Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

September Videos, pt. 2

October 9, 2015

Here’s some videos that are more focused on “fun” than yesterday’s.

Here’s my highest praise for a pop-art video: The Elwins’ “So Down Low” looks like OK GO could have made it. It’s mindboggling, smile-inducing, and demands repeat plays to catch all the bits. That’s how it’s done, folks.

From the opening frames that compare the Space Needle to a french fry to the final shots of the band (Blimp Rock) in a blimp, this Archer-esque animation style clip is a hoot.

Do you love Wes Anderson? Prepare to love Sea of Bees’ homage to Moonrise Kingdom in the “Test Yourself” clip.

Here’s another tribute to summer camp, with the oh-so-charming Pen Pals singing a awww-inducing, 90-second indie-pop ditty about why camp is the best. The visual style makes me think of camps I never went to but can imagine perfectly in my head. (The one I went to looked nothing like this one, but I still got nostalgia anyway.)

Bellwire’s clip for “Time Out” is like the dream of the indie ’90s revisited: yards of yarn, googly eyes, people dancing through the frame, a haircut, and lots of gawky bounding about. It’s pretty much a perfect analog to the sound.

Ah, the reveries of youth: a kid finds himself as a superhero in this video for Tuff Sunshine’s “Dreamin'”.

Careening around the downstairs of a house is an unusual concept for a video, but somehow Off the Record’s clip for “Whitley” makes it work. I want to know what’s going on upstairs.

Goofy and great.

Videos: B A

April 13, 2015

Ryan O’Reilly’s gorgeously-shot video for “Northern Lights” plays out like a wintry Moonrise Kingdom. The high-drama, piano-led singer/songwriter tune fits perfectly with the video.

Some bands know how to create gravitas out of the same old instruments. There’s nothing unique about the instrumentation in Lowland Hum’s “Odell,” but they wring heartbreakingly powerful indie-rock tunes out of it (a la a catchier Bowerbirds). The video is a perfect foil to the song, pulling the heavy and the light out of everyday experiences.

The swift fingerpicking of Caitlin Marie Bell’s “Mama” is filled out with a gentle alt-country arrangement that calls to mind Laura Stevenson’s immediately-engaging work. Bell’s evocative voice leads the way through the arrangement, resulting in one of the best new songs I’ve heard this year. I’m very much looking forward to more from Bell.

Laura and Greg’s pristine, bell-clear, minimalist songwriting is similar to The Weepies. The terrific video is a lovingly hand-drawn animation that will make you want to watch it over and over.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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