Still from the music video for Treat Each Other Right by Jamie xx, showing a bride and groom embracing in a swimming pool

How Jamie xx’s feverish new music video was made

The producer has announced his long-awaited second album, In Waves, with a new single and a chaotic music video. Director Rosie Marks tells us about why it was shot in a swingers’ club and the surprisingly tender message behind it

Nine years after releasing his debut album, In Colour, Jamie xx has revealed his forthcoming follow-up LP called In Waves. The DJ and producer – also a third of The xx alongside Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim – made the announcement while releasing a new single, Treat Each Other Right, which comes with a music video directed by Rosie Marks.

Originally envisaged for a different track and rewritten for Treat Each Other Right, the video is set in a neon-lit club where four minutes of chaos unfolds. Here you’ll find a snogging elderly couple, a bride and groom, a muscular topless waiter, a group of suits waiting in the ranks, and a particularly suave kid. There’s also a ‘human table’ – a knowingly kitsch emblem of glamour – which spawned the entire idea two years ago. In the video, we find her “contemplating life and wondering what she’s doing, while also her job is to just be a human bar”, Marks says.

“We both wanted it to feel not necessarily like a club that he would be playing in,” explains Marks, who looked back to her own formative experiences of high street clubs, where the demographic is looser, less defined. “I just was interested in showing a different side of club culture, one that is the more realistic club culture for a large majority of people.”

The venue was key to portraying a space that not many people would know, so Marks scoured on Reddit for the best swingers’ clubs in London and found the ideal location in west London. “I had just been doing this project about a BDSM scene in Japan so I guess that kind of world was in the back of my head,” she explains. After much persuasion, they eventually let them shoot there for two days.

Still from the music video for Treat Each Other Right by Jamie xx, showing a woman with short hair, hoop earrings and dark red lipstick wearing a fur coat and holding a coat against her chest

The tone sits somewhere between Ibiza, Hollyoaks, and Kitchen Nightmares, thanks to a Gordon Ramsay lookalike so convincing that it forces a double take. “That is the Gordan Ramsay lookalike. He’s the OG,” Marks says.

Ramsay is, as Liam Payne would put it, one of the world’s best emoters (or “one of the more overtly angry people”, Marks says), which made him a fitting addition to the cast alongside another cult TV chef lookalike. “I just thought it’d be funny to have Gordon Ramsay and Nigella. Nigella’s running the kitchen in the club, and Gordon’s running the bar, and then they meet and then they fight over a platter of sandwiches.”

The video is total mayhem, but behind it all is a very real, very human message about the emotional ebbs and flows of our relationships – how we drive each other to the brink and pull each other back again, how we keep it all under wraps until it spills over. Don’t be fooled by the maximalist energy: it’s surprisingly vulnerable and tender.

Still from the music video for Treat Each Other Right by Jamie xx, showing a topless muscular man with a beard standing at a bar opposite a Gordon Ramsay lookalike preparing a cocktail

“I’m always interested in highs and lows, the ups and downs of life,” Marks explains. “I guess all of my work generally explores things like glamour and age and beauty and sex, and I think it encompasses a bit of all those things. Also, as you get older, there’s all these responsibilities that you accumulate as an adult and then the having fun part of life seems to be sidelined or you’re encouraged to let that part of you go.

“I was just thinking about when you’re out at a club or something, and people are crying or having a fight. I guess it’s very British – letting out your emotions the only way you know how to.”

Still from the music video for Treat Each Other Right by Jamie xx, showing a child wearing sunglasses and a windbreaker jacket

In Waves by Jamie xx is out on Young on September 20; @marksrosie;