Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence is one of the year’s best albums, in no small part due to its eerie, controversial title track. Now director Francesco Corrozzini has delivered a clip for “Ultraviolence” that’s strikingly simple in its depiction of Del Rey wandering around the great outdoors in a wedding dress. An epic song deserves an epic video, and personally I’m feeling a little underwhelmed by this one.
Foxygen spent much of last year dealing with a whole lot of drama, which at times overshadowed the actual album they released, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic. Now they’ve announced a follow-up, a 24-song collection that will be titled Foxygen … And Star Power, and with that announcement, they’ve given us the album’s first single and video. “How Can You Really” is a totally excellent bit of Cali psych pop bursting with joyous melodies that will engulf you in sweetness and light. Directed by Grant Singer
Speedy Ortiz released their Real Hair EP earlier this year, and it included “American Horror,” one of the band’s very best songs to date. Now they’ve given that song a charming video, directed by Peter Binswanger, which riffs on some horror-movie and video-game references, but with a pretty silly and good-natured attitude. It’s less American Horror Story and more in the spirit of how most people actually act while watching American Horror Story. With all the things that pop up in this video, I feel like you could sit down with this band and have a really fun conversation about Suspiria, Mortal Kombat, and Day Of The Tentacle.
Janelle Monáe’s blast of an album, The Electric Lady, came out almost a year ago. So it’s a bit of a surprise to be getting a video for its title track today — but hey, any Janelle Monáe-related news is good news, right? The video shows Monáe going to an Electro Phi Beta sorority party (emeritus members include Kimbra and T-Boz), which eventually turns into choreographed dancing, because of course it does. The whole thing looks like a hell of a lot of fun.
Son Lux’s latest video from last year’s darkly experimental pop effort Lanterns is for the album’s trembling sorta title track “Lanterns Lit.” Directed by SJ Finlay in Southeast Asia, it finds an entire community’s attention fixated on a rocket’s climb to space. What’s lacking in terms of rocket imagery is more than made up for in stunning landscape shots. It’s a gorgeous clip for a gorgeous song. Watch.
The video for Mac DeMarco’s “Chamber Of Reflection” starts off with a woman crouching in front of a Ford truck grille wearing a Homer Simpson mask — and it only gets weirder from there. She lays in hammocks, walks down the street, gets on the subway, drinks water from a fire hydrant — all regular things non-Homer-masked people do. Celebrities, they’re just like us! We follow this mopey, dead-eyed Homer throughout Brooklyn as DeMarco’s sludgy psychedelia serenades in the background.
Public Access TV is a New York pop-rock trio fronted by John Eatherly, a former member of the great Nashville teenage punk troublemakers Be Your Own Pet who later served as a sideman for the likes of Eleanor Friedberger, Smith Westerns, The Virgins, and Chairlift. Friedberger recently shouted him out in NME:
John from Public Access TV possesses that embarrassing-to-admit and hard-to-define quality known as “star power.” He has the best stage presence of anyone I’ve ever played with. He made the best sideman for me, and it was only a matter of time before he had the nerve to front his own band.
Eatherly’s own music is a pleasing cocktail of Britpop, ’70s pop-punk, and the early aughts garage rock revival. “Rebounder,” the title track from Public Accesss TV’s forthcoming EP, goes especially heavy on the Britpop part of that equation; the friendly ghost of Blur’s “Girls & Boys” looms large. Watch director Douglas Hart’s video for the song, which serves as a handy introduction to the band.
Drew Citron and Frankie Rose’s new project, Beverly, just released the very nice album Careers, and now they’ve got a new video for “Out On A Ride.” It plays out like a travelogue of the band’s last few months, as they drive around, play shows, and just goof off in general.
“Rollin’ and Tumblin’” was our first taste of the Gaslight Anthem’s new album Get Hurt, which is shaping up to be the band’s most stylistically diverse album yet. Now that song has gotten the video treatment and it’s a crisp black-and-white affair that sees the band playing opposite a group of elegant dancers who have donned some spooky skeleton-style face paint and are doing some on-the-nose literal rolling and tumbling on the floor.
Last week, the Raveonettes surprised us all by releasing the new album Pe’ahi without any prior notice. The album opens with the blaring, aggressive synth-rock of “Endless Sleeper,” and today you can watch that song’s very creepy music video, directed by the band’s Sune Rose Wagner. It begins with a long shot of a pair of people naked on the beach — almost like the love scene in From Here To Eternity — but eventually shifts into something more unsettling, and brings to mind the far darker beach scene from Jonathan Glazer’s recent Under The Skin.
I became a homeowner recently in a neighborhood that could be described as quasi-suburban, and whether painting the interior or cooking my wife a birthday dinner I’ve found Real Estate’s Atlas to be as fitting a soundtrack for domestic bliss as my review originally surmised. Opening track “Had To Hear,” though, is about being on the road and feeling frustratingly disconnected from that home life. In honor of the song’s impending release as a 7-inch single, director Richard Law has assembled a video of Real Estate traipsing around various Mexico City sites on tour and having what looks like fun. The clip’s good-time vibe cuts slightly against the song’s sentiments, but whatever, any excuse to listen to “Had To Hear” again is a good one.
Music video by Calle 13 feat. Silvio Rodríguez performing Ojos Color Sol. (C) 2014 El Abismo, LLC
A month ago, She Keeps Bees shared the affectingly minimal “Is What It Is,” from their upcoming album Eight Houses, featuring Sharon Van Etten on backup vocals. The song seems made for lonely late-night drives, and the font of the title card for its new video, appearing above a car speeding down a darkened highway, immediately brings to mind the moody aesthetic of the film Drive. That’s where the similarities end, however — rather than neon violence, the Keith Musil-directed clip is full of subdued emotion and odd beauty, at once seeming both real and surreal as a young ballerina slips out the window and performs a dance routine atop her mother’s moving car.
Today, Beck releases the guest-heavy recorded version of Song Reader, his sheet-music album. That’s the second LP Beck has followed this year, following the elegantly bummed comeback album Morning Phase. And one of the many beautifully downcast songs on that album, “Heart Is A Drum,” now has a video from music-video hall-of-famer Sophie Muller. In the elegiac black-and-white clip, we see Beck haunted by images of his past, most of which take the form of characters from Beck’s iconic 20-year-old “Loser” video: The skull-faced grim reaper, the two astronauts, Beck’s own breakdancing and thrift-besuited 1994 self. Beck also comes face-to-face with his own childhood self. It’s a movingly, if cryptically, lyrical video, and you can watch.
What if all the angst and aggression of grunge were filtered through the sound chips of the very same video-game systems those artists grew up on? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves many, many times, but finally someone has done something about it. The Youtube channel Filthy Frackers has crafted an animated medley of grunge’s greatest hits, reworked so they could fit nicely on an NES and paired with some fun visuals (that’s 8-bit Kurt Cobain in the picture above singing “In Bloom”). It’s not hitting the masterpiece chiptune levels of something like Ducktales or Megaman 2, but it’s definitely fun to pretend this is what Rock Band would have sounded like had it come out in 1993.
Divorcee, a new project from Yoni Wolf and Anna Stewart, will release their debut EP next month. Wolf works as the producer in this setting, and is almost entirely silent, vocally speaking, with good reason. In addition to being the music-making side of Divorcee, he is also the ex-boyfriend of Stewart, and that relationship served as the lyrical foundation for many WHY? songs. Here, Wolf provides a sonic backdrop, while Stewart writes songs examining the couple’s relationship from her own perspective. Below you can watch the video for the single “Absence And Presents,” which finds Stewart singing in front of grainy home movies of the pair.
On her new single “Beggin For Thread,” the big-in-England singer-songwriter BANKS sounds something like a genetic fusion of Fiona Apple and James Blake, and I consider that to be high praise indeed. In the stark, intense, mostly black-and-white video for the track, we see BANKS on a soundstage, surrounded by interpretive dancers and at least one white horse. But the real reason to watch it is BANKS’ face. The way she stares down the camera is pretty fucking impressive.
Last month, we premiered “Beat The Sky,” a new track from the prolific Columbus band Connections. Now they’ve shared the new song’s video, which is your typical band-playing-a-show montage that’s elevated by the group’s energetic and earnest punk, and some cool-looking cloud-related effects.