By Joseph Brannigan Lynch
Updated December 17, 2009 at 07:55 PM EST

When making a music video for a laid-back, hook-less synth pop song, how do you keep the viewer interested? You throw in leg warmers, a trampoline, frizzy-haired aerobics instructors and edit the whole thing like an infomercial, of course!

The new video for “Belong” from indie buzz-boy Ernest Greene, a.k.a. Washed Out, plays like a long-lost 80s dancercise tape, the kind of ten-cent curio you buy at a garage sale for laughs. Three girls sporting neon tights, headbands and leg warmers lead us in a series of pseudo-aerobic dances moves against a backdrop of Tetris and unicorns. They flash those Reagan-era forced smiles, all while glowing with that weird fuzziness you can only get from a deteriorating VHS tape.

This video does its job: It keeps you amused long enough to reveal that this seemingly dull throwback number has a rewarding Heaven 17 vibe. It’s the kind of cruising-at-night tune that might have been the theme song for a direct-to-video movie. So if reviving the soft, lovely sounds of second-tier synth pop appeals to you, dive in. Washed Out delivers cheesy satisfaction.

Does it tickle your Casio keyboard? Or would you let “Belong” languish in the ten-cent heap at the garage sale?

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