Visuals for music sometimes establish their own ephemeral connection, working as a different form of communication between artist and aficionados. And with releases coming by the second, we’ve decided to run a column every now and again to keep tabs on the music video landscape. Some of the clips we highlight will be older, but that’s OK—everyone’s been doing a little reflecting these days. It’s the quality that we’re concerned with. Enjoy!
Fontaines D.C. — “A Lucid Dream”
Fontaines D.C. hail from Dublin, Ireland. Their newly-released second LP A Hero’s Death is far from a retread of their bluster-strut 2019 debut Dogrel. The new work arrives louder, blemished albeit beautiful, with songs that are everything and heady to boot, taking on the modern world and its sublime complexness. The music video for “A Lucid Dream,” a thunderous and apocalyptic highlight, sees this band lunge further at the post-punk throne in Technicolor splendor.
Sample Kulture — “Cola”
Upstairs Headroom is the debut album from Sample Kulture, a group that hails from St Louis, and is inspired by broken beats, huge synths, and modern jazz. Integrants Andrew Stephen and Chrissy Renick formed the future soul duo in 2019, sewing jazz, electronic, pop, and hip-hop into a self-described warm blankie. They first caught ears with Stephen’s arrangement of “Summer Breeze,” originally written by Seals and Crofts. What started out as a small project quickly turned into a full-blown collaboration. Challenging the notion of what constitutes soul, the two put forth their vocal-heavy, synth-laden experiment, breaking through walls and creating new avenues.The video for “Cola” was created by SK producer and keyboardist Stephen and contains over 3,000 hand-drawn frames.
Gravité — “Window Pane”
This San Francisco-based ambient duo consists of synthesizer voyagers Matthew Riley and Aaron Diko, who have plugged into vibratory field humming, infinite vision mode. In advance of Gravité’s self-titled debut album out October 9 on Empty Cellar Records, single “Window Pane” is the right multicolored, traveling without moving diversion we could all use. Gravité explains, “I remember the San Francisco sun peeking into our studio sparking playful happiness, which inspired ‘Window Pane.’ Listening to it now, it triggers a sense of progression and growth as an individual as well as for the collective. Hopefully, this track can be the source of someone’s sunshine to help brighten their darkest moments.” Get into the heavy vision sounds, which light the path and give weight to release.
Frank Ivy — “Deja Vu”
When Bay Area music presenter extraordinaire Aaron Axelsen co-signs on your music, (cue the Larry David voice) “That’s pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.” Frank Ivy, who hails from Concord, has built some heady chillwave business, described by Axelsen on Twitter as, “Kind of like if Tame Impala and Still Woozy were hanging out together in the East Bay at Waterworld.” Haze-pop summer anthem “Deja Vu” is the first installment of the ongoing Ivy Motel project, in which each “room” is a three-song installment that creates a particular mood, a certain feel.
Sylvan Esso — “Frequency”
An electronic pop duo from Durham, North Carolina, Sylvan Esso formed in 2013. The band consists of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn, whose upcoming album Free Love, out on Sept. 25 via Loma Vista Recordings, will make a bit better-known. That’s good for us. Their new single “Frequency,” with an accompanying video directed and styled by Moses Sumney, keeps us in the lurch—a good lurch. The band concurs; “We had a fantastic and rewarding time collaborating with our friend and fellow North Carolinian, Moses Sumney, on building a visual world for Frequency,” Sylvan Esso said. “He had such a beautiful vision for the project, one that ran parallel to the song’s initial source in a way that showed us new spaces it could inhabit. It’s a beautiful exploration of being together and apart at the same time—we feel it rings clearly in this moment.”