Local Frames is a weekly column spotlighting the best new music videos featuring musicians and directors with Minnesota ties.
We get things going this week with an imaginative video from Skittish, who cleverly work themselves into some old-time archival footage to craft a truly original clip. In addition, we've got brand new videos from Atmosphere, Lizzo, PaviElle, Ceewhy, and Dwell & the Shape Ship. We're also highlighting some terrific live performance clips from Jeremy Messersmith, the Cactus Blossoms, Molly Maher, and Are You Local? winners, Black Diet. Enjoy!
Skittish - "Running Lights"
While this video from the St. Paul indie-folk quintet, Skittish, has been out for a while, it's too imaginative not to include. Images of the group are interwoven into grainy, archival footage, which gives the clip a stylish touch while also enhancing the throwback folk sounds of the song itself. The track is the lead-off number from the band's new EP, The Five Stages, a jaunty, dynamic collection that should certainly garner the band some more fans, in addition to the dedicated supporters who have been following them over the past seven years. The group, filled with plenty of local music scene veterans, is currently down in Austin for SXSW, and when they return, they have a show scheduled at Icehouse on April 8 with Hotelcaster.
Jeremy Messersmith - "Ghost (Mahogany Session)"
Fresh off of his triumphant hometown shows to support his wonderful new album, Heart Murmurs, Jeremy Messersmith just recorded this solo acoustic take on the record's big single, "Ghost." He recorded this intimate Mahogany Session while he was in London recently, and this stark version is imbued with the unguarded emotion and spirit that originally inspired the song. Messersmith is currently playing a few high profile shows at SXSW, before continuing on the road on a brief West Coast tour beginning on March 20.
The Cactus Blossoms - "Stoplight Kisses (Live on A Prairie Home Companion)"
The Cactus Blossoms recently lent their prodigious musical talents to a staging of A Prairie Home Companion. And this stellar version of "Stoplight Kisses" is taken from that broadcast. The group is augmented by the fresh stylings of the Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, giving the sprightly track a full, vibrant sound. The Cactus Blossoms are currently down in Austin, TX (who isn't?!), but have some splendid local shows scheduled upon their return, including a Loud at the Library performance at the James J. Hill Library on March 27 and an opening slot for Red Daughters and Night Moves at the Varsity Theater on March 28.
Black Diet - "Cry (Live on Radio K)"
Black Diet won their way down to Austin with a rousing set at the 7th Street Entry as part of the recent Are You Local? showcase. And before the group took part in the inaugural Piñata Records Hit Parade to support their record label, they stopped by the Radio K studios for a spirited live session that included this soulful, impassioned take on "Cry." Black Diet are clearly on their way to something grand here in the Twin Cities, and hopefully their SXSW exposure will get the rest of the country on board really quick -- because this band is taking off, big time.
Lizzo - "Faded"
We already broke down the behind-the-scenes action on Lizzo's new "Faded" video. But the clip is ultimately way too awesome to not include in Local Frames. The MC is joined by a whole host of rowdy characters, including Macaulay Culkin (that's right), Har Mar Superstar, Astronautalis, Caroline Smith, Sophia Eris, and other madcaps, all adding their own distinct flavor to the lively video. The clip, directed by Ryan "Kron" Thompson and produced by Sam Spafford, draws from footage shot over the past few months in the California desert, Paris, and in Minneapolis, all coming together exuberantly to give visual life to one of the standout tracks on Lizzobangers.
Atmosphere - "Bitter"
While we are all quite anxious to put this long, harsh winter behind us, Atmosphere's icy new video for "Bitter" will ensure that we all have some visual evidence of the cold months to look back on, well, bitterly. It was below zero the day they filmed this video, and those frigid conditions only add to the sharpened spirit of the song. Adam J. Dunn and Sean Daley himself directed the clip, with the track drawn from Atmosphere's forthcoming album, Southsiders, due out on May 6. Surely, Atmosphere will be dipping into plenty of their new songs when they headline Soundset on May 25.
PaviElle - "Disbelief"
Soulful local singer PaviElle is back with a video for her plaintive new track "Disbelief." She is looking for help funding the production costs for her debut album, and has set up an Indiegogo page to collect contributions from her fans. The video captures PaviElle alone at her keyboard, as both her sonorous vocals and the rich keys guide the song forward. She's currently got a Wednesday night residency going at Icehouse, and you can next catch her performing there on March 19.
Molly Maher - The Naked Songwriter Ep. 12
Molly Maher has been a crucial part of the Twin Cities music scene for over a decade now. After writing a feature piece on her for the Current last year, I was pleasantly surprised to find out just how many different projects she has been involved in over the years, and the wide array of musical talent that she has performed with in her time. This stripped down performance as part of DEMO's Naked Songwriter series highlights Maher's lovely voice as well as her songwriting talents. You can catch Molly & Her Disbelievers live at the Aster Cafe on April 18.
Dwell & the Shape Ship - "Wood Wings"
Minneapolis experimental hip-hop outfit Dwell & the Shape Ship just released an Adam J. Dunn-directed video for their spirited new song, "Wood Wings." The track is part of the newest Best Love Is Free Compilation, and will be included in the band's forthcoming EP which will be out sometime this spring. The track and the clip both deal with the inherent desire to fly, both figuratively and literally. You can catch Dwell & the Shape Ship live at Cause this Friday, March 14 with Ceewhy (whose new video is below), Guerrilla Panic, Casual Confusion, and DJ So Supreme.
Ceewhy - "Not With You"
Minneapolis MC Ceewhy is back with a new collection of tracks entitled Freedom=Genius, and he just released a dark, eerie new video for one of the standout tracks to the record, "Not With You." It's got an intoxicating beat and a catchy hook, and is reminiscent of the vocal experimentalism found on Kanye's 808s & Heartbreak. The clip -- written and directed by Ceewhy, shot by Efren Maldonado, and edited by Lieske & Maldonado -- gives the track some ominous undertones, but despite its threatening nature, everything works out well in the end.