I was a little startled to observe that this marks the fourth instalment of State’s Videos of the Week. Time flies when you wade through a week’s worth of brand new music videos, which can vary from the strange to the sublime. I became conscious of the fast growing infancy of this series when I read the news that The Kills, who featured in the first column, had released yet another video from their impending Ash & Ice album. Every week after compiling the final selection, a theme invariably pieces itself together in a way to unify the narrative of the videos. On this occasion, while I was watching this weeks offerings I found myself constantly thinking of other pop culture references that either reminded me of, or made my mind wander to, the visual stories created for the artists featured as they showcase their new songs. I suppose there could be worse things to catalyse your imagination.
Wild Beasts – ‘Get My Bang’ (Domino)
Wild Beasts are a band that I have listened to intermittently over the years. There were moments throughout Two Dancers and Smother that were immensely enjoyable, and it felt like they were doing something more abstract to other British bands at that time. Now, on their fifth album, could they be accused of bordering on homogeny? Weirdly, the tones of the video conjured flashes of Twin Shadow’s album cover for Confess. Stranger still, when I was listening to Wild Beasts most frequently I was concurrently going through a phase of exhausting Twin Shadow’s preceding Forget released in 2010, and I was deeply disappointed with his musical makeover that followed. Yes, ‘Get My Bang’, has all the qualities of being a catchy song, but the video is uncomfortable to watch. My eyebrows, choreographed by amused confusion, were throwing just as many unnatural shapes as Hayden Thorpe in that well lit alley. Thorpe croons the lyric, “Why would you hold it back from me?” The question dancing off my tongue is, when did Wild Beasts become so polished?
The Kills – ‘Siberian Nights’ (Domino)
I’ve never seen Game of Thrones. After watching The Kills’ visual realisation of ‘Siberian Nights’, I decided that this was a perfect insight into the presumed quarrelling monarchs central to one of the most successful shows of all time. For one, this video is set against a wintery white scene and all anyone can talk about these days is some guy called Jon Snow. Directed by Giovanni Ribisi (known as Phoebe’s brother, Frank Buffay Jnr in Friends, and briefly as Agyness Deyn’s former husband) who claims that he was inspired by John Houston’s movie, The Misfits, when he was developing the story for the video. This fantastic song is another appetising teaser of The Kills’ forthcoming album, Ash & Ice.
Ty Segall – ‘Candy Sam’ (Drag)
Always knowing how to make a catchy song a little weird and uncomfortable through visuals is Ty Segall. The psychedelic Californian released the video for ‘Candy Sam’, a thrashing garage infused song from Emotional Mugger, which came out at the start of the year. There is a distinct 1990s feel to the video, it’s like a compilation reel of babies that could have auditioned to be the cover star of Nirvana’s Nevermind. However, just as you get comfortable in the sweet innocence of the chubby faces, a masked lady appears adorning a particularly creepy plastic baby head. Considering Ty Segall’s recent performances and previous album artwork, one quickly comes to consider how much joy Halloween must bring to him.
Garbage – ‘Empty’ (Stunvolume)
Garbage are a quietly omnipresent band, when you hear that they have plans to release new material you could be forgiven for categorising it as a comeback. In reality, Shirley Manson and her band have actually been relatively consistent with the release of albums, touring and even authoring a book. ‘Empty’, comes from Garbage’s forthcoming sixth album, Strange Little Birds, which Manson has revealed brought the band back to how they wrote and composed music when they worked on their debut more than twenty years ago. The single will appeal to their fans, the instruments are clean with occasional Breeders’ guitar sounds creeping in. Two things that I couldn’t help notice about this video, directed by Samuel Bayer, is Manson’s likeness to Lily Allen with her bubblegum hued hair, and also the coloured lights offsetting an otherwise monochrome set are not dissimilar to Wild Beasts’ illuminated car window in their video or for that matter, an ad for Samsung.
Adele – ‘Send My Love (To Your New Lover)’ (XL / Columbia)
Anything that can be said about Adele and her ability to make everything she does turn to viral gold, has already been written about extensively by music journalists in reviews and opinions pieces and confined to 140 characters by her fans. Unsurprisingly, ‘Send My Love (To Your New Lover)’, gained serious momentum before it was officially unveiled on Monday. It’s a modest video but still memorable because it will leave you feeling more than a little dizzy. The only thing I can say is that Adele’s don’t-mess-with-me eyes at the start of the video are infinitely intimidating. After seeing this, I would not attempt to skip her in the queue to get on the bus home after a stressful day. Although, it could be worth it, she’d probably respond with, “Hello…?”
Bat For Lashes – ‘Sunday Love’ (Parlophone / Warner Bros)
In a recent interview explaining the premise of The Bride, the album that Natasha Khan has been working on as Bat For Lashes which is due for a July release, Khan described this as a cinematic composition where the central figure, a wandering woman looks inwardly whilst mourning her husband. ‘Sunday Love’ follows Khan looking remarkably stunning in an early 90s inspired wedding dress against a sparse desert landscape, narrowly avoiding a racing car driven by her soon-to-be dead husband. Back in March, Bat For Lashes released ‘In God’s House’, which was the first video from this story, but if you are planning on watching both for the first time I recommend starting with “Sunday Love’, for chronological value. Prepare to feel an urge to scour vintage shops for puffy-sleeved bandeau dresses.