The lyric video is vastly underrated.
Though certainly a lower-concept option for a music video, the lyric video is a captivating way to add visuals to a song. More than that, it allows the listener to make a deeper connection with the song by providing the words in rhythmic progression. What better way to make an impression?
Lyric videos are also a great way for visual artists and directors to practice new forms of storytelling. When all you have is a few words, many of which repeat, you’re forced into creative acrobatics. For examples of how this plays out, see below, as we’re featuring two lyric videos this week.
Paperilo -- “Bde Maka Ska” (lyric video)
Something about being young in Uptown makes you feel immortal and makes every moment feel like poetry. It doesn’t last long (especially when you wake up on Sunday and see the mounds of puke on your lawn) but it’s bliss while it does. “Bde Maka Ska” by startup garage rockers Paperilo captures this fleeting moment in blurry, romantic visions of the song’s titular lake.
Director Chelsea Arden Parker gives life to the video, matching the lovelorn lyrics that spill across the screen with macro close ups of blossoms and loons. The video makes you want to find a lover and get lake water in your hair, even though lake water is gross and the lake was initially named after a racist. That’s the power of love. “Bde Maka Ska” was released along with “3rd Street” on the debut EP Paperilo Vol. 1 on September 8.
CHVNSV -- “Company” (PREMIERE)
V.I.C.E. Boys standout CHVNSV released an overlooked gem back in May, Lost Cause. The third track from that EP, the 808trel-produced “Company,” is perhaps the record’s strongest reason why you shouldn’t sleep on the energetic young Twin Cities MC.
Nate P returns as the visionary behind CHVNSV’s latest Local Frames entry, which follows the rapper as he makes an appearance on Go95.3 to debut the reggae-infused dance song. Though CHVNSV claims the song is for the ladies, this certifiable hip-shaker that will get you on the dance floor regardless of your gender or sexual proclivity.
Tape Tension -- “Driving”
Jack Ross (you may remember him from Coastal Cabins) spent his undergrad years in Iowa tinkering away on an album in his dorm. The album’s creation actually spanned several dorm rooms over the course of Ross’s entire collegiate career and completed after his graduation this spring. Now that he has his degree, Ross has begun releasing the fruits of his bedroom recordings under the name Tape Tension.
The debut single from Tape Tension is a smooth, B-movie synth number titled “Driving.” Directed and produced by Ross himself, the video for “Driving” captures the late-night mysticism of a cruise along empty roads. Ross plans to drop more songs this fall, ultimately leading to a full-length release in October.
YunG Lee ft. Tycoon Trigg -- “Trust”
The 26-year-old St. Paul rapper Yung Lee is ready to take his artistry to the next level. The steezy rhymer has been dabbling in hip-hop for years, but now he’s got a clutch of music videos ready to lead him into the Silver City rap scene. The first of which is “Trust,” which features fellow up-and-comer Tycoon Trigg.
“Trust” and the videos in question (there are seven others) are shot by Dontell Antonio. In the video, we see Lee crewed up and rhyming with a level of distrust usually reserved for artist who’ve been in the game much longer. Over a catchy flute beat, Lee dismisses the yes men and hangers-on that attach themselves to rappers on the rise.
The Peace Life -- “How to Survive a Dust Bowl” (lyric video)
Trippy Minneapolis hippies the Peace Life have a deep devotion to ‘70s psychedelia, though their music also summons the anxieties and struggles of contemporary millennial life in the city. Their new single “How to Survive a Dust Bowl” sounds like a hallucinogenic jam from the Mamas and the Papas. Videographer Tebo La Roza matches the song’s bombastic electric organ with lava lamp visuals as the lyrics materialize in a vintage font.
Though the Peace Life recorded “How to Survive a Dust Bowl” (which comes from 2016’s Jupiter Beach), the dancing featured in silhouette was imported from Argentina. VIDI Multimedia captured the movements of dancer Nati Acosta, and the effect of layering the supple movements over the fluidic graphics is sultry and hypnotic -- another time-traveling cut from Minneapolis’ foremost psych revivalists.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]