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Michel Gondry surprises his pals The White Stripes with a new music video

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Getting a surprise from a friend is always nice, but it’s probably especially delightful when your friend is famously quirky French film director Michel Gondry. Gondry—whose most recent film, Microbe & Gasoline, debuted back in July—apparently was feeling especially whimsical in the shower the other day, and so he set up his camera and decided to make a music video for the recently unearthed White Stripes song “City Lights”:

According to a press release from White Stripes frontman Jack White, the video was made completely independently by Gondry without asking permission from the band first. They clearly weren’t mad about it, though—who would be?—and they’re now sharing this cute gesture of friendship and fandom with the public. Gondry, of course, has worked with The White Stripes before, most notably directing their famous Lego-based video for “Fell In Love With A Girl.”

As for how a White Stripes song is getting a new music video in 2016 considering the band broke up in 2011 after a lengthy hiatus, “City Lights” was originally written for 2005’s Get Behind Me Satan, but was ultimately shelved. Jack White rediscovered it while remastering the album for Record Store Day last year, and ultimately finished the recording this year. It’s the band’s first new song to be commercially released worldwide since 2008.


White is currently out promoting his solo album Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016, on which “City Lights” was initially released. He appeared on The Tonight Show last week to sing a couple of songs off of that record. You can watch that performance, which is being hailed for its emotion and intimacy, below.