Category: Video

New Video: Low Releases a Gorgeous and Intimate Visual for Yearning “Days Like These”

n 1993, the acclaimed Duluth-based indie act  Low — currently founding members and married couple Alan Sparhawk (guitar, vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums) with Steve Garrington (bass) — are considered pioneers of slowcore, an indie rock sub-genre featuring slowed down tempos and minimalist-leaning arrangements. Despite the fact that the acclaimed indie act has gone through series of lineup changes throughout their history, they’ve consistently disapproved of the slowcore term, eventually shrugging off its strictures altogether while continuing to cement their reputation for a magnetic and powerful stage show centered around Sparhawk’s and Parker’s harmonies and heartbreakingly gorgeous material.

ne of the most uncompromisingly defiant, brazenly abrasive, challenging yet stunning albums of their expansive catalog. The trio worked with Burton on 2015’s Ones and Sixes and as the story goes, they wanted to go further with Burton and his aesthetic, to see what someone who as Sparhawk has described as “a hip-hop guy” could do to push their music in a radically new directions. Instead of obsessively writing, revising and rehearsing in Duluth before heading to the studio, the band went to Eau Claire, WI with rough ideas and sketches for one of the most collaborative writing sessions they’ve ever had with a producer.

During those sessions, they’d build pieces up, break them down and build up them up again until each individual song found its purpose and force. Over the two year writing and recording sessions, the outside world slide deeper into madness and instability — and Double Negative may be a document of our peculiar moment: the material is at times loud, contentious, chaotic and jarring. Sparhawk’s and Parker’s vocals sometimes seem to be desperately fighting against the noise and chaos, other times hidden with it.

The acclaimed Duluth-based act’s 13th album HEY WHAT is slated for a September 10, 2021 release through their longtime label home Sub Pop Records. Continuing their ongoing collaboration with producer BJ Burton for the third time, HEY WHAT reportedly finds the trio focusing on their craft, staying out of the fray and holding fast to their faith to find new ways to express the discord and delight of being a living human being, to turn the duality of our existence into hymns we can share. The album’s ten songs are individually built by their own undeniable hooks — and are turbocharged by the vivid textures surrounding them.

HEY WHAT’s first single “Days Like These” is a perfect example of what we should expect from the album’s overall sound and aesthetic: Disorientating and hushed passages with strummed guitar fight for space between layers of noise and distortion that accrete, build up and fall apart. The messiness is all held together by Sparhawk’s and Parker’s gorgeous yet slightly AutoTuned harmonies, seemingly serving as a lifeline from the shore, thrown to the poor soul drowning in the breakers. But at its core, the song is a yearning plea for meaning and peace in a world that’s completely mad and rarely makes much sense.

Directed by the band’s longtime friend and collaborator, director Karlos Rene Ayala, the recently released video for “Days Like These” is a stylish yet intimate look into the daily life of an older Black man in an extremely White place. While he may be lonely, this gentleman has his dignity, humanity and faith — seen with a Cadillac plastered with Biblical passages and time at a local church.

Lyric Video: Cincinnati’s Sungaze Releases a Lush and Anthemic New Single

Cincinnati-based dreamgaze married duo Sungaze — Ian Hilvert and Ivory Snow — can trace its origins back to rather humble origins as Hilvert’s solo recording project: After leaving his long-time gig in a metal band, Hilvert wanted to try his hand at writing more dreamy and introspective material. Snow initially joined the band as a temporary keyboardist, but as the act began to play more shows, her influence on the band grew, helping lead to stronger and more confident songwriting — and eventually to the couple writing much more collaboratively and sharing vocal duties. The end result is a unique sound and songwriting approach that mixes each individual member’s artistic influences and passions. Interestingly, their sound features elements of shoegaze, psych rock, dream pop and a tinge of twang.

Generally, their material is written from personal experience and thematically focuses on human nature, while occasionally touching upon the metaphysical and spiritual. But much of their inspiration comes from a sense of place and a desire to capture the landscapes and spaces they both find enchanting.

The Cincinnati-based duo’s full-length debut, 2019’s Light In All Of It was released to praise from The 405, Austin Town Hall, Cincinnati CityBeat and others. The album eventually landed at #91 on the North American College and Community Radio Charts (NACC), remaining on the charts for more than six consecutive weeks. Building upon a growing profile, Sungaze’s sophomore album This Dream is slated for an August 13, 2021 release.

This Dream’s second and latest single “Body In The Mirror” finds the duo further establishing their sound. Centered around lush layers of shimmering and jangling guitars, a rousingly anthemic hook and Snow’s breathy cooing, “Body In The Mirror” is a seamless synthesis of Slowdive-like shoegaze and Mazzy Star/Still Corners-like dream pop — but while lyrically and thematically focusing on the hard self-reckoning that many of us battled with during the height of the pandemic.

New VIdeo: A Glimpse of Touring Life in Visual for Lucid Express’ Painterly “Hotel 65”

Hong Kong-based shoegazer outfit Lucid Express — Kim (vocals, synths), Andy (guitar), Sky (guitar), and siblings Samuel (bass) and Wai (drums) — can trace their origins back to 2014: the then-teenagers started the band (initially known as Thud), in the turbulent weeks before the Umbrella Movement, the most recent in a series of tense pro-democracy protests against the increasingly brutal state-led suppression in the region. Amidst the constant scenery of tear-gassed, bloodied and beaten protestors, politically-targeted arrests and death threats from government officials, the five Hong Kong-based musicians met in a small practice space sun the remote, industrial Kwai Hing neighborhood. 

Despite the ugliness of their sociopolitical moment, the Hong Kong-based outfit manages to specialize in an ethereal and shimmering blend of indie pop, dream pop and shoegaze with their practice space being someplace where they could escape their world. “At that time, it felt like we have [sic] a need to hold on to something more beautiful than before. Like close friendships, the band, our creation,” the band’s Kim says in press notes. 

describing the band’s intent: their use of the word lucid is in the poetic sense of something bright and radiant. Essentially, Lucid Express operates as the service to take the listener on a journey through their lush, blissful and dreamy sounds. Unsurprisingly, their material manages to carry the mood of their inception: with the band’s members working late-night shifts, their rehearsal and recording schedules found the band playing, writing and recording material between midnight and 4:00AM, and then crashing for a few hours in the studio before going back to work. 

The end result is the band’s highly-anticipated, full-length debut. the 10-song album thematically touches upon being young, being in love and maneuvering through heartache in difficult times. Although writing and recording together served as a unifying and soothing presence for the members of the band, their music fell victim to their complicated circumstances: The pervasive uncertainty over Hong Kong’s sociopolitical future created an overwhelming feeling of depression that found its way into the local music scene. Shows were cancelled and releases delayed. And for a time, it just didn’t feel relevant to promote music.

While there’s much to be fought for at home, the members of the rising indie rock act have recently begun to feel a fresh hope in their work. They’ve felt as though they’ve reached an understanding of their music’s place amongst the world it inhabits — and they’ve decide to release their full-length, self-titled debut through Kanine Records on July 16, 2021.
ucid Express has received glowing praise from Time Out for their “dreamy live performances” with their debut single “Lime” receiving praise from Drowned In Sound, NME and others. And if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you might recall that I’ve written about two of the album’s release singles:

“Wellwave,” a sculptured and lush soundscape centered around Kim’s ethereal vocals, glistening synths, skittering four-on-the-floor and a motorik groove — with the end result being a song that reminded me quite a bit of Lightfoils, Palm Haze and Cocteau Twins but while feeling like a lucid fever dream.
“Hollowers” the only collaborative track on the album as it features The Bilinda Butchers‘ Adam Honingford, who contributes his baritone to the song’s chorus. Interestingly, the track found the Hong Kong-based outfit pushing their sound towards its darkest corners. While prominently featuring shimmering synth arpeggios and shimmering guitars, the song’s emotional heftiness comes from its stormy, feedback driven chorus.

Following in a similar vein as “Hollowers,” the self-titled album’s fourth and latest single is an exercise in painterly like textures as the band alternates between shimmering and ethereal verses and anthemic choruses centered around thunderous drumming and feedback drenched power chords. While evoking a brewing storm on the horizon, the song lyrically name drops the guesthouse where Lucid Express’ Kim Ho stayed in while visiting the UK and speaks of a relationship that should never happened between two strangers, who both know that their time together will be a brief moment. In life, nothing lasts forever — and nothing is certain.

The recently released video for “Hotel 65” is college of footage shot during the band’s travels through Hong kong, Vietnam, the UK and the US. While at points, capturing life behind the scenes of a young band hitting the road and playing in front of adoring crowds — including the last set of 2020 that I got to see — the changing scenery throughout reflect the lyrical turns of the song. (We also see some of the song’s lyrics scrawled onto mirrors, notebooks, paper scraps and typed onto phones.)

New Video: Mackenzie Leighton Releases a Breezy and Escapist Pop Confection

Mackenzie Leighton is a rising San Diego-born, Paris-based indie folk singer/songwriter and musician. Leighton’s family moved to a small, seaside town in Maine, where she grew up. The San Diego-born, Paris-based artist can trace much of the origins of her music career to her father taking her to classical piano lessons as a young girl. When Leighton turned 18, she attended my alma mater, New York University — and while in New York, she played in several jazz and folk inspired bands.

Upon graduation, Leighton relocated to Paris. She landed a day job as a florist and launched a solo career with the release of 2017’s self-titled EP, a singer/songwriter folk effort that was released to praise and comparisons to Phoebe Bridgers and Julia Jacklin. Leighton’s sophomore EP, last year’s Tourist(e) was a decided change in sonic direction that found the rising American-born, French-based artist working with French musicians and producers while pairing folk-inspired songwriting with lush yet contemporary instrumentation and production. Leighton has supported both of her recorded efforts with shows in and around Paris, as well as with tours in Italy, Belgium and here in the States.

musician focusing on the reality of life as an expatriate, torn between two different cultures and hemispheres. And much like its immediate predecessor, Flueriste sonically continues in a similar vein. In the lead-up to the EP’s release, Leighton recently released the EP’s second and latest single, “Un jour la vie.” Centered around Leighton’s coquettish vocals, a sinuous yet propulsive bass line, thumping beats and shimmering guitars, “Un jour la vie” is an infectious invitation to dream of an escape to Italy, where you’d drink endless Aperol Spritzes and dance the night away without a care in the world. Considering the last 18 months, that sounds like a wonderful dream to me.

shot and edited by Celia Marie Petersen and Adrianna Lankford, the accompanying visual for “Un jour la vie” follows the adorable Leighton as she plans for an escape to Italy to drink cocktails, be fashionable, eat fantastic food and dance the days and nights away. That’s life, ain’t it?

New Video: Mil Beats Teams Up with Vic Spencer Willie The Kid and DJ DJAZ on a Menacing Banger

ustic instrumentation to create a warm and cinematic sound. The Paris-born, Brussels-based producer is the house producer for EFFISCIENZ Records — and he has worked with an impressive array of internationally recognized talent including Sean Price, Ghostface Killah, Twista, Roc Marciano, Denmark Vessey and a lengthy list of others: he was featured on Twista’s 2017 effort Crook County, Sean Price’s 2017 effort Imperius Rex. He ontributed a track to Denmark Vessy’s 2018 Earl Sweatshirt-produced Sun Go Nova. And adding to a growing profile, Mil Beats worked on an EP that featured Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine, and Eto.

lated for a July 23, 2021 release, Mil Beats’ forthcoming album Brainstem Factory finds the Paris-born, Brussels-based producer collaborating with Chicago-based emcee Vic Spencer. Brainstem Factory’s latest single “Situation OG”is centered around a brooding and menacing production featuring twinkling keys, buzzing guitars paired with boom bap beats and dexterous scratching from DJ DJAZ. Interestingly, the production is roomy enough for the Chicago-based Spencer and the Grand Rapids, MI-based Willie The Kid to trade self-assured and hard-hitting bars which displays each emcee’s unique gifts.

Lyric Video: Paris’ QLAPs Returns with a Glistening Banger

o create accessible, pop-leaning dance music. Earlier this week, I wrote about the French trio’s “I Can’t Wait,” an infectious and swaggering club banger that reminded me of Yelle and JOVM mainstays L’Imperatice.

I don’t want your love,” was released earlier this year, and it continues a run of club friendly material centered around glistening synth arpeggios, sultry vocals, tweeter and woofer thumping beats and a euphoria inducing hook within a song that expresses the coquettish — and somewhat confusing — push and pull of love and lust.

New Video: Mansionair and Yahztel Team Up on a Summery and Club Friendly Banger

stock, and Alex Nicholls — formed in 2014. And since their formation, they’ve released a handful of singles, including “Easier,” “Astronaut (Something About Your Love)” and “Violet City” landed on the Billboard Rock Airplay charts. Adding to a growing profile, their 2017 collaboration with Odesza and WYNNE “Line of Sight” landed on the US Alternative Songs and Dance/Electronic Songs charts.

ually acclaimed Aussie indie electro pop producer Yahtzel on “Don’t Wait,” a club friendly, summertime banger, centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering tweeter and woofer rocking beats, plaintive falsetto vocals and an infectious hook. But at its core, the song is a story of unrequited love and desire — one in which its narrator is telling their object of affection that if it’s truly unrequited or if things changed, to let them move on already. Guaranteed if you’ve lived long enough, you’ve been in that situation once or twice before, and you could probably feel the song’s palpable ache deep in your soul.

Directed by Courtney Brookes, the recently released video for “Don’t Wait” follows a young woman hitchhiking. When she gets picked up by an attractive stranger, the pair have an adorable and sweet meet-cute that quickly turns into a swooning affair, expressed by the pair dancing together.

New Video: Deap Vally and Jennie Vee Star in a Lovingly Campy Tribute to True Crime TV

co-produced FEMEJISM, the Los Angeles-based duo Deap Vally — Julie Edwards (drums, vocals) and Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) quickly established a blistering take on garage rock that some critics described as Led Zeppelin meeting The White Stripes. Although Edwards and Troy have always relished the challenge of working with the limitations of being a duo, after two full-length albums and years of touring, they felt an urge to reinvent their creative process and sought collaborators to break ties and to allow for an organic, majority rules driven process. 

dwards and Troy also worked on songs for their most recent effort, Digital Dream EPwith Warpaint‘s jennylee, KT Tunstall Peaches, Soko and The Kills‘ Jamie Hince. Of course, those collaborations led to an age-old question for the duo: “Will you ever add a third member?” And Instead of adding a member, they decided that for them, it would be more of a creative adventure to collaborate with a bunch of different artists and friends rather than to commit to just one. 

chi-co-produced American Cockroach EP was recorded at The Cave Studio and finds Edwards and Troy continuing their to collaborate with different artists and friends — including Eagles of Death Metal’s Jennie Vee (who’s also an accomplished solo artist in her own right) and Savages‘ Ayse Hassan. 

hat run the gamut for rom deeply personal, to outright satire and everything in between. These are songs for the underdog, the outlaw, the defeated, for days when you feel like no one understands you or you can’t do anything right.” The EP’s latest single “I Like Crime” is an anthemic and sleazy ripper centered around fuzzy and propulsive bass chords and an ass-kicking, name-taking swagger that reminds me a bit of Crocodiles and others. 

“Jennie Vee, as it turns out, is our perfect partner in crime,” the members of Deap Vally say of their collaboration. “We had so much fun jamming out and then creating this song with her. She is SUCH a total shredder. As the song formed, it ended up being about the nuances of right and wrong, legal and illegal, and the compulsion we all have to ultimately do what we will.” 

same time. It was the first time I had experienced jumping into the studio to vibe out ideas that would lead to a fully finished song so quickly. Getting started is often the hardest part in the songwriting process, but in this case with the three of us, we just had to show up that day and from there the music took over as our guide. Then it was up to us to piece it all together. ‘ I Like Crime ’ stands out to me as groovy but urgent, a juxtaposition of mood. It rocks, I had a lot of fun, and would show up for Deap Vally and the music any time!” 

Directed by Amber Navarro and shot on 16mm film, the recently released video for “I Like Crime” is a campy and lovingly B film-like take on true crime TV that features Tory, Edwards and Vee in varying degrees of danger and imperilment — and it’s fucking twisted and hilarious.

“I really wanted to create a mash up of all the true crime tv we’ve all grown up watching and currently obsess over, thanks to more modern shows, reruns, and reboots (20/20, Unsolved Mysteries, Nightline, TruTV etc.) we all watch today,” Amber Navarro explains. “The video for ‘I Like Crime’ is like some sort of sick, twisted love letter to these shows.”

New Video: Old Man of the Woods Releases a Gorgeous and Meditative Visual for “Dissolve”

Miranda Elliott is a Richmond, VA-based singer/songwriter, producer and creative mastermind behind the lo-fi, ambient pop project Old Man of the Woods. Elliott describes her creative process as the alchemy of shit into sustenance, deriving the project’s name after a dark, scruffy mushroom that survives by — well, turning shit into sustenance. Interestingly, Elliott’s Old Man of the Woods debut, last year’s Dissolve EP according to Various Small Flames’ Jon Doyle “blurs the line between the personal and the natural world, conjuring a vivid and sometimes eerie soundscape as damp and rich as the woodland floor.”

Elliot’s forthcoming Old Man of the Woods’ full-length debut is slated for release later this year. In the meantime, the Richmond-based artist has managed to be rather busy; her Dissolve Remixed EP marks the first time she has collaborated with others: Richmond-based artists monad and OK HUNNEYS, as well as Totally Real Records labelmates SUPERORDER contribute remixes of Dissolve EP material.

Along with that she has collaborated with Roman Betanzos and Gabriel Güieros, visual effect artists based in Vancouver and Montreal on the video for Dissolve EP’s title track “Dissolve.” As for the song, “Dissolve” is a slow-burning and meditative track centered around Elliott’s plaintive vocals and atmospheric synths that — to me, at least — seems to evoke mist gently rising in the forest.

The recently released video can trace its origins back to when Betanzos and Güieros reached out to Elliot through Bandcamp, detailing how “Dissolve” to them sounded like the coastline of British Columbia. Interestingly, the video follows a humanoid wisp of mist through a lush and damp forest landscape, much like the ones seen in the Pacific Northwest. For Elliot, it reminded her of a surreal hike in Berlin, where she had actually forgotten that she wasn’t in Virginia and took note that “all woods feel like home.”

New Video: Rising Umeå Sweden-born Copenhagen-based Artist Lucky Lo Encourages Radical love and Vulnerability

Lo Ersare is a Umeå, Sweden-born, Copenhagen-based singer/songwriter, musician, and the creative mastermind behind the emerging indie pop project Lucky Lo. Ersare relocated to Copenhagen in 2014 and quickly made a name for herself as a busker and as an integral part of the city’s underground music scene, performing everything from folk to experimental jazz to improvisational vocal music. Along the way, her love for Japan and its music brought her to the island nation, where she has performed, grown a devoted fanbase and gathered inspiration, which has seeped into her music in various ways.

Ersare released her Lucky Lo debut single “Heart Rhythm Synchronize.” Released last month, the song was about synching heartbeats through love and song. Ersare’s latest single “Supercarry,” features the Swedish-born, Danish artist’s soaring and achingly plaintive vocals paired with an expansive arrangement featuring a sinuous and propulsive bass line, layers of shimmering and buzzing guitars and thumping beats. The end result is a song that expresses the deeply human need for companionship, compassion and love. Seemingly sounding like a sleek and seamless synthesis of Annie Lennox and Peter Gabriel, “Supercarry” thematically finds Ersare quickly establishing a major thematic concern in her work — the transformational power of radical love.

“In Scandinavia we have an incredible safety net. We live a safe, rich lifestyle on paper, but we are also the countries where the most people die alone,” Ersare says in press notes. “We have the capacity to be more inclusive, and we could use this power for the good of others and for enriching our lives.” Ersare continues “So much could be solved if we were to take more care of each other — check in with each other more. It makes you feel strong; like a good human being; an everyday superhero. The idea of doing the opposite of self, or that social care is self-care, is what I want to communicate. This song is about lifting others up, and letting yourself be lifted. It is about putting someone else’s needs in front of your own, and trusting that you will get the same care in return.”

irected by Philip Jørgensen, the recently released video is an 80s-inspired dance workout tape featuring choreography by Freja Kreutzfeldt that’s at points playful, sensual and full of longing and vulnerability as each dancer is seen being lifted up, treated tenderly and let go. “Our vision was to unite people in an act of Supercarry-ing through a choreography in which people are both being lifted up and let go… a celebration of the strength of vulnerability,” Ersare explains. “We want to encourage people to get up, move and take action—to Supercarry and to be Supercarried.”