible’ moment up there with Nick and Brian,” says O. “If someone would have sat us down at the Mars Bar years back and told us that we’d be performing our music on the top of the Empire State Building one day, we probably would have thought that’s the stuff that dreams are made of, not us, no way.”
The band’s three recorded studio albums were nominated for a GRAMMY award for Best Alternative Music Album. The first, Fever to Tell, was named as the best album of the year by The New York Times. The Patrick Daughters-directed video “Maps” was nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards. The certified-Gold album was named by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork Media, and NME as one of the best albums of the decade. The second, Show Your Bones, was named the second best album of the year by NME. Rolling Stone magazine named it the one of the best album of the year, while Spin Magazine ranked it in their 40 best albums of 2006. Their third studio album, It’s Blitz!, was named the second best album of the year by NME magazine, It’s Blitz! was named as the second best album of 2009 by Spin Magazine and third best of 2009 by NME.