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Clerk love, late night reflections, and Minnesota anthems in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

A clip from the video for Half's 'Conversations.'

A clip from the video for Half's 'Conversations.' YouTube

The influencer age has affected music journalism is a strange way.

Jeremy P. Gordon broke down the issue like this in the Columbia Journalism Review last week: If the internet has enabled artists to tell their own stories directly to their intended audience, why do they need journalists?

As press coverage increasingly becomes a partnership between an artist and an outlet, that makes critical evaluation more important than ever. When access to an artist is bartered for positive coverage, the audience is failed. This is a service industry, and this paper’s service to you is the diligence of watching, listening to, and studying a huge body of music and returning with an honest reflection.

NATL PARK SRVC – “All the Moves”

When it comes to lust, age is just a number. Minneapolis lo-fi pop band NATL PARK SRVC know that well, and their new song “All the Moves” is an homage to the generational boundlessness of attraction. in the video, directed by Alex Woytcke, an awkward love story plays out in the aisles of a grocery store. Love is strange, but this band is stranger. NATL PARK SRVC is dropping their new EP Psychic Friends Fair at a house show on August 30. Message the band for the address.

Half ft. Kobi – “Conversations”

After a long night, things start to get heavy. Enough drinks and suddenly you’re spilling your soul to the person next to you. In the video for “Conversations,” Twin Cities rappers Half and Kobi live this situation out on a rooftop, trading a bottle as they confide in each other. The moment of mutual solitude results in a pair of tight, reflective verses, and you can feel the rappers’ bond tightening bar by bar. Pulido Creative Studio directs the video, letting us play silent observer to the late-night camaraderie. “Conversations” is on Half’s upcoming One Nine, which drops tomorrow, which is also his birthday.

Alex Matthew – “Welcome to the Sota”

Minnesota has a lot of theme songs, but there’s always room for one more. With “Welcome to the Sota,” rapper Alex Matthew has taken his turn at memorializing his home state in song. Matthew’s anthem focuses on the easily overlooked aspects of Minnesota country life. Drone footage shows off his sprawling estate while the rapper rhymes in front of a tricked out, mean-lookin’ Jeep with his hometown buddies. For a chosen few locals lucky enough to be born here, this is what the good life looks like. “Welcome to the Sota” is off Matthew’s new LP Unleashed.

Reina Del Cid – “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” (Otis Redding cover)

Every Sunday, Reina Del Cid releases a new video on her YouTube channel. Very often, those videos are covers the singer-songwriter performs acoustically with her collaborators. This week, they took on the Otis Redding classic “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay”—right there on the banks of the Mississippi River. Their rendition is faithful, right down to the protracted whistling solo. Cid is currently on tour, but she’ll be releasing her new record Morse Code on October 4. She has a show that night at the Cedar to celebrate.

Taylor James Donskey – “Today” (lyric video)

Sometimes you just need to put down your bullshit and enjoy the simple beauty of life in the Twin Cities. On a good day, there’s no place better to live, a feeling that singer-songwriter Taylor James Donskey conjures in the lyric video for his new single “Today.” The video is a chin-up appreciation of the everyday beauty of a Twin Cities drive. Some of the sights—Vintage Music Co., Frostbeard Studio, Southside Food and Deli—are things I ride by every day without ever noticing the calm, comforting beauty of their familiar marquees. “Today” was released with a show at the Aster last Sunday, and it comes from Donskey’s album Paper Over It.

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