Category: Video Review

New Video: Follow a Fierce Woman with a Cannon Through the Streets of Munich in the Visuals for Moullinex’s “Work It Out”

Luis Clara Gomes is a critically applauded Lisbon, Portugal-born, Munich, Germany-based multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and producer best known as Moullinex, who can trace the origins of his musical career to a childhood being surrounded by music and musicians at an early age; in fact, his childhood has been so influential to him, that throughout his own career, he has refused to adhere to a specific genre or scene — although he has developed a reputation for crafting organic instrumentation and arrangements with disco and house music, and for a deliberate, careful attention to melody. And as a result, Gomes has remixed the work of Cut Copy, Sebastien Teller, Two Door Cinema Club and a lengthy list of others, as well as collaborated with Peaches for a disco rework of “Maniac.” Along with his frequent collaborator and guitarist in his backing band Bruno Cadoso, best known as Xinobi, Gomes co-founded the Discotexas imprint and the The Discotexas Band, the label’s house band, which features Gomes, Xinobi and Luis Calçada.
Hypersex, Gomes’ third Moullinex album is slated for release later this fall, and the album is reportedly a collective love letter to club culture, celebrating its inclusion and acceptance of difference. And the album’s latest single “Work It Out” is a swaggering bit of 80s-inspired synth funk that draws from Rick James, Cameo, Prince, Cherelle and others that features Azari & III’s Fritz Helder — and much like the artists that influenced them, the collaboration between the two consists of a sultry and sweaty yet funky groove and punchily delivered lyrics; but interestingly enough much like Boulevard’s “Got To Go,” the song is a celebratory kiss off, when you’ve finally gotten sick of someone’s bullshit and want them to just get out of your face. 

Directed by João Pedro Vale and Nuno Alexandre Ferreira follows a coolly, self-assured woman with an enormous phallic-shaped cannon through the streets of Munich that’s presented like a series of Instagram photos stitched together. 

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New Video: The Psychedelic-Tinged Visuals for DBFC’s Anthemic and Urgent Track “The Ride”

Over the past 15-18 months or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the Paris-based electronic music and production duo DBFC. Now as you may recall, the duo, comprised of Manchester, UK-born, Paris-based David Shaw and Paris-born and-based Dombrance, the duo emerged onto the French electronic music scene with the release of a handful of singles during 2015-2017 through renowned indie label Her Majesty’s Ship Records — including “Autonomic,”a track that channelled  Kraftwerk’s “The Man Machine,” and  Primal Scream‘s “Autobahn 66” — but with a trippy, hallucinogenic vibe.

Along with that, you’d also likely remember that the duo, building upon a growing national and international profile through that same batch of early singles,  released their full-length debut Jenks earlier this year through Different Recordings/[PIAS] Recordings. Unsurprisingly, the album’s last two singles, “Sinner” and album title track “Jenks” further cemented the duo’s reputation for pairing slick, dance floor-friendly electronic production with live, organic instrumentation in a way that nods at the classic Manchester sound of Primal Scream, New Order and others but while possessing a larger, universal theme — that sweaty clubs, strobe light and a propulsive grove can indeed change your life for the better. 

Jenks’ latest single “The Ride” finds the band meshing the classic Manchester sound of singles like “Jenks” and “Sinner” with the tight motorik grooves of Kraftwerk and others; in fact, when I first heard “The Ride,” I immediately thought of Primal Scream’s “Autobahn 66” and The Chemical Brothers’ “Star Sitar” — but underneath the slick, dance floor friendly sound is a song, much like its predecessors, that comes from a series of extensive jam sessions, and as a result, it possesses a loose yet immediate “you were there in the studio” vibe. Of course, along with that the single echoes many of the themes on the album — in this case, a swooning romantic and unbridled sense of possibility, making it one of the more upbeat songs the duo has ever released.

The recently released visuals for “The Ride” employs a relatively simple concept — the members of DBFC performing the song in a small rehearsal room with their instruments and their electronic gear in front of a wild and dizzying array of colored strobe light, extreme close ups of the musicians performing their hearts out, and rapid fire cuts. And while capturing the immediacy of the song, the video’s directors MDS-HMS employ the colored lights to create a strong visual identity — “visualised here as a rainbow tornado.” 

New Video: In The Valley Below Releases the Surreal Yet Symbolic Visuals for Rousingly Anthemic, New Single “Bloodhands (Oh My Fever)”

With the release of their full-length debut The Belt, which spawned the viral hit single “Peaches,” In The Valley Below,  the husband and wife duo Angela Gail and Jeffrey Jacob first received international attention — including “Peaches” debut on BBC Radio 1, as well as commercial success in Germany and France, with the song topping the French Alternative Charts. A year or so after the release of The Belt, Gail and Jacob received national attention with “Peaches” becoming a staple of American alternative radio, which lead to appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and Conan. Adding to a growing profile, the duo went on a relentless touring schedule across both the European Union and the US that included sets at Reading Festival, Leeds Festival, Austin City Limits, Rock En Seine and others, which has resulted in a growing international fan base that has been clamoring for new material from the duo. Considering that the duo effortlessly meshes elements of art rock, synth pop, the blues, arena rock and more in a way that’s reminiscent of JOVM mainstays Smoke Season, it shouldn’t be surprising that Gail and Jacob have seen such rapid critical and commercial success.

The husband and wife duo’s latest EP, Elephant was released last month, and the effort was recorded in the basement studio of the 93-year old home the couple purchased upon relocating from Los Angeles to Grand Rapids, MI. Interestingly enough, the EP reportedly consists of some of the duo’s most personal, ambitious and politically-charged material they’ve written do date; in fact, Elephant’s first single “Bloodhands (Oh My Fever)” was inspired by the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO and its immediate aftermath. “All the uprising happening in Ferguson was powerful,” the duo explain. “Sad, angry and feeling helpless, we sang about it. It’s our way of keeping the issue alive. Racism is real, we don’t know how to stop it, but we can make people think about it.” And while being a rousingly, anthemic and ambitious song — a song that feels and sounds both arena rock and radio friendly — its an earnest plea to the listener that there’s much work to be done to make our a world a fairer place, where all lives, whether Black, Asian, Latino, First Nation, Trans, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Gender Nonconforming, etc. will actually matter. The song’s coda, which features a local gospel choir led by Debra L. Perry, adds to the song’s enormous sound, while adding a deeper emotional wallop to the proceedings. 

Directed by the band’s Angela Gail and Chris Johnson, the recently released visuals for “Bloodhands (Oh My Fever)” possess a nightmarish, fever dream-like quality that symbolically touches upon race, sexuality, religion while reminding the viewer that ultimately our fates and the fate of the world as we know it will lie solely in the hands of our children. 

New Video: Alt Rock All Star Act Filthy Friends Return with Ironic Visuals for Rousing Anti-Trump Anthem “Despierta”

Earlier this summer, I wrote about Filthy Friends, an act that’s both a side project and free-flowing collaboration between likeminded, long-time friends, who also happen to be among some of the most accomplished and influential musicians of the past 30+ years — with the band featuring Corin Tucker, best known as being a founding member and frontwoman of Sleater-Kinney and Heavens to Betsy; Kurt Bloch (guitar), best known as the frontman of renowned Seattle-based punk band The Fastbacks, and producer, who has mentored some of the area’s up-and-coming bands; Bill Rieflin (drums), who’s known for being a member of legendary prog rock act King Crimson; Scott McCaughey (bass), a studio musician, who’s also known for being a member of Fresh Young Fellows; and last but certainly not least, Peter Buck (guitar), who was a founding member of R.E.M. 

“The Arrival,” the second single off the band’s forthcoming debut effort Invitation may arguably be one of the more straightforward, glam rock and alt rock-channeling single, as it featured a roomy arrangement consisting of bristling and chugging power chords and a rousingly anthemic hook paired with Tucker’s imitable vocals — and in my mind, the single should remind fans of each of those acts that these old timers can still kick ass, and as a result, the song possesses the cool, self-assured swagger of old pros, who can make it seem far easier than what it really is. Now, you may recall that the band released  “Despierta,” a song that they contributed to the anti-Trump protest compilation 30 Songs For 30 Days and a Record Store Day release featuring “Any Kind of Crowd” and a cover of Roxy Music‘s “Editions of You.” As far as “Despierta,” it shouldn’t be surprising why the members of Filthy Friends felt it was a perfect addition to the anti-Trump compilation, as  the song has a relevant sociopolitical message — the song pretty much tells the listener that it’s time for new ideas and a new way of doing things, that it’s young people’s time to get to work on getting a bunch of fucked up shit right. And much like “The Arrival,” the members of the All-Star act pair that message around power chords and an anthemic hook.

Directed by Megan Hattie Stahl, the recently released music video employs a relatively simple yet funny concept: a bunch of young people, who are desperately trying to catch their new favorite band but with a It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World-like zaniness but it ends with a bitter irony — the one person, who actually makes it, misses the band, making his effort seem pointless. 

New Video: Britney Spears, Boy George, and Nicki Minaj in Auditioning for a Gig in New Visuals for Hook Laden, New Track by Up-and-Coming Leeds-based Electro Pop Duo Krrum

Earlier this year, I wrote about the up-an-coming Leeds, UK-based, indie electro pop production and artist duo KRRUM. Comprised of Derbyshire, UK-born Leeds, UK-based producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex, who grew up on punk rock and ska and Leeds-born and-based singer/songwriter Harrison, who’s largely influenced by Bon Iver, Radiohead and Thom Yorke. And as you may recall, the duo can trace they their origins to when they met while studying at Leeds School of Music. Within a relatively short period of time, the duo has seen both commercial and critical success — the duo has  had singles land at number 1 on Spotify’s Viral Chart, Hype Machine and Shazam, received regular airplay on BBC Radio 1 and Beats 1, collaborated with with salute and Lao Ra, and have performed at last year’s Pitchfork Paris Festival.

“Moon,” the Leeds-based duo’s first single of the year, found the duo pairing a club banging production featuring enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, stuttering and glitchy electronics, a soaring hook, chopped up and distorted vocal samples with Harrison’s plaintive and soulful vocals giving the song a thoughtful, fatalistic sort of introspection; that shouldn’t be surprising as the song “deals with the ritual of wanting to pursue a relationship withs someone, but not wanting to jump the gun and ruin it. It’s an uncomfortable place to be because you have no control and you’re probably gonna mess it all up, like you always do.” 

Interestingly enough, the duo’s first single “Evil Twin” was their first single and although it caught on virally, the duo reworked and fleshed out the song in a way that makes them feel as though the song is finally completed; in fact, the song features a production consisting of a cinematic, looped horn arrangement, a chopped up, soulful, house music-like vocal sample, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and Harrison’s vocal taking on a gravelly ache. And while the song is rooted upon a  swaggering hook, it possesses an underlying aching uncertainty — the sort of uncertainty of someone who’s swaying between a good life, and a life of sin and vice. Sonically, the track manages to further cement their reputation for crafting hook-laden pop but while gently pushing their sound in an avant-garde leaning direction while remaining playfully accessible. 
As the band’s Alex explains of the song, the song toys “with the duality of wanting to be healthy, productive and find some long-term stability, but wanting to throw all of that away and indulge your vices. Individually, they are comforting but they are always competing with each other to come out.”

Directed by Camille Summers-Valli, the video as the duo’s Alex notes is a strange realization of the competition between one’s good, healthy side and one’s vice-loving, trouble-seeking side, as it stars Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Boy George and Michael Jackson lookalikes auditioning for a gig for Krrum’s lead producer and co-vocalist Alex, who appears both unimpressed and confused. Interestingly, the visuals give these world famous superstars a desperate and ridiculous humanity, as they’re auditioning for a role they don’t fit for. 
 

New Video: Masta Killa Boy Backs and Moe Rocc Take Over the Streets and the Club in New Visuals for “OGs Told Me”

Jamel Ireif (born Elgin Turner) is a East New York, Brooklyn-born emcee, best known to hip-hop heads and Wu-Tang Clan fans as Masta Killa. And although he was the last member to join the original lineup and was initially considered as one of the lesser-known and unheralded members of the Wu — he was only featured on one track of their seminal debut effort, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) — over the years, he has developed a reputation as being one of the more prolific members of the group, contributing quite a bit on Clan group albums and solo projects since the mid 1990s.  Interestingly enough, Masta Killa is also the last original member to go solo but he’s managed to release three critically applauded albums — 2004’s No Said Date, 2006’s Made in Brooklyn and 2012’s Selling My Soul.

Masta Killa’s highly-anticipated fourth full-length album Loyalty Is Royalty is slated for release this fall, and the album finds the acclaimed emcee teaming up with a virtual who’s who of dope emcees and producers, as the album’s fist single “Therapy” featured guest spots from Method Man and Redman. Loyalty Is Royalty‘s second and latest single “OGs Told Me” finds Masta Killa teaming up with Ram Squad’s MC Boy Backs and Harlem-based Wu-Tang associate Moe Roc as they rhyme about showing love to the older heads, who took them under their wings, gave them advice, love and support over a soulful and nostalgic-tinged Dame Grease production featuring a looped sample of staccato key bursts paired with tweeter and woofer rocking beats. The track is a certified banger, but with a truly adult perspective, as it suggests an obvious truth that many of us don’t want to face — time is rushing before us, and suddenly you’ll find yourself being one of those old heads, taking some young cat under your wing. Along with that, it also suggest that you can’t forget about the older cats, who are still rocking mics and live shows, and perhaps some of these younger guys should learn something from them.

Directed by Jeff Pliskin, the video follows Masta Killa, Boy Backs, Moe Rocc, Dame Grease, and members of the extended Wu Tang Clan hanging out on the streets and in the club, and in many ways the video serves to remind the viewer that the older heads still have it and still rock the streets as hard as they did when they were younger, while also being a co-sign to the younger heads.

New Video: An Intimate Portrait of Life on the Road with The Head and the Heart in New Visuals for “City of Angels”

Currently comprised of founding member Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion), Matt Geravis, Charity Rose Thielen (violin, guitar, vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (keys) and Tyler Williams (drums), the Seattle, WA-based indie folk/indie rock act The Head and the Heart can trace their origins to a series of open mic nights at Conor Byrne Pub back in 2009. At the time Russell, who had relocated from Richmond, VA and the band’s other founding member Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion), who had relocated from Southern California were relatively recent transplants. Russell and Johnson met Hensley, who also was a relatively recent transplant, who had relocated the previous year to pursue film score writing. Thielen, was the next member to join, and she had recently returned from a year abroad studying in Paris. Williams had been a member of Richmond, VA-based band Prabir and The Substitutes, but after Russell sent him a demo of “Down In The Valley,” Williams quickly relocated to Seattle to join the new band. The last member of the original line, Zasche was a bartender at the Conor Byrne and was member of Seattle-based bands The Maldives and Grand Hallway. Interestingly enough, as Johnson explained the band’s name came from an relatable situation in which “Your head is telling you to be stable and find a good job, you know in your heart that this [the band] is what you’re supposed to do, even if it’s crazy.” 

Since their formation the band has released three full-length albums — 2010’s self-titled and initially self-released debut (which later caught the attention of Sub Pop Records, who re-issued it), 2013’s Let’s Be Still and 2016’s major label debut, Signs of Light with each record seeing greater attention and the band building a growing profile; they’ve opened for Vampire Weekend, The Walkmen, Dr. Dog, Dave Matthews, The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie and Tom Petty and Heartbreakers among a lengthening list of acclaimed acts. Along with that, the band has seen quite a bit of critical and commercial success — their self-tiled debut reached #110 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 10 weeks with  Let’s Be Still landed at #10 on the Billboard 200 and each album has been well received to boot. 

2017 may be arguably be one of the bigger years in the band’s history as they’ve played the historic Newport Folk Festival and Coachella, and are in the middle of an extensive tour that includes stops at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Lollapalooza and a bunch of other stops. (Check out the tour dates below.)  In the meantime, the band’s latest single “City of Angels” will further cement the band’s growing reputation for a sound that  simultaneously nods at 70s era Fleetwood Mac, 60s psych folk and pop, arena rock and contemporary indie rock, but with a swooning earnestness; after all, their latest single like all of the preceding singles is written from a sincere place; in this case, a bittersweet longing for a home you’ve left some time ago — but underneath there’s a growing sense that you may never be able to come home again. 

The recently released video was directed by Claire Marie Vogel, and its an charming and  intimate, fly-on-the-wall like portrait of the band that captures them in a variety of moments both big and small. As the director says in press notes, “When The Head And The Heart asked me to join them on the road to make a video for ‘City of Angels,’ there were many moments, big and small, that made it a trip of a lifetime. Record store shopping in a thunderstorm, backstage birthday parties, a summer ski lift through Catskills mountains, all night bonfires on a California beach, surprise songs in a Charlottesville bar, mini golf beside a river. It was a thrill to be a welcomed fly on the wall and treated as one of the gang. I knew ending the trip at the Monterey Pop Festival would be special, but when we found ourselves in a charmingly odd practice room – the band rehearsing with Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and Lou Adler, a founder of the festival throwing his two cents in on their arrangement — it felt utterly surreal.”

New Video: Break Out From the Banality of the 9-5 World with the Visuals for Wild Honey’s “Break Away”

Comprised of Thom Moore (vocals, guitar), Adam Della-Grota (guitar), Sam Barron (bass, keys), Jackson Love (keys, vocals) and Thomas Eagleton (drums, vocals), the Sydney, Australia-based indie rock quintet Wild Honey quickly emerged with their self-titled debut EP, an effort that was written and recorded by Moore almost entirely in his bedroom and featured lead single “Eye To Eye.” “Eye To Eye” wound up becoming one of the most played songs by an Australian artist on Triple J during the summer of 2015-2016 — and as a result, the band found themselves opening for the likes of several national and internationally recognized bands including The Delta Riggs, The Belligerents, Hinds and Twin Peaks.

Building upon a rapidly growing national profile, the Sydney-based indie rock quintet went into the studio to record their forthcoming, Jack Mofitt-produced, full-length debut album, and the album’s first single “Break Away,” serves as an anthemic call to arms for anyone, who feels like they’re going through the motions. Interestingly, the song finds the band effortlessly meshing classic alt rock, Brit Pop and contemporary indie rock as the song features jangling guitars, an anthemic hook consisting of enormous, arena rock friendly power chords and an earnest call to go out and work your ass off to make your dreams happen — and that there’s more to life than struggling to cover the rent and your bills while working a shitty 9 to 5.

Directed by Kansas Smeaton and Keane, the recently released video, echoes the song’s aspirational message and tone as it follows a dissatisfied and hopelessly bored advertising executive, who in a fit of frustration figuratively and literally breaks out of his boredom — and probably loses his job in an awesome, “take this fucking job and shove it moment.” 

New Video: Hannah Williams and The Affirmations Return with the Achingly Devastating Visuals for “Late Night and Heartbreak”

Hannah Williams is a Bristol, UK-born and based singer/songwriter and soul artist, who can trace the origins of her own musical career to growing up in an extremely musical family; Williams’ father was a musician and minister at the local church, and her mother, recognizing that she had some talent, allowed Williams to join the church choir when she was 6. Unsurprisingly, like a a lot intensely musical homes, Williams learned how to read music before she could actually read words. 

With the release of her 2012 full-length debut Hill of Feathers, Williams exploded into the both national and international scenes, thanks in part to the success of album single “Work It Out,” which received attention across the blogosphere and airplay on radio stations across the US, Australia and the European Union; in fact, at one point, “Work It Out” was the most downloaded song in Greece, and according to her label, Record Kicks Records, the video has — as of this point — received over 1.5 million plays on YouTube. Adding to a growing international profile, Williams has played sets at some of Europe’s biggest festivals including Shambala Festival, Valley Fest, Wilderness Festival, Cambridge Jazz Festival and Larmer Tree Festival,as well as some of Europe’s well-known clubs including Hamburg, Germany‘s Mojo; Manchester, UK’s Band on the Wall; Camden, UK‘s Jazz Cafe and others with the likes of  Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, Cat Power, and Charles Bradley. 

Williams’ sophomore effort Late Nights and Heartbreak, which was produced by  The Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto, and marked both the first time Williams has worked with Catto, as well as the first recorded output with her backing band, the Bristol-based soul unit, The Affirmations, comprised of James Graham (organ, piano and Wurlitzer), Adam Holgate (guitar), Adam Newton (bass), Jai Widdowson-Jones (drums), Nicholas Malcolm (trumper), Liam Treasure (trombone), Victoria Klewin (baritone saxophone) and Hannah Nicholson (backing vocals). And as you may recall, the album, which featured singles like the fierce, Dusty Springfield-like torch song “Tame in the Water” and psychedelic soul rendition of “Dazed and Confused” that managed to draw from equally from the original version written by Jake Holmes, Led Zeppelin’s legendary cover and The Temptations’ “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” as well as some of the most personal and heartfelt material I came across last year, was one of my favorite albums in 2016, decidedly taking the top spot on last year’s Best of List. 

Recently, the Bristol-born and-based soul artist and her backing band have received greater international attention after renowned, smash hit producer NO I.D. convinced Jay-Z to use the hook of album title track “Late Nights and Heartbreak” for the superstar artist’s album title track “4:44,” making his track a personal statement of his infidelity in response to Beyonce’s Lemonade. Of course, as you hear on Williams’ “Late Night and Heartbreak,” the song focuses on infidelity but also on the narrator’s crippling and confounding inability to figure out their own desires, their fears of vulnerability and heartbreak and their deception both to themselves and their partner. But at the core of the song is something that the song’s narrator and the most people don’t want to readily admit — that it’s difficult to face yourself  and your own life with the sort of unflinching honesty that you may have for others. And as a result of the song coming from a deeply personal and lived-in place,  it packs an unexpected and devastating wallop, especially if you’ve been on either side of a troubled, deception-filled relationship. 

Directed by Nick Donnelly, who has worked on videos for the Wu-Tang Clan, Martha Reeves and Akala and DJ Khaled, the recently released video for “Late Nights and Heartbreak” was filmed in Williams’ hometown and focuses on the sort of deeply troubled relationship at the heart of the song. As Williams explained to Complex, the video “depicts the realisation that sometimes the most burning love is for ones’ own passion, and when a human relationship gets in the way it will lead to heartbreak.”