by Walter Price
There seemed to be a time not too far in the past when it seemed that artists, well everyone in the music business, got kind of a ho-hum attitude towards music videos. Maybe it started when MTV went to a reality TV based schedule than an actual music one or perhaps music videos hit their inevitable lull like any good conversation does. But as with a robust trade wind things have been changing for the good the last couple years…
In life I’m a dreamer, wonderer and treasure the visual. If I can’t touch it I want to at least see it…
With that said here is my Top 10 Videos (+ 1) of 2015…
Terry Lee Hale – “The Central”
Director: Terry Lee Hale
Album: The Long Draw
This video is homegrown to the core. The song tells a version of events from an artist that was in a scene at the verge of discovery worldwide. He rubbed shoulders, served drinks and hit the same stage as some soon to be rock n roll icons. The era was the grunge movement and the scene was Seattle Washington and things were about to go big. Terry Lee Hale is one of those songwriters that draws you in with his distinctive guitar work and his overwhelming skills as a storyteller. The song is “The Central” and it came out a couple years ago but for some stroke of genius Hale decided to produce a simple video about what he knew, his vision of events that simply excite true music-history fans.
Album: Vol. IV – Hammered Again
I received the tracks for MM’s Vol IV a few weeks before the album dropped and when I heard “Fuel Injected” I had envisioned what the film would look like and when the band/label released the video it was so near my thoughts I started to think I was clairvoyant. The band is well established as band that throws itself and fans into overdrive slams pedal to metal and forgets to worry about if you’re holding on or not as they steer down that hell-bent open highway…this music video concurs. Long live dirty rock n roll…
Director: David Dutton
Album: The Golden West
Well this was the trickiest of all the picks, NRVS LVRS are not just brilliant creators of stellar modern rock they are pure well rounded artists. They have had a superb track record when it comes to the visual side of their craft so I could easily have chosen any one of their promo videos and the world would be as one. I had to choose one and it is their latest. The young throw caution to the wind lost in love (or infatuation) story has been wonderfully done from artists in the UK and Germany this past year but I dig the muted and realism of the tones of this NRVS LVRS clip. It works on many levels the most notable one being that you get the notion this is a true story.
Courtney Barnett – “Pedestrian At Best”
Director: Charlie Ford
Album: Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
When I first heard Barnett’s Sometimes I And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit I thought, “Oh no…I know who is going to love this album and I may go bananas.” Those persons being the ones driving early model Peugeots with the windows down year round chain smoking and oblivious to themselves that their eagerness for gloomy arrogant individuality have made them all the annoying same. It’s what happened when Portishead and Mazzy Star were in their glorious eras and I knew it was going to happen again and I started to sweat internally.
But alas it is a damn good album and the video for “Pedestrian At Best” hits home on many levels. The level I more often associate with it is personal, kind of. There is an elderly man here in Leipzig (Germany) who has been a clown with balloon animal making skills for some time. Hitting up streets festival etc and every time when I see him again he seems a little further removed from his former . I love watching him work and for whatever connection I’ve made between him and this video, I’m cool with. Charlie Ford you are a master!
Ten Benson – “Mud Man”
Director: Mark Locke
Album: single release
How long can fans wait for their favorite sludge rockers return from their self-imposed abyss, the answer is Years. No need to dwell on the past because the UK masters of down and dirty have slowely unearthed themselves, neglected to wipe off the stains and hit us in the gut with a brand new video for a song called “Mud Man” and frankly you dirty little rockers, that is all that needs to be said about that…
Lovers Electric – “Dangerous Games”
Director(s): Eden Boucher / David Turley
I have started to think that the well-traveled Lovers Electric have pop domination plans under their well thought-out sleeves. A devious crawl to the top when no one ‘in the know’ was watching and waiting to tell them it has to be done expensively and blueprints designed by Neanderthals behind ridiculous desks of music business power must be followed to the letter. Lovers Electric is probably the best pop duo going today and they do it largely DIY and that is solid if not inspurational.
Billy Momo – “It’s Mine”
Billy Momo are so fascinating. What are they? Folk? Rock? Pop? Country? Yes they are indeed. You know that song by cash where over the years he assembled himself a handcrafted automobile one part at a time and he couldn’t have been prouder of the nonconventional results…This is Billy Momo to me and not a dull moment one their blazingly unique … A blast in every corner. This video does the band justice, captures their every nuance. I think this band is going to be internationally huge sooner than later.
Clara Luzia – “The Drugs Do Work”
Director: Philip Kandler
Album: Here’s To Nemesis
I have no real idea why I started calling Clara Luzia the voice of Austria a few years back but I can’t hear her music without thinking she is the best musical contribution to the world from the fabled country in like forever. No different with her new album Here’s To Nemesis solidifying her wordly spot. The track is thought provoking lyrics set to some of the best laid out pop flavored rock n roll you’ll have the chance to put in your ears. The video is to the point and the song itself is all that an indie lover needs to spend the evening on the bedroom floor feeling captivated.
James Harries – “Salvation”
Director: Tomas Jelinek
Album: Until The Sky Bends Down
Something happened to James Harries in the past couple years and I think I just may know what it is but I will let you figure it out as you take in his catalogue of music. Interesting to watch (or hear in this case) an artist transform or shift into new realms of self. His new album is a stunning foray into modern pop without getting lost in hip hop beats that drown out a lot of sincerity in current chart toppers. Stories of life as he has witnessed them and so have you in some form. This video blew my mind as the simple storyboard lets the song breath its magic. Well done, beautifully enticing and what a voice.
Wanton Bishops – “Sun Rising”
Album: Sleep With The Lights On
Rock N Roll from Lebanon is a real thing and I swear even after my travels I had no idea what sort of music scene was flourishing over there. I know a little more now and they are called The Wanton Bishops and crawing and kicking power blues never sounded as good as it does from these two brothers from different mothers do as they lay down those cords in maliciously raunchy delta style harnessing lyrics that travel the reaches of experience. Experiences from a country you really know nothing about but learning can start in the unsuspecting and righteous of places.
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