Nocchi gives a serve for Paris Fashion Week in Perfume’s “Flow”

Nocchi gives a serve for Paris Fashion Week in Perfume’s “Flow” | Random J Pop

I was kinda over the song “Flow” after the first time I heard it. I don’t dislike it. It’s just one of those songs for me which comes and goes. And with the quality of Perfume’s music videos over the past couple of years, and how abso-fucking-lutely dismal the video for “Polygon Wave” was, I had the lowest of expectations for this shit. But I’ll be fucking damned. Because the music video for “Flow” is actually decent and does a lot for the song. 

The video has also been uploaded to YouTube with English captions, for those who want translated lyrics for the song. Perfume really are getting good at this global thing.

I was honestly expecting nothing more than Perfume just dancing and standing around on the set on which they shot the single cover. But we got a whole lot more. And something that Perfume’s videos have been lacking for years; a build and a reveal towards something actually good toward the end. A minute into this video, I wasn’t expecting Perfume to even show up, which I was fine with; because the visuals were so cool and it was just different from what we usually get and what I was expecting. And it was cool seeing the scanning technology and motion graphics which Perfume usually only use for live performances worked into a music video.

Nocchi gives a serve for Paris Fashion Week in Perfume’s “Flow” | Random J Pop
Perfume - Flow | Directed by Yuann / kidzfrmnowhere

The music video for “Flow” was directed by Yuann, who is a Shanghai born, Tokyo based creative, and founder of the creative collective Kidzfrmnowhere; whose client list includes Adidas, Burberry, Onitsuka Tiger, Coach, Ambush and (here’s a curveball) McDonald’s.

“Flow” marks one of only a couple of instances where Perfume have worked with a director outside of their usual circle of Kazuaki Seki, Yuichi Kodama and Yusuke Tanaka.

I completely get the ease of working with directors you’ve worked with before - you understand each other’s work habits, and the director also develops an autonomous sense of what you want as their client. But Perfume’s visual style has been so set and so consistent for so long now, that any director should be able to come in and interpret it. And in the case of “Flow”, there was involvement from  Rhizomatiks and other creatives that Perfume have long worked with anyway. I’d like to see Perfume work more with new directors, in the hopes that it can push their visuals forward; because their shit has been stuck ‘n’ stale for far too long now.

Nocchi gives a serve for Paris Fashion Week in Perfume’s “Flow” | Random J Pop
Perfume - Flow | Directed by Directed by Yuann / kidzfrmnowhere

And y’all. We are FINALLY getting Perfume giving us actual fashion in a music video; serving looks which feel indicative of their personal styles. a-chan’s look was a mess. But that’s her business. Nocchi looks like she just stepped out of a late 90s Hype Williams music video, like the bad bitch that she is. A serve during Paris fashion week? Nocchi knew exactly what she was doing.

“Flow” might be one of Perfume’s best videos since “Flash”. Sure, it reuses elements we’ve seen from several of their music videos over the years. There were moments which reminded me of “Electro World”, “Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow”, “Nee”, “Mugen Mirai”,  “Everyday” and “Future Pop”. But this is also what I liked about it. Perfume’s thing for a while has seemed to be folding in stuff from their past into their present.

As with “Polygon Wave”, Mikiko seems to be making a conscious (or maybe subconscious) effort for Perfume’s choreography to look less cutesy and more ‘cool’, which isn’t a term you’d associate much with Perfume outside of their live performances these days. “Polygon Wave” and “Flow” still retains the DNA of what makes a Perfume routine so quirky and unique, but one that looks more fluid natural, and for the lack of a better word, grown. These routines are also much easier to learn and pick up, lending themselves to covers and TikTok challenges.

For those of you who want more of Perfume dancing and giving looks, the 30 second TV spot for “Flow” features a whole bunch of shots which weren’t included in the music video.

I’m gonna need to see at least one televised performance of “Flow” with Nocchi in baggy pants and a cropped bomber jacket.

🎚️ A mashup: Whitney Houston x Perfume
🎛️ Perfume megamixes: LEVEL3 megamix | Cosmic Explorer megamix
🎧 Playlists: The Rest “P Cubed” | Perfume Pussy Poppers
💿 Album reviews: The Best “P Cubed” | Future Pop | Cosmic Explorer | LEVEL3 | JPN | Triangle | Game | Complete Best