Tag: music video

New Video: LCD Soundsystem Returns with Their Most Dance Floor Friendly Track in Several Years

Founded by frontman, multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ and DFA Records co-founder James Murphy in 2002, Brooklyn-based indie rock/electro rock/dance punk act LCD Soundsystem along with acts like  The Rapture, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party, Radio 4,  Liars and a few others, are considered pioneers of a dance punk renaissance that saw its height at the early part of this century; but among that group LCD Soundsystem set themselves apart as one of the more commercially and critically successful acts of their era — 2005’s eponymous full-length debut, which featured their most successful single “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” was nominated by a Grammy for Best Dance Recording with the album also being nominated for a Grammy Best Electronic/Best Dance Album. With a growing national and international profile, Nike commissioned Murphy and company to write and record a workout-inspired, workout-friendly album — 45:33 — as part of the Nike+ Original Run series. The members of LCD Soundsystem followed that up with 2007’s critically acclaimed Sound of Silver, which was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album.  2010’s This Is Happening managed to be the act’s most commercially successful, as it was their first Top 10 album in the States; however, by the following year, the band announced it was breaking up and was celebrating a wildly successful run together with a series of farewell shows at Madison Square Garden and Terminal 5, with the events surrounding their final show together, chronicled in the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, and a live album, 2014’s The Long Goodbye, which Murphy painstakingly mastered. 

After LCD Soundsystem broke up, the members of the band went on to pursue a number of creative and business pursuits — Nancy Whang released solo material and DJ’ed; Tyler Pope spent a stint in the touring band of !!!,; Gavin Russom has released solo material under the moniker Black Meteoric Star, collaborated with Viva Ruiz in The Crystal Ark and recently came out as transgender and transitioning; David Scott Stone has collaborated with Melvins, Unwound, Jello Biafra, Mike Patton, No Age, and others; Jerry Fuchs went on with stints in The Juan MacLean, !!!, Maserati and MSTRKRFT; and Murphy arguably being the busiest of the band as he not only continued his production and sound engineering work, working with Arcade Fire during the Reflector sessions, he was in 2014 commissioned by the US Open to create a special set of remixes based on the actual sounds and events of the tournament’s matches. Along with that he remixed David Bowie‘s “Love Is Lost,” for an expanded edition of the legendary artist’s The Next Day and was known to occasionally DJ, including famously DJing to close out DFA Records’ 12th Anniversary Party at Grand Prospect Hall. He also participated in Canon’s Project Imaginat10n, a film project in which the folks at Canon invited 5 different celebrities to direct short films based on pictures uploaded by photographers and other creatives around the world to a special website, with the result being his directorial debut “Little Duck,” set in Japan. And in other non-musical pursuits, with the assistance of Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman, Murphy released his own blend of espresso, and then he opened a critically applauded restaurant in Williamsburg, which he personally designed and chose the menu. And although Murphy had publicly stated that LCD Soundsystem’s breakup allowed him the time and ability to pursue an array of projects, he wasn’t able to do before, he also missed being in a band and creating music. 

Interestingly, in light of those comments, towards the end of 2015, there were rumblings across the blogosphere that Murphy and several members of the band were considering a series of reunion shows for the major festival circuit — and naturally, those rumors exploded upon the release of Christmas Will Break Your Heart,” which the band released on Christmas of that year, marking a big Christmas surprise for fans, who had been clamoring for new material and/or the possibility of a reunion for the better part of 5 years. Naturally, with the release of the single, Murphy and company confirmed that a reunion tour with appearances at several major festivals, a residency to  The Bowery Presents‘ newest venue, Brooklyn Steel and a new album, American Dream, which is slated for a September 1, 2017 release through Columbia Records/DFA Records. 

As my colleagues mentioned, their early Brooklyn Steel sets featured material, which would appear on their new album, including the atmospheric, “Call The Police,” which features Murphy’s archly ironic lyrics and manages to sound like a mesh of the sound of This Is Happening and their incredible cover of Harry Nilsson‘s “Jump Into The Fire” and “American Dream,” a slow-burning track featuring shimmering synths but subtly nods at “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” thanks in part to Murphy’s dramatic crooning, 

“tonite,” the third single off the soon-to-be-released album is arguably one of the more dance floor friendly singles they’ve released to date as it features an unrelenting and propulsive beat paired with wobbling, house music-like bass synth and twinkling keys, and Murphy’s ironic observations on the state of contemporary music, human relationships in the age of constant connectivity and his own random musings. And interestingly enough, despite the 5 years apart, the band manages to sound as though they haven’t missed a beat; in fact, it sounds as though it were the song and the album that they would have made regardless of breaking up — all while subtly nodding at Man Machine-era Kraftwerk. 

Directed by Joel Kefall, the recently released video for “tonite” features a handful of members performing the song, while others look cooly detached, reading or staring into space on a spinning stage, lit by explosively bursts of concert lighting. And the entire time, the band’s frontman sings with a tape recorder strapped to him. 


New Video: The Trippy 80s-Inspired Visuals for Park Hotel’s “Going West”

Centered on its founding and primary songwriting duo Tim Abbey and Rebeca Macros-Roca, the London, UK-based post-electronic dance act Park Hotel have developed a reputation for a sound that meshes neo-disco and dance punk with off-kilter, downtown art scene-based songwriting — and unsurprisingly, the duo’s sound has been favorably described as a joyfully communal face-off between LCD Soundsystem, Earth, Wind and Wire with flashes of Talking Heads and a sprinkle of Steely Dan. Along with that, they’ve developed a reputation for a live show in which the project expands to a sextet featuring three-way vocal harmonies, rhythm and lead guitar, drums and lots of cowbell.

Produced by Eliot James, mixed by Nathan Boddy and mastered at New York’s Sterling Sound, the act’s debut single “Gone as a Friend” was recorded after playing a number of critically applauded, buzz-worthy shows across London before officially releasing it earlier this year. And building upon their growing buzz, the act’s latest single “Going West,” is an off-kilter, dance floor-friendly track that sounds inspired by Tom Tom Club‘s “Genius of Love,” Talking Heads’ “Making Flippy Floppy,” Miami Horror‘s “Leila” and The Rapture‘s “House of Jealous Lovers” as the song possesses an infectious, ear-worm worthy, hook paired with boy-girl harmonizing, shimmering synths, a Nile Rodgers-like guitar line and an even funkier bass line, but they manage to do so in a fashion that feels like a fresh and mischievous take on a familiar, crowd pleasing fashion.

Collaborating with mononymic artist Henry, the recently released video for “Going West” manages to draw from two different eras  — 60s psych pop and early 80s pop and rock videos, as we follow the members of Park Hotel on a rooftop with neon bright backdrops featuring Basquiat-like art and expansive and trippy blue skies. 

New Video: The Dark and Striking Visuals for At The Drive In’s “Call Broken Arrow”

Currently comprised of founding members Cedric Bixler (vocals), Omar Rodriguez (guitar, vocals), Paul Hinojos (bass) and Tony Hajjar (drums) and Sparta’s Keely Davis, the El Paso, TX-based punk rock act At The Drive In can trace its origins back to its formation in 1994. After several line up changes, the band’s lineup eventually solidified into a quintet featuring Bixler, Rodriguez, Hinojos, Hajjar and Jim Ward, and with its best known lineup, the band released three critically applauded and commercially successful studio albums — 1996’s Acrobatic Tenement, 1998’s In/Casino/Out and 2000’s seminal effort, Relationship of Command — before abruptly splitting up at the height of their popularity, just before they were about to embark on a Stateside leg of a lengthy world tour. 

Following the break up of At The Drive In, Bixler and Rodriguez formed the critically applauded act The Mars Volta while Ward, Hinojoso, Hajjar formed Sparta with Davis, and both acts were a decided departure from their work from At The Drive In — with The Mars Volta specializing in intricate and expansive prog rock and Sparta specializing in much more straightforward rock. The band reunited in January 2012 and played that year’s Coachella Festival and Lollapalooza Festival and re-issued their original material through their own label before splitting up. Interestingly, the following year The Mars Volta went through a bitter break up in which Bixler and Rodriguez refused to speak to each other for a couple of years.  However, the original lineup had reunited to play a series of Festival gigs and announced they were releasing new material, but as the band was rehearsing and preparing to go on tour, Ward left and he was replaced by Sparta’s Keely Davis. 

The band’s fourth full-length effort  in • ter a • li • a was released earlier this year and from the album’s latest single “Call Broken Arrow,” the band manages to retain the explosive and breakneck fury of their previously released material but while revealing musicians who have grown older and bring something different to the table than from their first incarnation; in fact, the song manages to strongly nod at prog rock and math thanks to rapid fire key changes and a punishingly forceful bridge that will absolutely melt faces. 

Directed by Rob Shaw, the recently released visuals for “Call Broken Arrow” act as a prequel to the video for “Hostage Stamps,” as the viewer follows the continuing story of a prisoner and his faceless captors, as well as the appearance of enormous, mechanized spiders. And much like the preceding video, the visuals for “Call Broken Arrow” employs a mix of digital and stop-motion animation while providing nuanced into the already established narrative. As Shaw explains in press notes. “In ‘Hostage Stamps,’ we have a prisoner being tortured and monitored by some sort of authoritarian organization. The guys wanted to show why he was imprisoned, as well as cast doubt over his innocence. It’s funny how in stories, especially film stories, you tend to sympathize with whoever you spend time with. When you watch someone being mistreated, the assumption is that person is the victim. ‘Call Broken Arrow’ is in part about illustrating the prisoner’s culpability, but even that is in doubt as we see the Watcher character who follows him around slipping something in his drink at the end.”

New Video: The 90s and 00s Metal and Alt Rock-Inspired Visuals for Chelsea Wolfe’s “16 Psyche”

Chelsea Wolfe is a California-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who with the release of 2010’s The Grime and the Glow, 2011’s Apokalypsis, 2013’s Pain Is Beauty and 2015’s Abyss received attention across the blogosphere for a sound that meshes elements of gothic rock, folk, neofolk, electronica and metal, and for material that thematically dug underneath the world’s ugliness, messiness and hurt to get at a profound beauty underneath. Because of its cinematic and moody quality, her music has been featured in the promotional material for several TV series, including Game of Thrones, Fear the Walking Dead and How to Get Away with Murder.

Wolfe’s sixth full-length album Hiss Spun is reportedly inspired by a Henry Miller quote —  “What I want is to open up. I want to know what’s inside me. I want everybody to open up. I’m like an imbecile with a can opener in his hand, wondering where to begin — to open up the earth. I know that underneath the mess everything is marvelous. I’m sure of it.” And unsurprisingly, the material finds the renowned California-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist adopting Miller’s quest to become truly empowered by embracing the complete, messy self and to control the tumult within one’s soul in the hopes of reigning in the chaos of the world around them. However, as Wolfe explains in press notes, she had initially wanted to write some sort of escapist music with songs that were about being in your body and getting free; but “you’re just bombarded with constant bad news, people getting fucked over and killed for shitty reasons or no reason at all, and it seems like the world has been in tears for months, and then you remember that it’s been fucked for a long time; it’s been fucked since the beginning. It’s overwhelming and I have to write about it.” 

The album, which was recorded by Kurt Ballou in Salem, MA during the beginning of this year was also inspired by a brutally cold New England winter, several major upheveals in Wolfe’s personal life, as well as the Californian singer/songwriter and guitarist coming to terms with years of conflicting feelings of vulnerability, anger and self-destruction, an dark family history that has weighed heavily upon her and her life. And as a result, the material on Hiss Spun may arguably be the heaviest, darkest and most forceful material she has written to date. Additionally, long-time collaborator Ben Chisholm contributes swaths of sound collages recorded while Wolfe and her backing and were on tour — the rumble of street construction while they were on tour in Prague; the howl of a coyote outside Wolfe’s home; the scrape of machinery on a floor of a warehouse at a down-and-out friend’s workplace, as well as samples from the bomb blasts of the Enola Gay, the shrieks and mating calls of primates, the fluttering pages of a book of Walt Whitman’s poetry are all manipulated and seamlessly placed within the music.

The overall effect was to be a cathartic emotional purge and as you’ll hear on “16 Psyche,” the latest single off Hiss Spun, the song while managing to sound as though it were inspired by Tool and A Perfect Circle, complete with pummeling drumming and roaring distortion-heavy power chords and an antehmic hook possesses a palpable aching yearning  and broiling, feral, fury at its core that reminds me quite a bit of PJ Harvey. 
Directed by Zev Deans, the recently released video for “16 Psyche” is deeply inspired by late 90s and early 00s alt rock and metal videos and features a cameo by Queens of the Stone Age’s Troy Van Leeuwen, who appeared in similar videos of the era, and fittingly the video consists of dark, foreboding imagery of Wolfe in a straitjacket, being carted off as though she were Hannibal Lecter, Wolfe and her backing band performing the song in a smoke machine-filled studio dressed entirely in black and more. As a boy and teenager, who was obsessed with watching MTV, just watching the video brings back a ton of memories — Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People” anyone? 

New Video: Introducing The Darkly Seductive Sounds and Visuals of London’s Hana Piranha

With the release of their debut album Cold Comfort, the London-based rock quartet Hana Piranha, comprised of Hana Maria (vocals, violin), James Bulbeck (guitar), Will Brown (bass) and Samuel de Brozie-Ward (drums) quickly developed a reputation across the UK for a sound that paired muscular power chord-based riffs, anthemic hooks, bursts of razor sharp violin and snarling vocals — and unsurprisingly their sound had been compared to Kittie covering AC/DC with a violin and Juliette Lewis as well as to their influences Garbage, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, PJ Harvey and others.

Building upon the buzz that their debut received, the London-based quartet have been releasing singles off their sophomore album Fishing with Dynamite, and as you’ll hear with the album’s latest single “Slave,” the band  will further cement their reputation for crafting muscular goth-inspired rock with a seductive air and anthemic hooks but while subtly expanding upon their sound, as the song finds the band nodding at 70s glam rock. 

Directed and edited by Arron West, the recently released video splits between segments of the band performing the song in a dark studio with some highly symbolic, BDSM-based imagery. 

New Video: The Lysergic Visuals for Clear Soul Forces’ L.A.Z.’s Shimmering Solo Debut “Celestial Vibes”

Comprised of E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss, and producer/emcee Ilajide, the Detroit, MI-based hip-hop quartet Clear Soul Forces quickly developed a reputation for lyrically and sonically drawing from the 70s street poets and proto-emcees, golden era, boom-bap hip-hop, adding their names to a lengthy list of dope artists hailing from Detroit. But interestingly enough, the act can trace their origins to a 2009 all-nighter at a Detroit recording studio, when the four emcees scraped up whatever loose change for studio time to record material individually. Coincidentally, renowned artist Royce Da 5’9″ was finishing work on his album Street Hop in the room next door, and the four emcees jumped at the chance to spit a few rhymes for him. As the story goes, the four young emcees then spent the next 9 hours in an epic rhyme fest with each of the individual emcees trading bars while an impressed Royce Da 5’9″ listened intently. After they finished, the renowned Detroit-based emcee suggested that the four individual emcees should become a group — although it took them some time to figure out their name would be. 

By early 2010, the group now known as Clear Soul Forces began making a name for themselves in their hometown’s underground hip-hop scene and released their debut mixtape, Clear Soul Radio, which was recorded in a single day. Later that year, they built their home studio, The Complex and recorded The Departure EP, which was released for their appearance at the A3C Festival. Adding to a growing profile, the quartet played shows in Brooklyn, the 35 Conferette Festival in Denton, TX and SXSW, where they played the the Rappers I Know Showcase with Tanya Morgan, H.I.S.D., Just Blaze, Alchemist, Talib Kweli and Freeway, and followed it up with videos for “The Greatest” and “Strangers In The Night.” 

2011-2012 may have been one of the biggest years in the group’s history, as they began work on their critically applauded full-length debut Detroit Revolution(s), which was reportedly influenced by a large mural on the side of a local apartment building — and by the end of the year, they were selected by Red Bull as a featured artist in the beverage company’s Soundstage program. Early 2012, the video for album single “Get No Better,” caught the attention of the blogosphere, including this site. 

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve written about the Detroit-based hip-hop act, but as it turns out the act’s L.A.Z. recently spent time writing and recording material for a solo effort, the No Paperwork EP, and the effort reportedly is the culmination of several years grinding and hustling, and the wizened realization that money won’t buy you peace of mind — and that more important, unlike many of his counterparts, this effort was a labor of love, inspired purely by the passionate, obsessive love of hip-hop. “Celestial Vibes,” the No Paperwork EP’s features the Detroit emcee spitting swaggering and braggadocio-fueled bars over a slick production which bears boom bap beats with twinkling keys, meant to evoke a cosmic (and perhaps lysergic) glow. And while the song clocks in at about 98 seconds or so, it captures an emcee reaching the very top of his creative powers. 

The recently released video employs a relatively simple concept — we follow L.A.Z. as he smokes weed in a tropical paradise and saunters through an graffiti-filled abandoned development. And to emphasize the trippy vibe of the song, the video is shot with a golden haze. 

New Video: The Introspective Folktronica of Michael Malarkey

Michael Malarkey was born in Beirut, Lebanon to an Irish-American father and a British mother, who was of Arab and Italian origin. Growing up in Yellow Springs, OH, Malarkey relocated to London where he he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and while studying acting he begun to immerse himself in music and songwriting, which he found being a form of poetic journalism and an endless journey of self-discovery; however, he may be best known for his role as Enzo in The CW series The Vampire Diaries. 

Malarkey’s debut effort Mongrels, which is slated for a September 8, 2017 release through Cap on Cat Records, and the album’s material reportedly reveals his eclectic musical taste while being an exploration of the duality of both his nature and of human nature. Interestingly enough, the album was recorded by Malarkey alongside Tom Tapley and Brandon Bush in Atlanta and while Tabley and Bush assist to provide a subtle Nashville/country vibe to the proceedings, they manage to do so in a way that isn’t the prepackaged new Nashville bullshit about trucks and beer; in fact, they do so in a way that further emphasizes the introspective nature of the material. As you’ll hear on album title track “Mongrel,” Malarkey’s sonorous baritone croon is pared with a sparse and moody arrangement consisting of twangy guitar, softly padded drumming and chiming keys and while to my ears nodding at Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town,” Malarkey’s latest single possesses a quiet yearning underneath its deliberate attention to craft. 

Directed by Adam Loveday-Brown, the recently released music video for the album title track, follows a lonely and pensive Malarkey sitting in the woods, with notebook in hand, reminiscing on his life and on a lover, who is no longer around. How and why that relationship has ended is left open-ended and to the viewer, but the video portrays the protagonist’s life with his lover as a period of brilliant light, with his cabin being bright and airy and without her, his life is drab. The cabin feels and looks shabby and claustrophobic and yet everywhere her ghost has left an inescapable presence. 

New Video: Melbourne Australia-based JOVM Mainstays Gold Class Return with an Anthemic Post Punk Ode to Resistance

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a handful of posts about JOVM’s newest mainstay act, Melbourne, Australia-based post-punk band Gold Class, an act comprised of  collection of work friends, drinking buddies and classmates in a creative writing course featuring  Evan James Purdey (guitar), Jon Shub (bass), Adam Curley (vocals), and Logan Gibson (drums). The Australian quartet formed back in 2014 and they quickly developed a reputation for lean and explosive live sets, which eventually culminated in their debut effort, It’s You — and with It’s You, the members of Gold Class wrote and recorded an album that paired angular and wiry post-punk with material that lyrically focused on issues of personal politics, sexuality and identity, with an unflinching frankness. Critically, the album was a massive success in Australia, with the Aussie quartet being shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and receiving an Age Award nomination. 
With a rapidly growing national and international profile, the members of Gold Class found themselves playing a series of sold out shows across their homeland, and London, as well as sets at some of the world’s biggest festivals, including Golden Plains, Splendour in the Grass, London Calling, and Primavera Sound. Building upon that growing profile, Drum, the highly-anticipated follow up to It’s You is slated for release next Friday through Felte Records, and as the band’s Adam Curley explains in an artist statement about the new album,“The week we started to write Drum, my relationship ended and I was left alone in a draughty [sic] old house, which belonged to a friend of a friend. In the house, I sat around with my notebook, the quiet hours cut with news from friends and the TV; the suicides of musicians and writers I’d known and queer kids I hadn’t; the systematic abuse of vulnerable people, the constant mockery of anyone on the outs. 

I knew what the purpose of the album would be when I wrote the repeated line in ‘Get Yours:’ ‘There’s none left here and all I need.’ I wanted it to be a record of defiance, a resistance to the idea of scrambling for a place at a table that wasn’t set for you. A sort of a love letter to anyone who not only can’t meet the standard but doesn’t want to. I wanted it to be a record of rage and ecstasy and endless nights and sex and dumb fun and ventures in solidarity. Not just an album of urgency and longing, but one of abandon and a reclaiming of a self beyond boundaries.

But I couldn’t avoid what was immediately happening in my life, either, that the end of my relationship had uncovered a lot of the feelings of isolation I experienced growing up. And so it turned out that the album is also personal, and I think is in conversation with queer histories of silence and evasion and transgression, which I was revisiting through the writing of James Baldwin and Cocteau. Childhood imagery kept creeping into the lyrics. Maybe I was trying to come to some peace with the past and to stand up and find some agency in the present. I suppose it was the most defiant thing I could think to do: not to write as some act of catharsis but in an attempt simply to document and claim my existence; that I am here.”

Now, while the album is fueled by the personal experiences, thoughts and emotions of the band’s primary lyricist, the album, which was co-produced by  
The Drones‘ Garther Liddiard reportedly finds the band expanding upon both their sound, attempting to capture distinctly different moods and tones from its predecessor; in fact on album single “Twist In The Dark,” the band manages to evoke a complicated and somewhat contradictory array of emotions — desperate and fervent longing, the uncertainty of a relationship in which you can’t tell what your motivations are for the relationship nor can you figure out what that other person truly feels or their motivations. And the result is a tense push and pull between desire and repugnance that’s at the heart of the most dysfunctional and confusing relationships. But underneath, there’s a wistfulness towards the ridiculous, burning passions and desires of one’s youth when things seemed more simplistic and much more black and white, yes and no. 

“Get Yours,” Drum’s latest single will further cement the Aussie post-punk quartet’s reputation for crafting tense and wiry post-punk based around its lyricists personal experiences and his own messy, complicated, very adult life and while the band plays with a passionate and fiery self-assuredness, the material is rooted within an urgent and uncompromising desire to live in accordance to one’s own dictates, desires and pleasures and to resist, simply by saying “I’m here and you may hate me, but I ain’t going anywhere. My life fucking matters.” 

Directed by Defero Productions, the recently released video for “Get Yours” consists of slickly edited live footage of  the band performing a sweaty and furious set in a dark little club as it always should be, and the video captures the explosion of lights, the fervent passion of the band playing their songs in front of people, who truly get their music. 

New Video: Introducing the Breezy and Funky, Synth Pop of Austin’s Palo Duro

Michael J. Winningham is an Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who may be best known for a stint fronting indie rock act Gold Beach; however, his solo recording project Palo Duro is a radical sonic departure from his previous work with Winningham specializing in breezy, propulsive, funky, hook-laden synth pop reminiscent of Big Data and others, as you’ll hear on “Darken the Glow,” the latest single off his forthcoming album Ryou Cannon. But what sets Winningham apart from a crowded field of competitors is an deliberate and careful attention to craft paired with the swaggering self-assuredness of an old pro, who can make it look way too easy. 

Edited by Cameron J. Smith, the recently released video for “Darken the Glow,” is a wild melange of Japanese television ads in which the album cover is quickly superimposed, and the result is an aesthetic that possesses the surreal logic of a fever dream while being a wildly mischievous take on commercialism and music as a prepackaged product to be marketed, bought and sold.