Category: Video Review

New Video: The Vivid Animated Visuals for Rich Aucoin’s Swooning, New Single “The Middle”

Rich Aucoin is a Halifax, Nova Scotia-born and based electronic music artist and indie rock artist, known as a collaborator and guest musician of his older brother Paul Aucoin’s band Hylozoists — and as an attention grabbing solo artist. Aucoin’s 2007 debut effort, Personal Publication EP was conceptualized as an alternative soundtrack to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which he supported by going on a cross-Canada tour entirely by bicycle to raise money for Childhood Cancer Canada. After he completed his solo tour, he rejoined Hylozoists but during a sudden shift from regular exercise to virtually no exercise at all, the Halifax, Nova Scotia-based electronic music artist and musician suffered through an iron deficiency. But after recuperating, he went on another solo tour, running partial marathons between stops to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

During both of his early solo tours, Aucoin spent time writing and recording the material, which would comprise his 2011 full-length effort, We’re All Dying to Live, an album that featured over 500 guest musicians, including Sloan‘s Jay Ferguson, You Say Party‘s Becky Ninkovic, The Meligrove Band‘s Michael Small and Rae Spoon. The album was long-listed as a nominee for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, with the music video for “Brian Wilson is A.L.I.V.E.” winning a Prism Prize in 2013. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Aucoin released his critically applauded, 2014 effort Ephemeral. 

Slated for a March 16, 2018 release, Hold EP is Aucoin’s first batch of new, recorded material in over 4 years, and as you may recall the EP’s first single “Release” featured live drumming from Broken Social Scene’s Justin Peroff in a sprawling yet propulsive, club banger that draws from house music and boom-bap era hip-hop, centered around laws of arpeggiated synths. And while reminding me (to my ears, at least) of The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method and others — but underneath the club banging swagger, there’s a zen-like tranquility. The EP’s latest single “The Middle” is a cinematic yet dreamy and contemplative track that will immediately remind most listeners of M83, as it possesses soaring hook that evokes an earnest and swooning yearning. 

The recently released video by Meags Fitzgerald features hand drawn drawings, animation and live action in a way that emphasizes the both the themes and the lyrics of the song in a vivid fashion. 

New Audio: Up-and-Coming Los Angeles-based Shoegazers Modern Time Release PT Anderson-Inspired Visuals for Wistful New Single “High Noon”

With the release of their debut single “Dweeb,” which received airplay on KROQ 106.7FM and several other singles, the Los Angeles, CA-based shoegazer act Modern Time Machines, comprised of Ben Golomb, Justin Bond, Nadia Franks and Neil Johnson, have received attention for pairing dreamy boy/girl harmonies with feedback and distortion pedal effected guitars — while drawing comparisons to M83, Medicine, Sonic Youth and others. Adding to a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based shoegazers appeared on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show and will have some of their music featured in director Ashley York’s upcoming film So Help You God.

Modern Time Machines’ Josiah Mazzaschi-produced, sophomore effort MTM is slated for an April 6, 2018 release and will feature guest spots from Nightmare Air’s Dave Dupuis, Bell Gardens’ Kenneth James Gibson, that dog.’s Kaitlin Wolfberg and a remix from electronic music production and artist duo De Lux. “High Noon,” MTM’s latest single will further cement their growing reputation for pairing wistful, boy/girl harmonizing with layers of feedback drenched guitar chords, soaring hooks and four-on-the-floor drumming — and in some way, the track to my ear is reminiscent of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve.

Directed and edited by the band’s Ben Golomb, the recently released music video begins with the members of the band driving around Los Angeles on a gloriously sunny day, stopping to pick up instruments and band members before shifting to the band in their rehearsal room performing the  song. Throughout the video, there are reportedly over a dozen mischievously hidden Paul Thomas Anderson-related visual gags.

New Video: The Trippy and Sounds Visuals for Mint Field’s Expansive New Single “Quiero Otoño de Nuevo”

With the release of their debut EP Primeras Salidas, the Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico-based duo Mint Field, comprised of 21 year-olds Estrella Sanchez and Amor Amezcua, quickly received international attention that included sets at some of North America’s […]

New Video: Miles Francis Returns with Hypnotic and Sultry Visuals for New Single “Complex”

Miles Francis is a 26 year-old, New York-based multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, who may be one of the city’s most best kept and accomplished secrets; he’s best known for stints as a member of JOVM mainstays Superhuman Happiness, and Antibalas , as the frontman for sadly defunct, local Afrobeat/Afropop collective EMEFE, and as a working musician, he has collaborated and performed with an impressive array of artists including Mark Ronson, Sharon Jones, Amber Mark, Angelique Kidjo, Allen Toussaint, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Arcade Fire’s Will Butler and others. 
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year, you’d recall that the New York-based multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter released his glitchy and jerky debut single “You’re a Star,” which featured  propulsive polyrhythm and, 8 bit Nintendo-like synths wrapped around cooed vocals. And while the track finds Miles’ sound still drawing from the Afropop and Afrobeat that has been at the core of most of his work. but while nodding at Fear of Music and Remain in Light-era Talking Heads.

Building upon a growing profile as a solo artist, Miles Francis debut EP Swimmers is slated for a February 2, 2018 release. Written in the back of our vans and various hotel rooms while on the road and then recorded in his basement studio, the material reportedly captures the mood and vibe of someone in their early to mid 20s figuring out themselves, the extremely complicated and ambivalent world they’re confronting as adults, how they fit into that world, their purpose and the meaning of their own lives. As Miles Francis explains in press notes, “These five songs captured a raw time for me, when life seemed to be coming to a head. I made an effort not to touch or edit them too much once I had recorded them. I wanted to keep that intimacy in there,” he says. Interestingly, the EP’s first official single “Take It” featured a swaggering and self-assured arrangement featuring arpeggiated synths, a sinuous, funky bass line, boom bap-like drumming and an incredibly infectious hook; but despite that, the song’s narrator seemingly finds himself fighting through crippling self-doubt and uncertainty, which give step song a tense and conflicted vibe. 

The EP’s second and latest single “Complex” features a slowly strutting grove, gently undulating synths, a sinuous bass line, boom bap-like beats and a slow-burning, unexpected sultry hook — and much like his preceding singles, “Complex” will further cement the New York-based multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter’s growing reputation for crafting thoughtful, out of left field pop. 

The recently released video for “Complex” continues Miles Francis’ ongoing collaboration with director  Charles Billot features the New York-based multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter submerged underwater as plumes of colored smoke gently drift over him and the water, before he slowly pulls his head above water. Interestingly, the visuals manage to be dream-like while further emphasizing the song’s sultry and hypnotic quality. 

New Video: The Contemplative Visuals and Sounds of Faith Healer’s “& Waiting”

Initially begun as the solo recording project of its Edmonton-based creative mastermind, founding member, singer/songwriter and guitarist Jessica Jalbert, as a way to avoid and resist being pigeonholed as just a sensitive, singer/songwriter strumming a guitar, Faith Healer project expanded into a duo with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Remmy Wilson, who joined before the recording sessions for Jalbert’s sophomore Faith Healer effort (and first as a duo), Try ;-).  

As Jalbert has explained in press notes, the newly constituted duo’s recently released newest effort is a sonic and creative departure for her. “The last album had a lot of flowery ’60s flourishes. This time, we wanted to simplify it and just do some straight-ahead songs. Focus on the song itself rather than all of the production.” And although the material may seem effortless to the listener, the creative process which spawned it were according to Jalbert, rather intensive, as she and her bandmate spent time meticulous crafting the album’s material while focusing on plainspoken lyrics that focused on self-empowerment, depression and appreciating all the good in life; in fact, the album’s title was also deeply inspired by its creative process, and is a reminder that sometimes you need to be proactive and grab life by the horns rather than waiting for inspiration to strike.

Now, as you may recall, “Light of Loving,” Try ;-)’s first single featured a lush melody within an expansive, 60s psych rock-inspired song structure consisting of trippy and unexpected key and tone changes and a soaring hook — and while being relatively stripped down from its predecessor, the song manages to reveal some ambitious, arena rock meets psych rock-inspired songwriting that in some way reminds me of The Mallard‘s Finding Meaning in Deference and The Fire Tapes’ Phantoms. Interestingly, the album’s mellow yet jangling latest single is a subtle expansion of the sound they’ve developed on the album’s earliest single, as it finds them drawing a bit more from easy going, 70s AM rock, complete with a deeply introspective and sultry vibe. 

The recently released video further emphasizes the introspective nature of the song, as it features a simple concept, as we follow a brooding Jalbert on the beach, staring at the ocean, drinking wine from the bottle, waiting for something — or someone to happen. 

New Video: Soulive Returns With Soulful and Psychedelic Genre-Defying Composition from Forthcoming Film Soundtrack-Inspired EP

Consisting of Eric Krasno (guitar) and siblings Alan Evans (drums) and Neal Evans (Hammond B3 organ, bass keys, clavinet), the renowned genre-defying funk/jazz New York-based trio Soulive can trace their origins back to when the Evans Brothers began performing in a number of regionally known acts including the jam band Moon Boot Lover and a brief stint with rap act The Elements, which featured Edreys, a.k.a. Billy Drease Williams before they began looking to start a traditional jazz organ trio. And as the story goes, in March 1999, the Evans Brothers invited their high school pay Eric Krasno to jam and record some tracks with them at their home studio in Woodstock, NY, and those sessions wound up comprising their debut EP Get Down! 

Shortly after the release of Get Down! the newly formed band hit the road touring to support it. During that first tour, the trio recorded their full-length debut Turn It Out and the effort, which was released in 2000 through Velour Recordings featured and impressive array of guest musicians including renowned jazz guitarist John Scofield, multi-instrumentalist Oteil Burnbridge, best known for a lengthy stint in the Allman Brothers Band, and saxophonist Sam Kininger, who has collaborated with Lettuce, Dave Matthews Band and others. For an independent act, their full-length debut went on to sell over 65,000 copies, which quickly established the members of Soulive as one of contemporary jazz and funk’s most exciting, new acts. By the fall of 2000, Soulive had signed a record deal with Blue Note Records, with whom they released their sophomore effort Doin’ Something, which featured horn arrangements by the legendary Fred Wesley; their third, full-length album Next, which featured guest spots from Dave Matthews, Amel Larrieux, Talib Kweli and Black Thought. They also collaborated with singer/songwriter Goapele Mohlabane.
Building upon a growing profile, Soulive went on five national tours over the next three years, opening for The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, The Roots, Common, John Mayer and others, while making appearances at Monterey Jazz Festival and Bonaroo, as well as tours across Japan and the European Union; in fact, one of their Japanese tours wound up becoming their eponymous and highly acclaimed, self-titled live album, released in 2003. And before leaving Blue Note Records, the members of Soulive released the Turn It Out Remixed album, which featured Jurassic 5, DJ Spinna, DJ Krush, J-Live, Wordsworth and The Beatnuts.

2005’s Break Out, the New York-based jazz/funk act’s first album with new label Concord Music Group found the band experimenting with their sound and approach, as they eschewed extended and free-flowing jams for beat-driven instrumentals; but along with that, they collaborated with the legendary Chaka Khan, Ivan Neville, Living Colour’s Corey Glover, Robert Randolph and comedian and multi-instrumentalist Reggie Watts. 2006’s Stewart Lerman-produced No Place Like Soul featured Boston, MA-based reggae/soul artist Toussaint as their lead vocalist; however, after that tour the band decided to return to being a trio. In fact, 2009’s Up Here was something of a return to form for the band with the material mainly being instrumentals with the members of Soulive collaborated with The Shady Horns — the aforementioned Sam Kininger (alto sax) and Rashawn Ross (trumpet) — and Nigel Hall.

Now, I personally became familiar with Soulive with 2010’s Rubber Soulive, an effort that comprised of jazz and funk-inspired renditions of the Beatles catalog — and their annual multi-week residency Bowlive, which featured the band collaborating with an incredibly diverse and dynamic array of artists. Interestingly, the members of the band have been busy with their respective projects — in particular Soulive’s Eric Krasno has been with Lettuce, an increasing production load and his own solo work; however, the members of the band reconvened at Alan Evans’ Iron Wax Studios in late 2017 with a few loosely-sketched ideas and no overarching concept in mind, and began fleshing out ideas as a band. “We trust each other to bring our voices to each other’s ideas,” says Alan Evans, while Krasno adds, “I think Soulive creates our best material using that method.”

The end result is the trio’s long-awaited Cinematics, Vol. 1 EP, which the band will be releasing through their own label Soulive Music on February 23, 2018. Although it’s the first new material from the renowned act in over six years, as you’ll hear on the EP’s first single “Kings March,” Soulive further cements their reputation for a genre-defying sound — in this particular case, the composition draws from 60s funk, psych pop, psych rock, hip-hop and jazz and it finds the band doing so in a fashion reminiscent of El Michels Affair and Wu Tang Clan; but with an incredibly cinematic fashion, as though it could have been part of the soundtrack of a rainy, spy thriller set in Eastern Europe and Miami.

Reportedly, the cinematic quality of the music arose from the trio’s collective instincts writing and recording together. “We didn’t have to talk about anything,” Alan says. “It all unfolded as we were working on it; one song influences the direction of the next, and soon you find yourself going down this path. We want this music to take people on a little journey.” Adds, Eric Krasno, “A cinematic piece of music creates a mood. Film composers like Jerry Goldsmith, David Axelrod, Ennio Morricone and Melvin Van Peebles were all influential in the concept for Cinematics. The idea is to use soundscape and melodic interplay to enhance the feeling and sentiment of a visual and to amplify the emotion that it’s relating.”

The recently released video features rather black and white intimate footage of the band, along with some appropriately psychedelic imagery. 

New Video: The Swooning and Nostalgic Sounds and Visuals for Lake Jons’ “Call Me”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 5 or 6 months, you may recall that with the release of their first two EPs, Explore and Explode released in 2016, the up-and-coming Helsinki, Finland-based indie act Lake Jons quickly developed a reputation for  crating forward thinking material with a delicate and atmospheric sound, rooted around driving rhythms, delicate guitar progressions, lush vocals and incredibly hook driven songs that frequently found the act effortlessly blending elements of ambient electronica, lo-fi pop, psych pop, soul, and folk.

As the story goes, the Helsinki-based pop act retreated to a cabin deep in the Finnish forest to record their recently released self-titled debut album, and as a result the album’s material touches upon the introspection that comes about in severe isolation and a deep, quiet and almost mystical connection with the natural world, as well as existentialism and human relationships. Album singles such as  “Breathe Out The Fumes” reminded me of Caveman‘s Coco Beware, Fredrik‘s Flora with sleek, contemporary electro pop, while “Lake Family” was lush and percussive track that balanced a difficult tightrope of deliberate introspection and swooning euphoria, which gave the song a tense push and pull between nostalgia, regret, longing and devotion  — and those two singles further cemented their growing reputation for a sound that’s both warmly familiar and yet uniquely theirs.

“Call Me” manages to be even more euphoric as its immediate predecessor as it’s a swooning love song rooted around industrial clang and clatter, swirling electronics, jangling guitars, and a plaintive, aching melody — but as the recently released video, featuring old Super 8-styled film suggests, underneath the surface is bittersweet nostalgia over something that has long passed and the narrator can’t quite recapture in the same fashion.

New Video: Up-and-Coming Indie Rock Act Delivers an Ironic Take on Infomercials and Commercialism in Visuals for “TV”

Comprised of Grant Mullen (guitar, vocals), Gianni Aiello (bass, vocals) and Henry LaVallee (drums), the Seattle, WA-based indie rock/punk rock trio Naked Giants formed in 2014 and over the past few years they’ve become one of the Pacific Northwest’s best, up-and-coming bands, thanks in part to a sound that manages  draw from a wild array of disparate influences from punk rock, psych rock, post punk, garage punk and the individual band members own different influences and tastes with a brash, restless and explosive creativity and mosh pit worthy hooks as you’ll hear on “TV,” the latest single off their forthcoming, full-length debut SLUFF, which is slated for a March 30, 2018 release through New West Records.  

Adding to a growing profile, the members of Naked Giants have become members of renowned singer/songwriter Will Toledo and Car Seat Headrest’s backing sextet and will be supporting him both an opener and his backing band for his upcoming world tour, that will include a stop at this year’s SXSW. You can check out the tour dates below; but in the meantime, the recently released Sean Downey-produced video is an extensive and ironic take on informercials, and rampant commercialism. 

New Video: The Brooding and Intimate Black and White Visuals for Fufanu’s “Tokyo”

Last year was a breakthrough year for the Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu as their sophomore effort Sports received attention nationally and internationally, thanks in part to critically applauded album singles like album title track, Sports,” which retains the synth-driven sound of their debut A Few More Days to Go while nodding at Can, Neu!  Joy Division and early ’80s Peter Gabriel,  and the slow-burning and moody  “Liability” and “White Pebbles.” And if you were frequenting this site, you’d recall that the Icelandic trio ended a breakthrough year with the release of a previously unreleased album single “Top of the Queens,” which was recorded during the Sports sessions and didn’t make the cut. 

Building upon a growing national and international profile, the members of the Icelandic post-punk trio recruited photographer Jonatan Gretarsson to direct and shoot the striking visuals for the moody and atmospheric album single “Tokyo.” Nodding at the gorgeous black and white photography and video work of the legendary Anton Corbjin, and perfume commercials, the incredibly intimate  video features the members of the band in individual and group portraits and tight close ups — and while capturing these brooding young men, there’s an underlying sense of their vulnerability, frailty, and ultimately their own loneliness. And as result, it further emphasizes the brooding nature of the song.