Olga Bell and Tom Vek have set the internet alight with their new transatlantic collaborative project, Nothankyou. The two tracks that make up the 7” Know Yourself/Oyster single, available now through Moshi Moshi, have steadily notched up an impressive play count and been praised across the web.
Now Olga makes her directorial debut with the music video for Oyster which sees her dress up in her counterpart’s distinctive horn-rimmed glasses and slicked back hair.
She explains: “Something about our transatlantic distance required a Cindy Sherman-esque manifestation of Tom via my own person. I also looked at lots of Avedon portraits (he’s my favourite, especially “In the American West”), along with 90s Calvin Klein ads and the morphing sequence at the end of Michael Jackson’s Black or White video.
“Lots of people on hearing Oyster think that it’s Tom singing the lower parts but it’s actually my voice pitched down. So, it sort of follows that I appear “as Tom” in the video during the moments in the song where “he sings”.”
Olga and Tom first met over mid-aughts Myspace during what Tom refers to as “a window of about a week when I was speaking to people over social media”. They kept in touch seeing each other every few years in Vek’s London or Bell’s New York until eventually and inevitably, they found themselves at the same Creators Project party in Brazil.
Olga asked if Tom was working on any new tracks. Tom played her a rough instrumental. Thumb drives flashed, flash drives hummed, Myspace rolled over in its grave and back in Brooklyn Olga added topline and keyboard parts before sending the track back to Tom. After a few exchanges they had one finished song. After a few more, they had two. This single represents the duo’s sum works to date but more may come.