This week was the most exciting for new music videos that we’ve been #blessed with since the start of 2016, particularly on the home front. In fact, so abundant was the calibre of new releases from Irish bands and artists this week that I was going to feature domestic artists exclusively. Alas, The Last Shadow Puppets and Hinds quickly scuppered that plan having released videos that sparked a conversation with colossal . My number one tip when watching these videos would be to return to No Monster Club’s latest song between each showing, and then repetitively throughout the day.
No Monster Club – ‘Drinking at the Doldrums’ (No Monster Club)
Bobby Aherne is an important (and severely underrated) musician, songwriter and all round interesting person. The inimitable Dubliner has been making wonderfully catchy songs with his band, No Monster Club since 2011. ‘Drinking at the Doldrums’, comes from their fourth album, I Feel Magic and the video, as with previous videos by No Monster Club, will leave you gleaming. Dressed simply in a white t-shirt and black jeans, Bobby looks like a friend that you would happily follow for miles (or in this case, nearly 4 minutes) into the depts of a plush forest, he’s like a modern day Link searching for Zelda. If this is your introduction to No Monster Club, I highly recommend allocating an afternoon to absorb their songs (especially ‘Morbid Fascination’) and watch their videos. They will give you national pride.
Róisín Murphy – ‘Ten Miles High’ (Play It Again Sam)
There seems to be very little that Róisín Murphy cannot do. Excitedly, fans and critics await the July release of Murphy’s forthcoming album, Take Her Up to Monto. Whetting the appetite of the aforementioned connoisseurs of her music, Murphy released the artful video for ‘Ten Miles High’, which she also directed. It seems that fans are not disappointed by this futuristic offering with a moment of vocals that could easily be mistaken as Grace Jones, Murphy exudes creativity in every aspect of her work. A general consensus affirms the success of ‘Ten Miles High’, one comment simply reads, “This is everything.”
The Last Shadow Puppets – ‘Miracle Aligner’ (Domino)
Their current album, Everything You’ve Come to Expect was released on April Fool’s Day, so everything you get from The Last Shadow Puppets in 2016, their demeanour and image in particular, are best taken with a pinch of salt. In the opening scenes of ‘Miracle Aligner’, a trickling shower of vibrant pink rose petals dance around Alex Turner and Miles Kane on a well lit Italian balcony. What ensues is a light hearted interpretation of 1970s cinematic Italian swagger. Turner’s voluminous bouffant, intentional tangerine glow and exaggerated Italian boss persona completely distract from the fact that Kane is by his side, and strangely it works. It’s a baffling video, made even more surreal when you think back to the serious boy that appeared so shyly in the Arctic Monkey’s debut video 10 years ago.
Anderson – ‘The Existential Vacuum’ (Anderson)
Anderson is one of the few musicians that can adopt the style of another decade without seeming contrived (Alex and Miles could take note). An affinity for the sounds and aesthetics of the 1970s informs Anderson’s music with a joyful lightness that is not without in-depth observations of universally obscure human behaviours. One of the best things about watching a video by an Irish musician is that there is an immediate sense of familiarity and ‘The Existential Vacuum’, is no exception. You are bound to recognise the scenery or the people which will either make you smile or will puzzle you for several minutes wondering where you recognise the girl in the leather jacket from. Also, any well intended mockery of Martin King is always welcomed.
Saint Sister – ‘Madrid’ (Trout Records)
If you are really passionate the music you are making and want to create a visual story to breathe life into your song then you need to infiltrate the work of the wonderful video director, Bob Gallagher. Saint Sister have done just that, and their collaboration with Gallagher (known for his memorable videos for Girl Band) for their single, ‘Madrid’, is utterly stunning and beguiling. Saint Sister are another really interesting band from Dublin combining classical instruments like the harp with electronic beats, creating the perfect harmony of past and present. Equalling this sound, Gallagher has merged traditional storytelling narratives resembling the Brother’s Grimm with contemporary symbols of authority and dystopia. This is a beautiful song enriched by a stunning video, team work at its finest.
Lisa O’Neill – ‘Gormlaith’s Grieving’ (Plateau Records)
Another wonderful musician, another beautiful video. Immediately the storyline reminded me of Ronette Pulaski of Twin Peaks fame, like we were given an insight into her journey to the bridge as she made her way back to direction of the town. Another thing O’Neill and Twin Peaks have in common is that they have both garnered instant cult followings, and deservedly so. Her music spills stories, commanding the attention of her audience and this video is one that stays with you and one you want to share.
Hinds – ‘Easy’ (Lucky Number Music Limited)
The video for the Spanish quartet Hinds’ single ‘Easy’, is an accurate depiction of any millennial girl facing relationship strife, especially at the end of a tiring week. A mascara mudslide is worsened with cigarettes and the evening’s helping of spaghetti bolognese. Do not watch this video if you are enjoying your well earned Saturday cheat meal. I watched this video through the gaps of my fingers after the first 45 seconds. Let this be a warning to those of you looking to ease your heartache with some drinks, it won’t end well.