Category: Video Review

New Video: The Early Rock and Blues Sounds of Hamilton, Ontario’s Terra Lightfoot

Lightfoot’s sophomore effort Every Time My Mind Runs Wild was released earlier this year through Sonic Unyon Records and as you’ll hear from the album’s bluesy and early rock sounding latest single “All Alone,” the material explodes with a visceral, heartfelt urgency –and that shouldn’t be surprising as thematically the album focuses on the universal (and classic) themes of love, lust, loneliness and temptation; but perhaps more importantly, the album reveals a singer/songwriter, who has grown exponentially. As the Canadian singer/songwriter notes in press notes, she spent time refining, revising and experimenting with her songwriting approach and listening to tons of vintage pop and rock albums from where she picked up on and mastered old-school techniques and concepts — i.e., tonic chords and middle eights — while crafting tighter hooks. Sonically speaking “All Alone” is reminiscent of a bluesy and muscular version of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and “Walkin’ After Midnight,”complete with the same heartache at its core paired with Lightfoot’s effortlessly soulful and bluesy powerhouse vocal range. Every single time I’ve heard the single I’ve been blown away by Lightfoot’s vocals and by the ache and resolve they express — frequently within the turn of a phrase.

The recently released music video employs a rather simple concept. Shot while Lightfoot was on tour in the UK, the video features the Canadian singer/songwriter wandering around the Scottish highlands with her guitar, singing the song. A beautiful voice paired with some of the most beautiful scenery you can come across — that works. As the Hamilton, ON-based singer songwriter says about the video “We visited a hidden beach, a cemetery, a bog full of petrified wood, a castle, and finally a dreamy waterfall . . . The Scottish highlands will always hold a piece of my heart and I’m so glad we were able to capture that sense of awe on film.”

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New Video: Orkesta Mendoza Returns with a Playfully Psychedelic Take on Cumbia

Now, as you may remember “Caramelos,” featuring Salvador Duran was the first single off the collective’s recently released album ¡Vamos A Guarachar!, and unsurprisingly the single managed to capture the act’s signature, genre mashing style –enormous tweeter and woofer rocking beats and synths, organ, twangy pedal steel guitar, a bit of mariachi, a bit of mambo, a bit of cumbia, a bit of flamenco, a bit of this and a bit of that are employed in a stomping dance floor-friendly song that manages to be familiar and alien and mischievously difficult to pigeonhole. And much like the work of a newer JOVM mainstay like El Dusty, this particular track should remind listeners and readers that arguably some of the most sonically inventive club banging music is coming from those who grew up in close proximity to the American-Mexican border.

The album’s latest single “Cumbia Volcadora” is a collaboration with renowned Mexican electronic music pioneer Camilo Lara is a swaggering, riotous and subtly modern take on the classic cumbia sound that kind of nods at Rob Base’s and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two” thanks to a series of distorted vocal samples, El-Dusty’s “Cumbia Anthem” but with a psychedelic flair — and paired with a band playing one of the funkiest and tightest grooves I’ve heard in recent memory.

As for the recently released video is a wild visual collage of styles including animation, black and white footage of dancer dancing to the song, people wandering around and purchasing goods at a local market and of the band playing but superimposed with cartoon drawn masks, as well as homages to old movie posters and record art. And in some way it emphasizes the psychedelic nature of the song.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Tobacco Returns with Another Abrasive Yet Anthemic Bit of Electro Pop with Surreal Visuals

Sweatbox Dynasty, the long-awaited follow-up to Ultima II Massage was released earlier this year and you may remember that I wrote about Sweatbox Dynasty’s first two singles “Gods In Heat,” and “Human Om” and while furthering his burgeoning reputation for scuzzy and abrasive electronic music; however, just underneath the murky surface of both singles, there’s a breezy and dreamy melodicism that adds a strange sense of calm, as well as a darkly mischievous sense of humor. And the album’s third and latest single “Dimensional Hum” continues on a similar vein as the album’s preceding singles as a gorgeously, twinkling synth melody floats over layers of buzzing and grinding synths while vocals fed through vocoders and distortion slash and burn through some of the muck and grime.

Adding to the grimy, almost low-budget feel of the song, the recently released music video follows an escaped prisoner as he skareboards to freedom with a cheap, Halloween-themed wig as a disguise.

New Video: Indie Rock, All-Star Side-Project’s Orchestral Interpretation of Their Noisy, Debut Material

While expanding upon the sound of their most famous primary projects, the band finds each member of the band sonically pushing themselves and crossing as many creative barriers as possible. Interestingly, the project’s soon-to-be released effort, Orchestral Variations is an album of orchestral and instrumental interpretations of the material off Minor Victories’ debut album. The concept, as the band’s Justin Lockey explained to the folks at VICE THUMP began with Lockey “fucking around” but as he progressed, it felt increasingly valid because it presented the songs and harmonies in a completely different light — revealing a stunning beauty underneath the vitriol. In press note Lockey explains that Orchestral Variations’ latest single “Give Up The Ghost” is an orchestral arrangement on the original song. On the full band album, the song begins with an enormous bit of fuzz and vitriol; however, the Orchestral Variation version has Lockey stripping the arrangement down to Rachel Goswell’s vocal melody, which was buried underneath layers of guitar tracks and arena rock-like drums. “In the end, I started with marimbas . . why? Because everyone loves a marimba (if not, they ought to). I guess from my part, it’s a huge nod to Steve Reich, with some melodramatic strings woven in for good measure.” And the result, is gorgeous and soaring and melodramatic composition that sounds as though it should be part of a movie soundtrack while capturing the mood of harried commuters rushing to and fro.

Interestingly, as Lockey explains in press notes, the video was shot by his brother James while they had a day off in Berlin and it features an incredibly simple concept — the band’s Rachel Goswell riding the Berlin metro with enormous headphones on, sitting next to her fellow commuters. And as the train travels you see the Goswell and her fellow commuters sitting next to her, lost in their thoughts and daydreaming; at points the motion of the train or the length of their day has someone close their eyes and nod off; at other points, people get off at their various stops; people and train stops rush by. If it wasn’t so relatively clean, it would look and feel as though you were riding the subway in New York.

New Video: Tokyo, Japan’s LITE and Their Funky Take on Prog Rock

Comprised of Nobuyuki Takeda (guitar), Kozo Kusumoto (guitar / synthesizer), Jun Ozawa (bass) and Akinori Yamamoto (drums), the Tokyo, Japan-based instrumental rock band LITE have over their 14 years together and four full-length albums and six EPs developed both a national and international profile for mischievously playful and complex compositions featuring edgy riffs, complex rhythms and a prog rock and math rock-leaning sensibility, a well-regarded live show and a relentless touring schedule across the US, Europe and Asia. And with “-D,” the first single off the Japanese quartet’s fifth full-length and second proper Stateside release Cubic, the band has released a composition that playfully bridges funk, jazz, prog rock and hip-hop as angular guitar chords are paired with a regular yet ethereal horn line from trumpeter Tabu Zombie, a sinuous bass line and old school-like breakbeats which hold together a composition featuring three distinct yet incredibly funky sections together. Sonically, I’m reminded of the Josh Roseman Unit‘s Treats for the Nightwalker (in particular, their rendition of Burt Bacharach‘s “Long Day, Short Night,” which Dionne Warwick sung) and of a contemporary batch of Afrobeat and Afro-pop inspired acts that includes Superhuman Happiness (think of “Half-Step Grind” off their excellent Hands) and others.

Cubic is slated for a release through Topshelf Records on Friday and the Japanese quartet will be touring to support and build up buzz for the album with a handful of West Coast tour dates, which you can check out below. And interestingly, as the band was in the middle of seven date West Coast tour, they released an official music video comprised of the band performing the song in a studio in front of alternating colored lights — and in some way it gives a sense of what their live show would be like.

New Video: The Sultry and Classic Soul Sound of Bristol’s Hannah Williams and The Affirmations

Produced by The Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto, who has produced Mulatu Astatke, Orlando Julius and the iconoclastic author/auteur/film producer/actor/musician Melvin van Peebles, and collaborated with Floating Points, Quantic, DJ Shadow and Madlib, Williams’ much-anticipated sophomore effort was recorded, mixed and mastered to tape at London’s Quatermass Studios, Williams’s highly-anticipated sophomore full-lenth effort Late Nights and Heartbreak will be released Stateside and elsewhere on Friday through Record Kicks Records. Interestingly enough the effort not only marks the first time Williams has worked with Catto, it also marks the first recorded effort with her new backing band, the Bristol, UK-based The Affirmations — and from the material I’ve heard off the album, the band 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) are not just an incredibly tight unit, but they can give the world-famous Daptone Records bands a run for their money.

The album’s first single “Tame in the Water” has Williams and The Affirmations pairing her incredibly soulful vocals with a tight and funky groove, shuffling drumming, twinkling keys, shimmering guitar chords and a bold horn line to create a sultry, mid-tempo torch song with a narrator, who has had enough of her lover’s shit and wants out, knowing that she deserved and still deserves much better — all while sounding as though it could have been released in 1964 or so. And in some way, the song nods a bit at Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man” but with a visceral sense of heartbreak that’s devastating.

The charmingly goofy music video follows the relationship between Williams and a anthropomorphic rabbit, who she discovers is a no-good, cheating, irresponsible lout, which follows the song’s narrative. And towards the end we see an extremely pissed Williams packing her stuff and calling a friend to give her a ride while her former lover gets sloshed — and then kicked out of a bar.

The album’s second single is an amazing, mind-blowing psychedelic soul rendition of “Dazed and Confused” that draws equally from the original version written by Jake Holmes, Led Zeppelin’s legendary cover and The Temptations’ “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” — but with a swaggering, self-assuredness. And from both singles a few things are apparent: Hannah Williams can fucking sing her heart out — and I can guarantee that you will be hearing about her and the Affirmations for quite some time; the chemistry and simpatico between Williams and the Affirmations is undeniable, as they’ve created some of the tightest and funkiest music of their young careers.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Nots Captures Our Current Dread and Unease

Cosmetic’s third and latest single “Inherently Low” is presciently and strangely fitting for our increasingly surreal times while continuing with the album’s overall theme. Sonically, the band pairs angular guitar and bass chords, propulsive drumming and shouted lyrics — and the end result is a song that evokes creeping dread and unease and while boldly and furiously calling out hypocritical bullshit. Simply put it’s a song with a narrator that simply has stopped giving a fuck.

The recently released video was created and edited by the band’s Natalie Hoffman and was influenced by the results of last week’s Presidential Election. And as Hoffman explains in press notes “the tension and fear that came with the results certainly played a part in the visual outcome of the video. America has elected someone who has openly campaigned to keep us low. To keep us completely divided. To keep us at war. I don’t think that I (or anyone) can fully process the weight of what is to come, but this video is an attempt to translate both what the song is about, and how I’ve felt since the election results – a new awareness, anger, and fear about being kept inherently low.”

New Video: The Swooning and Psychedelic Visuals for Boys Noize’s Equally Swooning and Urgent Single “2 Live”

Mayday’s latest single “2 Live” is an ecstatic and swooning, club banger which features layers of cascading and twinkling synths, tweeter and woofer rocker bass drops, propulsive and insistent beats are paired with a swooning and anthemic hook to create what may arguably be one of the Berlin-based producer’s most euphoric and lovelorn songs to date. Interestingly, the recently released music video, which continues Ridha’s ongoing collaborations with LIL INTERNET and SUSBOY follows a young couple as they explore the outskirts of Mexico City in the near future — and while the couple is desperately in love, the video explores what can happen when song love and virtual reality are combined. Ultimately, the result is a video that’s psychedelic and yet urgent.

New Video: Up-and-Coming London-based Band The Severed Limb’s New Single and Video Reveal a Decided Change in Sonic Direction

Building upon the buzz they’ve received, the sextet recorded their latest single “Bela Lugosi” on two-inch tape at the all analog Chuckalumba Studios in Dorset, UK, and interestingly their latest single is a decided change in sonic direction as the band which once used accordions, washboards and acoustic guitars have taken up a 60s garage rock-leaning sound, complete with a shuffling swagger as the band pair angular guitar chords, twisting and turning organ chords, and a propulsive backbeat. As the band explains in press notes about their evolution. “We didn’t want to associated with bands at festivals, who wear waistcoats, so you mutate and survive.”

The recently released music video features footage of the band playing in front of cool lighting displays and cuts in between with classic and found footage from classic horror movies — some including a few movies that featured Bela Lugosi, himself.

New Video: The Psychedelic Visuals for Plague Vendor’s Punchy and Anthemic “ISUA”

Much like the material on Free to Eat, the material off their latest effort Blooddsweat is comprised of material that had been written, revised, road-tested, further revised and re-imagined before the members of the quarter went into the studio. Produced and engineered by Stuart Sikes, best known for his work with The Walkman, Cat Power and Modest Mouse, Sikes encouraged the band to embrace a minimalist production with each member aiming to capture each track, each note in as a few takes as humanly possible and with little to no overdubs. Ultimately, the intent was to have their recorded sound hew as closely as possible to their live sound. Interestingly, Bloodsweat thematically is inspired by the last couple of years of each bandmember’s life, and the dedication and sacrifices being a serious artist must make and how that’s influenced them as a band as people. And when you listen to tracks on the album, it’s evident that their sound has grown, it’s also evident that their sound is still subtly influenced by At the Drive-In, Liars, The Cramps and others.

The album’s first single “ISUA (I Stay Up Anyway)” is an anthemic and punchy bit of punk rock with a furiously insistent bass line and a forceful stomp — and it’s the sort of single you can practically picture concertgoers in a small, dark and sweaty room yelling aloud to with upraised beers.

The recently released video features footage of the band playing a live gig but set in wild, psychedelic negatives — that almost makes it seem like going to a Plague Vendor show would be a trippy experience.