Twin Peaks is one of my favorite Chicago bands and now they have given me yet another reason to love them even more. The video for “I Found a New Way” makes Millennials yearn for a classic childhood movie, The Sandlot. The boys grab their gloves, bats, and balls, and head out to play ball against hot-headed bad boys. Even more impressive, Cadien Lake James (lead singer and guitarist), plays in his wheelchair due to breaking his leg while on tour with The Orwells this past spring. If you are looking for three minutes of nostalgia and a great song, you have found it with this video.
HAIM IS JUST SO GOOD AT MAKING MUSIC VIDEOS. If you haven’t noticed by now, I like writing about them. “Falling” was set in the middle of a forest, “The Wire” had boys crying, and now “My Song 5” is a Jerry Springer kind of talk show with a slew of celebrity guests. This version of the bass-intensive track from Days Are Gone includes an A$AP Ferg verse and oh so much more. SNL comedian Vanessa Bayer plays the flighty interviewer, Kesha is in love with her cat, A$AP Ferg’s girlfriend is leaving him for another girl, Artemis Pebdani from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has a cotton ball phobia, Este Haim has a thing for mimes, Ezra Koenig and A$AP Rocky watch the madness from the audience, and Grimes chills backstage because she’s cute or something. That is a lot of amazingness to fit in a video, but Haim did, and it is hysterical.
Nick Murphy, also known as Chet Faker, released his first full-length LP, Built on Glass, in April of this year. This is the only other release since his first EP, Thinking in Textures, which earned him the “Best Independent Release” award from the 2012 Rolling Stone Awards in Australia. Now, in more recent news, Murphy has released his second music video from the album for his second single, “Gold.” On this track, he stays true to his electronica production style while also showing off his R&B side in his vocals. This video will most likely catch you off guard… It starts out with a camera view, riding down the middle of the road in the middle of the night along the middle double yellow line, with a light coming out of the back of the car. Then you see something entering the light! …A woman riding on rollerblades?! And then, there’s two more! So while you’re still watching, you start to get over the fact that you’re watching three girls rollerblading in a music video, and you start to notice that their choreography along with the song is actually pretty entertaining! Especially since they are all definitely attractive, as well. The camera then turns 180 degrees and finally, there’s Chet Faker, singing along in a busted car in the middle of the road with a deer right beside him. Not sure from where director Hiro Murai struck this idea, but I can’t complain… quite the opposite actually.
“Everybody says it’s getting better all the time, but it’s bad! It feels bad!”
These are the screamed words in the chorus of “Justice,” the third track from Big Ups’ full-length, Eighteen Hours of Silence. It’s a sociopolitical commentary on the dangers of fighting the system. Frontman Joe Galarraga alternates between Cake-like mumbling and full-force screaming, as churning guitars lash out over drums nearly too tight to be ‘just punk.’
In the “Justice” music video, one woman looks into the face of government officials and sees the all-controlling forces of evil for what they truly are. She flees as they pursue her, led by their leader, who has earwigs coming out to take control of her brain. It’s Big Brother in the information age, with every few frames cutting out to randomized bars of color - a broken television playing a legal drama turned deadly.
“If I had just one wish, I’d wish for this, I’d wish for justice,” Galarraga pleads, and in the final moments of the video, the running woman stomps on the earwig, splattering corruption into a bloodstain on the floor. If only it were that easy in real life.
VOTD: Rick Ross feat. French Montana, “What A Shame”
Ladies and gentlemen brace yourselves, because “the game ain’t based on sympathy.” Rick Ross’ music video for “What A Shame” packs a rich plotline in under six minutes. The video eases us in with a voyeuristic peek into Ross’ bedroom. His sock-wearing, bump ‘n’ grind session with a sexy saboteur leaves no room for cuddling after a phone call prompts Ross to exit. A montage of murders and money follows as Ross raps about revenge, weed and handling his business. Mid video, a group of card-playing bad guys sit at a round table and speculate about the Donald Sterling Clippers scandal while making fun of V. Stiviano’s face. Ross busts in unannounced, and after a surprisingly long chat without anyone pulling a gun, Ross proclaims ‘the game is mine,’ and his crew member shoots the ringleader dead. A few unanswered questions remain in the realm of who/what/why and when, but perhaps Rick Ross will give up the answers in his next video.
I’m a relatively new Vance Joy supporter, but after watching his video for “First Time,” I’m 100% hooked on this Aussie gentleman. The song is catchy, his voice is incredible, and I have to say he’s not too bad looking. To be blunt, there’s a lot of sex in the video. As engaging as that is, the video and song are really about heartbreak. It’s almost a spin on Sheryl Crow’s “The First Cut Is The Deepest,” except Vance Joy moves far away from her country sound and he is reminiscing on the pleasant times as well as the glum ones. He’s already captured the attention of the UK in a huge way, so let’s hope America gets on board soon.
alt-J’s new track “Left Hand Free” is a seriously groovy departure from the British band’s usual brand of incredible experimental rock. The song is fun, funky, and practically begs you to blast it with your windows down. This latest release has me crazy excited for the group’s new album being released this September. But to tide us over until then, the band released a music video for the track last week and it captures this new, carefree spirit perfectly.
alt-J has found a way to encapsulate everything wonderful about long, youthful summer days. Tubing down the river, riding around on ATVs, summer romances, and essentially living with reckless abandon. Ah, the good ol’ days. The video just captures joy and happiness no matter if you’re actually a teen living your endless summer or stuck in an air-conditioned office from June-August. So if you need a pick-me-up as this wonderful season sadly comes to an end, look no further than alt-J’s newest creation and enjoy this beautiful little slice of summer.
The first twenty seconds of “Had To Hear” is the equivalent of clouds parting and a ray of sun shining down destroying every fear and worry that has ever entered our lives. The opening track from Real Estate’s most recent album, Atlas, begins with Martin Courtney strumming a simple and delicate melody before being quickly layered with Matt Mondanile’s unmistakable riffs.
A music video has now been released allowing us all an inside look into the beautiful minds of the band. Real Estate recently played a few shows in Mexico where they filmed clips of the landscape, the people, and their culture. That is what the entirety of the video consists of, while simultaneously revealing how genuine, serene, and authentically lighthearted the members of the band are. The music video has the perfect imagery for the near-perfect song. I am a little biased, but Real Estate can do no wrong. If you are in need of a little sunshine in your life, you deserve this video.
Franz Ferdinand preside over an intergenerational dance floor in their new video for “Stand On the Horizon,” a track from last year’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. It’s at turns funny, melancholic, and downright strange.
The first image is of a coastline in what looks like the early morning. The camera moves along it and then turns to show the horizon. The moody vibe matches singer Alex Kapranos’ gentle questioning as he asks, “How can I tell you I was wrong?”
As the song settles into a groove, the setting moves into an old-fashioned nightclub. The band plays onstage, with a mixture of cool and aloofness. On one side of the room sits an array of young men, while on the other there are old women. Through the power of song, these two factions are drawn to one another and engage in a series of awkward dances.
From there, things go back to the coastline, where the couples walk together in a slow procession. A lyric about the North Sea calling for a lover is repeated over and over, and the video reflects that. Everyone moves under a sort of mass hypnosis and begins to sing in chorus.
It’s a little cryptic, but it gets across that Franz Ferdinand style of glamor with darker undertones. The camerawork is gorgeous, and the acting is enjoyably hammy.
VOTD: The New Pornographers, “War on the East Coast”
Our collective apocalyptic obsession continues with the latest New Pornographers video for “War on the East Coast.” Shot single-take like that awesome scene in True Detective’s fourth episode (you know the one), it features lead singer A.C. Newman’s lovable affectation and some political podium hand gesturing as anarchy rages in the background. The track combines Talking Heads synth blooping with a tight, almost pop punk, vibe and explosive chorus. Hopefully the end times don’t happen before their new record comes out (Brill Bruisers, 8/26,) but if they do, we call dibs on extra seats in the New Pornographers’ getaway car.