Tag: lyric video

Lyric Video: Chennai’s The F16s Release a surreal and Dream-like Visual for Shimmering “I’m On Holiday”

The rising Chennai, India-based indie rock act The F16s — currently Abhinav Krishnaswamy (guitar), Harshan Radhakrishnan (keys), Joshua Fernandez (vocals, guitar) and Sashank Manohar (bass) — can trace their origins back to 2002 when its founding trio met while attending college. Over the better part of the past decade, the Chennai-based quartet have been busy: their debut EP Kaleidoscope caught the attention of Rolling Stone India, who listed them in their Artists to Watch For feature. 2016’s full-length debut Triggerpunkte was supported with touring across the Indian festival circuit, as well as a six city tour across Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Eventually, The F16s caught the attention of Oxford, MS-based indie label House Arrest, who signed the band and released 2019’s WKND FRNDS EP, an effort that won furhter attention internationally, as well as on this site.

Building upon a growing international profile, the band’s highly-anticipated follow-up to 2019’s WKND FRNDS, Is It Time To Eat The Rich Yet EP is slated for an October 22, 2021 release through House Arrest. Naturally, because of the myriad challenges of the pandemic’s impact in their homeland, their forthcoming EP was completed in a more DIY fashion than their previous released. Much like neighbors, friends, loved ones and countrymen, they experienced and survived some very dark days, but during the EP’s creative process, they oped to write music that was uplifting as a direct reaction to experiencing how a global pandemic needlessly compromised and devastated not only the lives of millions across India, but more personally their own. Through extended periods of economic uncertainty and a corresponding focus to develop and further hone their craft, the EP’s material explores alienation with lyrical wit in fact — “dancing to our doom,” as one band member frames it through pairing bright and sunny sonics with dark and uneasy lyrics. As the band sees it, the EP is essentially a joyful celebration of the human condition — under duress and desperation. And in desperate times, desperate people often find creative ways to make things work as best as they can.

Sonically and aesthetically, the EP reportedly sees the band pushing their sound to the furthest reaches of their influences. During lockdown, the members of The F16s moved in together to hole up and write and record the EP, bringing Harshan Radhakrishnan’s studio with them. They started each day of the EP’s production listening to Frank Sinatra and classic jazz tracks and throughout the day, they would listen to a varied mix of genres from psych rock to post-punk to trap with artists like Vince Staples and The Strokes on repeat. The eclectic listening habits wound up influencing the EP’s eclectic sound and aesthetic.

pop leaning indie rock, it also reflects the fact that we can no long remain oblivious to the social, environmental, economic, and political injustice that plague our world. It shouldn’t be surprising that the members of The F16s saw last year as a year for the “awakening of the oppressed,” especially in their native India, where the pandemic managed to further magnify the stark inequalities between the oppressed poor and working classes and the greed, negligence, incompetence of those in power. And as a result, the dreams of a “swimming pool and a yacht” on WKND FRNDS is completely shattered — and revealed to be vapid and silly.

Is It Time To Eat The Rich’s latest single is the is the swooning “I’m On Holiday.” Centered around twinkling synth arpeggios, shimmering guitars, a steady backbeat, layered multi-part harmonies , “I’m On Holiday” features elements of classic doo-wop, The Beach Boys, 80s synth pop and New Wave and 60s psych pop meshed together in a kaleidoscopic yet accessible fashion — while reminding listeners of their unerring knack for crafting an infectious, razor sharp hooks.

“‘I’m On Holiday’ can be construed as a classic case of denial and delusion behind familiar themes of love and tenderness,” the members of The F16s explain. “The track, like the rest of the EP was perfected during the first wave of the pandemic. In previous releases, WKND FRNDS and Triggerpunkte, the band enlisted outside help for mixing and post-production. The new single and EP had us shifting operations to Josh and Sashank’s place — we set up a makeshift studio to finish it, chopping and changing segments to our hearts content, while Harshan undertook the arduous task of mix engineer. The pandemic, in a way, forced us to work within our means and keep things in-house. It also permeated into our writing, as days passed with the four of us on our phones in different stages of doomscrolling, wondering when the light of respite would show up and bring us back to normalcy.”

Directed by The F16’s Sashank Manohar, the recently released surreal and dream-like lyric video for “I’m On Holiday” features The F16s and Mitra Vivesh. In the background, the band is on a picnic that goes horribly yet comically awry while the stunningly gorgeous Vivesh peacefully sits in the pool of water in the forefront. She’s completely unconcerned with whatever is going on in the background — until one of the band members walks up and grabs her hand.

“Circumstances persuaded us to look within once again while making the video. It began as a minimalist idea that gathered steam within minutes, snowballing into something executable overnight,” the Chennai-based quartet explains in press notes. “Sashank sat in the director’s chair as we sourced our own props and items of importance, while our friend Shantanu Krishnan took the plunge with us as cinematographer. Mitra, the star of the video joined us with zero hesitation, providing the audience with the much needed distraction from our unsightly mugs. The band made up the background, convening for a picnic that goes comically awry, an accurate yet exaggerated reflection of their dynamic. As one (Harshan) proceeds to make mincemeat out of another (Abhinav), a third (Sashank) breaks away from this cycle of antagonism, joining Mitra in the waters to sit serenely, unbothered by the melee.”

Lyric Video: Aussie-born, British-based Artist Jess Chalker Releases a Shimmering, 80s Pop-Inspired Single

Jess Chalker is a Sydney-born, London-based singer/songwriter and producer, who started her career as the frontwoman of Aussie New Wave duo We Are The Brave. Since We Are The Brave’s breakup, Chalker has developed a reputation as a highly sought-after collaborator, who has worked with Sam Fischer, Vintage Culture, Isamachine, Gold Kimono, and Passenger. Chalker was part of the the Grammy Award-winning songwriting and production team that cowrote Lisa Loeb’s lead single on the acclaimed artist’s kids record Feel What U Feel. And recently, the Aussie-born, British-based singer/songwriter and producer composed “Darkest Hour” for the Amazon Original series Panic, performed by Tate McRae.

Chalker steps out into the limelight as a solo artist with her full-length debut, Hemispheres. The album received funding from the Australia Council for the Arts and is slated for a November 5, 2021 release through her own imprint 528 Records. The album was completed under the weight of the pandemic, and as Chalker grappled with the loss of her day job and heartbreaking health issues simultaneously. Much like countless others across the globe, she found herself spiraling and she turned to music for the creative outlet she needed. Collaborating with friends across Sydney, Los Angeles and London, including Dan Long, Josh Humphreys and Chalker’s former We Are The Brave bandmate Ox Why, Chalker wound up finishing what would turn out to be a deeply emotional album. And interestingly enough, she managed to find much longed-for freedom in the process: “Releasing this album is terrifying and thrilling to me,” the Aussie-born, British-based artist says in press notes. “I grew up in a religion that discouraged us from pursuing career success, where women weren’t allowed on stage to address an audience directly. I think it’s why I’ve always tried to avoid the spotlight but, after the year we’ve all had, my perspective on things has changed quite a lot. I’m not wasting any more time doubting myself.”

Sonically, the album reportedly finds Chalker and her collaborators crafting material featuring guitar-driven hooks and retro synths paired with the Aussie-born, British-based artist’s expressive vocals. Thematically, the album deals with themes that explore the dichotomy between depression and hopefulness, self-doubt and self-love and more. Hemispheres’ third and latest single “Don’t Fight It” was cowritten by Chalker. Grammy Award-winning collaborator Rich Jacques and Martjin Tinus Konijnenburg and was co-produced across Los Angeles and London by Chalker and Jacques. “Don’t Fight It” is centered around glistening synth arpeggios, propulsive, reverb-drenched drums, Chalker’s expressive vocals and her unerring knack of crafting a razor sharp and accessible hook. And while sonically being deeply indebted to 80s synth pop with hints of Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Prince, the song is full of bittersweet longing and uncertainty while featuring a narrator who’s physically and emotionally lost and confused.

“There’s a bittersweetness to ‘Don’t Fight It’ that I love… It feels both joyful and sad to me,” Chalker explains in press notes. ““It was written at a time when I was going through some personal stuff, trying really hard to please everyone, not really knowing where I fit and becoming someone I wasn’t. In the end I really surrendered to that feeling of being lost, because acknowledging that made me realize I needed to change where I was going.”

The recently released animated lyric video for “Don’t Fight It” was directed by Thomas Calder and fittingly the visual is centered around 80s video game graphics paired with a noir-ish color palette and sensibility.

Lyric Video: JOVM Mainstays Nation of Language Releases a Woozy Ode to Heartbreak and Loss

Rising Brooklyn-based synth pop trio and JOVM mainstays Nation of Language — — Ian Richard Devaney (vocals, guitars, percussion), Aidan Noell (synth, vocals) and Michael Sue-Poi (bass) — can trace their origins back to 2016: Devaney and Sue-Poi were members off The Static Joys, a band that became largely inactive after the release of that band’s sophomore album. And as the story goes, Devaney was inspired to start a new project after hearing OMD‘s “Electricity,” a song he had listened to quite a bit while in his father’s car. 

nterestingly, what initially started out as Devaney fooling around on a keyboard eventually evolved to Nation of Language with the addition of Noell and Sue-Poi. Between 2016-2019, the Brooklyn-based synth pop trio released a handful of singles that helped to build up a fanbase locally and elsewhere.

Last year’s full-length debut, Introduction, Presence was released to critical praise, landing on the Best Albums of 2020 lists of Rough Trade, KEXP, Paste, Stereogum, Under The Radar and PopMatters. They capped off a massive 2020 with the A Different Kind of Light”/”Deliver Me From Wondering Why” 7 inch, which featured the A Flock of Seagulls and Simple Minds-like “Deliver Me From Wondering Why.” 

is slated for a November 5, 2021 release. Reportedly, the album’s material is deeply indebted to 70s Krautrock and electronic experimentalists, essentially pushing their sound towards a new direction. Last month, I wrote about A Way Forward’s first single, the Flock of Seagulls-like “Across That Fine Line,” a song that the band’s Ian Devaney explains “is a reflection on thant moment when a non-romantic relationship flips into something different. When the air in the room suddenly feels like it changes in an undefinable way. It’s kind of a celebration of that certain joyous panic, and the uncertainty that surfaces right after it.”

oozy song centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a motorik groove, skittering four-on-the-floor and a soaring hook. The end result is a breezy and infectious song that gently plumbs the depths of heartache and loss in a way that sonically — to my ears, at least — bears a resemblance to The Cars “Drive.”

er person has informed so much about how you see yourself. For every bit of progress, there’s just as much retreating, and eventually, it seems like this back-and-forth becomes the new root of your identity – still tied to the same person, just without them actually being there.  

Man Machine-era Kraftwerk, and this simple melody just flowed out. At first, the urge was to go very robotic with it, but a laid-back groove fell into place and gave everything a really warm, spacey, stoned feeling, which felt like it amplified the emotional haze that the song deals with.”

Lyric Video: Cincinnati’s Sungaze Releases a Lush and Anthemic New Single

Cincinnati-based dreamgaze married duo Sungaze — Ian Hilvert and Ivory Snow — can trace its origins back to rather humble origins as Hilvert’s solo recording project: After leaving his long-time gig in a metal band, Hilvert wanted to try his hand at writing more dreamy and introspective material. Snow initially joined the band as a temporary keyboardist, but as the act began to play more shows, her influence on the band grew, helping lead to stronger and more confident songwriting — and eventually to the couple writing much more collaboratively and sharing vocal duties. The end result is a unique sound and songwriting approach that mixes each individual member’s artistic influences and passions. Interestingly, their sound features elements of shoegaze, psych rock, dream pop and a tinge of twang.

Generally, their material is written from personal experience and thematically focuses on human nature, while occasionally touching upon the metaphysical and spiritual. But much of their inspiration comes from a sense of place and a desire to capture the landscapes and spaces they both find enchanting.

The Cincinnati-based duo’s full-length debut, 2019’s Light In All Of It was released to praise from The 405, Austin Town Hall, Cincinnati CityBeat and others. The album eventually landed at #91 on the North American College and Community Radio Charts (NACC), remaining on the charts for more than six consecutive weeks. Building upon a growing profile, Sungaze’s sophomore album This Dream is slated for an August 13, 2021 release.

This Dream’s second and latest single “Body In The Mirror” finds the duo further establishing their sound. Centered around lush layers of shimmering and jangling guitars, a rousingly anthemic hook and Snow’s breathy cooing, “Body In The Mirror” is a seamless synthesis of Slowdive-like shoegaze and Mazzy Star/Still Corners-like dream pop — but while lyrically and thematically focusing on the hard self-reckoning that many of us battled with during the height of the pandemic.

Lyric Video: Paris’ QLAPs Returns with a Glistening Banger

o create accessible, pop-leaning dance music. Earlier this week, I wrote about the French trio’s “I Can’t Wait,” an infectious and swaggering club banger that reminded me of Yelle and JOVM mainstays L’Imperatice.

I don’t want your love,” was released earlier this year, and it continues a run of club friendly material centered around glistening synth arpeggios, sultry vocals, tweeter and woofer thumping beats and a euphoria inducing hook within a song that expresses the coquettish — and somewhat confusing — push and pull of love and lust.

Lyric Video: Nation of Language Returns with A Motorik Groove Driven Bop

Rising Brooklyn-based synth pop trio Nation of Language — — Ian Richard Devaney (vocals, guitars, percussion), Aidan Noell (synth, vocals) and Michael Sue-Poi (bass) — can trace their origins back to 2016: Devaney and Sue-Poi were members off The Static Joys, a band that became largely inactive after the release of that band’s sophomore album. And as the story goes, Devaney was inspired to start a new project after hearing OMD‘s “Electricity,” a song he had listened to quite a bit while in his father’s car.

erestingly, what initially started out as Devaney fooling around on a keyboard eventually evolved to Nation of Language with the addition of Noell and Sue-Poi. Between 2016-2019, the Brooklyn-based synth pop trio released a handful of singles that helped to build up a fanbase locally and the outside world.

ast year’s full-length debut, Introduction, Presence was released to critical praise, landing on the Best Albums of 2020 lists for Rough Trade, KEXP, Paste, Stereogum, Under The Radar and PopMatters. They capped off a massive 2020 with the A Different Kind of Light”/”Deliver Me From Wondering Why” 7 inch, which featured the A Flock of Seagulls and Simple Minds-like “Deliver Me From Wondering Why.”  The act’s latest single “Across That Fine Line” is the first official single off their highly-anticipated sophomore album A Way Forward slated for a November 5, 2021 release.

Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a relentless motorik groove, a rousingly anthemic yet dance floor friendly hook and Devaney’s plaintive vocals, “Across That Fine Line” continues a run of crowd pleasing and decidedly 80s inspired material; if you’re a child of the 80s A Flock of Seagulls and few others come to mind.

‘Across That Fine Line’ is a reflection on that moment when a non-romantic relationship flips into something different,” Nation of Language’s Devaney explains in press notes. “When the air in the room suddenly feels like it changes in an undefinable way. It’s a kind of celebration of that certain joyous panic, and the uncertainty that surfaces right after it.  

“Sonically, it’s meant to feel like running down a hill, just out of control. I had been listening to a lot of Thee Oh Sees at the time of writing it and admiring the way they supercharge krautrock rhythms and imbue them with a kind of mania, which felt like an appropriate vibe to work with and make our own.”

Lyric Video: Peter Peter Releases an Introspective and Dreamy Meditation on Fading Love

Peter Roy — best known as Peter Peter — is a French Canadian singer/songwriter and guitarist, who started his music career as a member of metal/alt rock act Post Scriptum, a band in which he played guitar and occasionally sang English lyrics. After leaving the band, he relocated to Montreal’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighborhood, where he began a solo career in which he wrote and sang exclusively in French.

In 2008, Roy competed in the annual Montreal-based Ma Premiére Place des Arts contest and won. The French Canadian artist caught the attention of Audiogram Records, who signed him and released his Howard Bilerman-produced eponymous debut in 2011. Adding to a growing profile Roy played in that year’s Les FrancoFoiles de Montreal, a festival in Downtown Montreal featuring Francophone artists from all over the world.

Roy’s Peter Peter sophomore album 2012’s Une verson améliorée de la tristesse was long listed for 2013’s Polaris Music Prize. And since then, Roy has released two more albums: 2017’s Noir Éden and last year’s Super Comédie to critical acclaim across the Francophone world. Roy is currently in the studio working on new material — but in the meantime, Super Comédie’s latest single “Les mariés ont disparu” is a brooding and introspective song featuring shimmering guitars, atmospheric synths and Roy’s breathy and achingly tender vocals. But at its core, the song is centered around an age old tale of fading love and love lost told through the lens of a dreamy nostalgia.

The recently released lyric video was shot on grainy VHS video and fittingly set in an old cemetery that a curious cat wanders around. Some of the gravestones are dedicated to lost loved ones while others seem to have been worn down by time and weather — to the point that the deceased has been erased by time.

Lyric Video: Melrøse Releases a Sultry and Feverish Single

Melrøse is an French electro pop duo — Anne-Camille and Anthony — that can trace its origins back to last June, when the romantic couple and musical collaborators decided to immortalize their relationship in a song, written while in a Los Angeles hotel room. 

Earlier this year, I wrote about the French duo’s debut single “Poolside.” One of the first songs the duo wrote that June night, the single was centered around skittering beats, twinkling keys, swirling electronics and Annie Camille’s achingly delicate and ethereal vocals singing lyrics in French and English. “Poolside” — for me, at least — evoked a mix of Dummy-era Portishead and sultry nights in bed with a lover.

The French duo’s debut EP is slated for a September 21, 2021 release, and the EP’s first official single “Insomnie” is a sensual song centered around twinkling synth arpeggios, a motorik-like groove and Annie-Camille’s coquettish vocals. And while sonically reminding me a bit of Soft Metals’ 2013 effort Lenses, the track evokes a sultry summer night, tossing and turning in your bed — and it being too hot to sleep comfortably.

The recently released video employs a rather simple concept: Melrøse’s Anne-Camille in a dark room, lit with one light bulb, singing the song and swaying to the song’s music. The song’s French lyrics appear below her.

Lyric Video: Phife Dawg Teamed Up with Illa J and Potatohead People on a Posthumously Released Souful Tribute to Montreal

Born Malik Izaak Taylor, the legendary and beloved Phife Dawg was a co-founder of the multi-Grammy Award nominated, multi-platinum selling, equally legendary and beloved hip-hop act A Tribe Called Quest. Along with his work with Tribe, Phife Dawg was a solo artist, who collaborated with lengthy lists of acts and artists including Fu-Schnickens, Diamond D, Chi-Ali, Black Sheep‘s Dres, De La Soul‘s Trugoy and countless others, eventually releasing his solo debut album, 2000’s Ventilation: Da LP.

If you’re a hip-hop head, you’d remember that the members of A Tribe Called Quest — Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad — reunited in 2006 to help Phife Dawg with mounting medical expenses as a result of complications with diabetes. They co-headlined that year’s Bumbershoot Festival and played a handful of sold-out across across the States, Canada and Japan, including making appearances at the 2K Sports Bounce Tour. According to Phife Dawg, the members of the beloved hip-hop had planned to release an album to finish-off their six-album contract with Jive Records.

In 2008, A Tribe Called Quest was the headlining act for that year’s Rock the Bells tour. Taylor, who had been dealing with complications from diabetes over the past decade, wound up receiving a kidney translate from his wife. At the end of the that year, Q-Tip released his long-awaited sophomore album The Renaissance, which he followed with the release of 2009’s Kamaal The Abstract, which had been shelved for over seven years.

Tribe co-headlined 2010’s Rock the Bells and that year, Taylor had planned to release his highly-anticipated sophomore album Songs in the Key of Phife: Volume 1 (Cheryl’s Big Son); however, continued health issues delayed the release of the album. In 2013, it was reported that Phife had went back to work on his sophomore album, which was re-titled MUTTYmorPHosis. During that same period, the tense relationship between the act’s co-founder was famously documented in Michael Rapaport’s 2011 documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.

In 2015, the members of A Tribe Called Quest reunited to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of the act’s debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. In what would be the last few months of his life, Taylor had been incredibly busy: he had finished his long-anticipated sophomore album, now titled Forever, collaborating with a collection of trusted, All-Star producers and artists. Additionally, Tribe had secretly gone into the studio to work on what would be their sixth and final album We Got It From Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service. Tragically, Taylor died as the entire group were finishing the album; the remaining members finished the album and posthumously released the album, as a tribute to their co-founder.

Taylor’s family and estate will be finally releasing Phife Dawg’s long-awaited sophomore album Forever later this year. “He worked really hard to complete his album before he transitioned, and he was ready to share an album that was near and dear to his heart with his fans,” Taylor’s family says of the album. “His fans meant the world to him.” So far, one single has been released from the album, “Nutshell, Part 2,” featuring Busta Rhymes and Redman — and as a taste of the album, it’s a classic New York hip-hop banger, in which three legendary emcees spit bars and trade zingers over a subtle DJ Rasta Root reworking of a J. Dilla production.

“French Kiss Deux,” Forever‘s second and latest single finds the beloved “Five Foot Assassin” teaming up with Vancouver-based production duo Potatohead Peopleand J. Dilla’s younger brother Illa J on a tribute to one of my favorite cities, Montreal: Phife and Illa J trade verses about some of that city’s beautiful women and scenery over a warm and vibey neo-soul meets Golden Era hip-hop production centered around shimmering Rhodes, reverb drenched horns and twitter and woofer rocking beats. Simply put, it’s an infectious, feel good banger.

The recently released lyric video is primarily centered around the gorgeous artwork for the “French Kiss Deux” single artwork and its color scheme.

Lyric Video: Canadian Artist Jeen Releases a Rousingly Anthemic Single

Jeen O’Brien is a Canadian singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has written songs for a lengthy list of recording artists, and as a solo artist, performing under the mononym Jeen, O’Brien has written songs used in ad campaigns for Google, Panasonic, Estée Lauder, Kraft, BlackBerry, KIA, Rogers, Mastercard and Molson, as well as TV shows like Republic of Doyle, Instant Star, Ruby Gloom, Degrassi, Hockey Wives, Killjoys, Workin’ Moms, Catfish, Are You the One and the major motion picture Cook Off. In addition to her solo work, O’Brien is a member of Cookie Duster with Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning.

O’Brien’s newest full-length album, the Ian Blurton co-produced Dog Bite is slated for an October 2021 release — and along with the album announcement, the Canadian singer/songwriter and producer released a double single, “Better Drugs”/”Fair to Move On.” Because of time considerations on my end, I’m choosing to write about one single: “Better Drugs,” a grungy bit of power pop centered around crunchy guitar lines, O’Brien’s Liz Phair-lke delivery and a rousingly anthemic hook. Although sonically bringing 90s alt rock and 120 Minutes-era MTV to mind, the song as the Canadian artist explains explores our desire to constantly seek something better while being directly influenced by the events of 2020 — both socially and personally: “I wrote ‘Better Drugs’ eight months after watching the world burn, with everything so exposed and gross. Like we had all lost too many pieces of ourselves to put back together or something…I wondered how fundamental it was, like how broken are we, you know? On top of that, I had a very sudden death in the family 48 hours before we went into the studio to record.

“This kind of raw disconnect leads to all the problems especially if you’ve lost connection with yourself…so with all that fell away last year, I found myself pathetically grateful for the few people I still had around me.”