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Self "Could You Love Me Now" may be the most impressive backwards music video you'll ever see.

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Self’s “Could You Love Me Now” is the most impressive music video ever made.

First, it’s clever. The band (just one guy, Matt Mahaffey) walked backwards for the duration of the video. Then, the video was played backwards, so it looks like he’s walking forwards and the video’s narrative unravels backwards. 

Second, if you think it through, this means that he had to lip-sync the words backwards too. Here was his lyrics sheet, if you’re curious how he pulled it off:


oh -an-nimulge-nuk

an-nimulge-nukwu eesch na pearl wsinth -oahwwluv-aay nahhsuak nithel on seth

oh an-nimulge-nukhey moez noa did dee gazneaneadrua thew gnar nithel on seth

nog monet eeea beinma oohon say ashsnaearlwu mussyeartthNAAiii look masishnussemm nain all bish faeast ist toebehest

Name choice is very important in the internet age.

It is. Was the name choice Self bad?

Yes, try it, it's too common a name, and they don't come up in the first search page, not good.

You basically have to search for "Self Band".

They're from Tennessee.

Agreed that it's impressive:

backwards videos are very clever.  the pharcyde made this one way back when and it blew my mind:

You're right, that's excellent!

19 more backwards videos:

Most interesting to me is REM Imitation of Life:

Also Jack Johnson Sitting Waiting Wishing:

Self is one of the greatest bands that "didn't make it" ever.  I personally chalk it up to an un-Googlable names.  It used to be two dudes, but Matt's brother tragically died.  Matt is now a successful producer.  He has a TED Talk that's pretty good, during which he performs some of the backwards lipsyncing.

Here are a few more to sample...



If anyone is looking to track down more feel free to comment and I'll point you in some directions.

This is a really good band that I have never heard of and I  "did" consider myself pretty knowledgeable about music!

My favorite Self song is Suzie Q Sailaway.

Also memorable: So Low off their debut album in 1995 is peppy for a downer song:

Very much from the Smashing Pumpkins era. 

I will have to look for his TED talk. 

If you like Suzie Q, check out this live recording.  It's not the best quality but a good performance, and he morphs it into "Trunk Fulla Amps" (a more recent Self tune) and Back in Black by ACDC.

I have 4 other live recordings and cover if that interests you.  None is a great recording unf.

Performance trumps sound quality. I like it! They seem fun live. 

Are the other live recordings on YouTube too?

what a great thread!

I reviewed the 4 live recordings I have of Suzie Q Sailaway -- 3 of them are actually quite good, one of them very catchy rendition.  I don't think they're on YouTube or anywhere else that is easy to find... maybe if there is a Self tribute site still up hosting live shows, but I think the most prominent community went down a while back.  They're mp3's... not sure how to get them to you.

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