Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber have finally released the music video for their collaborative single “I Don’t Care,” and it’s one of the strangest clips from either artist’s career.
Related: Howard Stern on Why Ed Sheeran Is One of His Favorite New Artists
As with any major music video release on YouTube these days, “I Don’t Care” dropped on the platform via YouTube Premiere, which allows fans to bookmark the video URL and interact in a live chatroom up to several hours before the set premiere time. The interface also gives artists the option to show preview images over the video widget before the clip is released. So if you logged onto the “I Don’t Care” webpage at, say, 8:26 a.m. on Friday, you were greeted with this gem:
Is this meant to be an homage to Grizzly Man? Not sure if I want to know.
Thankfully, when I logged on, I didn’t have that much time to contemplate Justin Bieber in a bear suit, because at 8:45, shit got even weirder.
The actual video, when it finally did premiere, brought some clarity to these bizarre, badly Photoshopped images. “I Don’t Care” is a song about feeling alone at a party, not being able to connect with anyone except the protagonist’s love interest. The video takes that concept and brings it to its most surreal form: Bieber and Sheeran perform in front of greenscreens and insert themselves into all kinds of scenery — a basketball game, a pool party, colorful Adventure Time-y animated backgrounds — while wearing a menagerie of outfits that don’t belong there, from a panda suit to cowboy chaps. It’s a very fun, and certainly unique, way to portray social anxiety in a music video.
Justin Bieber has hinted that more new music will be dropping this year, stating that an album was “coming soon” during his appearance at Ariana Grande’s Coachella set in April. He also recently announced that he was partnering with YouTube on a “top secret project,” but neither Bieber’s team nor YouTube have provided more details.
Ed Sheeran was recently featured in a Rolling Stone exclusive excerpt of Howard Stern’s new book. The longtime radio host professed his admiration for Sheeran, calling the British singer-songwriter one of his favorite new artists.
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