Dan Deacon Has a New Video… and It’s Awesome!

Standard

Last month, electronic composer Dan Deacon released his new album, Gliss Riffer. If you’re not already listening to this guy, you should be. His genre-blending music is as eccentric as it is passionate. His sound is experimental, glitchy and totally unique.

Oh hey, Adult Swim has a show that fits that last description! Airing at the graveyard slot of 4am is Dave Hughes’ hidden gem, Off the Air. Each episode sees Hughes editing music videos, animations, stock footage and other internet oddities into and 11-minute something-or-other revolved around the episode’s theme. Think of it like Liquid Television, but with even less context.

My excuse for cramming these two disjointed paragraphs into a single article is the latest collaboration between the two artists: a music video for Deacon’s new single “When I Was Done Dying”. It’s a 5-minute spectacle featuring the work of 9 immensely talented animators (most of whom have been featured on past Off the Air episodes), pieced together by Hughes into a single, cohesive, symbolic journey molded to Deacon’s euphonious tones and metaphysical lyrics. From the trippy CGI of Taras Hrabowsky to the fluid motion of one of my personal favorites, Masanobu Hiraoka, this thing is absolutely packed with inspired visuals. Check it out if you’re a fan of abstract animations, or if you just want to see collaboration at it’s finest.

As a little something extra, I’ll let you know that this isn’t the first time Deacon and Hughes have teamed up. Back in 2013, coinciding with Deacon’s appearance on the Adult Swim Singles Program, a special episode of Off the Air was set to Deacon’s 20-minute (!) feature, “U.S.A.”. I’d definitely say to check it out, just be aware that there’s a little bit of simulated, NSFW nudity towards the middle.

If you enjoyed these videos and want to see more, Adult Swim has an ongoing online live-stream running all of the Off the Air episodes in a loop. You can also find the music of Dan Deacon on iTunes.

Something to Watch/Listen to: “We Were Young” by SRTW

Standard

Yeah, I know. It’s a little cheap to have both of this week’s posts be about animated music videos. But I really like the look and feel of this one, so let’s talk about it.

Trunk Animation brings us a stylish music video for SRTW’s single “We Were Young”. It’s a dance track, so the lyrics are relatively few and come around in circle. The video responds to this by showing animated cycle of everyday activities repeated multiple times.

It’s got a great minimalist art style and a great color scheme. When set to a soothing track like this, you’ve got a great gem to watch. Take a look!

For more music from SRTW, you can check them out on SoundCloud. For more from Trunk Animation, check out their official site.

Something to Watch/Listen To: “Latin Boys”

Standard

I, uh… I don’t know what to make of this.

This new music video comes straight out of Panda Bear’s upcoming album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. The video for “Boys Latin” is definitely an awesome one, combining CGI animation with a mild cel-shading technique and a watercolor-like color pallet. It’s also pretty weird, in a good way. Take a look!

Once I sit through the whole thing, it looks to me like a neat visual interpretation of finding a soul-mate and starting a family. I’ve also seen others interpret the infecting plant life as a traumatic event that one must emotionally deal with. Either way, making sense of this one requires a fair amount of interpretive thinking, and that’s pretty cool.

The music is also a joy to listen to. A hypnotic beat plays background to some wonderful synths and haunting vocals. I haven’t yet listened to much of Panda Bear or his group, Animal Collective, but this has definitely made me interested.

You can pre-order Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper on itunes here. 

Jingle Things: “Holiday” Music Video

Standard

The holiday season is here! Every Wednesday leading up to Christmas, I’ll be highlighting an interesting something-or-other for you to enjoy as you deck the halls. This week, I want to show you a music video that was released a couple of years ago, but that I just recently discovered.

Set to the song “Holiday” by Body Language, the stop-motion music video tells the tale of two stuffed animals falling in love and attempting to escape a toy factory. It’s got everything! Action, romance, dancing and, uh… suggestive scenes… Ahem.

Anyhow, it’s a joy to watch and works great with the song it’s promoting. Speaking of the song, if you’re having trouble making out the lyrics, don’t worry. You’re not alone. But it’s still extremely catchy and combines that techno-pop sound I love so much with the sounds of the holiday season. Have a look-see!

Here’s a fun fact: that video was animated by Starburns Industries, who have done work for [adult swim] shows such as Moral OrelMark Shelly’s Frankenhole and Rick and Morty. Imagine that! Of course, that video led me to discover a whole compilation album. But that’s a story for another post.

If you like the song “Holiday” by Body Language, you can find it on iTunes here.

Something to Listen To: “Now There is We”

Standard

I’ve noticed lately that my musical tastes are starting to drift towards jazz sensibilities, so I’ve been looking around for cool indie music in that genre. It’s a pleasure, then, that one of the first things I’ve come across is this wonderful single from the Berlin-based group Jazzanova. “Now There Is We” is an uplifting piece with some wonderful vocals from Paul Randolph and a solid groove stringing it all together.

But instead of just sitting here telling you about it, why don’t I show you? The official music video is embedded below. Take a listen!

You can download “Now There Is We” on iTunes and Bleep. To learn more about Jazzanova, you can visit their official site.

Something to Watch/Listen to: “All I’m Saying” Music Video

Standard

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may have noticed that I’m a sucker for cool and interesting animated clips. So it’s no surprise, then, that I took a liking to this music video, which just made it onto Vimeo’s Staff Picks. The video is for the song “All I’m Saying” by alternative rock band James, and it’s skillfully animated by Péter Vácz. Take a look!

The tale of a masked man searching for the spirit of his lost love is brought to life in a wonderful way. It’s honestly been a while since I’ve seen stop-motion animation quite like this. The two characters have a cool marionette puppet look, and the video uses ordinary objects in cool ways. Tin foil representing water, light cotton strands used for fog, etc.

Oh, and the song’s really cool, too.

You can find more about the director of this video at petervacz.com, and you can check out the band behind this song at wearejames.com.

Something to Watch/Listen To: “Sierra Leone” Music Video

Standard

Back in 1983, New Zealand pop/new wave band Coconut Rough hit the scene with a couple of singles. The first of which, “Sierra Leone”, charted at #5 in it’s country of origin just two weeks after release, setting the newly-formed band on a course to popularity. The band split up the very next year. So much for that.

Flash-forward to 2014. Indie rock band Goodshirt has just released a cover of “Sierra Leone” on their SoundCloud page. And newly-formed production company Circle Line Projects has been brought on board to create the song’s accompanying music video. And, boy oh boy, is that video a treat!

Clearly taking inspiration from the vibrant colors and some of the effects from the 1983 original, this video paints the picture of a man struggling to survive in the middle of the dessert. What sets this one apart is it’s use of wonderfully trippy animations and some fun playing-around with aspect ratios. This is definitely one to watch in fullscreen.

You can go listen to the song itself on Goodshirt’s SoundCloud page here, and you can check out Circle Line Projects’ official website here. Enjoy!