Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Last 2014 Videos: Serious

January 6, 2015

Sunmonks’ “In a Desert of Plenty” is the rare track that succeeds in interpreting the rhythm and mood of the song with the clip. Most entrancing is the sections where the director tracks the polyrhythmic backbeat with the erratic motion of feet. (You just have to watch it.)

I love a good animated clip, especially when it tells an interesting (if slightly inscrutable) story.

Lights and Motion is back with a new album and a new video! The video for “The Spectacular Quiet” follows previous videos in having absolutely brilliant cinematography scoring a narrative that takes some thinking about. (Also: quite spectacular; not very quiet.)

If you’re the sort of person that appreciates slowly-unfolding musical mood pieces, then you might also appreciate a three-part, 15-minute, slowly-unfolding video mood piece set to three Jesse Marchant songs. Not a lot happens in the 15 minutes in terms of action, but it’s really pretty cinematography.

Get on up get on up get on up

November 2, 2014

1. “Cassius” – The Maytags. You want some fun, dance-around your kitchen vibes? The Maytags have perky horns, upbeat rhythm section, group vocals, and a totally infectious mood. My fiance likes it, and she likes good music. Jump on it, people.

2. “In a Desert of Plenty” – Sunmonks. Motown horns, distant vocals, funky vibes, and engimatic/intriguing rhythmic elements make this track a keeper.

3. “The Snowfalls” – Whyte Horses. Gentle psychedelia meets ’70s folk with some ’50s girl pop vibes in the vocals: it’s a really inviting overall effect.

4. “Center of the Universe” – Chris Staples. Remember that hyper-personal acoustic indie-pop movement from the early to mis ’00s? Some called it quiet is the new loud, but I called it deeply engaging, personal work with a priority on intimate recording styles. This Built to Spill cover nails all the right notes.

5. “i don’t need an advocate, i need an exorcist” – moyamoya. If Appleseed Cast’s wide-open, cinematographic motion from Mare Vitalis made into to the minor keys of Peregrine, we’d have this track. Tons of great guitar work throughout, beautiful production job.

6. “A Sunday Afternoon Epilepsy” – More than Skies. MTS continues their very intriguing campaign to mix lush, autumnal folk landscapes with angular, punk-inspired guitars and creaky vocals. I’m a fan.

7. “Ghostlight” – Alex Tiuniaev. Here’s a cinematic, pensive, romantic instrumental piece led by piano and strings.

8. “Opus No. 21” – The Greatest Hoax. Ambient classical? Dreamy no-guitars post-rock? Wistful dreamweave pop? Whatever this is, it’s pretty, moving, and sets a scene well.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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