Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21, but we're already predicting which beachy tune will be Song of the Summer.
It's an almost dubious honor, as it basically guarantees that the so-named song will be all but forgotten by the time the school year begins. At the same time, there's something so seductive about having your tune be tied to all the blissful adventure of the summer. It's romantic.
On a local music level, it's a way to inscribe your place on the mind of a listening public who are primed for recreation and away from their computers for days at a time. 2015's go-'round gave Hippo Campus ("South") the biggest platform they've ever had, and the boys from the St. Paul School of Rock haven't looked back since.
Time to start priming your ears for 2016's indelible hit of the next three months.
Graveyard Club — "Nightcrawler"
Graveyard Club's first single off their upcoming LP, Cellar Door, picks up right where their last single from their 2014 LP Nightingale left off. In January, we saw the visuals for "Fire in the Sky," which mixed archival VHS footage with the Minneapolis group's new-wave shiver. "Nightcrawler," which was released last week, goes even more over the top, splicing shots from Powell Peralta Skateboards' 1987 film The Search for Animal Chin.
It's an odd juxtaposition to be sure, but something about the goofy neon getups and gnar-shredding teens meshes perfectly with the band's persistent heart swell of a chorus. The song is actually a better soundtrack than the original, keytar-tastic score. Cellar Door will be out in July. Graveyard Club plays 7th St. Entry on July 3 alongside Astronomique and Lawrence.
OG Grip — "They Don't Know"
See if you don't get the growling chorus of OG Grip's latest single stuck in your head all day. The determined credo of "They don't know how far I've come / They don't know how far I'll go" vibrates through your speakers with equal melody and guttural grit. It makes for an almost unsettling refrain that still embeds itself in your brain.
"They Don't Know" comes from the Minneapolis rapper's January album Linchpin, a menacing, 16-song collection of similar jams. The video was created by Future Fame Productions, who bathe OG Grip in immaculate light as he goes around town doing his business before ultimately shedding his humanity.
Niki Becker — "Reactor"
Slack-pop singer Niki Becker will play the Stone Arch Bridge Festival on Friday, so she decided to set the video for her single "Reactor" in the friendly confines of St. Anthony. The end product shows how much fun can be had when you mix the riverside setting with her spunky, unapologetic brand of garage rock.
The single comes from the 2015 album of the same name, which was released almost a year ago today. Though the video (shot by Jesse Allen Draeger and edited by Becker herself) shows Becker and her bandmates Colleen Borgendale and Sara Horishnyk having a carefree time rolling around the grassy hills of Northeast, the song itself is something of a confession.
In it, Becker realizes her bad habit of overreacting and how it negatively affects her relationships. Instead of apologizing for it, she decides to just belt out a catharsis in song.
Sean Anonymous — "Invisible Ink"
Sean Anonymous spits so quickly that it can seem like he's hiding something in his raps. With a slight-of-lips style that chews up syllables, the Minneapolis rapper runs through verses at blink-and-you'll-miss-it-speed. But if you run it back, you'll find a depth that other local rappers can only grasp at.
Such is the case with surprise single "Invisible Ink," which shows Sean Anon confessing in cryptic, punctate bars. Over production from Better Days partner Dimitry Killstorm, he can't even manage to make eye contact with the camera, selling his shame like a busker in black and white.
Nicholas Larkins Perez did the filming and editing, putting together a stark, black-and-white visual that drives the feeling that Anonymous had to get his thoughts onto wax in order to be at peace.
Reina del Cid — "Lover, Be Mine"
Peachy singer-songwriter Reina del Cid just wrapped up a big show at the Cedar with the Minnesota Music Coalition on June 9. To celebrate what was a big night for her career, she's released a reggae-tinged single that's perfectly formulated for summertime decompressions.
"Lover, Be Mine" doesn't have an album affiliation (yet) — it's just free as a bird, wafting through the season looking for romance. Reina and her band gave some details about the song's conception over at Performer, who debuted the visual (shot by Shane Lattie at the Hideaway), but it's a song that doesn't need to be overthought. Packers fans can catch the soothing vibes on June 23 at the Lyric Room in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected].
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