Monday, March 8, 2021
Arts + Culture Music Now Watch This: Five videos—and artists—that have caught our...

Now Watch This: Five videos—and artists—that have caught our eye

From Skip the Needle's anthemic jam to 'Disco Kaepernick' Ric Wilson's groove, here's some visual excitement.


Visuals for music sometimes establish their own ephemeral connection, working as a different form of communication between artist and aficionados. It’s definitely been a strong year for the music side of things. With releases coming by the second we’ve decided to run a column every now and again to keep the art on an even keel with everything else happening at warp speed. Some videos will be older, but that’s OK. Everyone’s been doing a little reflecting these days. It’s the quality we’re concerned with. Enjoy!

Upon the first listen to “Mr. Sun” (miss da sun) by Greentea Peng, the self-described “psychedelic R&B” singer from south east London, UK: I’m happily luxuriating at Laszlo, in the Mission, for Saturday afternoon brunch. Sipping something easy, snacking on Chef Gayle Pirie’s grilled Monterey calamari and crisp sesame fried chicken. Vibing to a DJ whose taste precedes them.

Peng, real name Aria Wells, keeps that mystical soul “Sleng Teng” at the damn ready. Tapped by Mike Skinner aka The Streets for his UK Funky banger of a tune  I Wish You Loved You As Much As You Loved Him , earlier this summer, she comes calm strong vocally. I prefer her solo work, especially the dub funk mellowness here. She’ll tell ya Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Miss Dynamite, and Lily Allen are her influences. And that’s cool. But I’m feeling Neneh Cherry vibes on that new new UK beat presentation. Peng is next. Hold tight! (And swing by Laszlo, they are starting to open up.)

Seattle-born and Oakland-based multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Madeline Kenney is a juggler of sorts. She has a degree in neuroscience. Remains a skilled artist, painter, and knitter. Was a baker for over nine years and kept the lights on by nannying during the day. She moved to the Bay Area in 2014, writes and records her own material, runs a small record label, and learned how to produce and engineer at the Women’s Audio Mission, located at 544 Natoma, the only women-built and run studio in the world.

“Sucker” the slow and easy folksy rocker, which hits like a long exhale of a breath held too long, had its video shot at legendary Oakland restaurant Lois the Pie Queen. Eatery and video alike will fix what ails you. Sucker’s Lunch, Kenneys’ third album, is out on Carpark Records.

Oh Hell Yeah! Just what we need, to get the metal out, for sure. Enter a power quartet, fully powered by rock and roll vets. Vicki Randle, Shelley Doty, Kofy Brown, and Katie Colpitts power “Battle Cry”, the opening track for their latest album on the Little Village Foundation label. They created the video while sheltered in place, built for the This Moment Rally. Find out more about Skip the Needle here. Let’s get it!

Yves Tumor, “Strawberry Privilege”
Arriving this week with quiet fanfare, Yves Tumor delivers a lyric video for a song that could easily be a shaggy ambient treasure from The Stone Roses catalog circa 1990. Seriously. This is what Tumor does every time.

The video was directed by Jordan Hemingway and Collin Fletcher and stars Yves and Julia Cumming. Down the rabbit hole, we go again, enjoying being disoriented by the unknown destination. Heaven To A Tortured Mind, released in April on Warp Records, runs dramatic ’70s rock into glam-noise clash by way of drum patterns and bass-lines that knock of MPC origins. One of the Best Records of 2020 by far.

They Call Me Disco, a six-song collaborative EP clocking in just under 20 ticks, finds Ric Wilson, the Chicago-based hip-hop artist and community activist from the Southside of Chicago, on a high-spirited trajectory. The self-proclaimed “Disco Kaepernick” began his career with the renowned Young Chicago Authors—the influential storytelling and poetry organization-which helped launch Noname, Saba, Jamila Woods, Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa to name a few. “Move Like This” an arrangement loaded with disco-funk fun, provides ample opportunity to get in that footwork and drop some quarantine pounds.

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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