It was a week where everyone morphed into The Merrymen as we all felt Hot Hot Hot in the Hot Hot Heat. You couldn’t help but feel lethargic and unproductive in the hotter than hell weather. It seems that this heat fatigue trickled into the world of music videography, with a notable lag in new music videos in spite of a particularly fruitful time for new albums, as well as the promise of new music. No pressure, Frank Ocean. I suppose, in the summertime when the weather is fine, you’ve got other things on your mind such as BBQ-ing and snoozing in the sand. Miraculously a few bands and artists managed to stay focused and power through the presumed global heatwave, such as ScHoolboy Q (returning for a consecutive week in State’s Videos of the Week) and The Plastics with their more than appropriately titled single, ‘Sun Scream.’ The heat can make you sleepy and it equally has an intoxicating effect on your train of thought when there doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city. Which is why I’ll leave you now with videos fresher than the ice in your lemonade as we hope that this 5 seconds of summer that we’ve enjoyed this week reigns a little longer.
Schoolboy Q – ‘JoHn Muir’ (Interscope Records)
ScHoolboy Q has officially replaced The Kills as the most productive and prompt in making and unveiling new music videos. His fourth album, Blank Face only came out two weeks ago but the rapper has already released a cinematic trilogy with songs from the record along with two other videos for ‘THat Part’, and now for the latest single, ‘JoHn Muir.’ The latter is in keeping with the themes of the trilogy which culminated in ‘Black THougHts’, as drug deals, robbery and the occasional flirtatious exchange are central to the plot. For those of you who are keen to stay informed on musical trivia, John Muir is the name of the Junior High School that ScHoolboy Q attended, I suppose it’s where he perfected the art of being a schoolboy.
The Plastics – ‘Sun Scream’ (Independently Released)
South African based band, The Plastics have been described as though their music is “perpetually in sunshine.” Apt, considering the aforementioned week that we’ve enjoyed in a frazzled haze. The band have just released In Threes, a tremendously accessible record featuring the summer friendly single, ‘Sun Scream.’ The video for the song compliments The Plastics’ psych-pop sound as non-conformist animations courtesy of director, Simeon van den Bergh, are layered over the band as they perform, and also create intricate backdrops, see 1:18. The visuals are colourful and dynamic, a perfect representation of what to expect from The Plastics with their current release. Also, the song title is a good reminder that if you don’t apply a generous amount of sun cream to your face and person, then you will be left red and screaming with the burning pain.
Bon Iver – ‘22 Days’
Bon Iver has become quite the musical tantaliser to his fans and music journalists of late. The band have not released an album since 2011’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver, which followed four years after their seminal work, For Emma, Forever Ago. Frontman, Justin Vernon has, recently, engaged in slightly off-kilter appearances and collaborations with Francis and the Lights and James Blake respectively. The timing of ‘22 Days’ is an indicative insight into Bon Iver’s upcoming set at the Eaux Claires Music Festival in a little under three weeks. Vernon has suggested that he, along with the rest of the Bon Iver outfit will perform new material and the coinciding unveiling of this twenty second video has sent fans and journalists into speculative overdrive. Are we getting a taster of his next single? Justin Vernon is yet to confirm this, or even elaborate on the reason behind his decision to share ’22 Days’ online. No, it is not technically a music video but I believe it holds as much excitement to hear what is to come from Bon Iver as we enter the latter half of 2016.
VUM – ‘Red Flag’ (Secret Lodge Recordings)
Another quintessentially summer inspired melody breathes life into VUM’s current single, ‘Red Flag.’ Now, more than ever, people are preoccupied with capturing and documenting every single moment that they part-take in, whether they are on their own or with friends. At home or in a coffee shop. Cycling around town or enjoying a leisurely swim at the beach. VUM have released a video that reminds us how it used to look when our parents and grandparents tried to keep a memory alive with film. The moving pictures throughout ‘Red Flag’, are compiled in a natural way and they work really well with the nostalgic tones of the melody.