If you like bikes, winding country roads, sweaters with jeans, or lovely ladies in minimal makeup, you’ll love British Sea Power’s new music video for their single, “Machineries of Joy”. Personally, I’m into the song itself and can’t wait for the band’s fifth album (also called Machineries of Joy), but the video is a hypnotic and meandering celebration of both bicycles and the act of riding them. We follow a jeans and sweater wearing maiden riding her bike through the countryside as weird bike sculptures and a lone horse appear around her. It’s unclear whether this is really happening or merely a product of an intense (and sweaty) bike ride, but it’s subtly beautiful nonetheless. It sounds like the album itself is equally as enigmatic as the band has this to say about it:
“Various things are touched on in the words – Franciscan monks, ketamine, French female bodybuilders turned erotic movie stars. The world often seems a mad place at the moment. You can’t really be oblivious to that, but we’d like the record to be an antidote – a nice game of cards in pleasant company.”
Sindri Már Sigfússon has had an interesting career in music. He started out the band Seabear as a one-man musical project in 2003 that evolved into the seven-piece band we know and love today. He then released a solo album under the name Sin Fang Bous in 2011, and now he’s released another solo album under the shortened monicker Sin Fang. Get all that?
He’s released a new video for the song “Look At The Light” and both of them are pretty extraordinary. The song itself is really layered sounding with lots of harmonies, strings, horns, and everything I generally find great about his music. The video though is quite trippy and a bit surreal. There’s bits of reversed footage, blown out 3D-esque effects, all kinds of weirdness. Together though they provide a beautiful experience. Sindri, if you somehow read this blog, please say hi to me in Reykjavik!
It’s impossible to celebrate Iceland on #MusicMonday without mentioning Sigur Rós. Arguably the country’s biggest musical export (next to Björk), the band continues to astonish and inspire with their epic brand of atmospheric rock. At times subtle using spare instrumentation and ambient emotion, and other times crescendoing into a cacophony of guitars, their music is singular, innovative, and utterly captivating. The same can be said for their music videos and concert films, too.
I really like this video from Icelandic singer/songwriter Snorri Helgason. Directed by Elisa Vendramin, Claudio Gasparollo, and Tim L Schafer, the video is a triumph of mixed-media. Combining illustration, animation and live-action, it’s a sumptuous treat for the eyes. Normally I’m not the biggest fan of video-work that mixes a number of mediums together but this one is handled so delicately and sweetly that I think it works terrifically well.
“Mockingbird” is taken from Helgason’s 2011 album Winter Sun which you can stream or download here.
Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds is known for beautiful compositions laced with the slightest of electronic twinges. His latest album, the EP For Now I Am Winter (out on April 2nd), includes orchestral compositions from composer Nico Muhly, but also features something new—words. For the first time, Arnalds is introducing vocals into his work via Icelandic vocalist Arnór Dan. Pushing his work even further, Arnalds just released “Old Skin”, the first video from the album and also his first live action music video ever.
I’m always excited when I get an email from Kristoffer Borgli telling me he’s made a new music video. This time around he’s worked with Young Dreams, a Norwegian band who’s new album Between Places comes out this week. The video is for the song “First Days of Something,” a stunning song which reminds me of the longing of love when someone is lonely.
That Thom Yorke is always up to something interesting. Following the release of his solo record The Eraser he gathered together a team of musicians to help perform the album live, and from that was born the idea for Atoms For Peace. After two years of working on the album AMOK was released on Tuesday along with a brand new video for their song “Ingenue.”
THe video was directed by Hammer & Tongs, music video extraordinaires who’ve directed their fair share of amazing music videos (Blur’s “Coffee & TV” anyone?). For the video Thom Yorke does pretty great dances alongside Fukiko Takase, though I’m not sure which is meant to be the ingenue. It still cracks me up that Thom Yorke loves to dance so much. He’s done it forever in his live performances and now it’s transferred into the videos he’s in as well (you saw Radiohead’s video for “Lotus Flower” right?). Anyhow, the song is pretty great, like a more structured version of something from The Eraser, and the video is definitely fun to watch.