Top 10 must-see Minnesota music videos this week
Local Frames is a weekly column spotlighting the best new music videos featuring musicians and directors with Minnesota ties.
A dynamic new video from recent Rhymesayers signee, Dem Atlas, leads off this week. Dig in for fresh clips from Bomba de Luz, Doe Paoro, Courageous Endeavors, and a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the new Trampled by Turtles album. Filling out the collection are live performance videos from Marijuana Deathsquads, Jeremy Messersmith, Poliça, Tiny Deaths, and Black Diet. Enjoy!
Dem Atlas - "All We Got"
This is Dem Atlas's first track for Rhymesayers, and if this lively single is any indication, the breakout MC is going to make quite a name for himself both at the label and with hip-hop fans around the globe. "All We Got" is driven along by Atlas's spirited, lyrical flow, as well as a soulful, organ-drenched old school beat. Atlas also produced the single (along with Soundsmith the Programmer), while the stark black-and-white video was directed by EJ Films. Atlas had this to say about the track: "This song regards my relationship with how I view myself and how I feel the world around me doesn't seem to notice me therefore making my skin develop a callous disposition." You can catch Dem Atlas live on tour with Atmosphere and Prof, as well as at Soundset.
Marijuana Deathsquads - "Ewok Sadness (Live at SXSW)"
Marijuana Deathsquads recently brought their madcap vaudevillian live show down to Austin for SXSW, and this stellar video captures the untamed majesty of the band's performance of "Ewok Sadness." Har Mar Superstar is there to join in the fray, as is Poliça's Channy Leaneagh, and the sprawling group really coalesces as the track builds in urgency and pace. The drums are towering, while the electronic flourishes color the track with a sinister pulse that keeps MDS from sounding like any other band at the moment (while ensuring that other bands can't sound anything like them, either). You can witness the live spectacle that is Marijuana Deathsquads this weekend at Art-A-Whirl, as they close things down Saturday night at Anchor Fish & Chips.
Poliça - "Smug (London Sessions)"
This moody, atmospheric clip of Poliça performing "Smug" in rather bleak surroundings in London was shot and produced by AllSaints. The label has filmed some memorable Basement Sessions in the past, and they are relaunching that series with these London Sessions. The setting and spirit of the clip perfectly suits the tone of the track, as the band seem to be floating within the smoke-filled room. Channy's ghostly vocals drift in out of nowhere, while the textured layers of the slow-burning track swell to an elegant finish. Poliça just announced plans for a new EP and deluxe reissue of Shulamith.
Jeremy Messersmith - "Someday, Someone"
This is a lovely little clip of Jeremy Messersmith (sporting a Doomtree T-shirt) playing a solo acoustic rendition of "Someday, Someone," the subtle standout to his most recent record, Heart Murmurs. Messersmith explains that the delicate number was "inspired by a Reddit inspirational poster that I saw." But even with the typically nefarious online influence, the number has a sweet, subtle charm, with the surprising expletive only reinforcing the level of emotion at stake. Messersmith is touring hard in support of his new album, but is looking for hosts for his upcoming Supper Club tour.
Bomba de Luz - "Be Minor"
Indie quintet Bomba de Luz are returning with their third album, Ember, on August 5. And "Be Minor" is the first single to be lifted from that forthcoming record. The ominous, slow-burning track finds Lydia Liza in fine voice, while the arrangements build along with the raw emotions of the number. The haunting black and white video was created and envisioned by Peter Jamus, who shot the clip in caves, forests, and handmade sets in order to capture the Liza's lyrical and creative struggle. "Be Minor" represents a bold, assured step forward for one of the most promising young bands in the Twin Cities music scene, and surely as the release date approaches, we will all be hearing more from Bomba de Luz.
Trampled By Turtles - "Western World" Vignette
Trampled By Turtles are set to release their new record, Wild Animals, on July 15. To tide their fans over until then, the group has just released this all-too-brief glimpse into the recording process of the new record. The clip was filmed at famed Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, and was shot this past January by Dan Huiting and Lauren Josephine. The vignette is soundtracked by a short audio clip of "Western World," one of the tracks featured on the new record. Wintry glimpses of Minnesota augment the video, which gradually brings you in to the studio itself, where the band are working and having fun, with producer Alan Sparhawk at their side. It's a bit of a tease for TbT fans, but it will have to do until the album is released.
Tiny Deaths - "Ocean (Live on Radio K)"
Tiny Deaths is the new music project from Claire de Lune (the Chalice) and producer Grant Cutler. The first offering from the emerging group is the haunting single, "Ocean," which they recently dropped by the Radio K studios to perform. Tiny Deaths played as a quartet for this session, with the group's textured arrangements swelling around de Lune's soaring, dulcet vocals. The group is just starting to gain momentum and make a name for themselves in the local scene, and this performance should go a long way. If you like what you hear, you should drop by the Loring Pasta Bar tonight for Fort Wilson Riot's listening party where there might be some surprises in store.
Courageous Endeavors - "Legends"
The modern Twin Cities jazz quartet, Creative Endeavors, recently released their debut album, Prototype, (which they celebrated with a release show at Icehouse), and now the group has hit the road for a small Midwest tour to support their stellar work. This clip for their personal tribute to Legends Bar & Grill was directed by Max Devereaux, who captures the band strolling through wintertime in the city, before settling in to the bar to play some pool. The relaxed nature of the clip only adds to the smooth vibe of the track itself, with the band proudly carrying on the jazz tradition here in the Twin Cities.
Black Diet - "Slow It Down (Live on the Current)"
Black Diet have clearly caught fire here in the Twin Cities music scene, and they capitalized on that growing attention by dropping by the Current studios for a live session. This version of "Slow It Down" really cooks, with the band catching groove while vocalists Jonathan Tolliver and Mugsy take the track to new heights. They'll play songs their stellar debut, Find Your Tamborine, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts tonight for their Beerfest, and will be getting down at 331 Club's Art-A-Whirl bash on Sunday, May 18.
Doe Paoro - "Walking Backwards"
Brooklyn's Doe Paoro turned to the bold artistic vision of Minneapolis director Braden Lee for her new video for "Walking Backwards." And not only did Lee serve as director, editor, and DP for the clip, but he enlisted the St. Paul City Ballet to add to the striking nature of the video. Artistic director Zoé Henrot did the choreography for the gorgeous video, which really is a work of art within itself, and warmly compliments the emotions of the song. Paoro spent this past winter recording her new EP, Ink On the Walls, at Justin Vernon's Eau Claire studio, April Base, with S. Carey and BJ Burton producing.
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