Here is a statement from YACHT about the video:
Water baptism is a ritual act which gives people a profound sense of renewal and rebirth. Baptism initiates, purifies, and gives a name. Baptism need not be dogmatic. It can be, rather, a pure experience of the body: anticipation, cold, shock, brevity, commitment, and emergence, relief.
YACHT’s video for “the Afterlife,” directed by longtime collaborator Judah Switzer, is an exercise in this new tradition of non-denominational baptism. YACHT is baptized repeatedly in the bodies of water — river, fountain, waterfall, lake — of their home state of Oregon, a physical immersion in a place that has profoundly affected their lives. The raw shock, the pure feeling of cold water on skin, is unflinchingly documented by high-definition RED Cameras operating in slow-motion.
YACHT demonstrates their commitment to place, ideology, and their project with pure wet vulnerability and symbolic death. The song says, “It’s not a place you go, it’s a place that comes to you.”
P.S. I’m pretty jealous that Pitchfork called Yacht’s performance “the biggest dance party” at SXSW and I wasn’t there.