For some reason Smith Westerns’ single “Varsity” passed me by last March on its release. Fortunately the Chicago indie rockers have followed it up with a brand new video and I’m now in love with the track. Filled with youthful swagger and a jangly pop sensibility, the song is a joyful celebration of young love and the perfect soundtrack to your summer.
Mathy & Fran, a London based directing duo, have made maybe one of my favorite videos of the year. The video is for the song “Turn Me Out” by Russ Chimes, a disco/house track that’s a super fun jam. This is one of those tracks you can listen to on repeat while you’re getting ready to go out. Mathy & Fran have taken that vibe and created an artsy, performance video that combines modern dance with minimal backgrounds and odd set-ups.
It’s always nice when a musician can find an artist to collaborate with, creating a music video that can visually represent what a song is trying to say. That’s the case with the partnership of Darren Hayman and Daryl Waller, musician and artist, who’ve worked together on the music video for a song called “Henrietta Maria”.
Wild Nothing is an astonishing band. Created and recorded solely by Jack Tatum in 2010 (though he now tours with a full line-up of musicians), the debut album, Gemini, riveted the indie music scene with its infectious dream pop sound. Gaining notoriety via the internet, the band’s second album, Nocturne, released last year, only extended the band’s adulation and even included the added bonus of a music video starring actress Michelle Williams.
Say what you will about the two, but few have revived interest in Jamaican music as Diplo and Switch’s zombie-killing creation, Major Lazer. Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do was a stunning record, a perfect follow up from the iconic mixtapes Diplo put out in the years prior. To some extent, the hype for their new album Free the Universe is not just necessary, but proper. The record mashes dancehall, dub, trap and thatratchetmusic all at once, perfect for dance floors from Silver Lake to Brooklyn to Kingston.
Yet the song to watch might be this one. “Get Free” displays the beauty of dub reggae so perfectly. Equal parts Augustus Pablo and classic R&B, there’s something beautiful here. Amber Coffman asks “What will I do without my dreams?” as the beat bubbles back and forth like water on a choppy stream. A synthy horn pops in, dancing on the reggae rhythm. The chorus rings out on so many levels: “Look at me, I just can’t believe what they’ve done to me: We could never get free, I just want to be…” Are they talking about the government? The style of music? The oppression in Jamaica? Or just that subconscious desire to live? No matter. We all want to get free, don’t we?