GLOBAL TEXAN CHRONICLES’ Top 5 Video Picks 2020!
Check Out More About the GTC’s Top 5 Video Picks 2020 in Our Archives!
by Walter Price
It wasn’t all that long ago when I started to think that the music video had lost its luster. Then, slowly, the magic reappeared in the DIY and small budgeted films that started to reinvigorate the art form. Like the game-changing streaming platforms that have provided more voices to be heard, indie artists have found that all you really need is a phone with a decent camera and/or cool editing software and you can create cool visuals that highlight your lyrical stories. And 2020, with all of its problematic scenarios, some pretty amazing films were created.
And here at the GTC, we have five vid-picks that added some much needed spark to a turbulent year.
Who Can Sleep – Sprinklers are Running in the Rain
Directed/Filmed by Lex Helgerson & Dean Vivirito
As you’re well aware, the pandemic has produced some urgent and beautiful new music. It’s what artists do, turn confusion, change, and pain into something we can all feel. And dynamic duo Who Can Sleep dropped one of the most personal tracks I’ve heard. “Sprinklers are Running in the Rain” is a song caused by the new realities we had to deal with. Lockdown, family, loss, and the stark contrasts to what once was. And the DIY film featuring vocalist Lex Helgerson’s Grandmother is a happy-tear-inducing sign of the times.
Helgerson had explained to the GTC, “Our shared experience of following shelter in place orders makes everything slow down. I like to think John Prine would appreciate slowing down. We were following his health, and hospital stays and it’s strange how the death of someone you don’t even know can hit you. He’s a huge inspiration.
“Living with my 89-year-old grandmother also slows you down, in a good way. There are generational differences between us, and it’s interesting to reflect on them. She’s lived in this house for 58 years, and it hasn’t changed much. It fascinates me.
“We’ve been here with her since February 1st and her change in mood is remarkable. Just having people around to talk to regularly and share meals with reminds you how important human connection is. As for the video, she’s a natural. She was game for everything and even drove the car down the block while Dean filmed me with the hatch open. We feel very lucky to be with her, especially right now.”
Song by Who Can Sleep
Dedicated to John Prine and all victims of the Coronavirus
Written by Lex Helgerson
Produced by Dean Vivirito
Video shot by Dean & Lex
Featuring Jackie Bates, Toru Okada & The Bates Motel
On-set driver: Jackie Bates
Special thanks to Bob and Jackie Bates
The Know – Hold Me Like You Know Me
Directed by Jennifer Farmer
“Hold Me Like You Know Me” by another brilliant duo, The Know, dropped very early in 2020. At a time when no one knew what was just around the corner. A track lamenting the fact that isolation can be the loneliest predicament. And hyper-awareness can often be at its most anxious in a room full of others. Sentiments communicated in the stunning film, directed by the outfit’s own Jennifer Farmer. Feelings expressed through a stunning interpretive dance sequence performed by star-on-the-rise Lexee Smith. It’s almost uneasy to watch her movements going unseen by oblivious peers. Heartbreaking realities felt by a growing number of humans as this world of ours becomes ever more disengaged and unbalanced. For instance, as much as social media is connecting us, it’s also broadening the gaps between us. And the twisty end of the video will certainly start conversations.
Director: Jennifer Farmer
DP: Joe Rubinstein
Producer: Vlad Ionescu
First AD: David Haverty
Second AD: Kristyn Tolhurst
Camera Asst: Josh Frackleton
Edited by Jennifer Farmer & Joe Rubinstein.
Hold Me Like You Know Me written by The Know
Produced, Mixed, & Mastered by Dan Knowles
Band photo by Joe Rubinstein
Murmur Tooth – Weak Knees
Directed by Leah Hinton / Filmed by Matt Daniels
Taken from her debut album, “A Fault in This Machine”, Murmur Tooth [Leah Hinton] delivered a nightmarish film for her single, “Weak Knees”. Full of things that go bump in the night or perhaps the recesses of one’s mind, this music video, and the track as well, really highlight the whimsy, poeticism, and DIY-for-life approach to creating. And the results are simply awesome!
Here, let’s let Hinton explain, “I used to play guitar in a metal band. We started out as kids in New Zealand, then moved to Europe, focussing mainly on touring. After years on the road, I got sick of vans and bars and random floors and settled in Berlin, Germany. I didn’t know what to do – playing in bands was my life. So I began building myself a little home studio and started watching Youtube tutorials.
“It has taken me a couple of years hunkered down on my Nerd Station, but I’m getting there as a “full-stack musician”. This is the first full-length album I’ve made from start to finish (excluding mastering – that’s still a bit beyond me!). It’s all my lost and all my love laid out in hertz and decibels, and it has been my sense of purpose through a time adrift.”
Video filmed by Matt Daniels, directed and edited by Leah Hinton
Huge thanks to Steph at Shoot It Yourself, and BIMM Berlin, and the Berlin Music Board for their support! DIY for life!
Written, recorded, produced, and mixed by Leah Hinton
Mastered by Mike Grinser at Manmade Mastering
Trumpet on Memory played by Kelly O’Donohue
Kitty Solaris – Easy
Film created by Katja Kolesnik
German music producer/label honcho/songwriter Kitty Solaris is a real indie hero. Switching musical styles, her 2020 LP ‘Sunglasses‘ is undoubtedly one of my fave releases of the year. The way Solaris can pull the listener through her shadowy world is astonishing and mesmerizing. At times brooding and hypnotic, ‘Sunglasses is worth spending time with.
And you must check out the single, “Easy”. With Solaris’ poignantly subtle vocals replete with the contrasting Alison Moyet-esque highlights, this song is another enticing offering from her stunning album. And the video, a nostalgic black and white clips film, meticulously sewn together by Katja Kolesnik, isn’t something you can watch only once. It’s a near hallucinogenic masterclass, to say the least…
Supermoon album photo by Olga Blackbird
Artist photo courtesy of Solaris-Empire
Music video by Katja Kolesnik
The Blank Tapes – Pure Evil
Shot by CJ Brion / Edited by Matt Adams
If you are the need of some timeless laidback rock, then there is no better purveyor than Matt Adams’ The Blank Tapes. A prolific songwriter and all full of sunny California vibes, this songwriter drops cool track after cool track. And one of his 2020 instant trippy classics, “Pure Evil”, is one of his coolest of the year. And Adams’s knack for the desert life is evident in the hallucinogenic accompanying film. For me, it harkens back to those modest budget films from the seventies. When the characters, light, and location were the only special effect. But why would I pick a video that’s basically a few folks grooving and wondering about barren landscapes? Firstly, it may be one of TBT’s best music videos, ever. And secondly, I’ve been fascinated with deserts and all the mysteries that they hold since growing up in a Texas one. Oh, and mining ghost towns are great as well….too bad this film didn’t have one. C’est la vie, it’s still brilliant.
Shot by CJ Brion
Edited by Matt Adams
Styled by Cash Honey
Featuring Sarah Orton & Kiana w/ Matt Adams
Music by Matt Adams
Back up vocals by Veronica Bianqui