MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Stutter Steps’ “Giant Sand Heart” Video

On Friday, Stutter Steps will release Reeling (Blue Arrow), the follow-up to 2017’s Floored EP. The “band” is essentially Pittsburgh’s Ben Harrison, whose self-titled 2015 Stutter Steps debut was a collaboration with members of Ladybug Transistor and Essex Green. MAGNET featured album track “Fog.”

This time around, Harrison worked with Anthony LaMarca, who currently plays guitar in War On Drugs and previously served as St. Vincent’s drummer. But it was another LaMarca project that brought him together with Harrison for Reeling: Dean & Britta’s 13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests. A series of live performances as well as a double album (MAGNET featured a track from it as well), 13 Most Beautiful was co-commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum, where Harrison works at the curator of performing arts. As 13‘s producer, Harrison went on tour with Dean & Britta for the live installations, which not only inspired him to start writing music again after a decade-long lapse but also introduced him to LaMarca (from nearby Youngstown, Ohio), who was in D&B’s band.

While LaMarca produced and played a number of instruments on Reeling, the dozen-track LP is definitely a showcase for Harrison and his stellar songs. One of the standouts is opener “Giant Sand Heart.” And while the title of the tune sounds like it could refer to Howe Gelb’s ticker, it instead has a much more literal meaning.

“I wrote it while my wife and kids were stuck in Houston for a week during Hurricane Harvey,” says Harrison. “I remember my wife telling me that they were putting sandbags around my mother-in-law’s house, and I had this image of a bird’s-eye view of a heart-shaped outline of sandbags around the house, which gave me the title. I suppose it also just reflects the apoplectic state you can get in regarding global warming and relying on scientific-based fact over manic, culture of fear media.”

We’re proud to premiere the Zack Eisenfeld-directed video for “Giant Sand Heart” today on Watch it right here, right now.

MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Zoon’s “Help Me Understand”

While Zoom’s stock price continues to soar as most of the world is stuck at home, Zoon’s stock should being rising soon as well. On June 19, the Paper Bag label will release Bleached Wavves, the debut album from Zoon. For the uninitiated, Zoon is Daniel Monkman, an indigenous Canadian musician who describes his output as “moccasin gaze” (a mixture of shoegaze and traditional First Nations music, obviously).

Monkman named his musical project after the Ojibway word “zoongide’ewin,” which means bravery and courage. He did so to recognize his ongoing journey back from his active drug and alcohol addiction. Aside from its gorgeously ethereal washes of sound, the 10-track Bleached Wavves is also powerful in the hope it inspires in its listeners. The album-closing “Help Me Understand” is one of many standout tracks that does just that.

“‘Help Me Understand’ is from a short story/poem I wrote about an unknown First Nations protagonist who lives homeless on Vancouver Island,” says Monkman. “While homeless, they become very ill. While no help is to be found, they accept death, and while on their last moments, they’re greeted by the creator, who welcomes them into the heart of the sun.”

Monkman enlisted Justis Krar (IMMV Productions) to direct the trippy video for “Help Me Understand” as well as the clip for fellow Bleached Wavves track “BrokenHead.”

“Making the videos challenged me to create visuals that both conveyed the intent of the song as well as facilitating an abstract narrative,” says Krar. “Daniel was integral to the process as he guided me toward visuals that represented indigenous concepts or stories that I had not had the chance to work with before. I love these songs dearly and am happy that Daniel choose to work with me.”

“I gave a little direction for the video but mostly left it up to Justis,” says Monkman. “I explained to him the story behind the song and where the lyrics come from.”

Whatever Monkman’s contributions to Krar’s video for “Help Me Understand” were, the end result is one you won’t want to miss. To that end, MAGNET is proud to premiere it today for your eyes only. Check it out right here, right now, and read our Q&A with Monkman after the jump.

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