Category: Video

New Video: Los Angeles’ SadGirl Releases a Stylistic and Surreal Visual for “Miss Me”

SadGirl is a Los Angeles-based garage rock trio who specializes in a vintage sound — and interestingly, their latest album, Water, which Suicide Squeeze Records released earlier this year, finds the trio tapping into the romantic and nostalgic spirit of their hometown while exuding an authenticity that suggests that they’ve peeked at the scuzzy underside of the manicured lawns, glitzy boulevards and relentless sunshine.

“If you want to learn about water, go to the desert,” the Los Angeles-based garage trio’s recording engineer and friend Max Garland has sagely said in press notes, and unsurprisingly that statement made a huge impact on the band’s Misha Lindes (guitar, vocals). “Here we are in Los Angeles, a desert ping-ponging between drought and El Nino. This record is just an attempt to share a very small portion of my experience growing up and living here,” Lindes says of the album. “It’s basically just about the fluidity of water and its power and importance.” And while seemingly post-apocalyptic, the album is a collection of old-school tinged pop songs, recorded with vintage recording techniques with the album being pieced together from a series of recording session over the past two years that employed a variety of tape machines in different setups — from living rooms to professional studios. 

Water‘s later single is the slow-burning, Roy Orbison-like ballad “Miss Me.” And while rooted in a traditional of bittersweet and aching love songs written from the perspective of the tortured and heartbroken lover, yearning for that love interest, who has cruelly spurned them — for another or for no particular reason. But underneath that bitter sentiment is a heartbroken tell-off to that lover, to “miss me with that bullshit” before walking away from them for good with your sanity and dignity. “This song is about realizing someone close to you isn’t the person you thought you knew, and coming to terms with the fact that they may never share the same values as you,” SadGirl’s Lindes says of the song. “Getting to that point where you decide that it’s no longer worth the effort and it’s better to walk away with what’s important to you still intact.”

Directed, produced and edited by Nathan Castiel, the recently released video for “Miss Me” is a slick and stylistically shot visual that’s split between the band perfuming the song in a sparsely furnished studio and some goofy footage of people drinking “Water” branded water. “This song really hits close to the heart,” the band’s Misha Lindes say sin press notes, “so it was awesome to have so many friends involved and making cameos. It’s also the first time that we’ve ever done a non “narrative” video, so it was a totally new experience for me. We love collaborating and working with friends on projects, so getting so many homies involved was awesome. I feel like the video perfectly captures that thin corny smile that sometimes disguises someone’s true intentions.”

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New Video: JOVM Mainstays Pond Releases a Trippy and Contemplative Visual for “The Boys Are Killing Me”

I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the acclaimed Perth, Australia-based sych pop act POND over the past few years. And as you may recall, the act, which is led by its mastermind, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Jay Watson, along with Nicholas Allbrook, Shiny Joe Ryan, Jamie Terry and Jamie Ireland released three albums —  2009’s Psychedelic Mango, 2010’s Frond and 2012’s Beard, Wives, Denim — that found the band’s moving from straightforward psych rock to a decidedly pop-leaning sound. 

Since then Watson and company have released a series of critically applauded albums, including 2017’s The Weather. Interestingly, The Weather continued the band’s ongoing collaboration with Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker — and a run of trippy yet accessible pop. 

Released earlier this year, the Perth-based JOVM mainstays latest effort Tasmania was conceived as a sort of sister missive to its immediate predecessor. Thematically, the album is a dejected and heartbroken meditation that touches upon planetary discord, water, machismo, shame, blame, responsibility, love, blame and empire. And while accurately capturing the undercurrent of the restless, anxious dread that many of us currently feel, the material rather than wallowing in self-pity, encourages the listener to celebrate the small things of life — frolicking in the ocean, rolling around in the grass, the sweet feeling of being in love and so on, while we still can. Over the past couple of months I wrote about, the expansive, Pink Floyd’ “Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts I-V and VI-IX”-like  “Burnt Out Star,” and the shimmering, synth pop-led power ballad “Daisy,” a track that’s emotionally centered on the idea of bitterly retreating and licking one’s wounds before everything gets completely fucked up. 

“The Boys Are Killing Me,” Tasmania’s latest single continues on a similar vein as its most immediate predecessor, as it’s a slow-burning and atmospheric track centered around some dramatic and forceful, Phil Collins-like drumming, shimmering synths, plaintive vocals and a soaring and infectious hook. But at its core is an overwhelming sense of crushing defeat and an inability to move forward from it. The recently released video for  Tasmania’s new single was filmed by the band’s Jay Watson on Super 8 film while test band was touring across Sweden, the UK and France — with the video’s coda filmed by Julien Barbagallo and edited by Jamie Terry and the band. Interestingly, the video manages to be both trippy and contemplative, which evokes the eerie vibe of the song.

Live Footage: Influential Post Punk Act Returns with a Reworked and Remixed Version of a Live Favorite

Minimal Compact, comprised of Berry Sakharof (guitar, keys, vocals), Malka Spiegel (bass, keys, vocals), Samy Birnbach, a.k.a. DJ Morpheus (vocals), Rami Fortis (guitar, vocals) and Max Franken (drums), initially formed in Amsterdam back in 1980. The band were part of the original post-punk explosion — and interestingly enough, they have long been considered one of the genre’s most unique. The members of Minimal Compact developed a sound centered around propulsive rhythms, spacious bass lines, lush keys, mesmerizing guitar lines and vocal melodies with a Middle Eastern inflection through the release of a couple of ground-breaking and influential albums, including 1984’s Deadly Weapons, which featured the club hit “Next One Is Real” and their most commercially successful album, 1985’s Raging Souls. 

In their short time together, the members of Minimal Compact toured around the world, from Poland to Japan, gaining a reputation for energetic, unpredictable and intense live shows. However, their studio recordings seldom captured their live sound and energy. The band broke up in 1988 with each of its individual members continuing onwards with a variety of creative projects including releasing solo efforts, hosting radio shows, having  art exhibitions, collaborating with a number of artists, DJ’ing, running record labels, hosting TV shows and the like. But during the next 20 years, their influence began to grow exponentially. In fact, by the time the band reunited for a handful of shows in 2004, they had begun to be recognized as influential originators. Since 2004, the members of the band have reunited for live shows just a handful of times — but each and every time, the individual members of the band recognize an undeniable magical quality between them. 

Recently, the members of Minimal Compact reconvened and went into the studio with their longtime producer and collaborator Colin Newman to finally capture their live sound with several of their signature songs being re-recorded using a mix of live recordings and studio-tooled performances — with the end result being the band’s forthcoming album Creation is Perfect. 

Slated for an October 25, 2019 release through the band’s own Minimal Compact label, the album will reportedly be a timely reminder of how essential and forward-thinking the band has been — and still is. Interestingly, Creation is Perfect’s first single is a reworked version of a live favorite, “Statik Dancin,” that captures the feel of their live set while retains the original’s spastic and fidgeting energy, angular hooks and dance floor friendly groove. But the new version also features a slick, studio polish reminiscent of Gang of Four’s Return the Gift. 

“We still play “Statik Dancin’” like we always did: driving, minimal, a bit moronic but still catchy,” the band’s Malka Spiegel says in press notes. “This version has a combination of the energy of the live version plus a fresh sounding production”.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Ganser Return with a Surreal and Symbolic Visual for Their First Single of 2019

Formed back in 2014, the Chicago, IL-based post-punk act Ganser — comprised of founding members Alicia Gaines (bass, vocals) and Nadia Garofalo (keys, vocals) with Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) — have received attention both locally and nationally for a sound that was largely influenced by the likes of Sonic Youth and Magazine paired with lyrics, which served as incisive critiques on larger social issues. And as you may recall, the act’s critically applauded full-length debut Odd Talk focused on communication breakdowns with the material featuring narrators desperately seeking meaning in hopeless confusion and messiness. At points, narrators seem to be literally sorting through layers of syllables and signals in an attempt to find the right words to say what they wanted — or needed to say. 

The members of Ganser have been in the studio recording new material over the past few months while working on their second album. Their first single of this year, “Bad Form” is a furious song that seethes with anxiety,  self-loathing and self-flagellation that further cements the tense, angular sound that first caught my attention. While the song is a cathartic reaction to a year-long writing period, it finds the band increasingly adapting to a collaborative writing process. “When you’re in the middle of writing and recording, it’s very easy to fall into extreme feelings of guilt over procrastination, when you’re already stretched thin,” the band’s Alicia Gaines explains in press notes. “It’s nice to operate as a team, and act as a unit that can take the burden of some really ugly inner talk.” 

Co-directed by Kirsten Miccoli and Ganser, the recently released video features blinding light that paralyzes the band’s members, rapid-fire cuts, surreal vignettes that communicate the wishful thinking (and desire) of being someone else, a disorientating array of dopplegangers and lookalikes. The video suggests that the creative process as being a frustrating and soul crushing series of doubt, anxiety, uncertainty and procrastination and ugly self-talk. 

New Video: The Rocket Summer Returns with a Slick Visual for Anthemic “Blankets”

Dallas, TX-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Bryce Avary is the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed, solo indie rock/indie pop recording project The Rocket Summer. With The Rocket Summer, Avary has released six albums and a couple of EPs, including 2010’s Of Men and Angels, which landed at #1 on the Top Album spot on iTunes and 2012’s Life Will Write the Words, which landed at #58 on the Billboard 200 and #12 on the Billboard Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums Chart, as well as #12 on the Top Independent Albums Charts.

Avary’s soon-to-be released seventh album Sweet Shivers is slated for an August 2, 2019 and as you may recall, the album’s third single “Peace Signs”  was one part ardent plea for peace and one part ironically detached sire. centered around a breezy, summery groove an enormous Silversun Pickups-like hook. “Blankets,” Sweet Shivers latest single continues a run of singles featuring enormous, arena friendly hooks paired with motorik-like grooves, shimmering synths and Avary’s plaintive vocals. And while infectious, the track thematically focuses on surrendering a bit to the flotsam and jetsam that life will inevitably toss in your path — and finding whatever silver linings we can. Along with that, the song suggests that the cliche is true: there is strength in numbers. And that more important, that if you’re struggling, you’re not alone; we’ve all been there at some point. 

“I wrote the song in the middle of the night watching fuzzy TV in a cabin in rural Texas, long before I tracked it, but I’ll never forget what it was like having to cut this vocal in the studio only 2 hours after catching wind that my childhood friend had taken her life,” Avary says of the song’s creation. “While only parts of the song point to that type of narrative, I think it will forever resonate with me as a lyric that just simply needs to be sung. ”

“Sweet Shivers (which comes from a lyric in ‘Blankets’) is referring to an emotion: a feeling of excitement and joy in the unknown, even if the unknown itself is more dressed up in less than ideal feelings of uncertainty,” Avary continues. “A letting go of sorts; beauty in the free fall. Sonically, to me, the melancholic yet contrastingly hopeful spirit within the journey of the free fall is what this song sounds like. 

Directed by Dillon Slack and Ben Busch, the recently released video for “Blankets” stars Brianna Brill and Nick Morbitt, who travel through literal blankets to find one another. At its core, the video tells the story of two people, who come to terms with life and its chaotic moments — through the comfort of another.

New Video: Allah Las Release a Tongue-in-Cheek Take on “Weekend at Bernie’s”

Formed back in 2008, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based psych rock act Allah-Las — Matthew Correia (drums), Spencer Dunham (bass), Miles Michaud (vocals, guitar) and Pedrum Siadatian (guitar) — can trace their origins to when three of the band’s four members worked at renowned Los Angeles-based record store Amoeba Music. And since their formation, the band has released three albums, which have helped establish their sound, a sound and approach that’s heavily inspired from their hometown and draws heavily from the sounds of the 60s — primarily, psych rock, surfer rock and garage rock.

Slated for an October 11, 2019 release through Mexican Summer Records, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based psych rock’s fourth album LAHS derives its title from a common misspelling of the band’s name. And reportedly, the album finds the venturing into new, exciting sonic territories with the material revealing their growth as songwriters, performers, arrangers and producers — with one of the album’s tracks featuring the band’s Matthew Correia singing in Portuguese. Interestingly. the album’s songs find the band crafting material with a razor-sharp focus on Krautrock-like grooves. In fact, the album’s latest single “In The Air,” is centered around looping and shimmering guitar lines, a motorik-like groove, ethereal vocals and an infectious hook. And as a result, the song feels like a hazy and lysergic dream that lingers long after the hallucinogens have dissipated. 

Directed by Sam Kristofksi and starring Kirin J. Callinan and the members of Allah Las, the recently released video for “In The Air” is a half-baked, tongue-in-cheek version of the 80s film Weekend at Bernie’s that follows the band as they take one of their incapacitated bandmates around town on a series of wild adventures. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Release a Bonkers Visual for “Organ Farmer”

2017 saw the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock septet and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard release five albums — with each album managing to be in a completely different genre and style, all of which further cemented the band’s reputation for being both restlessly experimental and prolific.

Now, for a band that has managed to be as wildly productive and prolific as the Melbourne-based JOVM mainstays, not releasing new material last year was an extremely odd; however, during that same period, they were busy with a number of other things including — a relentless tour schedule that featured a headlining set at Desert Daze and three sold out-dates at Brooklyn Steel, the largest venue they’ve played in the States to date. The band also re-issued their first five albums on vinyl for the first time ever — and it created such a frenzied demand that the Flightless Records website crashed from the traffic.

Earlier this year, King Gizzard and The Wizard Lizard released their 14th album Fishing for Fishies earlier this year, and the album’s material found the band creating a sonic world in which the organic met the automated; where the rustic met the robotic; where the past and future collide in the beautiful present. But at the end of the day, the material was essentially boogie blues that strutted, shimmied and stomped through several different moods and terrains,. “We tried to make a blues record,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “A blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it – or maybe it was us fighting them. Ultimately though we let the songs guide us this time; we let them have their own personalities and forge their own path. Paths of light, paths of darkness. This is a collection of songs that went on wild journeys of transformation.”

2019 find site Aussie JOVM mainstays returning to the prolificacy that their fans and the blogosphere knows them for. In fact, the band’s 15th album, Infest The Rats’ Nest is slated for an August 16, 2019 release through ATO Records here in the States. While the members of the band have long enjoyed a fluid creative approach, the recording sessions for Infest The Rats’ Nest featured a pared down lineup featuring Stu McKenzie (vocals,. guitar, bass) Joey Walker (guitar, bass) and Michael Cavanaugh (drums). This stemmed from other commitments — including Cook Craig (guitar) and Ambrose Kenny-Smith (keys, harmonica) being busy with their side project The Murlocs; Lucas Skinner (drums) taking time off to spend time with his newborn; and Eric Moore (drums) being busy running their label Flightless Records. 

Naturally, the pared down set allows for much tighter arrangements and blistering velocity — and as a result, the new album’s material finds them scratching a long-held thrash metal itch. “In fourth grade there was an older kid who was into Rammstein” explains Stu of his early discovery of metal’s extremities. “I made friends with him and we put together a performance at our school assembly where we headbanged to ‘Du Hast’. I got whiplash, which I thought was pretty cool. That was my introduction to heavy metal, and soon Rammstein led to Metallica, Metallica led to Slayer, Slayer led to Kreator and Sodom. The German bands really kicked my ass and scared the hell out of me too. Later on, when I picked up a guitar I realized that shit was too hard to play, so I got into rock ‘n’ roll and garage. That was liberating.”

“Organ Farmer,” Infest The Rats’ Nest latest single is blistering, balls-to-the-walls thrash metal, complete with shrieking guitar solos, howled lyrics, thunderous drumming, and rapid fire tempo changes. And naturally, the track brings Kill Them All and Ride the Lightning-era Metallica to mind — in other words, the song which seethes with disgust and fury, is a straightforward headbanger. 

Directed by John Angus Stewart, the recently released video for “Organ Farmer” features the members of the band, shirtless with the words “Organ Farmer” and others scrawled on their skin. The first portion of the video sees them smashing a car up with hammers — but by the end, the zombie-like members of the band are moshing in a sweaty and packed basement. It’s an insane and intense visual for an equally insane and intense song. 

New Video: Los Angeles’ The Paranoyds Release a Trippy B Movie-Inspired Visual for “Carnage Bargain”

Formed back in 2015, the buzz-worthy Los Angeles-based punk act The Paranoyds, derive their name as a bit of an apt summary of their general outlook on technology and modern culture — but ironically, the act can trace its origins to a friendship forged between its founding members Staz Lindes (bass, vocals) and Laila Hashemi (keys vocals) over MySpace in their early teens. Initially bonding over a shared interest in local underground music, the duo eventually became friends in real life. Eventually, the duo recruited Hashemi’s childhood friend Lexi Funston to join the band — with David Ruiz (drums) completing the band’s lineup in 2015.  

Since their formation, the band has developed a reputation as one of Los Angeles’ most exciting bands as a result of tours with the likes of DIIV, White Reaper, Albert Hammond, Jr., Sunflower Bean, Tacocat, BRONCHO and others, and for playing major festivals like Coachella. The band’s highly-anticipated (and long-awaited) full-length debut Carnage Bargain is slated for a September 13, 2019 release through Suicide Squeeze Records — and the album is reportedly a raucous blend of gritty garage rock, New Wave swagger, B movie camp and a myriad of other left-of-center influences. 

Carnage Bargain’s second and latest single, the album title track will further cement their long-held reputation for pairing ironically delivered lyrics with quirky yet infectious pop hooks, fuzzy power chords and forceful drumming. And while being the sort of mosh pit friendly track in which you can envision sweaty concertgoers bopping about and singing along at your local music venue, the track is centered around a scathing observation of our current world of instant gratification that has left us unhappier. “People want things all the time—there seems to be a constant manic need of consuming now more so than ever. ‘Carnage Bargain’ is about the people higher up wanting to get all this evil work done at a wholesale price,” the band’s Staz Lindes says in press notes. 

“It’s an extremely vulnerable time in America—things aren’t sugar coated anymore,”Lindes adds. “The dirt and grime that was swept under the rug has risen to surface. It’s impossible for us to get through a day without thinking of the thousands of migrant children in cages at the border alone, some without proper beds, soap, toothbrushes, and with lights on 24/7. We can not continue to ignore the black lives, young and old, taken by police almost every week. The plastic crisis. The mass shootings. The extreme need for prison reform. The opioid crisis. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The list goes on, and the hole gets deeper. Sometimes I can’t sleep and I wonder: do they sleep well in the White House? What else can I do as a privileged citizen? They want to get a Carnage Bargain. I want to pick up garbage.”

Directed by David Ruiz and Max Flick, the recently released video immediately brings 120 Minutes to mind as its split between placing the band in a seemingly dysfunctional and dystopian reality and their studio — while nodding at constant commercials. 

Live Footage: Black Pumas Perform “Colors” at Arlyn Studios

Over the past few months I’ve written a bit about Black Pumas, an acclaimed Austin, TX-based soul act, comprised of Grammy-winning producer and guitarist Adrian Quesada,  27-year-old singer/songwriter Eric Burton and a cast of collaborators. The act can trace its origins to when Burton, a street performer, who busked his way from Los Angeles to Austin, where he met Quesada. 

Building upon the rapidly growing buzz surrounding them, the Austin-based soul act released their self-titled debut earlier this year. And as you may recall, album single “Colors” is ad decidedly old-school singer/songwriter soul-inspire track centered around an anachronistic arrangement and production featuring a looping 12 bar blues guitar, twinkling Rhodes, some gospel-tinged backing vocals and the superstar of the show — Burton’s soulful vocals and incredible vocal range, as his vocal delivery in “Colors” evoke hurt, yearning, pride and awe simultaneously. The act recently spoke to the folks at The Fader by email, explaining that “‘Colors’ was written while the sun was going down on a rooftop in New Mexico. Finding inspiration in the multicolored hues of the night sky. The song is a message of togetherness, but there’s awareness of mortality mixed in . . .” 

The band has been relentlessly touring over the past months and recently, they had an opportunity to spend a few days in Austin’s legendary Arlyn Studio, where they decided to run through a handful of songs that have become fine-tuned as a result of being on the road for the past few months. Amos David McKay shot the live session with a noir-ish sensibility, and during that session they performed a jam-like and sprawling rendition of “Colors” that retains the song’s soulfulness and message, while being an accurate representation of their live sound.