The kaleidoscopic montage video for the Love Language’s “New Amsterdam” brings light and happiness to your typical breakup song. The clip was constructed entirely from phone videos run through a series of filters by mainman Stuart McLamb. Watch “New Amsterdam” now, and catch the Love Language touring the East Coast in August supporting Baby Grand (Merge, August 3).
In music, as in life, being quirky tends to elicit very mixed reactions. For every good “freaky” band (we’re thinking Ween, Flaming Lips and They Might Be Giants—all masters of their respective crafts), there are a number of “screwy” ones that just fall flat (sorry Soul Coughing, Barenaked Ladies and Cake). So when you find out a group takes its moniker from a Frank Zappa quote and has a song named after a now-ubiquitous pear-shaped fruit, you really start to curb your enthusiasm. But in the case of Charlotte, N.C., trio the Eyebrows, there’s no need to worry: Being quirky suits them well, because there’s a lot more going on in their music that just shits and giggles.
Rising from the ashes of a number of Tar Heel State bands that almost could (including Poprocket and Temperance League), the Eyebrows are set to self-release their debut album on August 31. The 10-track Volume was produced by North Carolina legend Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement, Helium), and it displays a pretty comprehensive knowledge of the indie/college/whatever rock that’s come before it. “Avocado” is one of the standouts, and it finally answers the age-old question about what it would it sound like if the Pixies and King Missile (kids, ask your great-grandparents) jammed in the B-52s’ garage.
“I remember when we were mixing this song, as Mitch Easter, (drummer) Shawn Lynch and I were having a grand time,” says frontman Jay Garrigan of “Avocado.” “It was near the end of the mixing day, and we were celebrating our hard work with some fine Scotch. Plus, I like to think we’re all pals, as we enjoy each other’s company. I asked Mitch to make the ‘guac’—i.e. guacamole—lyric sound like something Lux Interior from the Cramps would do, and Mitch had a moment. He stopped mixing for a minute, put his hands over his face, and with a lot of space and separation he said, ‘This … song … is … so fucking stupid.’ We all laughed for a good five minutes.”
Well, even if Mr. Mitch Easter says it’s fucking stupid, “Avocado” still rocks. And we’re proud to premiere the Tyler Baum-directed video for it today at magnetmagazine.com. Grab some toast, millennials, and watch it now.
It’s hard not to think of Tulipomania as one of those 4AD bands you somehow missed back in the mid-’80s heyday of the influential British indie label. Sonically, the Philly band’s ever-evolving brand of dark, cinematic post-punk would’ve felt right at home alongside the likes of This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. Visually, it’s an even more perfect match, as the incredibly art-conscious duo of vocalist/bassist/drummer Tom Murray and keyboardist/vocalist Cheryl Gelover (both visual artists) have utilized legendary 4AD graphic designer Vaughan Oliver for album packaging.
This purposeful intersection of music and visual art has always made Tulipomania videos stand out among those of their peers, many of whom take the friend-with-an-iPhone approach to videos rather than treat them like actual art. Murray and Gelover don’t disappoint with their latest clip for “Off The Map.” The song—which features Mitch Smith on guitar and was mixed by Mark Plati (Cure, New Order, Lou Reed)—is from a new double-a-side single with “On The Outside (Spinello Remix),” out now via Sursumcorda. As for the video, let’s just say it’s so good that it was selected for inclusion by a film festival (Aesthetica Short Film Festival) before it was even released. Not surprising given Tulipomania has had various works exhibited in film fests around the globe.
The collage-animation process for the “Off The Map” video was quite intensive for Murray and Gelover, who alternated fragmented self-portraits with imagery they pieced together, frame by frame, from thousands of individual sheets of paper. The result is a stunning visual that reinforces the contradictory nature of the song’s lyrics.
We’re proud to premiere the video for “Off The Map” today on magnetmagazine.com. Watch it now.
A lot of albums are termed cult classics, but the latest from Jon Bryant is the genuine article. The upcoming third (and first for Nettwerk) LP from the Halifax-born/Vancouver-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is called Cult Classic, and it is just that—though not for the reasons you might think. You see, three years ago, having relocated from Seattle to Vancouver, Bryant, through the urging of a close friend, joined a cult. At first Bryant liked feeling connected to new people, but after learning about some of the shadiness the group was involved in, he left and turned his newfound fascination with cults into a concept for his next album.
Cult Classic kicks off with “Paradise,” a soft-rock gem you’d swear came out of Southern California in the mid-’70s. For the album opener’s video, Bryant teamed up with Kasey Lum (a director he shares studio space with), who came up with the concept for the clip.
“I’ve always loved his visual style and approach to the projects he works on,” says Bryant of Lum. “He really understood the vision I had for the song and what it means to me. For me, paradise is experienced when I’m out of my head. When I’m seeing the best in the people around me. When I’m seeing people for who they are and not who I judge them as. When I’m making the most of every moment with the people I love. Getting out of our heads let’s us do that. I think the video really reflects how important it is to know when we are becoming too self involved/obsessed.”
We’re proud to premiere the video for “Paradise” today on magnetmagazine.com. Watch it now.
Detroit Rebellion just released a video for “Black,” a track from sophomore album See You Next Year, out August 24 on Bodan Kuma. Jeff Toste, the frontman of the Providence, R.I., garage/blues duo, says the song “is all about getting screwed and the nature of evil.” Given the track’s subject matter, the video—directed by Toste—is the perfect fit. Watch it now.
Neil & Liam Finn just released a new video for “Back To Life.” The clip casts many of the father-and-son team’s close friends and was shot in L.A. by New Zealand-based director Kristofski. “Back To Life” is the first single off Lightsleeper (which features Neil’s wife/Liam’s mother Sharon, Neil’s son/Liam’s brother Elroy, as well as Mick Fleetwood and Tchad Blake), out August 24 via Inertia/PIAS. Watch the Greek-mythology inspired video for “Back To Life” now.
The video for Deerhoof’s “Ay That’s Me” leaves us mesmerized. The cool and creative visual that accompanies the song—off Mountain Moves (Joyful Noise)—consists of line drawings that were colored in by many, many people. The BrainTwins crew—which directed and animated the clip—opened up a coloring party to the public to take part in. The collaborative effort resulted in a beautiful and bright video that perfectly represents the track. Watch it all go down here.
Off Django Django’s third album, Marbles Skies (Ribbon Music), comes the video for the title track. The clip features a group of people roughing it out in a post-apocalyptic world, in need of water to survive. The idea for this video came from the setting where it takes place. During a week between two Coachella dates, the empty Mojave Desert was left open and perfect for filming. Watch “Marble Skies” now, and look out for Django Django on tour until mid-October.
“Music and art and culture is escapism, and escapism sometimes is healthy for people to get away from reality. The problem is when they stay there.” —Chuck D
Anyone who loves music (and if you read MAGNET, we assume you most certainly do) knows how powerful it can be. It has the ability to not only get you through the day, but also change your life. It’s a mind-altering substance. And that’s just for the listener. For those who create music, it goes even deeper. If a band’s music can change the lives of its fans, just think about what it’s capable of for the actual members of the group.
Which brings us to TENTS, a Portland quartet that just released debut album Deer Keeps Pace (Badman). TENTS is the brainchild of Brian Hall, a musician who made his living composing for advertising campaigns. When he turned 31, he realized he needed a more creative outlet for his art, so, naturally, like any good Portlander, he formed an indie-rock band, recruiting singing wife Amy, guitar-playing friend Christopher Hall (no relation) and drummer Josh Brine. So problem solved, right?
Well, no, actually. Around this time, Amy had to have spinal surgery and Brian discovered he was infertile, changing the couple’s plans for starting a family. They decided to adopt, and they successfully found their first child. Life was going as planned—until Brian diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. The couple soldiered on, adopting a second child. Life was again on the right track—and then Brian was diagnosed with cancer. (“I am doing well—all clear,” he says now. “Have my six-month check-in soon, but feeling great—knock on wood.”)
To cope with all of these big life changes (the good and the bad), Brian, Amy and their bandmates immersed themselves in the music they were making. They set up in Brian’s backyard studio, and they found joy in the art they were creating together. When they started playing these song for others, TENTS also realized their music brought joy to people outside the group. It provided both band and listener an escape from the troubles of daily life as well as catharsis. It also kept both parties grounded enough to deal with life’s problems after the music was over.
To drive the importance of the band/fan relationship home even more, TENTS shot a short documentary on the creation of Deer Keeps Pace and life on the road. The band made the 10-minute Tales From The Road for the superfans as well as those who’ve just come across TENTS for the first time.
“Music is often has the deepest effect on people when they can experience it in the context of some kind of friendship,” says Brian. “Community is a big part of what makes music become timeless. The songs we shared about in Tales From The Road are little time capsules for us. Our hope is that through these little time capsules, folks can find some inspiration. By sitting down and talking to our audience, it allows us to hopefully build a stronger personal connection than we’d otherwise have. It’s our way of connecting. For us and for a lot of bands, touring and putting out a record is so personal. The build up to a release is so dramatic, and touring on a new release is like a big celebration. The whole process is tough, but also just really fulfilling. We felt like highlighting it would be fun.”
Fun, indeed. And a good temporary escape, one that will hopefully put you in a better place to deal with all of life’s many unexpected issues when you need to. We’re proud to premiere Tales From The Road today on magnetmagazine.com. Watch it now.
“A horror story in the shape of a lullaby” is exactly what you’ll hear and see while watching Joan Of Arc’s video for “Tiny Baby.” The song is about encountering memories that aren’t so easy to think about, and it comes off the always-inventive Chicago institution’s new LP, 1984 (Joyful Noise). You can hear Joan Of Arc perform it live on its current tour of the U.S. and Europe.