Leave your jack o’ lanterns to rot. It’s November. Time for lists.
Halloween has passed, and we’re truly in the animal soup of the fall. The light is almost closed on 2019. Now comes the evaluation. The obligatory weighing. Favorites will be levied against favorites, and you will read and despair.
Before you despair too deeply, remember that album of the year, and all the permutations thereof, is purely for entertainment. There is nothing empirical about it. It’s one expression of taste in an internet utterly brimming with the stuff. Save your angry comments, because they can’t change the last 11 months.
Buried Animals – “Heaven Keeps on Bringing Me Down” (PREMIERE)
Death sucks, but it’s a part of life. Local synth-pop band Buried Animals try to reckon with this inevitability on their somber new single “Heaven Keeps on Bringing Me Down.” First-time director Lauren Wuornos sets the video at a party where frontman Eric Addams detaches from the dancing, singing in a coffin as Nigel Ian pounds out an LCD Soundsystem beat on his drum pad in the closet. Together, the two recluses are able to immortalize their very mortal fears, creating something that will outlast both the party and themselves.
D-Spawn ft. Thee Kamillion – “Imposter”
Founding Atmosphere MC D-Spawn is back, and his old-school style is intact. The rapper spits with all the confidence of his twentysomething self but with the perspective of a half-generation of observation under his belt. Comeback single “Imposter” is a hard-edged reminder of what the Twin Cities lost when Spawn hung up the mic. Spawn teams with Thee Kamillion and producer LST to create the song, adding a reggaeton flavor to the former b-boy’s boom-bap stylings.
Taylor J – “Starship”
St. Paul rapper Taylor J is one of the most productive forces in the Twin Cities. After dropping yet another project in his Roses EP, he’s blasting off into the stratosphere for single “Starship.” Music video director Thomas Aksamit finds inspiration in 2001: A Space Odyssey, making Taylor look like an intergalactic sex messiah, come to rescue his terrestrial love from the limitations of earthbound relationships. From the way he works the switchboard in the control room, you know Taylor has the goods. This is the kind of music gigantic star babies are conceived to.
Malik Augustus – “Escape”
Life is risky, and sometimes, you just want somewhere safe to retreat to. Rapper Malik Augustus takes to the woods in search of his sanctuary in the new video for “Escape,” directed by Abe Fortier. Brandishing a canteen of tea and an open mind, Augustus ventures out in search of serenity. He comes incredibly close to finding it before realizing that true peace is only found with a likeminded other to share it with. “Escape” is from Augustus’s new EP Turbulent.
iLLism – “High Key”
“The feeling of love is the highest frequency you can emit.” That’s how local duo iLLism open the new video for “High Key,” an ode to the shameless freedom of going all-in for love. When the vibe is good, why try to play it cool? That’s never been iLLism’s style, and their video, directed by iLLism and Gregory Marrufo, is basically stylized PDA. These two are in love on the highest frequency possible, and they’re ready to broadcast that out across the land.
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