Category: Video Review

New Video: Fabien Gravillon Shares a Breezy, Swooning Bop

Paris-born singer/songwriter Fabien Gravillon specializes in Zouk, Kizomba and Afro pop — but in his native France, he may be best known as an actor, who starred in the hit French soap opera Plus belle la vie.

After the release of his debut album through Because Music, Gravillon went to Los Angeles and appeared in several videos by internationally acclaimed artists including Macklemore and Patrick Stump‘s “Summer Days,” Collapsing Scenery and others.

He also participated in several projects filmed at Fox Studios in Hollywood and for The Jim Henson Company. Interestingly enough, inspired by animation and by his experience as a voiceover artist, Gravillon decided that his music videos should be cartoons. . .

“Bonita,” Gravillon’s latest single is sleek and swooning, genre-defying bop featuring skittering, reggaeton beats. glistening synth arpeggios and Gravillon’s sultry and vulnerable cooing (in French and Spanish) paired with a two-step inducing hook. While being slick and modern pop song, “Bonita” is a sweet and old fashioned plea of devotion and love.

The animated video features cartoon version of Gravillon and the song’s titular Bonita on a romantic date that’s sweet in its old-fashioned feel.

New Video: Paris’ Premier Métro Shares a Slow-Burning, Nostalgia-Inducing Bop

Rising Paris-based synth pop outfit Premier Métro — Dimitri, Sébastien, Alexandre and Enzo — specialize in a nostalgia-inducing, synth driven sound that seemingly draws from 80s pop, Flavien Berger, The Weeknd, and others.

Interestingly, with a handful of singles under their belts, the French quartet landed slots at We Love Green last June — and an appearance on Culturebox. Building upon a growing profile, the quartet’s latest single “Pour Quelques Secondes” is a slow-burning. hook-driven bop centered around glistening synths, thumping beats paired with ccihgl plaintive vocals that capture the few minutes that a performer or a band will feel like gods while performing on that stage. But it also scans as a bittersweet ode to fleeting youth.

Shot on an iPhone, the accompanying video follows the band in post-show glow, goofing off, getting on a metro and heading to karaoke spot before the phone finally dies.

New Video: Gabriel da Rosa Shares a Swooning Meditation on Loneliness

Gabriel da Rosa is a Cruz Alta, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and guitarist. Growing up in rural, southern Brazil with a radio DJ for a father, de Rosa was exposed to a wide variety of music from his his homeland. But it wasn’t until he moved to Los Angeles that he began curating Brazilian records and DJ’ing himself.

da Rosa wound up bonding with Stones Throw Records‘ label head, founder, artist and DJ Peanut Butter Wolf over their shared love of Brazilian music. The Brazilian-born artist began writing his own bossa nova, inspired by traditional bossa nova but with a contemporary edge with Pedro Dom, a musician, who has worked with some of Brazil’s best, internationally known artists like Seu Jorge, Rodrigo Amarante, and Latin Grammy Award-winner Ian Ramil.

The Brazilian-born artist signed to Stones Throw earlier this year, and the label released his debut single “Jasmim parte 1” earlier this year, a song that details the enchanted feelings of first meeting someone, but having doubts whether the connection with actually last. As de Rosa puts it, “the song is about “wanting to remain in an eternal fairytale.”

da Rosa’s second and latest single “Bandida” is a swooning and swaying, wine-drunk Bossa nova rooted its creator’s thoughts while in solitude and centered around strummed guitar, the Brazilian-born artist’s heartbroken and weary delivery, a mournful saxophone line paired with the genre’s traditional shuffling rhythms. As da Rosa explains, the song came about after an idle night spent in, drinking wine and strumming his guitar. “The wine and my guitar brought out some bittersweet thoughts — all day, I’m surrounded by amazing people, real friends and acquaintances, but at the end of the day, I’m alone,” he says.

Directed and edited by Eric Coleman, the accompanying video is shot in a gorgeous and cinematic black and white, and feature the Brazilian-born artist and his backing band performing the song in a little club, as the wine-drinking crowd gently sways and sings along, recognizing a bit of themselves in the song’s bittersweet meditation of loneliness.

New Video: Aussie Artist Matt Corby Shares an Absurd and Hilarious Visual for Funky “Problems”

Matt Corby is a multi-award winning Australian singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Corby’s latest single “Problems” is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Aussie artist since 2020’s standalone singles “If I Never Say A Word” and “Vitamin” — and the first single on his new label, UK-based Communion Music

“Problems” can trace its origins to earlier this year: On the day Corby was going to start recoding his new album, he and his family were rescued by a neighbor. Their home had been engulfed by floodwaters that raged through Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. After nervously watching his very pregnant partner and young son be whisked away in a small, inflatable dinghy, he got to work ferrying provisions to stranded neighbors and locals and digging rotting mud out from beneath his home. 

Within a week of the flood, Corby returned to the studio, and wound up writing and recording “Problems,” a funky R&B-inspired bop centered around a strutting bass line, twinkling keys and boom bap-like drumming paired with the Aussie artist’s plaintive crooning and his unerring knack for well-placed, razor sharp hooks. Sonically, “Problems” sounds indebted to D’Angelo and Mayer Hawthorne — but while rooted in personal, lived-in experience and astute observation of human behavior and character. The song’s message is a simple and profound one: While maybe your own world is on fire or about to sink under water, the most important thing is that you and your loved ones are alive — and mostly well.

“It’s about how funny humans are creating our own problems and issues that we then have to solve. Or creating problems so difficult we then can’t solve,” Corby says. “And how people talk so much shit and don’t do anything – how we’re setting ourselves up for failure. People want to point the finger but nobody wants to carry anything themselves.” 

Directed and edited by Murli Dhir, the accompanying video for “Problems” stars Rob James McLean, as its protagonist, who projects an absurd ignorance and perhaps even joy in the face of profound, hyperreal disaster: He crawls out of a totaled car with a gleeful glint in his eyes, which he follows with a dance; dancing on a dinghy that’s rapidly taking on water — in the middle of a lake; being taken to a hospital for a potential procedure; and even arrest. Throughout the video, McLean’s expression and body language in the face of disaster and oblivion seems to say “As long as I still have life, I’m good. There’s hope as long as you’re breathing.”

“When I first heard ‘Problems,’ I knew I wanted to make a bright and funny video that showed someone grooving completely oblivious to their problems around them,” Murli Dhir explains. “I thought it’d be interesting to portray serious events in a way that ultimately shows, ‘well, even though nothing is going well right now, I’m still alive and everything will be okay, so i guess it’s not really that bad.’”

New Video: Montreal’s Naomi Shares an Accessible and Infectious Banger

Naomi is a Montréal-based multi-disciplinary artist, who after studying theater, first made a name for herself when she began to land roles on both the small and big screen by the time she turned 14. She also went on to study dance at École de danse contemporaine de Montréal

As a dancer, the Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist has appeared in and/or choreographed music videos for RihannaMarie-MaiCoeur de Pirate and others, as well as for local dance performances. While she was establishing herself as an actor and dancer, the Montreal-based artist quietly developed a passion for singing — without fully giving herself permission to explore it fully. Interestingly, Coeur de Pirate’s Beátrice Martin saw star potential in the Montreal based multi-disciplinary artist and took her under her wing. 

Encouraged by Martin’s mentorship and encourage, Naomi began to realize that she was never far off from making her own music. All that she needed was a bit of a push.

She signed with Bravo Musique, an acclaimed, local tastemaker label, and then began writing her own original material. Since then, she has taken a bold leap into a career as a pop singer and artist. Her first two singles “Tout à nous” and “Zéro stress” have received airplay on WKNDRouge FMArsenal, POP, CVKMand several other regional radio stations across Quebec.

Now, as you might recall, the rising French Canadian artist has also released two more singles this year:

  • The club friendly, Rowan Mercille and Naomi co-written “Semblant,” which I wrote about earlier this year. Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, skittering trap-meets-Carribbean beats paired with her sultry delivery and an infectious hook, “Semblant” is a remarkably self-assured summertime banger, that also reveals a bonafide superstar in the making. 
  • Pas le temps de jouer,” a slickly produced and self-assured banger centered around shuffling reggaeton-meets-trap beats, glistening synth bursts paired with the rising Canadian artist’s sultry delivery and her seemingly unerring knack for crafting a big, razor sharp hook. Much like its immediate predecessor, “Pas le temps de jouer” is an accessible, summertime bop that will help launch a bonafide superstar into the stratosphere.

Naomi’s latest single “Okay Alright” is a sultry, genre-defying, bop centered around skittering, tweeter and woofer rattling boom bap, bursts of strummed guitar and rumbling low end paired with the rising French Canadian’s sultry vocal delivery singing the song’s verses primarily in French and the song’s infectious hook in English. “Okay Alright” continues remarkable run of slickly produced, accessible club bangers, with the English hook seems to have the rising Montreal-based artist reaching for a bigger, global audience outside of the Francophone world. And she does so while retaining the elements of her sound and approach that have won her audiences at home.

Directed by Élise Lussier, the accompanying video for “Okay Alight” stars Naomi and a collection of friends at an abandoned summer camp site, have water gun and water balloon fights, dancing the day and night away, and goofing off. The fun that they have is infectious. And it should remind you of easier, warmer, carefree days.

New Video: Soccer Mommy Shares Introspective “Feel It All The Time”

Sophie Allison’s latest Soccer Mommy album, the Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never)-produced Sometimes, Forever was released earlier this year through Loma Vista/Concord. The critically applauded album sees Allison pushing her sound in new directions — but without eschewing the unsparing lyricism and catchy melodies that have won her attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere. 

Inspired by the concept that neither sorrow nor happiness is permanent, Sometimes, Forever is a fresh peek into the mind of a bold, young artist who synthesizes everything — retro sounds, personal tumult, the disorder of modern life — into music that feels built to last for a long time. The album’s material is also partly inspired by the uncomfortable push and pull between her desire to make meaningful art, her skepticism about the mechanics of careerism, and the mundane, artless administrative chaos that comes with all of it. 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past year or so, you might recall that this has been a busy year for the JOVM mainstay — and I’ve written about:

Sometimes, Forever single “Shotgun,” an infectious banger centered around a classic grunge song structure — quiet verses, explosive choruses paired with layers of distorted guitars, Allison’s achingly plaintive vocals, an enormous hook, thunderous drumming and a throbbing groove. “Shotgun” manages to liken a young romance to a sort of chemical high — but without the bruising and sickening comedown, which always comes after. But throughout the song, its narrator focuses on small moments in a love affair that’s imbued with a deep, personal meaning, “‘Shotgun’ is all about the joys of losing yourself in love,” explains Allison. “I wanted it to capture the little moments in a relationship that stick with you.”

Over the summer, rising indie electro pop outfit Magdalena Bay recently remixed “Shotgun” turning the track into a futuristic, glittery, club banger featuring glistening synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rattling thump and wobbling low end paired with Allison’s plaintive vocals fed through gentle amounts of vocoder and other effects. While being a decidedly bold and adventurous, the Magdalena Bay remix retains the core elements of the original — Allison’s penchant for earnest, lived-in lyricism, enormous hooks and the song’s overall woozy feel. 

Right before, she started her current tour, which including a sold-out stop at Webster Hall earlier this month that I covered for the fine folks at Musicology.xyz she released a standalone single: “Darkness Forever (Sophie’s Version),” a decidedly lo-fi and woozy take on the album track centered of the around bubbling synths, strummed guitar, skittering and blown out beats paired with Allison’s ethereal and plaintive cooing. While the album version manages to be spectral and brooding with a stormy guitar solo to punctuate it all, Sophie’s version is creepier and evokes an uneasy sense of dread. “This version of ‘Darkness Forever’ is really exciting for me because it’s kind of what got me inspired to start working on the rest of the album,” Allison explains. “It felt new and fresh, and I had a lot of fun making it. When I was done with it, I felt very ready to work on more stuff for the record.”

Sometimes, Forever single “Feel It All The Time” is a slow-burning bit of singer/songwriter indie rock with bursts of glistening and twangy pedal steel serving as a meditative rooted in Allison’s introspective lyricism, which sees her using the metaphor of an old truck to compare the feeling of aging — way too fast.

“‘Feel It All The Time’ is a song that felt really easy and honest for me as soon as I wrote it,”explains Sophie Allison. “It uses this idea of an old truck to kind of compare this feeling of aging too fast. There are also these glimpses of light and freedom, from something as simple as the wind in your hair, that can make you feel alive.”

Directed by directed by Zev Magasis follows Allison in golden hour driving around in her beloved, beat-up truck with defiantly feminist bumper sticker — there’s a goddess on the loose, y’all! — and playing around as a knight, complete with mask and sword and riding a horse as though she were jousting.

New Video: Death Valley Girls Share Anthemic “What Are The Odds”

For the better part of the past decade, Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays Death Valley Girls — currently Bonnie Bloomgarden (vocals, guitar), Rikki Styxx (drums), Larry Schemel (guitar) and Sammy Westervelt (vocals, guitar) — have used their music as a means of tapping into a communal cosmic energy. 2016’s Glow in The Dark, 2018’s Darkness Rains and 2020’s Under the Spell of Joy saw the band openly challenging the soul-crushing banality of modern society and celebrating “true magical infinite potential” through scorching proto-punk influenced riffage, earworm melodies, trippy lyrics and lysergic auxiliary instrumentation.

Slated for a February 24, 2023 through their longtime label home Suicide Squeeze Records, the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays newest album, Islands in the Sky reportedly sees Death Valley Girls’ primary songwriter Bonnie Bloomgarden turning inward and using the band’s anthemic revelries as a guidebook to spiritual healing and a roadmap for future incarnations of the self.

Islands in the Sky‘s material can trace its origins back to when Bloomgarden was bedridden with a mysterious illness from November 2022 to March 2021. “When I was sick I had to sleep most of the day,” Bloomgarden recalls. “I kept waking up every few hours with an intense message to take care of the island, feed the island…I have no idea why, but making music for the island kept coming up.”

Before her illness, Bloomgarden’s primary focus was writing songs to help others deal with their own suffering. But something within her shifted, and she began to turn her focus inward. “When I was sick I started to wonder if it would be possible to write a record with messages of love to my future self. This was really the first time that I consciously thought about my own suffering and what future me might need to hear to heal,” says Bloomgarden. “I struggled so much in my life with mental health, abuse, PTSD, and feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere. And I don’t want anyone—including my future self—to suffer ever again. I realized that if we are all part of one cosmic consciousness, as we [Death Valley Girls] believe, then Islands in the Sky could serve not only as a message of love and acceptance to myself, but also from every self to every self, because we are all one!”

The bulk of the album was channeled into being when Bloomgarden and Styxx went out to a cabin in the California woods on New Year’s Day 2022 to hunker down and write. Schemel and the band’s newest member Westverlt joined the band at Station House Studio to further flesh out the material. And while being some of the most ambitious aims for the band to date, the material may arguably be among their most raucous, danceable, and celebratory

Islands in the Sky‘s first single “What Are The Odds” is a scuzzy, garage pop anthem centered around distorted and fuzzy guitars, a raucous, shout-along worthy chorus, a scorching guitar solo and a relentless motorik-like groove paired with a thunderous backbeat. Superficially, the song is a classic, Death Valley Girls party starting ripper — but the song ponders the existence of parallel universes, the multidimensional space time and the multiverse.  

“When we wrote ‘I’m a Man Too’ we were trying to revisit No Doubt’s ‘I’m Just a Girl‘ but through a new lens. ‘What Are the Odds’ is in the same way an investigation /revisitation of Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ but with a DVG spin, Death Valley Girls’ Bloomgarden says. “We love to think about consciousness, and existence, and we very much believe in some type of reincarnation, but also that this experience isn’t linear, there isn’t a past and future, there’s something else going on! What is it? Is it a simulation, are we simulated girls??!”

Directed by the band’s Sammy Westervelt, the video follows the band on an sunny Los Angeles afternoon but somehow their alternate universe selves in red beehive wigs keep subtly interacting with them in weird ways — until they finally meet each other. Who’s real? Who’s not? Maybe they’re all simulations?

New Video: Enisa Shares Flirty “Just A Kiss (Muah)”

Rising Albanian-American, Brooklyn-born and-based singer/songwriter, pop artist Enisa is a first generation American, who has spent her whole life preparing for a career in music: Following her graduation from Edward R. Murrow High School, Enisa went on to attend Brooklyn College, where she further honed her sound — a sound that sees her meshing contemporary soul pop with Balkan and Middle Eastern flourishes and a touch of Europop.

The Brooklyn-based artist released a series of distinct covers, which went viral while earning critical acclaim from Complex, XXL, ThisSongIsSick and more. Building upon a growing profile, singles like “Burn This Bridge” and “Wait for Love,” and a guest spot on Scridge and Glenda’s viral smash “Karma (Remix)” amassed over 16 million views and over 3 million streams globally.

Last year was a big year for the rising Brooklyn-based artist: She appeared on the cover of Out Now and made her debut live performances as S.O.B.’s and Sacramento’s Lost In Riddim Festival. She closed out the year amassing over 8 million total followers globally — with 3.8 million on TikTok and over one million YouTube subscribers.

Earlier this year, Enisa released the Fake Love EP, an effort that she describes as “empowering” and “authentic” and features “Tears Hit The Ground and “One Thing.” She also made her television debut on NBC’s American Song Contest, representing her home state of New York. Since then she has over 41 million streams globally and more than 198 million total video views — with her material topping the charts in Nigeria, Gambia, Portugal, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Sri Lanka, India and more.

Building upon growing momentum, her latest single, the Enisa and acclaimed production and songwriting duo Space Primates (Marc Sibley and Nathan Cunningham) co-written “Just A Kiss (Muah)” is a sultry banger, centered around tweeter and woofer rattling thump, bursts of strummed guitar and glistening synth arpeggios and a slick string section and melodic nod to Tarkan’s “Kiss Kiss,” a crowd-pleasing banger over in Turkey. Enisa’s sultry come-hither vocals effortlessly glide over the dance floor friendly, genre-defying production. If there’s one thing to say about the track it’s this: Enisa is about to be a breakout star — and real soon.

“I grew up loving music from all around the world and this one track by Tarkan had a chorus melody that always randomly played through my head growing up, so I knew one day I wanted to put it in a song but make a whole new version with a different concept!” Enisa explains. “I went to the studio with that song in mind and created ‘Just a Kiss (Muah).’ I’d love for the new generation to listen to my song and feel the same way I did with the Tarkan one. “‘Just a Kiss (Muah)’ is about the fun of being a tease when it comes to dating & knowing you have the power to say yes or no! I wanted to make a really catchy, fun, lighthearted song that people can dance to, that also has the element of nostalgia!”

Directed by Azzie Scott, the accompanying video stars the rising Brooklyn-based artist in a flirty and fun nod to Tarkan’s “Kiss Kiss,” that further emphasizes the sultry teasing and desire at the core of the song.

New Video: Boston’s Air Traffic Controller Shares Anthemic “20”

While serving in the US Navy as an air traffic controller, Boston-based singer/songwriter Dave Munro sent home demos of his songs. This eventually lead to his current musical project, the aptly named Air Traffic Controller. Over the course of the next decade, Munro wrote and recorded four critically applauded albums of heartfelt and earnest indie folk/indie pop with a backing band that features Adam Salameh (drums), Joe Campbell (bass), Bobby Borenstein (guitar), Emo McSwain (vocals, keytar) and multi-instrumentalist Steve Scott.

The Boston-based indie outfit’s fifth and latest album, the Dan Cardinal, Seth Kasper and Air Traffic co-produced Dash was released last Friday. Partially written in-person and remotely during pandemic-related lockdowns, Dash was recorded at Dimension Sound Studios and sees the band setting aside long-held formulas to allow each member to bring their own style and personality to the material — while retaining the story-based songwriting and catchy hooks that have won the band acclaim and fans.

The album’s lead single, “20” is a breezy pop anthem, rooted in Munro’s unerring knack for catchy hooks and lived-in story-based lyricism paired with a lush arrangement featuring reverb-drenched guitar, funky horns and a dance floor friendly groove. The song is rooted in a familiar nostalgia: the optimism and dreams of one’s youth — but seen from the perspective of someone a bit older, who has been forced to be pragmatic and make the sort of uncomfortable compromises that the song’s narrator would have loathed as a younger man. It’s a bittersweet sigh rooted in the recognition that life doesn’t always wind up how you”d like or hoped.

Directed filmed and edited by 9th Planet Productions with additional edits and effects by Joe Joyce, the accompanying video for “20” is a visual delight that recalls Broadway and major films — on a small budget: We follow a disco ball mask wearing character waking up and writing in a journal and playing a guitar while a wild and surreal array of things happen around him, including musicians playing on his bed, an entire party rocking out and so on.

New Video: MARBLES Shares Breezy and Bittersweet “One of a Kind”

Kolbotn, Norway-based dream pop outfit MARBLES — Ferdinand Widmer (vocals, bass), Marius Ringen (drums), Adrian Sandberg (synths) and Marcus Widmer (guitar) — features members, who come from a variety of musical backgrounds with many of the band’s members also playing in the black metal bands that the city is best known for internationally. 

When the band started, its members were initially unsure exactly what sound and genre this new music would be, but they quickly discovered a shred interest in dream pop, indie and disco styles, and they were able to capture a unique vibe together in their jam sessions. That unique vibe was immediately present on their debut single “European Dream.” And from there, the Norwegian outfit quickly honed and built upon the blueprint that song set out for their overall sound.

The Norwegian pop outfit’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Humour is slated for a February 10, 2012 through Playground Music. The album will feature three singles released over the course of this year, including “World Inside Me,” a deliberately crafted mid-tempo and breezy Washed Out and Brothertiger-like bop that’s underpinned by a deep-seated — and perhaps hard won — introspection.

“‘World Inside Me’was written in our most isolated period through the pandemic. It tries to describe a feeling of loneliness that is mostly conjured by our own mind. Even though there are options and offers from the outside world, sometimes you just feel better in your own sphere,” the Norwegian dream pop outfit explains. “Living in your own little world (or bubble) can feel both pleasant and safe, but also quickly turn into a lonesome and desperate state of mind.” 

Album single “One of Kind” is a subdued, introspective and woozy bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, skittering four-on-the-floor paired with Widmer’s ethereal vocals and the band’s unerring knack for well-crafted, catchy hooks. But the song is rooted in bittersweet, lived-in experience: MARBLES’ Ferdinand Widmer explains that “One of a Kind” is all about the experience of realizing that a relationship in your life — whether it be a friend, family member or romantic partner — and coming to terms with the fact that you are moving in different directions.

“Our message with ‘One of a Kind’ is that – sometimes it’s ok to lose contact with someone close in your life. Maybe you evolve differently or go down different paths. You come to the point in a relationship where both parts have moved on, and you´re still trying to accept it for a good thing. Doing your best to cherish their accomplishments in life. You’ll never find someone similar, and that’s just life. You still want the best for them. And you understand that ‘forever regretfulness’ can be a curse.”

The accompanying video for “One of a Kind” features the band’s Ferdinand Widmer and a green screen backdrop. Leaning hard into the goofiness and obvious fakery of its setup, Widmer is inserted into the screensaver type of backdrops like the photo booth karaoke machines you’d see at your local mall.