Sneaky Sound System knew they needed to come back with a bang when launching their third album, the sublime From Here To Anywhere. But the racy final cut for the video to the album’s lead single, We Love, surprised even them.

“We wanted to do something suggestive, but it ended up a little more than we’d anticipated,” producer Angus McDonald said.

“And you should’ve seen the first edit. It was crazy, crazy,” Sneaky’s beguiling frontwoman Connie Mitchell said.

The video sees scenes of Mitchell and McDonald intercut with tableaux of two impossibly attractive half-naked models in silhouette, seemingly engaged in all manner of explicit sexual acts.

But when the lights come up, it’s the viewers’ dirty minds laid bare. Of course! He’s popping a foaming bottle of champagne at crotch height! Who would suspect anything else?

“We saw them mapping out the poses with the models, and they looked so innocent and fun and cheeky. Then we left to hop on a plane. Once we saw what they’d shot, it was ‘Wow’,” Mitchell said.

It may well be the first music video in history to feature a shot of what looks like anal beads being put to good use.

“I would’ve been comfortable if that wasn’t included,” McDonald, his face an embarrassed grimace, said. “But what are you going to do?”

Thankfully, they’re launching the album (out this week) with an altogether more graceful song and video — Big, a tears-on-the-dancefloor synth ballad that may well be their finest track to date.

It’s the perfect entrée to From Here To Anywhere, which sees the outfit streamlining their craft after extraneous whiteboy-rapper MC Daimon Downey’s exit in 2009.

“The second record [2008’s 2] was very much about Connie, and then Daimon left,” McDonald said gingerly when asked about the split.

Was it amicable?

“It was, but at the same time it’s still weird. There’s no way we could say everything’s hunky dory.”

“It’s weird when you’re at parties, and you’re there because you’re the entertainment but he’s there just because he’s been invited. It’s a bit like bumping into an ex,” Mitchell admitted.

You mean you have to make sure you’re looking especially hot?

“Yes!” she squealed, throwing back her head of shock-blonde curls and clapping with delight.

The album also sees Sneaky align themselves with a major label for the first time, after the muted response to their second album.

2 wasn’t a failure by any means — pre-release anticipation ensured an impressive number one debut on the ARIA charts — but none of its singles gained the same sort of traction as earlier hits like UFO, Pictures and I Love It.

“We had five huge hits in a row. That’s nuts. no one can sustain that,” McDonald said.

“The second record had a lot of energy at the start, but by that point we’d been around for four years. We took off. We’d been in people’s faces for too long.”

McDonald conceded the major label move was a necessary strategy to get their music heard.

And their star is still on the ascent internationally, thanks in part to Mitchell’s time moonlighting for Kanye West. The rapper invited her to contribute backing vocals to his 2007 album Graduation, and the pair have worked together on and off ever since.

“It happens whenever he’s in town, or on the last few albums he’d fly me out to New York or Hawaii,” Mitchell said.

“It’s nice to know what you can compete on that level, you know? It’s a nice affirmation that you should continue doing what you’re doing.”

More collaborations are in the pipeline for Sneaky, who say their “mandate” for the next year is to work with a diverse array of producers, DJs and artists.

Before that, though, they’ll take From Here To Anywhere on the road for a back-to-basics tour.

“We really want to get back to grassroots with this record — get back to the clubs, and do some surprise pop-up shows,” McDonald said.

“It’s not about putting on a lavish high-tech show and making lots of money. It’s about…”

“Creating a vibe in a room. Putting on a party, which is what we do best,” Mitchell continued.

“And Daimon leaving has really unleashed Connie as a performer,” McDonald said.

“The responsibility’s greater, and there’s not someone jumping around going ‘Look at me for a second’. Connie gets to take everyone on a bit more of a journey and do everything her way.
“She’s kicking arse, and it’s great to watch.”

INFO: From Here To Anywhere (Universal) out October 7.

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