A shortened week, a heavy mugginess to the air and a wash of torrential rain can leave you feeling a little lethargic, desperately in need of the couch and a movie. Once again, I am flummoxed to see an immediate recurring theme in aesthetics throughout some of the videos released during the week. Cinema is one of the most influential mediums in life and its potential to inspire you is boundless. When you’re a child, watching The Little Mermaid can send your imagination into overdrive and suddenly you’re a mermaid swimming around the hallway with a balloon graciously morphing into Flounder. As you get older, the aesthetics of certain films can inform your personal style, interior decoration of the home, or the way one may want their music video to look. It’s always interesting when artists use or are inspired by vintage film clips as a way to dress up their songs, making a modern marriage of classics being retold and rejuvenated by new stories and fresh music.
Mystery Jets – ‘Bombay Blue’ (Caroline International)
In the ten years (it feels like only yesterday that Making Dens was released) that Mystery Jets have been a band they have released five albums, lost in-and-around four members and gained one serious budget for their music videos. ‘Bombay Blue’, was released this week and it defiantly marks a maturity in Mystery Jets’ oeuvre. The video is like a wonderful hybrid of The Jungle Book and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films, as the band’s drummer, Kapil Trivedi wanders around Bombay, culminating in five minutes of vibrantly hued vignettes of him enjoying the people and places of the city, and you can’t quieten the thought of wanting to paint something Bombay blue for your bedroom.
Grand Killa Con – ‘No Funeral’ (Drumdealer Music)
Usually pop-up ads on videos irk me, however when a banner advertising a funeral home spanned the bottom of Grand Killa Con’s video I was both impressed and amused. I would love nothing more than to be one of those unassuming individuals that harbours an intimidatingly in-depth knowledge of hip-hop. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I’m a rookie of this genre but, an enthusiastic student after watching the obscured vintage clips of Dracula inspired movies that make the video for Grand Killa Con’s ‘No Funeral’, so easy to watch again and again. Once I can peel myself from the play button, a listen to La Barranca, the album which ‘No Funeral’ features by the Asheville, North Carolina native will, no doubt, be equally hypnotic.
Beach Stav – ‘Everything is Perfect’ (Beach Bitch Records)
Beach Stav, the Cleveland based-band and brainchild of Jon Conley, recently described their sound to a local magazine as so, “dark glam, freak folk, psychedelic, R&B, rock, punk, ambient, indie, and garage.” Ambitious and verging on arrogance, possibly? Noteworthy and interesting music? Mostly yes, just skip to 1:20 in the video, something magical happens with Conley’s vocal and the lazily lush rhythm. You might recognise the video as it is a clip from the 1968 movie, Night of the Living Dead, the perfect aesthetic to accompany the tingling spooky arrangement of instruments and vocal met with the building suspense of Barbara finding the music-box. As you watch it (in my case, in a darkened room) it feels like an eerie Halloween night and the treat to behold is discovering a small band with boundless potential.
The Plot Thickens… Notable Mention.
Wall – ‘Milk’
Two identically dressed little girls, suburban misconduct, and a solid colour palette and costume department depict the perfect blend of Stanley Kuberick, Sofia Coppola and a pinch of Wes Anderson. Wall’s sinister video for ‘Milk’, was one that I quickly got sucked into because I’m a sucker for a potential murder mystery, and the cat’s behaviour was curious. Curious enough to kill, perhaps? This is an example of how a mediocre song is made better by the power of emulating a tried and tested cinematic formula.