Tuesday, 24 February 2015

-Music Videos on my Mind- Emilie Nicholas’ “Grown Up”

Norwegian singer Emile Nicholas released the music video for Grown Up almost one year ago and accumulated big buzz in Scandinavian territories, scoring successive deals with indie labels in major music markets. Nicholas recently despaired at the record label bureaucracy that has hindered her traction in the UK, saying: “I get emails all the time being like ‘where can I buy the album in the UK? Please send me an address!’”
Her British label is now on the case, be it belatedly. Written by Nicholas and produced by her and her drummer Eivind Helgerød, Grown Up exhibits those famously Spartan, modern Nordic production techniques of minimalist beats layered in fractured drum samples and airy vocals.  The song is obviously working through some pretty heavy father-daughter issues, but it’s the personal music video constructed entirely of footage taken from historic Nicholas’ family home movies that proves most affecting.

Monday, 16 February 2015

-Music Videos on My Mind- Diet Cig’s “Scene Sick”

Hailing from a place in New York State called New Platz, Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman are a duo whose frenetic five-track EP Over Easy is a master class in contagious indie pop music. Soaking in an innate sense of energy, playfulness and pandemonium, Diet Cig is the ultimate alternative music tonic, steeped in double entendre lyrics and creatively sharp witticisms.
The no-budget music video for Scene Sick is a wonder; a deceptively simple concept in which Luciano’s infectiously crazy dancing rubs off on to Bowman, ultimately rubbing off on all those watching. No doubt the seemingly effortless graphic continuity from one edit to the next necessitated marvellous blocking and accurate positioning, but what screams out most is just how happy both of them look. The two seem so instantly likable and involving that you hit the repeat button more times than one will admit to.

Friday, 13 February 2015

-Music Videos on my Mind- SOAK’s “Sea Creatures”

SOAK is a crafty portmanteau of the terms ‘soul’ and ‘folk’; also being the stage name eighteen-year-old Bridie Monds-Watson from Derry, Northern Ireland goes by.
Live recordings of Sea Creatures have been floating around since 2012, with the music press tipping her as one to watch since 2013, Warner Music signing and arranging for her to perform at major festivals through 2014, and now it’s time to unleash SOAK as Britain’s response to Lorde in 2015 as an introspective but relatable young woman singing in tenderly wounded vocals about adolescent existentialism.
SOAK has been carefully developed by her record company; however, my smarminess shouldn’t undermine Monds-Watson’s credibility as an interesting singer-songwriter. Her type of music doesn’t get much traction these days, and the efforts of those around her to make her breakout in a mainstream sense suggests the industry realises that traditional pop singing styles can only last so long.
SOAK will travel to the States next month for SXSW, firmly in the hope it will be the best international platform for an androgynous-type skater girl writing songs about being an outsider that smart kids will connect to.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

-Music Videos on my Mind- The Unthanks’ “Flutter”

The Unthanks is an English folk band based in Northumberland. It’s a pretty tight unit fronted by sisters Becky and Rachel Unthank, the latter being married to band member Adrian McNally who is also the group's manager, musical arranger and producer. Their new album Mount the Air was recorded in their own makeshift studio in Northumberland, located in an old granary building 200 yards from where Rachel Unthank and Adrian McNally live with their young kids. Mount the Air is released through the band’s own label Rabbel Rouser, which further reinforces group’s demand for complete control and autonomy over the material they produce.
To now, The Unthanks was a big deal on the British folk scene, garnering all manner of top awards for records released during the noughties. Flutter marks shift in their sound, a growth that draws on downtempo jazz riffs, David Holmes-style cinematic electronic compositions, and Portishead-type gloriously melancholic experimental rock sounds. This makes Flutter a pretty unique sounding record that works on both the listener’s sonic and visual senses.
These guys ought to do the next James Bond movie song.