That chorus is just sooo delicious! Maybe I am getting too old making comparisons such as this, but surely this song could have been written by John Lennon? The acerbity, combined with melody, harmony..and then there are the key changes! It also works better with age. Try listening several times. It does tend to creep up. Also reminds me a little of Wilco...but I am not saying it is derivative. It's not. It's brilliant. The track is from the forthcoming album "The Nihilist" due for release on April 8th through Yep Roc Records. The video is clearly a take on the absurdity of those shared days of celebration that we enjoy and endure at the same time. Reminds me just a little of the thematic angle that Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" video took with the suburban gothic. You can buy Liam's music at the link below.
Liam Finn - "Snug As Fuck"
One of my favourite electro-pop gems of the last eighteen months, "Secrets" is a co-written collaboration between two significant talents, and there is magic in the combination. Watercolours is Chelsea Jade Metcalf, well-known to readers of this blog for her not-particularly-prolific but brilliant atmospheric dream-pop. And some great videos as well. Boycrush, (Alistair Deverick) is less well-known publicly although many in the industry will know him from his role as drummer with one of the other superb bands that emerged out of NZ in the mid-2000s, and which is still releasing amazing material, The Ruby Suns. There is a link below where you can listen to, and buy their music. Having "Secrets" on high rotate for a month or so back in late 2012, I had been vaguely hoping that, if the song received funding for a video, that it would be of the quality of the song. And it is. Directed by Liam Bachler, it is possibly one of the best NZ music videos of the last twelve months. There are many images I could name as favourites from the video, but the exploding balloons, and that imagery's integration with the song's rhythm track almost gave me shivers. The mixing for the track was done by Signer's Bevan Smith. You can buy it, and/or the EP it is from, at the link below. I own everything linked below.
Boycrush feat. Watercolours - Secrets
A beautifully disturbing video, that according to Martyn Pepperell shows where "nature meets technology, reality meets unreality; and beauty meets decay". "Amnesia" builds out of a simple piano and delayed-snare + tom motif into a guitar-based, over-driven, sonic wall. The evolution of space and texture, and the building dynamic contribute to an offering that gets more difficult to release at each listening. The combination of visuals and sound are perfectly matched, and a tribute to the vision of directors Emily Berryman & Phoebe Lysbeth Kay Mackenzie. I love the strobing at the end of the track. A little embarrassingly, Strange Harvest first came to my attention only about six hours ago, in part due to a VanguardRed article by Mr Pepperell (see link below). The band had in fact released the "Inside A Replica City" album back in May 2013. The reader and I can both buy it at the link below. I'll race you...
Blog Post Update: "Amnesia" has made the NZMusic4U Honour Roll. The quality of the components, but also the integration of those components are what make this video special. A pretty easy decision.
Amnesia - Strange Harvest
Trick Mammoth is one of the very interesting stable of artists that make up Dunedin's Fishrider records (see link below). Males, seen elsewhere on this blog are also on the label's roster. There is a historical and geographical artistic lineage here which I can't help hearing...a lineage which goes back to the The Verlaines, The Clean, The Bats etc etc. I am pretty sure that is not an insult. But this music is also of it's time, and it does need to be fresh to make it onto this blog. Trick Mammoth are Adrian Ng, Millie Lovelock (Astrochildren) and Sam Valentine. According to Adrian, "Delphine (With A Purpose)" is centred around the Holly Golightly quote from the "Breakfast At Tiffany's" movie..."because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself". "Delphine is sort of a metaphorical assassin. She kills people in an attempt to leave her former self". Adrian also says this was the first song he wrote specifically for Millie to sing. "This is Millie's song" he says, "she owns it". And I love it. The song is from the new "Floristry" album. I also really enjoyed the video for the song, which was created by Emily Hlavac Green, who also took the cover image for the album cover. Emily was assisted on the video by Alex Lovell-Smith at A&E Studio in Dunedin. You can buy the "Floristry" album at the link below. I will be buying it.
Trick Mammoth - "Delphine (With A Purpose)"
The title track from Neil Finn's "Dizzy Heights" album is as fresh as some of his earlier material, but clearly written and performed from the perspective of a mature musician. This gives it depth, but it is not dated, is definitely a progression, and had me posting a video from someone I don't think really needs support from blogs such as this (promoting up and coming artists). The Neil Finn brand identity still has cache, probably due to a reputation for strongly competent, and sometimes inspired song-writing, often set within luscious sonic settings. This keeps people like me coming back. Great video by the way. Still can't find out who put the video together. You can purchase the new album at the link below.
Neil Finn - Dizzy Heights
From the new "Shepherd's Delight" album, this fusion of genres (hip hop...w/ a sprinkling of funk, jazz and house) is one of my favourite tracks of the year so far. Great production, dynamics and balance, with an idiosyncratic vocal delivery, makes for something pretty special. The track needed a video that delivered at the same level as the vibe, and St John (Street John) has given Team Dynamite something that looks expensive...in the best sense of that adjective. The colour, lighting and of course, the editing, has worked to create a feeling of space, and, dare I say it, elegance. The only criticism would be the fade-out on the song itself. It is a minor criticism. I would like to hear this song on a big sound system. I suspect it would be awesome. If you like the song, I have provided a link to Team Dynamite's Bandcamp page below where you can pre-order "Shepherd's Delight" (February 7 release). Team Dynamite are a member of the "Young, Gifted and Broke" collective. I have provided a link to that as well. Go have a look.
Team Dynamite 'Do It Slow"
If I had to put together a list of musical NZers under the age of 21 most likely to succeed globally, Randa would be very high on my list. It's superbly innovative material, delivered by a well-defined artistic identity with oodles of visual charisma. I suspect if she is to make it, it may demand some pin-balling from partnership to partnership (see her Dan Aux collaboration), and possibly finding a more permanent melodic/textural production team to work with...or it might just work on its own. Who am I to say? Randa is not the only reason this video has been posted (although she lights this one up as usual). I have been very impressed by the work of Candlelit Pictures and was driven to do a mini-profile on them after discovering their portfolio last week. Yesterday it was Evan Sinton's "Prisoner's Cinema". Today it's "Cosby Kid". Not sure how to describe it. Just watch it. Directed by "Thunderlips", the video was produced by Anna Duckworth and Alix Whittaker. So good. Links to both Randa's website, and Candlelit's portfolio are below.
Randa - Cosby Kid
This week we have two very good videos from Candlelit Pictures. The first is for one-time "New Zealand's Got Talent" finalist Evan Sinton, the second for "Cosby Kid" from Randa (tomorrow). I am not a fan of television talent shows but very occasionally they do make us aware of really interesting new artists - although I think those same artists need to be careful it does not undermine their initial positioning. I don't think people intuitively link talent shows with creativity. Performance yes, creativity no. "Prisoner's Cinema" is original though, and showcases true creativity and a great vocal presence. The song demanded a strong video, and Candlelit have delivered beautifully. Concept and direction was by "Thunderlips" with production by Anna Duckworth and Alix Whitaker. Go to Evan's website at the link below. You can download the "Phospenes" EP (from which this track has been taken) at the iTunes link.
|Evan Sinton - Prisoner's Cinema|