Category: Video

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma Release John Hughes-like Visuals for Swooning “In Camera”

Over the years, I’ve written quite a bit about the internationally renowned synth pop act, Yumi Zouma, and as you may recall the band which is comprised of Christchurch, New Zealand-born Christie Simpson, Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder and Josh Burgess has been spread across New York, Paris and Christchurch in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake that devastated their hometown and the region at large. Primarily writing material by email, the band wasn’t initially meant to be a live act — and yet, they’ve received attention for crafting breezy yet bittersweet, 80s-inspired synth pop centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal crooning. After  Turntable Kitchen released their cover of f Oasis’ 1995 full-length effort, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, the synth pop act busily wrote and recorded an EP trilogy — with the last edition of the trilogy been released last fall through their longtime label home Cascine Records.

Centered around reverb drenched arrangement that includes shimmering synths, angular guitar chords, a motorik-like groove, a soaring hook and Simpson’s ethereal vocals, the song sonically nods at A Flock of Seagulls‘ “I Ran (So Far Away).” And while accurately capturing the uncertainty, desperation and swooning urgency of new love, the song is underpinned by a deliberate attention to craft, with the members of the synth pop act revising and bouncing ideas off each other until it’s absolutely perfect.

Directed by Pavel Brenner and starring Charlie Patton, Shawn Denegre-Vaught, Emma Broz, Madisyn Maniff, Cinthia Bouhier, Joannie Ciociola, Alison Williams, Miriam Margolis, and Ainsleigh Douglas, the recently released video is a brilliantly spot-on take on John Hughes movies that’s centered around what seems to be an especially awkward first date that turns into a complex dance routine that includes synchronized swimmers, who miraculously appear out of nowhere. 

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New Video: An Intimate Look at Life on the Road in New Visuals for Daniel Norgren’s Latest Single “Let Love Run The Game”

Daniel Norgren is a Boras, Sweden-born blues/roots music singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist — and with the release of his full-length debut, 2007’s Kerosene Dream, which was mostly recorded on mostly homemade instruments and 2008’s Outskirt, the Boras, Sweden-born multi-instrumentalist amassed a growing profile across Europe; in fact, the success of his first two albums led to eventual touring across Europe. 2010’s acclaimed, full-length effort Horrifying Deatheating Bloodspider was nominated in the Singer/Songwriter Album of the Year category at the annual Manifestgalen. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Norgren followed his acclaimed Horrifying Deatheating Bloodspider with 2011’s Black Vultures EP, which featured “Going Home Finally,” a track featured on the BBC Radio show God’s Jukebox. 2013’s Buck was mostly recorded in Norgren’s home on a 4 channel cassette portages studio with studio recordings like “Whatever Turns You On,” a song that was tracked and filmed at Algorhythm Sound Studios and quickly became a viral hit on YouTube, as well as a live version of “Moonshine Got Me,” which was recorded during a Scandinavian tour. 

2015’s Alabursy was recorded in a similar fashion as its predecessor — at home on Norgren’s 4-channel cassette porta studio. The album was followed by another European tour. 

Slated for an April 19, 2019 release through his longtime label home Superpuma Records,  Norgren’s forthcoming album Wooh Dang will be the acclaimed Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s first album to see a worldwide release.  Self-produced by Norgren and engineered bu his longtime collaborator and Superpuma Records founder Pelle Nyhage, Wooh Dang was recorded last fall in a single room of a 19th-century textile farmhouse in the woods, near Norgren’s home. “The interior looked it hadn’t been touched for the past 80 years,” Norgren recalls in press notes. “I moved a lamp and it left a dark red ring on the pink tablecloth underneath…goldmine! The house was huge, full of good, inspiring mustiness, creaking wooden floors, scary old portrait paintings on the walls, and an old, black German piano which I used in all the songs.” Recorded live to tape on a 16 track analog rig, the album finds Norgren mixing live performance and rural field recordings — while capturing the simpatico and energy between him and his backing band, which features old friends and longtime collaborators Andres Grahn (bass), Erik Berntsson (drums) and Andreas Filipsson (guitar, banjo).

The album’s latest single, the defiantly hopeful “Let Love Run The Game,”  meshes twangy Americana, Southern fried rock, psychedelia and blues that to my ears reminds me of The Band (in particular, “Up on Cripple Creek”), Otis Redding and King Bee-era Muddy Waters. Interestingly, as a result of the song’s production, it manages to sound as though it could have been recorded in 1965 or so — while capturing the urgency of three like-minded musicians and longtime friends jamming over the course of an afternoon.  

Featuring footage shot by Petra Wester Norgren,  Daniel Norgren, Anders Engström, Ida Brogren, Pelle Nyhage,  Erik Berntsson, Jean Millet, Sandra Filipsson, Drew Hanson,  Nathan Von Brown, and Edward Hill, the recently released video for “Let Love Run The Game,” intimately captures life on the road, from playing large venues in front of thousands of fans, to playing smaller venues with maybe a hundred people, the endless stretches of blacktop and gorgeous scenery that one would never dreamt to see, the band and crew goofing off — or just exhausted and sleeping whenever and wherever they could. And yet all of it is treated like wonder and joy, with the tacit acknowledgement that you gotta take it all in stride. 

Live Footage: Sam Fender Performs “Hypersonic Missiles” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”

Newcastle, UK-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Sam Fender has received attention both nationally and internationally over the past couple of years for crafting rousingly anthemic, arena rock-like material that broadly focuses on hard-hitting social issues and draws from his own experiences growing up in Northeastern England.

Last year was a big year for the Newcastle-based Fender, as she was featured on BBC Sound of 2018‘s shortlist, which he promptly followed up with a sold-out headlining UK tour. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Fender ended 2018 with the release of the Dead Boys EP, an effort that featured the attention-grabbing “That Sound,” a power chord-based arena rock friendly track that featured enormous raise-your-beer-in-the-air-and-shout-along worth hooks, soulful vocals and a bluesy vibe that brought  The Black Keys, Slaves, Royal Blood and others to mind — and “Play God,” a politically-charged song that openly talked about how special interests and the 1% really control the world as we know it, paired with an self-assured, ambitious bit of songwriting.

Interestingly, the rousing, Springsteen meets Modern English‘s “Melt With You“-like “Hypersonic Missiles” is the JOVM mainstay’s first bit of original music this year, and while centered around arena rock and classic rock-inspired hooks, reverb-drenched power chords, thunderous drumming and Fender’s urgent and impassioned vocals, the song is an unconventional love song about two star-crossed lovers making the best of whatever time they have left while the world burns down — and an incisive commentary on our apathy and confusion in the face of our self-destruction that cries to the listener “hey man, wake the fuck up and do something!”

“This song started out when I saw the term ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ in a newspaper. It’s a newly developed Russian missile that travels at something like nine times the speed of sound, which is essentially unstoppable,” Fender explains in press notes about the song’s inspiration. “America currently has no defence against such a weapon, they would be helpless in the wake of an attack, as you have roughly six minutes from the time it is launched to the time it strikes.

“In many ways, Hypersonic Missiles is an unorthodox love song. It’s main focus is on the world around the narrator, who is a complete tin foil hatter. They are convinced the world is on its last legs; they know that it is rife with injustice but feel completely helpless and lacking the necessary intelligence to change it while remaining hopelessly addicted to the fruits of consumerism.

“Amongst all the chaos is love and celebration, there is this glimmer of hope that runs through the song, a little notion that no matter what happens, these two people are gonna have a fucking good time regardless of the tyrants that run their world, and regardless of the imminent doom from these ‘Hypersonic Missiles.’”

2019 looks to be a breakthrough year for the Newcastle-based singer/songwriter and guitarist — he recently made his US network TV debut, performing “Hypersonic Missiles” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and he will be playing his first North American headline shows with stops in Toronto, Los Angeles — and a sold out Rough Trade show on March 20, 2019.  (You can check out tour dates below.) Fender will also be playing several sets at this year’s SXSW, which I’m sure will catch quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere. 

New Video: Sarah P. Returns with a Surreal and Symbolic Video for Disco-Influenced “Maenads”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Athens, Greece-based artist and activist Sarah P. and as you may recall, although she’s perhaps best known as a former member of international acclaimed electronic music production and electronic music duo Keep Shelly in Athens, Sarah P has developed a reputation as a solo artist and collaborator who released her critically applauded full-length debut Who Am I back in 2017 — and she has worked with the likes of Sasha, Mmoths, The New Division, Plastic Flowers, Holly, Hiras, The Bilinda Butchers and a lengthy list of others. 

Sarah’s P’s much-anticipated follow-up to Who Am I, the Maenads EP is a collection of songs celebrating both feminine power (particularly its magic, strength and imperfect perfection) and the artist’s Greek heritage. “Lotus Eaters,” a moody and atmospheric track with four-on-the-floor drumming, shimmering synths, a propulsive and sinuous bass line and Sarah P’s ethereal crooning — and sonically speaking, the track immediately brought to mind Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Kate Bush and the early 80s 4AD Records roster while arguably being the most sensual song I’ve come across within the early part of this year.

Maenads’ latest single, title track “Maenads” is a propulsive, disco-influenced track built around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a funky bass line and thumping beats — and unlike its predecessor, the song manages to remind me a bit of Niki & the Dove and several others. Interestingly, the song as Sarah P explains in press note is about nights that are empty of feelings. 

Shot in Berlin, the video is a surreal fever dream that stars Sarah P. and Sabina Smith-Moreland as a bird that meat to symbolize mental illness. The video shows the importance of coming to terms with own struggles while not letting them overtake one’s life. “I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety for a long time, but I’m convinced that it’s possible to control one’s mental health, rather than living a life controlled by mental illness,” Sarah shares.

“Mental illness never truly goes away, but learning more about it can help understand what’s going on inside your body and mind and therefore, control it better.

“For the last part of the Maenads trilogy, I decided to film in Berlin – where it all started for me. This video is perhaps my least “ethereal” work-to-date – with “ethereal” being a word that’s often used to describe my work. Berlin isn’t ethereal – it’s boxy and well structured in its chaos. Berlin’s light is very different compared to the light in Athens; in Berlin, the light is moody and arrogant – especially during the winter, where it makes rare appearances. Maenads was filmed at Theaterhaus Berlin – a space that felt homely and brought me closer to my drama school years. I had the pleasure to work with photographer and visual artist Colette Pomerleau and dancer Sabina Smith-Moreland. For the coloring of the video, I worked once again with David Hofmann who previously colored the other two parts of the Maenadstrilogy. Although the concept and set are meant to symbolize my life in Berlin, my “Greek Maenads” (Clio “Lil Cli” Arvaniti, Dora Pantazopoulou, Rania Ainiti, Marianna Pagrakioti) make a special appearance on Maenads TV. The additional visuals were filmed & edited by George Geranios, on a rooftop in Athens – the concrete jungle. Lastly, Apostolia Gogara is responsible for the fantastic hair and makeup of the additional visuals.”

New Video: Jai Wolf Releases Trippy and Cinematically Shot Visuals for Brooding Yet Anthemic “Your Way” feat. Day Wave

Sajeeb Saha is a Bangladesh-born, New York-based electro pop artist, best known for his solo recording project Jai Wolf. Saha’s work is inspired by a diverse and eclectic array of music including indie rock, punk rock, hip-hop, classical music and Bollywood while thematically drawing from his own experience as a third culture kid. 

Saha’s full-length debut The Cure To Loneliness is slated for an April 5, 2019 release through Mom + Pop Music, and as Saha professes in press notes, “In my heart, this album is me,” professes. From the sounds to the lyrics, it’s everything that I’ve always wanted to do.” The Cure To Loneliness’ latest single is the wistful, M83-like “Your Way,” which features Day Wave. Centered around jangling guitars, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, soaring hooks, thumping beats and plaintive vocals, the song is a bitter lament from a narrator, who’s profoundly lonely and disconnected from everything and everyone. 

The recently released video follows an acclaimed and highly successful pop artist Chet Porter, and although he’s achieved his dream and then some, attaining success beyond his wildest dreams, the bitter irony is that he’s alone and disconnected because of his success. As the video continues, our protagonist seems to fall deeper into his own brightly colored hallucinations; in fact, part of the video resembles a feverish acid trip. 

New Video: Follow Bad Sports’ Orville Neely on a Drunken and Lonely Spree in Video for “Don’t Deserve Love”

The Denton, TX/Austin, TX-based trio Bad Sports, comprised of Orville Neely III (guitar, vocals),  Aniel Fried (drums) and Gregory Rutherford (bass) featured some of their home state’s most accomplished musicians — Neely is the frontman of the acclaimed OBN IIIs, while Fried and Rutherford have played together in Video and Radioactivity. Now, as you may recall, the band released their fourth album Constant Stimulation through their longtime label home Dirtnap Records last October, and the album which marks the band’s tenth anniversary, also found the band pushing their sound and songwriting in a new, more mature direction. centered by a leaner, tense production meant to evoke a decided sense of frustration, tension, and world-weariness.

Constant Stimulation‘s first single “Don’t Deserve Love” further cements the trio’s reputation for crafting power chord-based punk but there’s a decided power pop bent, as the song reveals a deliberate and thoughtful attention to rousingly anthemic hooks and earnest emotion. Sonically, the song manages a contemporary take on a familiar sound without being soulless mimicry. But interestingly enough, the song may arguably be the most personal song they’ve written and released as it’s fueled the crippling self-doubt and insecurity of a vulnerable adult, who has openly and freely admitted that while life has made them a survivor, they’re lonely, desperate, broken, fucked up, confused, and afraid — of connecting with others and getting heartbroken and having to start again; of being a failure and a fraud; of a world that’s going up in flames and not caring or not knowing what to do. 

Directed by Z.W.Sprague and written by Orville Neely, the recently released video for “Don’t Deserve Love” stars Neely as a self-conscious, lonely, and somewhat awkward man, who acts in an out of control fashion — drinking way too much, doing way too much coke, smoking too many cigarettes and takes jokes way too far. And as a result, the video’s protagonist winds up frustrating and annoying everyone around him. After being discovered vomiting in a bar bathroom, Neely gets tossed out of the bar, stumbles off to a convenience store for more booze, vomits once again and ends the night drunkenly passed out, disappointed and alone. While being profoundly sad, the video illustrates a much bigger point — that for many of us, we’ve been that lonely, drunken slob, lost in their sadness, self-flagellation and inability to do anything about it. 

New Video: Nashville’s Rock Eupora Releases a Lyrical and Wistful Visual Focusing on Enjoying the Moment

Clayton Waller is a Mississippi-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who through the release of three full-length albums with his solo recording project Rock Europa has developed a reputation locally for crafting infectious and anthemic indie rock centered around punchy guitars, catchy melodies, heartfelt sincerity and a defiantly DIY ethos.  Interestingly, Waller’s fourth, full-length self-titled album thematically is centered around Waller contending with the challenges of a 20 something searching for his own place in the world — and unlike his previously released albums, it was recorded in a professional studio, which has led to what reportedly may be his most polished, ambitious and adventurous albums he has worked on to date.

“Inbetween,” the latest single off Waller’s fourth Rock Europa album is centered around jangling power chords, a sinuous bass line, Waller’s plaintive vocals and a soaring hook. And while nodding at Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac, the song and its restless narrator expresses several different things — a longing to belong to something; the feeling of always rushing around and never having enough time to actually sit down and think about anything; and the feeling of being hopelessly disconnected from everything and everyone, when you’re desperate for any connection; but you don’t know how to do so. 

“Neither here nor there: that’s a tough place to be. Sometimes I only feel halfway present. It’s hard for me to live in the now — I’m always looking for the next best thing, always en route,” Waller says of his latest single in press notes. “I get so caught up trying to plan and control my future that I miss a lot of realtime fulfillment.

“It’s safe to say that most of us stay too busy – which I think is partly a reaction to what we value as a culture. We associate worth and meaning with accomplishments. I think it’s good to be driven, but I think it’s more important to be present. I’ve been trying to love myself (and others) right where I am and without qualifications or conditions. I believe that humans are inherently valuable! And if that’s the case, maybe the in-between is what it’s all about”

Shot and edited by Noah Tidmoore, the recently released video was shot on what appears to be Super 8 film and follows a group of friends, who are heading off to the lake for a boating trip — but one of them is a ghost, who lingers a bit uncomfortably on the margins, while his friends  are having a wonderful time, enjoying themselves, their youth and the moment. And once he dives in the lake and loses his ghostly sheet, Waller finds himself in the very moment with his friends. 

New Video: Knife Knights Release a Lyrical and Bittersweet Meditation on Love Longing Loss and the Afterlife

Over the almost nine year’s of this site’s history, I’ve spilled a lot of virtual ink on Seattle, WA-based emcee, synth player and producer Ishmael Butler, who’s best known as a co-founding of two, critically applauded, groundbreaking hip-hop acts — JOVM mainstays Digable Planets and Shabazz Palaces. Just about a decade ago, Butler was preparing to publicly emerge from several years of near-complete creative silence, and in the summer of 2009, Shabazz Palaces quietly self-released a pair of EPs that quickly established the act’s unique sound and aesthetic: Butler’s hyper-literate verses full of complex inner and out rhyme scheme paired with psychedelic sonic textures and refracted rhythms. Initially, confidentiality was essential as Butler desperately wanted Shabazz Palaces to stand on its own strength and not on his long-held reputation, so he adopted a pseudonym for himself.

As Shabazz Palaces’ profile and network expanded, Butler recognized that he needed new monikers for his various creative pursuits and collaborations. Knife Knights, was the name that he devised for his work with the then-Seattle based engineer, producer, songwriter and film composer Erik Blood, who has also been a vital and important collaborator in the Shabazz Palaces Universe. Interestingly, Blood and Butler can trace their collaboration and their friendship back to when they were introduced to each other at a Spiritualized show in 2003 through a mutual friend, whom Butler was about to record with. As the story goes, Blood was a diehard and obsessive Digable Planets fan, and as an obsessive fan, he passed along a bootleg copy Blowout Comb for the mutual friend to have Butler sign — and Butler dutifully did so. 

Over the next few years, Blood and Butler would have chance encounters and sometimes during those encounters, they’d talk about possibly working together. Several years later, when Butler finally sent Blood a few songs to mix, their creative chemistry was obvious and immediate. That shouldn’t be surprising — Blood, as a huge hip-hop fan, has a always been an obsessive music listener and fan with eclectic tastes while Butler, a lifelong hip hop fan, began listening to and absorbing shoegaze and ambient soundscapes. Interestingly, every Shabazz Palaces album has featured a Blood and Butler collaboration, a collaboration that finds the duo specifically focused on and delighting at the intersection of shoegaze, ambient electronica and hip hop, actively and restlessly pushing hip hop towards new psychedelic textures. “He [Blood] takes my ideas and clarifies and pronounces them, helps me realize them,” explains Butler in press notes. “He helps me get to the essence.”

Knife Knight’s debut effort, 2018’s 1 Time Mirage came about after almost a decade of collaboration and the development of a very rich and dear friendship, and the album finds the duo and a cast of collaborators and friends creating a unique sound that meshes soul, shoegaze, hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass, noise and chaos recorded over three separate sessions, interrupted by Shabazz Palaces and Digable Planets tour schedules and Blood’s recording projects. Each of those three sessions were treated as a free space for unfettered and radical exploration that resulted in album single “Low Key,” a track centered around a hazy production featuring tribal house-inspired beats and shimmering beats, over which Butler delivers his lyrics like a shamanic incantation.

I Time Mirage’s latest single “My Dreams Never Sleep” is centered round an equally hallucinogenic production featuring shimmering synths, a looping bass line, stuttering beats and dreamily delivered vocals. Interestingly, the recently released video for the new single was directed and animated by Joe Garber, and the accompanying visuals are a slow-burning, lyrical and lysergic meditation on love, longing, loss and letting go within both the mortal and spiritual planes. 

New Video: The Rah’s Return with an Ambitious and Enormous Arena Rock Friendly New Single

Last year, I wrote a bit about the up-and-coming  Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland-based quintet The Rah’s, and as you may recall, the band, which is comprised of founding members Jack McLeod, Jordan McIntyre and Neale Gray along with newest member Lee Brown have developed a regional reputation for an energetic live show but over the past few years, they’ve been experimenting with their sound and songwriting approach with singles like “Survival,” and “Take It All In” displaying a massive, Brit pop-like take on arena rock that to my ears brought Kasabian, The Hives, and Foo Fighters to mind. 

The Scottish indie rock quartet have been building upon their growing reputation for massive arena friendly Brit pop-styled rock, and their latest single, the swaggering “Land of the Dreamers” is centered around enormous power chords, thunderous drumming and a rousingly anthemic, shout-along worthy hook. Arguably, the song may be the most self-assured and ambitious song they’ve written, as it reveals a band with bold ambitions to take over the world while blowing out your eardrums. Filmed and edited by L.B. Coronado, the recently released video features the band broodingly exploring the wood and seaside, including some trippy footage shot with drones.

New Video: Deal Casino Releases a DIY Visual for “Baby Teeth” Shot out of Bitter Necessity

Over the past year or so, I’ve written a bit about the Asbury Park, NJ-based indie rock band Deal Casino, and as you may recall, the act which is comprised of Joe Parella, Jon Rodney, Joe Cowell and Chris Donofrio formed back in 2013 and released a series of EPs before releasing their full-length debut in 2017 to praise from the likes of Stereogum, New Noise and others. Building upon a growing profile, the band released their sophomore album LLC last year, and from album single “Happy People,” the album revealed a band that expanded a bit upon the sound that won them attention with the single being centered around jangling guitar chords, a chugging and propulsive rhythm section and wobbling and droning synths. And while infused with a Wes Anderson soundtrack-like quirkiness, the song is bitterly ironic, as its narrator openly questions how people can be happy with themselves and the world around them when so much is dreadfully wrong. 

LLC’s second single is the breezy yet bittersweet “Baby Teeth.” Centered around shimmering guitar chords, a propulsive backbeat, a throbbing bass line and plaintive vocals, the song as the band explained in press notes is about growing up and coming to terms with your own life. They add that the song “. . . touches upon wanting to takes control and then realizing that in order to progress, grow, and be happy in life you have to be able to rely on other people. ” Interestingly, the song sonically finds the band carefully walking a tightrope between a clean studio sheen and an old-timey lo-fi, as the band recorded the song with some unusual accents like mic’ed up trash bags, bells and vintage modular synths paired with a traditional rock instrumentation — and the end result is a song that manages to be imbued with both a sense of gratefulness over having people that give a damn about you and your well-being.

Directed by Anthony Yebra, the recently released video for “Baby Teeth,” is a decided homemade, DIY affair that finds the band driving around in Tony’s car, before using two leaf blowers in front of a green screen meant for some further special effects in post production; however, as the band notes, Capitol Records cut all funding for the video halfway through the shoot, making post-production impossible. And interestingly enough, the video manages to emphasize the fact that often growing up is about dealing with shitty things in the best way you can.