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Atmosphere conduct a mysterious winter ritual in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

A scene from the gritty 2019 reboot of 'Cannonball Run.'

A scene from the gritty 2019 reboot of 'Cannonball Run.' YouTube

We’re not gonna die underneath all this snow.

People wonder where Midwesterners get their determination, and I think this February offers good evidence that it’s rooted in the shared experience of enduring winter after winter of heartbreaking weather. This has been the snowiest February in Minnesota history (suck it, 1965), and yet people are still going about their days like there hasn’t been near-Biblical snowfall over the past two weeks.

When you’re in the music game, that sort of dogged, survival-at-all-costs determination is necessary. We have some good-tempered people living in our state, and that’s why it’s no surprise to see artists like the first in this week’s roundup gritting it out for decades at a time. It’s success by perseverance. Take that as an example: Keep your head down and keep trudging forward.

Atmosphere – “Delicate”

Atmosphere may be local legends, but one contribution they’ve made to our hip-hop scene that’s actually underrated is their devotion to creating excellent music videos. The Thomas Aksamit-directed “Delicate,” the sixth video from the Rhymesayers duo’s latest record, Mi Vida Local, feels like a true crime re-enactment, following Slug as he ventures into the winter woods to unearth one precious object and bury another. Slug and Ant are currently on a worldwide tour supporting Mi Vida Local, and they won’t be back in the Twin Cities until late April.

Grayshot – “Ordinary Love”

Grayshot have already released a lyric video for their new single “Ordinary Love,” but the self-directed follow-up is anything but ordinary. For the video, the Ankrum brothers asked a bunch of strangers the same question: “If you’ve ever been in love, how did it change you?” They asked those polled to scrawl out their answers on a whiteboard and show them to the camera. If you’re the type of boiled-heart cynic who’s ruled out ever being redeemed by love, these are the messages you need to see. Every whiteboard reveals the transformative power of devoting yourself to someone else. Grayshot will release their new album Surface on Friday at the Hook & Ladder.

Catbath – “Check Byways”

If you've ever fallen asleep with the television on and woken to a confusing mix of static and infomercials, Catbath’s new video for “Check Byways” will seem familiar. Directed by Gravey Graves, the video is an eerie, hypnotic vision of the landscape between sleep and consciousness. In the words of the band, it’s “white-knuckled jitter punk to keep your red eyes open.” “Check Byways” comes from Catbath’s 2018 LP Glitterbox. See the manic punk band play at Spider House on March 15 as part of Peelander Fest Free.

Capital Sons – “Anchor”

Love can be about comfort and trust. The new video for “Anchor” by Minneapolis country band Capital Sons takes the phrase “blind devotion” literally, as director Hunter Christy centers his video on a blindfolded couple who, despite not being able to see each other, have cultivated an incredible bond. It’s a testament to the unspoken subtleties that propel a relationship to greatness. Capital Sons bring their down-home rock ‘n’ roll to Eagles #34 on March 29.

Firebirdie – “Body Wild (The Tip)”

Enough about love, let’s talk about sex. Minneapolis pop-rock band Firebirdie understand the appeal of a good tease, and their new video “Body Wild (The Tip)” is devoted to the hornifying magic of a slow, sensual start. Directors (and Firebirdie members) Travis Wavescorx and Jessica Grantham aren’t so explicit in the music video, but you can feel their intention in singer Grantham’s salacious moves and honeyed vocals. The message is clear: It’s time to get down.

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]