Second week in a row we have a Doprah video, and this is their best yet. From the self-titled debut EP (album on the way apparently), this was the second single they released back in early 2013 - which pretty much confirmed "Whatever You Want" was not an accident. Less obvious, but texturally deeper, and overall, way more interesting, the song, combined with this suberb video might just catalyse something bigger. There has been plenty of blog coverage. Candlelit Pictures have come up with some very, very good videos over the last twelve months...Sheep, Dog & Wolf "Glare", Randa's "Frankenstein" and Evan Sinton's "Prisoner's Cinema". But "Stranger People" might just be out in front. There are clear J-Pop, "Lolita" fashion and Anime influences at play here, but I think it actually improves on some of those videos that might have influenced the makers...videos such as "Pon Pon Pon" linked below. Doprah are exciting, still a little raw, and unpredictable. It will be interesting to see where they take this early promise. You can buy the Doprah EP at the links below. I bought it.
Candlelit Pictures's website here:
Doprah - Stranger People (Music Video)
When I first came across the song about eighteen months ago, despite many early-adopters, it was almost as if no-one took it too seriously, even the band. That may well have been just a misperception by yours truly, but I found it odd that the creators of such a magical piece of 90s-style trip-hop seemed not to realise something pretty special had just happened. I suspect they realise now. There is an industry buzz surrounding Doprah. International blogs like them. Crowds like them. Doprah is principally Steven John Marr, and Indira Force, two substantial and versatile talents. Steven I think is responsible for the overall sound, songs, and structure, whereas Indira adds both lyrics and a stylistic counterpoint that fleshes the sound out, and defines it. I am so glad the song got the video it deserved. Featuring Rebekah Clydesdale & Jed Mccammon, the clip was directed and produced by Dunedin's "G U A R D S" (see link below), who are Daniel Blackball and Alex Lovell-Smith. I have just bought the band's new self-titled "Doprah" EP. You can own it too at the following links.
G U A R D S at this link:
DOPRAH - Whatever You Want (Music Video)
Didn't get me at first this one. But a couple of plays and the soaring chorus started to work its magic. From the "Tom's Lunch" EP, "Bob Lennon John Dylan" is an example of what The Phoenix Foundation do so well...mixing layers of melody with acerbic/ironic lyrical observations. The spectacular video is by Puck Murphy and Paul Freeman. I have no idea who they are, but they have created something that leaps off the screen. The band have described it on Twitter as "spermy man spaghetti in a cosmic vagina of light!". "Katey Melody Rodgers" gets a special mention for her costume work here. There is an April 2014 Alexander Bisley interview with Luke Buda in Rip It Up which gives us an insight into the latest material. After the less immediate "Fandango" (which I love), the band have decided to go with a more "exuberant" approach on this EP. I have linked the article below. You can buy the "Tom's Lunch" EP at the iTunes link below.
The Rip It Up interview is at this link:
The Phoenix Foundation - Bob Lennon John Dylan (Official Music Video)
Louie Knuxx (real name Todd Williams) can be polarizing. Not afraid of painting quite hedonistic, almost nihilist vignettes, taken at face value, he can get some people's backs up. But hip hop has never been about platitudes, and it is at its best when great production (Max Throw on this occasion) is mixed with well-delivered rhymes that are honest, and from the heart...or ummm, other parts of the body. (hey - I meant brain!) "Sex & Drugs" is off Louie's upcoming album. There is a newer video out currently, a brilliant cooperative effort with Jane Deezy (at link below), and one due very soon. Louie Knuxx is one of my favourite NZ MCs and I suspect international success is finally starting to appear. I am not surprised. The almost-feline downbeat sensual menace of both his rhymes, and their performance, is really quite special. You can buy Louie's last album "Dying Slow" at the link below. I have it. I imagine the new album will be available at this link soon.
Louie Knuxx - You See feat Jane Deezy (prod by Quexxxt)
Louie Knuxx - Sex & Drugs (Official Video)
There will be many people who love this song...and that number must be growing by the day. A song that probably means different things to many people. It has had a special resonance for me. "Back On My Feet" was actually written about music. Louis Baker says "music has a remarkable way of repairing the human spirit. This is the message I intended on conveying to the listener. It is about leaving the depths of downheartedness and showing gratitude to music for gifting overwhelming hope". With a depth and maturity to his song-writing and performance that is clearly at odds with the number of years he has been with us on this planet, Louis is giving us blue-eyed soul as it should be. "Back On My Feet" is the fourth track off Louis' self-titled EP, and by far and away my favourite, although "Birds" is another strong contender for that title. That song/video combination is currently on this blog's "Honour Roll". The sparse elegant production on the EP is by Andy Lovegrove of Breaks Coop. It was always going to be a song that demanded a pretty special video. Aidee Walker has written and directed a simple but stunning visual accompaniment to the song. Alexander Gandar produced (www.humans.co.nz). The video stars Clementine Howe, Jarod Rawiri and Italia Matautia. Lovely performances. I own the "Louis Baker" album. If you haven't already bought it, go and do so at the Bandcamp link below. I have included a range of other links if you would like to know or hear more. This really is a contender for song of the year. As it is, it most definitely will be on the #summershot2015 list.
Louis Baker - Back On My Feet