Skip to content

Videowatch: October

30/10/2012

October has been an insanely busy month in music and we’ll begin going through its bounty with the traditional videowatch; soon afterwards, mini-rambles about all the albums released under the month. But now, let’s look into the month in music videos and reacquaint ourselves with the old adage that quantity does not necessarily mean quality. Fan sourcing, live footage, vaguely animated slideshows…

BAT FOR LASHES – ALL YOUR GOLD

Video of the month. It’s just one person dancing on a beach but when the said person can actually dance and capture the viewer’s attention with it, the simple idea is an effective one. There’s a sort of inate charm and charisma to Natasha Khan that makes her a wonderful presence on camera and her dancing has a similar magic to it: one person completely being swept away and enchanted by the music they’re moving to. Bat for Lashes videos are always a treat because the inherent mysterious feel of the music always results in inspired visual accompaniments, which is the case here as well: much like the album itself, it’s stripped down in concept but it manages to utilise those deliberately simple building blocks to a great effect. It’s simply enjoyable to watch.

BON IVER – BETH/REST

Well, um, I never expected this to be released as a single. For the record, I side with the people who believe that this song, also known as 2011’s most divisive track, is a work of genius and a genuinely emotional moment. Maybe it’s just my thing for 80s synths. The video tries to go for the 80s angle as well and while it doesn’t quite reach it, it’s close enough to feel to avoid any disappointment. A bit plodding at times, maybe, but that’s about it.

COLDPLAY – HURTS LIKE HEAVEN

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8KV0mzqTXY]

It’s kinda nice of Coldplay to finally start treating the supposed concept album nature of last year’s Mylo Xyloto as something that actually exists, rather than umming and aaahhing about it in a way that made it look like it was all a great big afterthought. But no, apparently there is some sort of story behind Mylo Xyloto after all and Hurts Like Heaven is the first video to tackle it. The thing is, the video is much like the song in the sense that it feels like someone at some point during the production simply couldn’t be arsed. Hurts Like Heaven isn’t a bad song but Martin’s vocal mix is bizarrely muted, like a mixing error that somehow got through or that no one could be bothered to fix. Similarly, the video nicely reveals the basis of Mylo Xyloto’s story (in all its cheesy saturday morning cartoon glory) but it’s, um, the recent comic that they added some small hints of animation to between all the panning and zooming. The whole animated comic thing never really worked for me and while I appreciate Coldplay finally deciding to get serious about the concept they were talking about all this time without never actually showing any of it, the whole thing feels closer to a lyric video without the lyrics.

DELAY TREES – HML

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnEvV0iSDZM]

I kinda feel bad about inserting this here because it never really had a chance with me from the get-go and it’s clearly a work of love for someone. However, the subtitle “DIY music video” and the description “my first music video ever” say everything. I don’t really expect anything flashy from up and coming Finnish indie bands but I’ve never been a fan of this “edit vaguely related images on top of eachother like an animated slide show” school of Youtube videos. It’s an amazing song though, so there’s that, but more on that when I talk about the album.

KENT – TÄND PÅ

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktPT5Sj3xuQ]

Black and white live/backstage footage. Oh yay.

M83 – STEVE MCQUEEN

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8Iqskd_Vq8]

The winner of a video competition but it’s a winner because it captures the song’s 80s-esque sense of wonder pretty excellently: one of the better videos featured this month, and probably my favourite video of the latest M83 singles run. My reaction to the album itself might be a little mixed but it’s these songs that make me look back upon it more fondly: that bombast of synths, that sense of colourful epicness. The video gets that. It’s essentially just a little boy fulfilling his dream of making… whatever that contraption is, but it’s played out like it’s the most amazing, wondrous thing in the world and the song slots to it perfectly. Love the stop-motion animation bits too.

PET SHOP BOYS – LEAVING

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U81VoqHxIp4]

The most common complaint about the video for the previous single, “Winner”, was that PSB didn’t appear in it. Well, they take the center stage on the video for “Leaving”. This time they decided to skip the effort part though and we’re treated to a boringly shot live performance of the song from the rather stripped down album launch concert (in which the most interesting thing are the video panels for the backing singers) and some black and white travel footage. I don’t really expect PSB to put as much resources in their videos as they did in the past, with what the commercial world having largely moved on them, but it’s still rather disappointing to compare this with the PopArt DVD, which is one of the greatest music video DVDs released.

The song is still great, mind you. One of those songs that seem very unassuming at first but continue to linger in your mind. Subtle but strong.

PMMP – TYTÖT

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zrS7kbLFss]

The oddball rap moment of PMMP’s latest album always screamed to become a single choice with its sing-along chorus, feel-good message and general kookiness and here it is. For one reason or another the band admitted they only had a very small timeframe to come up with and produce the video, and thus we get this somewhat slapdash and admittedly rushed collection of fan videos the likes of which are becoming increasingly popular lately. If you enjoy people miming to a song on webcams, this is a right treat for you. Me? I’ll just rewatch the Junior Senior video that proves that this concept can also result in greatness.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: