Category: Video Review

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Thundercat Returns with Sunny and Redemptive Visuals for Collaborative Single with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past couple of years, you’ve likely been made familiar with the he critically applauded  bassist, vocalist and JOVM mainstay Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner, and as you may recall, within the past three years or so, Bruner has been remarkably prolific as he’s made attention-grabbing guest appearances contributing his imitable bass and vocals to Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy Award-winning To Pimp A Butterfly and Brainfeeder Records labelmate, Kamasi Washington’s The Epic. Bruner followed that up by releasing what arguably best may have been one of the best releases of 2015, The Beyond/Where Giants Roam. 

Last year, Bruner teased us with some more new material, including “Bus In These Streets,” a comedic and playful ode to our reliance and dependence on technology in which Bruner collaborated with the renowned producer, beatmaker, electronic music artist and filmmaker Flying Lotus contributing programming and Louis Cole contributing keys and programming. And as you know, Bruner’s third, full-length album Drunk was released earlier this year, and the album was written as a journey deep into the bizarre, hilarious and sometimes very dark mind of its creator, who collaborated with an impressive array of friends and guests including the aforementioned Kamasi Washington and Kendrick Lamar, along with a few other folks you may have heard of, like Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell Williams, Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. 

Drunk’s first official single “Show You The Way”is a smooth and soulfully jazz-like pop track in which arpeggiated synths, stuttering drum programming and Bruner’s dexterous bass lines serve as a shimmering and silky bed over which Bruner, Kenny Loggins and Micheal Donald trade soulful vocals to create a song that feels like a polished and effortless synthesis of Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” and Bruner’s signature funky, retro-futuristic jazz fusion.

Directed by Katarzyna Sawicka and Carlos Lopez Estrada, the recently released music video for “Show You The Way,” follows the characters and the storyline the directors began with the surreal and darkly comic visuals they created in “Them Changes,”  and while that video ended in a grim note with an armless and heartbroken protagonist, “Show You The Way” is a sunny contrast, offering a semblance of redemption, healing and love for our armless protagonist.  

Comprised of  founding duo Albert Kawmi and Calum Muir, along with four other collaborators, the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based electro pop act Sun Rose, which specializes in what the act has dubbed “maximalist, melodramatic, funk-pop” can trace their origins back to about 2008 when they formed under the name Nevada Base. And during the period of roughly 2008 – 2013, the band, along with Gus Wemyss had been extremely active in Glasgow’s music scene, until the act’s founding duo got sidetracked with serious life issues — jobs and raising families.

As the story goes, the duo had begun recording an album in 2014 and the recordings had sat dormant for over year, until the act’s former member Wemyss returned to Glasgow and began to finalized many of the album’s arrangements and flesh out the material. When the act’s founding duo heard the completed album, they were so impressed that it needed to be released. As the band explained in an email to me, the completed album re-focused the members of the band to start over with a new name — Sun Rose. But despite the change in name, the band’s latest album, The Essential Luxury Album will further cement their reputation for crafting slickly produced, dance floor friendly synth pop; in fact, the album’s first single “Smirk,” will remind some listeners of mid 80s New Order, Cut Copy and No Zu, as a propulsive and sinuous bass line, shimmering synths and call and response vocals are paired with layers of percussion and enormous hooks. And while also subtly leaning at house music, the song manages to be arguably one of the most dance floor friendly songs I’ve come across this year.

Filmed by James Vincent Gillespie and Brian Sweeney on location in Sweeney’s kitchen and in the homes of many of the Last Night from Glasgow crew, the video employs fittingly 80s-inspired graphics and animations in a creepily psychedelic fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings to Posthumously Release Last Studio Album: First Single a Meditation on Time

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of its seven year history, you’ve likely come across a number of posts on Daptone Records recording artists Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Charles Bradley — both who I think were among some of the finest soul artists around. Now, as you may recall, Sharon Jones died after a three year battle with pancreatic cancer, and Charles Bradley died late last month after a two year battle with stomach cancer. Sadly and unsurprisingly, people die; it’s what people do, but there are some people, who seem larger than life and utterly incapable of dying — and somehow I always wanted to believe that Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley could never die. Shit, considering the abysmal state of the world, we could use a few more Sharon Joneses and Charles Bradleys to spread joy and love to countless others around globe.

As it turns out, Jones and her Dap Kings spent the better part of her last few months writing and recording what would be the band’s final studio album Soul of a Woman, which is slated to be posthumously released on November 17, 2017 through Daptone Records. Recorded on eight-track tape at Daptone Records’ Bushwick, Brooklyn-based House of Soul Studios, the album finds the band and their beloved leader pushing the limits of their songwriting and sound to create what some have said may arguably be some for he band’s rawest and most sophisticated material to date.

Soul of a Woman’s first single “Matter of Time” is a lush and moody mediation on the nature of time that strikes me as being equally inspired by Ecclesiastes and The Byrds’ legendary cover of Pete Seeger’s “Turn, Turn, Turn,” as it seems to suggest that with everything there’s a purpose and a season, and that there will be a time for peace and understanding, but along with that, it brings up the idea that life, the pursuit of peace, justice, true freedom and fairness are the result of necessary struggle.  Perhaps because we now know that Jones died within a few short months of finishing the recording sessions, the song manages to possess the profoundly sad wisdom of the dying — that ultimately, most things in our lives are fleeting and impermanent. And in an age of superficiality, of dotards, madmen and fools, of hate and division, of growing strife and unease, of seemingly impending nuclear annihilation, we could use love and wisdom.

The recently released video filmed and edited by  Jeff Broadway and Cory Bailey captures Sharon, her Dap-Kings and Charles Bradley both performing and behind the scenes while touring Europe, and naturally it captures Daptone Records beloved duo in the very fullness of their lives while revealing why those who knew them and loved their music feel their losses so very deeply.

New Video: The Surreal, Psychedelic, and Menacing Visuals of The Fresh & Onlys “Impossible Man”

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Bay Area-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and JOVM mainstay Tim Cohen, who has written, recorded and toured with a number of different bands and creative outlets, including Magic Trick, The Fresh & Onlys (with whom, he may be the best known) and as a solo artist. And during that period do time, Cohen has managed to be remarkably prolific. Last year alone, the Bay Area-based singer/songwriter spent time touring with both Magic Trick and The Fresh & Onlys, wrote, recorded and released Magic Trick’s fourth album Other Man’s Blues and his solo debut — all while balancing the responsibilities of being a new father.

Cohen continues a prolific and busy period with a new Fresh & Onlys album, Wolf Lie Down, the first Fresh & Onlys effort in over three years. Released earlier this year, through Sinderlyn Records, the album finds collaborators and bandmates Cohen and Wymond Miles (guitar, production) stripping the layered sound and feel of their last few albums, with Cohen and Miles aiming to imbue the material with an uplifting and swooning romanticism paired with Cohen’s wry humor. Now, as you may recall, I wrote about album title track and first single “Wolf Lie Down,” a track that found Cohen and Miles pairing layers of chugging guitars, an old-timey rock ‘n’ roll bass line, and an infectious, chant worthy hook with Cohen’s mischievously metaphysical musings in a summer road trip-worthy song that nods at the Ramones.

“Impossible Man,” Wolf Lie Down‘s second and latest single continues along a similar vein of its predecessor as it finds Cohen and Miles playing jangling power pop that mischievously nods at Cheap Trick, 50s and 60s rock and 70s AM rock simultaneously, but as Cohen explained to the folks at Consequence of Sound, “‘Impossible Man’ came from a song I came up with called ‘Invisible Man,’ based loosely on Ralph Ellison’s sole but legendary novel. In It, I fancied myself figuratively invisible, like Ellison’s protagonist, but realizing it would be construed as either a purge homage to another, expressly literal character or as a literal ghost story, I quickly changed the title to ‘Impossible Man.”  And while always possessing a wry, winking, hyper-literate irony, “Impossible Man,” much like its predecessor its wrapped around a populist sensibility and an anthemic hook.

Directed by Ryan Browne, the recently released video mirrors the psychedelia of the song and while being neon-colored and saccharin, the video takes a sinister turn, as it follows the band’s creative mastermind as he loses his mind and turns into a clown, who takes a surreal trip through a monstrous looking fairground.

New Video: The Surreal and Noir-ish Visuals for JOVM Mainstay Fufanu’s Latest Single “White Pebbles”

Over the course of this site’s 7 year history, I’ve been proud to champion an increasingly diverse batch of artists across the globe, writing and perform across a widely eclectic array of genres, sub-genres and styles. And as you may recall, earlier this year, I’ve written a quite a bit about Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu. Currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar was a member of The Sugarcaubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation, by the way) along with newest member, Erling Bang (drums) the up-and-coming Icelandic band can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met while at school. According to the band’s founding duo, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. After quickly bonding over mutual interests, the duo went into a studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. And within a month of their formation, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had started playing shows in and around Reykjavik.

Building upon a growing local and national profile, the duo went into the studio to record what would be their full-length debut as Captain Fufanu; but in a strange twist of fate, the studio where Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had recorded the album was burgled. And as a result, the album was presumed stolen and lost — forever. While many bands would be devastated by losing their work in such a fashion, the band’s founding duo decided that it was the perfect time to reinvent their sound and themselves, as they were beginning to develop a growing technical and musical prowess. Coincidentally, around the time that this was happening, Kaktus Einarsson was in London working on Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots and touring with the late and legendary Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics. Simultaneously Gulli had started to create a craft a completely revised sound, which according to Kaktus managed to convey exactly what he had been thinking and feeling. They then paired Kaktus’ brooding and ironically detached vocals with live instrumentation — guitars and drums — and electronics, and with their new sound, renamed themselves Fufanu.

Fufanu’s first live set with their new sound and material was at 2014’s Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. Almost immediately after the festival, the duo went into the studio to record their full-length debut A Few More Days To Go. And with the release of their debut effort, the then-duo saw a rapidly growing national and international profile as they toured with The Vaccines and others, and they played some of Northern Europe and Scandinavia’s largest festivals, including the aforementioned Iceland Airwaves, JaJaJa Festival and others.

Released earlier this year, the band’s sophomore album Sports finds the band going through some significant changes — Kaktus and Gulli recruited Erling “Elli” Bang (drums) to further flesh their sound out, with the newly constituted trio refining their material’s sound and thematic concerns, represented through album title track  “Sports,” which retains the synth-driven sound of their debut while nodding at the likes of Can, Neu!  Joy Division and early ’80s Peter Gabriel, and the slow-burning and moody  “Liability.” Sports’ third and latest single “White Pebbles” continues in a similar vein of its immediate predecessor as it’s a slow-burning, moody and enigmatic track featuring angular bass and guitar chords and ominously swirling electronics, all of which evoke a late night, meditative sense of regret over the embittering, confusing and downright heartbreaking events of one’s life; after all, as the band explained to Billboard, the song is about “looking back in time, and understanding all the little things you didn’t get back then, but are so obvious today.” 

Directed by the Snorri Brothers, the recently released video for “White Pebbles” features the members of Fufanu as a trio of existentially bored policemen, who drive around in a badass car with no particular purpose — until they go on a rather chilled-out, nonchalant police chase, with the members of the band seeming much more fascinated by the entire thing; but the women they chase always manages to be just ahead of them and out of reach.

Reportedly, the video required an unusual amount of preparation, including extensive research for a muscle car in a Reykjavik suburb and a back-alley meeting with a local, police detective to acquire the uniforms but it adds a strange sense of realism to a surrealistic video shot in a noir-ish fashion. “On the actual day of shooting, driving around in this bad ass Mustang in a complete police outfit, getting people really confused and then having a stare-off against one of Iceland’s leading public figures of the commercial culture made everything make so much sense and felt so right,” the band explains. 

New Video: The Bronx Release a Frenetic New Video to Accompany Their Breakneck New Single “Sore Throat”

Currently comprised of founding members Matt Caughtran (vocals, guitar) and Joby J. Ford (guitar), along with Ken Horne (guitar), Brad Magers (bass) and David Hidalgo, Jr. (drums), the Los Angeles, CA-based punk rock quintet The Bronx can trace their origins back to 2002 when the band formed with founding members Caughtran and Ford, with James Tweedy (bass) and Jorma Vik (drums)  — and after their first live set, the band quickly caught the attention Jonathan Daniel, who manages American Hi-Fi, and who became their manager. By their second live show, the band had attracted the attention of A&R reps from several major labels — and by their 12th live show ever, they had signed a contract with Island Def Jam Music Group; however, the band felt that they weren’t ready to record for a major label, so they formed their own label to release their own early releases including a 2002 demo Sure Death, their first official single “Bats!” and their Gilby Clarke-produced, self-titled full-length debut. Building upon the early buzz they received, the band promptly followed up with the La Muerte Viva EP as well as tours of the States and Australia.

2006’s self-titled debut was the band’s major label debut and it featured attention-grabbing singles “History’s Stranglers,” “White Guilt” and “Shitty Future.” The Dragons’ Ken Horne contributed some guitar to the album, and he soon joined the band as their second guitarist. And despite the lineup changes, the band has released five full-length albums of blistering and gritty punk, including their most recent album V and interestingly enough three albums of mariachi under the name Mariachi El Bronx.

The Rob Schanpf-produced V, which was released last month, has managed to be their most commercially successful effort to date as it debuted at #62 on the Billboard Top 200, #5 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #27 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart. Despite the early commercial success of the album, as the band’s Joby Ford says in press notes “[The album] has the angst and social commentary that has characterized us from the beginning, only now the angst is aimed at more than just superficial things and the social commentary is directed at more than just people who like different music than us.”  As result, album single “Sore Throat” may arguably be one of the most explosive and furious rock songs I’ve come across this year, as it features blistering power chords, thundering drumming, howled vocals and breakneck, shout and mosh worthy hooks — and perhaps unsurprisingly, the song reminds me of Plague Vendor’s excellent BLOODSWEAT in the sense that every time I’ve played it, I want to hear it as loud as humanly possible and in a room of sweaty friends and strangers losing our minds.

The recently released video is a wild and frenetic take on 80s post apocalyptic sci fi movies, complete with the static and wavering screens but cut with footage of the band playing sweaty and primal sets. 

New Video: Introducing the Easygoing Soul of French-born London-based Million Miles

Million Miles is the solo recording project of Paris-born, London-based singer/songwriter Sophie Baudry. Now, as the story goes, Baudry has had a life-long love affair with soul music and although she studied at Boston’s Berklee College and had a brief stint in New York working as recording engineer and studio musician, she returned to London and felt an irresistible pull to create the sort of soul music inspired by the likes of Ray Charles and Bill Withers. Baudry wound up in Nashville, TN on a whim. “I thought, ‘Why not?'” the French-born, British singer/songwriter recalls in press notes. 

She spent the her first few days and hours in Nashville wandering, exploring and reaching out to strangers as though saying “I’m new here and I’m a songwriter and i’m looking for people to collaborate with.” After a chance meeting Baudry wound up collaborating with songwriters/producers Robin Eaton and Paul Eberson. As Baudry recalls, she instantly hit it off with Eaton. “We met for coffee near his studio,” she recalls in press notes, “and an hour later, we started writing a song. It was quite immediate.” 

Baudry’s debut as Million Miles, Berry Hill EP was recored over a year during multiple sessions at Robin Eaton’s Berry Hill home studio, and the album reportedly focuses on the journeys taken and lessons learned in the up-and-coming singer/songwriter’s life — and from the EP’s latest single “Can’t Get Around A Broken Heart,” Baudry specializes in an easy-going and effortless singer/songwriter-based soul that brings to mind the aforementioned Bill Withers and Sandra Rhodes’ sadly under-appreciated and seemingly forgotten debut Where’s Your Love Been, as the song possesses a loose, Sunday afternoon country twang. But pay close attention, because much like the sources that influence her, Baudry’s vocals and songwriting has the rare ability to craft an infectious song that manages to be emotionally ambiguous — within a turn of a phrase, Baudry can express exquisite joy and heartache. 

Directed by Sequoia Ziff, the recently released video manages to capture Baudry in a series of moods — mainly pensive and coquettish and while evoking an idyllic summer afternoon with impossibly verdant greens, there’s a a mix of melancholy visuals — and it’s all done in a way to capture the song’s overall tone and mood. 

New Video: Teeth & Tongue’s Jess Cornelius Releases Haunting Visuals for “Jealousy” Off Her Forthcoming Solo Debut

Over the past year, I had written a bit about the critically acclaimed, Melbourne, Australia-based indie rock/indie pop act Teeth & Tongue. Comprised of New Zealand-born, Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Jess Cornelius, guitarist Marc Regueiro-McKelvie, bassist Damian Sullivan and drummer James Harvey, the quartet initially began as a solo recording project of its founding member Jess Cornelius, and over the course of the four albums, the band developed a reputation for restless experimentation with their sound morphing from an ambient and textured sound to a wiry, dance floor-friendly post-punk inspired by Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ It’s Blitz!, as you would hear on Give Up on Your Health, an album that received attention both nationally and internationally — it was nominated for a J Award and the Australian Music Prize, named Album of the Week on 3RRR and Featured Album on Double J, as well as features in Rolling Stone, The Fader and Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter.

Adding to a growing profile, Cornelius has played at some of the her adopted homeland’s and the world’s major music festivals including Laneway Festival, Meredith Music Festival, Falls Festival, Boogie Woogie Festival, SXSW, CMJ, Perth International Arts Festival and Darwin Festival, toured with acclaimed singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett and Vance Joy, opened for J. Mascis, Sons & Daughters, EMA, Juana Molina, The Dodos, The Mountain Goats, The Drones and Laura Marling, as well performed as a musical guest on several episodes of SBS‘ Rockwiz.
 
After several years as a frontperson, Cornelius decided it was time to focus on creating music under her own name, and as a result, Cornelius relocated to Los Angeles to write, and record new material, which included “Jealousy,” the first single off her forthcoming debut EP Nothing Is Lost. And from the single, the New Zealand-born singer/songwriter’s solo work is a marked departure from her work with Teeth & Tongue, as  the material is stripped down to a sparse arrangement of Cornelius’ dynamic, PJ Harvey-like vocals, accompanied by her strummed guitar, dramatic drumming and backing vocals. With a strip down approach of songwriter, vocals, guitar and drums, the listener must not only pay attention to the songwriter’s vocals but to the lyrics as well — and in this case, “Jealousy,” a song based on one of the most hideous yet common human emotions may arguably be some of the more direct, empathetic writing of her career.  You can practically feel the bile and resentment of the song’s narrator, who focuses on what she lacks and what others have; however, the song should serve both as a reminder and warning — after all, you don’t know what someone else had to sacrifice to be in the situation they’re in now, and if you did, you might not have done so.
 
 
Directed by Thomas Hyland at Clones and Clones, the recently released video for “Jealousy” employs a relatively simple yet haunting concept: we follow Cornelius as rides a bike through a suburban development at night. And in some way, the treatment emphasizes the bitter loneliness and spite of its narrator, whose jealousy and resentments seem to fuel her through something that’s both endless and pointless.
 

New Video: The Lysergic Visuals and Sounds of Stockholm’s Marble Mammoth

Marble Mammoth is a Stockholm, Sweden-based psych rock band that features members, who have played in The Unisex and have collaborated with The MC5s Mike Davis and The Hellacopters’ and Imperial State Electric’s Nicke Anderson — and with the recent release of their self-titled EP, the band has quickly developed a reputation for a sound that meshes the bluesy power chords of Led Zeppelin with the dreamy, psychedelia of the likes of Tame Impala — although the band’s latest single “Wrecked Ship” reminds me much more of JOVM mainstays Goat and Black Sabbath as the song features some blistering guitar pyrotechnics paired with soaring organ chords and anthemic hooks, but within an expansive, twisting and turning song structure that nods at voodoo, Latin rock and psych rock, while lyrically the song evokes the anxious awareness that the end is coming — and quickly.

Directed and edited by Milja Rossi, the recently released hallucinatory video for the song features the black clad members of the band performing the song near a lake in glorious sunshine and quick cuts to volcanos erupting, explosions and other natural phenomenon shot at weird angles to evoke an abstractness and the influence of hallucinogens. 

New Video: The Hazy and Dream-like Visuals for Up-and-Coming Sibling Pop Duo Chaos Chaos’ “Dripping With Fire”

Comprised of Seattle, WA-born, New York-based sibling duo Asy and Chloe Saavedra, the electro pop duo Chaos Chaos is a decided sonic left turn for those who may be familiar with the Saavedras earlier work as members of Seattle-born band Smoosh, an act that opened for the likes of Bloc Party, Sleater Kinney and Cat Power, as the sibling duo’s latest project finds the duo pairing analog synth soundscapes, programmed and live drums with gorgeous harmonies. And while some have compared the duo’s sound to the likes of PJ Harvey, Stereolab and Little Dragon, the duo’s latest single “Dripping With Fire” sounds — to my ears, at least — much more like JOVM mainstays Pavo Pavo but with a modern production sheen. 

Directed by Stephanie Dimiskovski with photography direction by Steven Rico possesses a surreal, dream-like logic. and as the sibling duo explained in a written statement to the folks at Noisey, “We wanted to shed light on a more true sisterhood by recalling the memorabilia of damaging [and healing] as the somewhat conflicted foundation of sisterhood.’ Each posed scene, like dioramas of the Saavedras’ personal life and emotions, takes viewers into another world.”