It’s been almost a year since Onuinu, aka Portland’s Dorian Duvall, unleashed the summer-stricken Mirror Gazer on Bladen County Records. The excellent debut album was an electro-pop onslaught, featuring nine tracks brimming with wandering, gossamer synths and old-school throwbacks that are more reminiscent of disco and hip-hop than electro-pop contemporaries like Washed Out and oOoOO.
The video for “Happy Home” depicted a time-traveling Duvall meandering around the East Portland and crooning in front of the cosmos (he also ate some hard-boiled eggs and built a green lightning-spewing metal box). The video for “Always Awkward,” directed by Mark C. Roe, has a similar vibe to it—minus the eggs.
It’s a familiar tale. A good-looking guy who lacks the confidence to approach good-looking gal on his own does what any self-respected gentlemen would to boost his self-esteem: He throws on a blazer and puts a shoddy computer monitor on his head, then dances in the street.
Spoiler: He gets the girl in the end, sans the circuit-fueled headmask. He probably should have stuck with the Duracell.
BONUS: A few questions for Dorian Duvall about "Always Awkward"
LocalCut: Tell me a bit about how "Always Awkward" came together lyrically.
Dorian Duvall: I was talking to a friend online and they had some adverse feelings about some famous person and thought I should write a song about it and I did. Everyone thinks I'm talking about myself, but it's about some famous dude that my friend didn't like.
What was the concept behind the video?
Mark contacted me about making a video for the song and explained his idea for the concept. It's about a guy that can only be confident while he's connected to a piece of machinery and when he's not connected to his creation he's hopeless. It's like every awkward dude's dream, he gets the girl in the end.
Darren King busts some pretty sweet dance moves in the beginning of the video. Any chance you dance?
I do admire his dancing and thank him for being the protagonist in the video. I do like dancing, although I haven't danced as much as I used to. I go through phases. It really depends on what I'm listening to and who I'm hanging out with at that moment in time.
There seems to a be a heavy sci-fi theme to your last couple videos. First, the crazy lightning box at the end of "Happy Home" and now the robot head in your new video. What's the fascination?
I've always been attracted to the supernatural, occult and science. Maybe it has something to do with my dad always watching sci-fi television shows when I was growing up. I guess it just helps me get away from reality a bit. It's hard for me to believe that we're the only thing that exists in this vast universe. I feel like everyone should be fascinated with space, if you just sit and think about it, it's pretty mind boggling how everything came together so perfectly to create life.
How was it working with the Mark C. Roe? Did you approach him to direct the video?
He approached me, we didn't directly work together. We had a chat over Skype and then I just let him do his thing. He did a great job.
I understand you may be sitting on some new material, any chance we are going to hear any of it soon?
I've been working on new material. However, I don't have a timeframe of when I'll be releasing anything, hopefully sooner than later, I'm in no rush.