4/15/2014

Lust For Youth - “Illume” (Official Video)



The first track we heard off Lust For Youth’s forthcoming International was, to me, a revelation: “Epoetin Alfa” represented a huge step forward for the band. Here the Swedish producer Hannes Norrvide (and his growing supporting cast) presented a much warmer, more synth-pop-based sound than the soft drone we’d come to expect, this new sound very much in the timeless vein of New Order, Depeche Mode, or the Pet Shop Boys. Now LFY have released another cut from International, called “Illume,” and I dunno if it’s the 75-degree weather in NYC or what, but I swear listening to this thing is like an explosion of sunlight behind my eyes. It’s such a perfect, gorgeous pop song. I have a feeling this is gonna be a pretty terrific album! Anyway, the video was directed by Cali Thornhill Dewitt, and stars Norrvide alongside collaborator Loke Rahbek (Var, the Posh Isolation label, Sexdrome, etc.), and the two men were given no direction beyond, “Look beautiful.” Said Dewitt of the video: “The concept of this was simple. My subjects were/are very attractive people, so I decided to pair them with attractive landscapes. We shot the whole thing in one 24 hour period, and Loke and Hannes were very comfortable dressed in their Cary Grant suits.” They do indeed look beautiful, and the song sounds beautiful, and why wouldn’t you want such beauty in your life right now?

Watch Sigur Rós’s Game Of Thrones Cameo



Last night’s episode of Game Of Thrones ended with Sigur Rós’s version of “The Rains Of Castamere,” a song that tends to play on the show when some serious shit is either about to go down or just did go down. If you ever find yourself in Westeros and the opening strains of “The Rains Of Castmere” ring out, run. But the song wasn’t Sigur Rós’s only contribution to the show last night. They also had a quick cameo as wedding musicians, singing for evil whelp King Joffrey. And though Sigur Rós are generally regarded as critics’ favorites, they do not get so much love from Joffrey (though they do get off lightly compared to plenty of others who incurred Joffrey’s displeasure).

SZA - “Warm Winds” (Feat. Isaiah Rashad) Video



The hazy, spun-out soul singer SZA and the open-hearted Chatanooga rapper Isaiah Rashad are both relative newcomers to TDE, the label that Kendrick Lamar and his Black Hippy comrades made famous, and they share an astrally stoned chemistry. The two sounded great together on Rashad’s “Ronnie Drake,” and they sound great together again on “Warm Winds,” a softly drifting track from SZA’s new Z EP. And now SZA and APLUSFILMZ have directed a glitchy, arresting video for the track, capturing SZA and Rashad mooning around a grove of trees, looking photogenically contemplative.

4/14/2014

Alicia Keys - “It’s On Again” (Feat. Kendrick Lamar) Official Video (from The Amazing Spider-Man 2)



Pharrell produced “It’s On Again,” the new Alicia Keys inspirational-disco number from the soundtrack to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Kendrick Lamar starts it out with a shouty verse, which means the song might have a stronger cast of talent than the movie itself. In the new video for the track, those three, along with an orchestra conductor I don’t recognize, play some sort of super-team, and Pharrell uses his insane-hacker genius to turn all of Manhattan’s lights into a synchronized light show. It’s both pretty dumb and pretty fun.

Atmosphere - “Kanye West” (Official Video)



Last week, the long-running Minneapolis underground rap duo Atmosphere shared their new track “Kanye West,” which had basically nothing to do with Kanye West. Today, the group gives us director Pete Lee’s “Kanye West” video, which does the song better by having basically nothing to do with the song or Kanye West. Instead, it’s a tense narrative about an unlikely couple who goes on a robbery spree and then has fun blowing money. Both members of Atmosphere have cameos as a couple of the unlucky victims. It’s a really good video.

Eels - “Mistakes Of My Youth” (Official Video)



The songs we’ve heard off Eels’ upcoming album, The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett, have been gently steeped in nostalgia, especially “Mistakes Of My Youth.” The video for that song, directed by Brian and Brad Palmer, captures the same feelings with a subdued softness as it follows a young boy riding his bike around town, smoking cigarettes, drinking a bit, causing some mild mischief, and kissing a girl.

Iamsu! - “Only That Real” (Feat. 2 Chainz & Sage The Gemini) Video



The young Richmond, California rapper Iamsu! occupies an interesting place in the California rap ecosystem: He’s a tremendously influential figure and a cult success, someone who shows up on a ton of other people’s hit songs but who can’t seem to make one himself. His latest attempt to chance this status is “Only That Real,” his clipped and catchy new single with out-of-town guest 2 Chainz and his HBK Gang crewmate Sage The Gemini. The track’s new video, from director Alex Nazari, should help matters. It makes Iamsu!’s Richmond look like a deeply fun place to hang out, even with all the animated monsters and aliens and slime everywhere.

Kevin Drew - “Mexican Aftershow Party” (Official Video)



Kevin Drew’s dreamy Darlings single “Mexican Aftershow Party” now has an equally dream video featuring a glittery Drew performing in a room full of emotionally aroused human beings. Scott Cudmore and Michael Leblanc directed.

Todd Terje - “Leisure Suit Preben” Video



Earlier this week, the Norwegian disco-house producer Todd Terje released his knowingly silly debut LP It’s Album Time, and now he’s shared a video for “Leisure Suit Preben,” an album track. It follows the adventures of the song’s title character, a sweaty and sozzled goof who spends the video wandering around Oslo, trying on makeup and jewelry and then cutting loose in a nightclub. Espen Friberg and Emil Høgset directed the video.

4/10/2014

DaVinci & Sweet Valley - "I Got That Line" (Official Video)



Sweet Valley, the rap-production duo of Wavves frontman Nathan Williams and his brother Kynan, have cranked out a few instrumental mixtapes, and they’ve just gotten around to making their first record with an actual rapper. That project is Ghetto Cuisine, a new full-length mixtape that they did with the tough, straightforward San Francisco rapper DaVinci. We posted first single “I Got That Line” yesterday, and now the whole mixtape is out. Below, stream it and check out director Eddie Ringer’s half-animated “I Got That Line” video, which has DaVinci rapping in some of the Bay’s least populated locations.

Jamie xx - “Sleep Sound” (Official Video)



In making a video for Jamie xx’s new single “Sleep Sound,” the artist Sofia Mattioli visited the Manchester Deaf Centre and filmed the hearing-impaired people there dancing to the track. They couldn’t hear it, of course, but they could feel the vibrations. All the dancers Mattioli filmed are young, including a five-year-old boy, and there’s some real heartwarming beauty in what Mattioli captured on camera.

Pink Mountaintops - “North Hollywood Microwaves” Video



Vancouver’s Pink Mountaintops have released a raucous new video for their perfectly profane track “North Hollywood Microwaves.” The lo-fi video features lots of geodes, some iPad operation while driving, and plenty of Giant Drag’s Annie Hardy rapping about things that would make your mother blush. Speaking of Annie Hardy, not only is she featured in the video, she directed it as well.

Blood Orange - “Uncle ACE (Kindness Remix)” (Feat. Robert Owens) Video



Last year, Blood Orange released his silky and beautiful album Cupid Deluxe, and now Dev Hynes’s friend and frequent collaborator Adam Bainbridge, better known as the disco-pop auteur Kindness, has remixed “Uncle ACE,” one of that album’s standout tracks. The twitchy, thumping new version has vocals from Robert Owens, the singer whose voice can be heard on many early Chicago house-music classics. Bainbridge has also directed a video for the remix. In the video, we see a series of long, static shots of Romford, the sleepy London suburb where Hynes grew up, and we see Hynes and Bainbridge and Owens wandering through it.

Trust - “Capitol” (Official Video)



Trust — now the solo project of producer Robert Alfons — recently put out the album Joyland, a record filled to the brim with dark, glittery dance music. Director Will Joines has now made a video for the album’s booming single “Capitol” that features Alfons singing while a girl seems to be haunted and possessed by a statue. It might seem kind of creepy if it wasn’t so damn pretty to look at and listen to.

The Men - “Different Days” (Official Video)



Near the middle of the Men’s Tomorrow’s Hits comes “Different Days,” which captures so many feelings and frustrations with a yell of, “I hate being young.” Now the Men have a music video that captures the same sentiment. Directed by Helge Mundt, the video came about through a contest held by Sacred Bone Records encouraging fans to film their own videos. The band chose Mundt’s video, which follows a young guy as he exercises, drinks, smokes, and walks around to excess. Though he never talks, the song speaks through him and makes its message crystal clear.

The Both - “Milwaukee” (Official Video)



Aimee Mann and Ted Leo recently joined forces to form the grown-folks power-pop super-duo the Both, and they’ll release their endlessly catchy and spirited self-titled debut album next week. These two are old hands at turning their music videos into very likable comedy sketches, and their new clip for first single “Milwaukee,” from director Daniel Ralston, is no exception. In this one, Ted Leo plays a dual role — as himself and as Ed Leo, his own burnt-out rocker uncle, who comes to play drums in the band.

Vertical Scratchers - “Way Out” (Official Video)



John Schmersal, who came up in the ’90s with Brainiac and later Enon, has two projects he’s working on right now. There’s Crooks On Tape and Vertical Scratchers, and they both kick ass. This new video for “Way Out” off Vertical Scratchers’ recent album comes from director Danny Perez, most famous for directing Animal Collective’s visual album ODDSAC, and he packs a lot of personality in under two minutes. The video mainly consists of Schmersal bouncing around in a straitjacket, but the set design, makeup, and Schmersal’s charismatic performance make it a lot of creepy fun.

4/09/2014

Popstrangers - “Country Kills” (Official Video)



“Country Kills” was the first single from the upcoming Popstrangers album Fortuna, and now it’s the project’s first video too. The London-based Kiwis tapped Mazes member Conan Roberts to direct, and he describes the visuals as such: “The video was inspired by a lot of collage artists, colour printed pages during the 1970’s, how cool people playing in bands look in B&W and my good buddy Royal Limp’s tumblr page.” Adam Page of Popstrangers adds this:
We’ve known Conan via email for a while now. He plays bass in the London band Mazes, and also runs a small bedroom label called Italian Beach Babes. When it came time to make a video it was natural for us to ask him. He makes a lot of videos for his own band, and has also worked with micachu and the shapes, cheatahs, Male Bonding etc. We really liked the idea of the picture in picture concept, and felt it worked with aesthetic of the song, and album as a whole.
As Page’s comments suggest, Roberts has created a simple, direct clip that matches the song’s immediacy and approachability. It has chorus for days, and it looks pretty, so watch.