Flying Nun stalwart George Henderson is embracing his boomer perspective in the New Existentialists EP, Last Days of the Internet.
Having released music for more than forty years, George Henderson is better known for his role as bandleader of The Puddle, which had several releases on Flying Nun in the ‘80s and ‘90s before the band migrated to Fishrider Records in 2006. However, for the better part of the last decade, Henderson’s main project has been The New Existentialists, which is based out of West Auckland and whose latest EP, Last Days of the Internet, came out Friday on Powertool Records.
The release of the titular single is accompanied by a hilarious video directed by Andrew Moore and Hayley Theyers, whose other credits include the upcoming King Loser documentary and a stunning 2017 portrait series of New Zealand artists titled Musicians of Aotearoa, respectively.
The video features a sunglasses-clad Henderson embarking on some truly repetitive devil-may-care dad dancing in front of a bizarre kaleidoscopic collage of computer screens, retro film footage, beige ‘70s computer equipment, landscapes, subway lines, and a few dozen children and friends who can’t be bothered looking up from their phones.
While the lyrics are at times are downright silly—outdated references to “popup windows” make you wonder what version of Netscape Navigator Henderson is using—the song itself is a tribute to Henderson’s reputation for delicate melodic guitar lines and cheerful pop.
While being spellbound by the computer graphics, the song begins to worm its way into your brain.
Henderson’s lyrical musings about the endless distractions of a digital landscape are an ongoing pleasant surprise.
Call and response lines like “These are the last days of the internet / Don’t get involved” are sung in enough earnestness to make you not only burst into laughter but want to sing along.
An hour later, after the video is permanently imprinted in your memory, don’t be surprised to find yourself singing, “So I accept-ed all the cook-ies…”
The New Existentialists line-up also features The Undercurrents guitarist and drummer Jamey Danger and Ned Bycroft, bassist Andrew Moore of Battling Strings and The Onedin Line, and Duane Zarakoff of Space Dust and King Loser fame on synths.