In this monthly feature at OTM, we invite you to stop watching the re-runs and run-of-the-mill offerings on cable and watch music videos that pack a powerful aesthetic.
As we play catch-up after our NaNoWriMo hiatus (for details on why you had to wait for all of these awesome tunes, head over here), we have a delicious sampling of videos. Fun and frisky, moody and introspective — we have it all for you. Enjoy!
“He’s So Fine” – Natalie Bang Bang
If there was ever a song that was coyly crass, but in a strangely adorable way, it would be “He’s So Fine” by Natalie Bang Bang. Based out of London, the bubblegum-with-bite track is a wink-wink “between us girls” sort of tale, with a ridiculously addictive hook that has me hitting replay over and over. For extra kicks, the video feels like a modern satire of the infamous “Summer Lovin'” sequence in Grease. And yes, Natalie Bang Bang is the Rizzo, in the most hilarious of ways.
“Heart Of Stan” (Eminem/Neil Young mash-up) – Goodnight, Sunrise
Toronto indie band Goodnight, Sunrise have fittingly kept the gifts coming from their birthday party hearts with this live off the floor video of a mash-up they perform live: Eminem’s “Stan” and Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold”. Depending on your music knowledge and opinion on the existing mash-up in “Stan” (Dido’s “Thank You”), you’re either already hitting play with glee or unsure on whether this works. Hit play: it works, perhaps far better than you’d expect. My love of Tori Amos’ Strange Little Girls album (which features covers of both artists) had me rushing to listen; the execution by Goodnight, Sunrise keeps me listening. Like the original, the earnest sweetness of Neil Young adds a mournful darkness to an already troubling song. This acoustic take is painfully beautiful.
“Dirty Clocks” – Big Lonely
Burlington’s Big Lonely know exactly what Canadians want to see in a debut music video, particularly in winter: hockey. In this case, it’s table-top hockey, but who cares? Team Blue takes on Team Orange in a battle to the finish that ends… well, maybe not the way most videos would take this underdog story. That’s what makes it special. As for the song itself, it’s an alt-surf rock number that would fit nicely alongside NC-17 era Treble Charger, or perhaps Better Than Ezra. Hit play and nod along knowingly, because let’s face it: we all lose. At least us Canadians do it politely.
“This Side Of Paradise” – Hayley Kiyoko
Newsflash, for those not in the know: a Jem and The Holograms movie is underway… Meet Aja: Hayley Kiyoko. While I’m not entirely sold yet on how well she fits the canon in my brain (then again, I didn’t have much faith in Rachel Leigh Cook for Josie & The Pussycats at first), her track “This Side Of Paradise” is not only an electro trip-hop heartbreaker, its aesthetic is simply gorgeous. Through the use of rain-spattered glass and dividing walls and doors, the feeling of being locked out of what was once a beautiful bond plays out to perfection. Kiyoko’s pain is palpable in her plaintive vocals and the imagery.
“I Am” – Blacktop Mojo
A mega-fan rocking out to a memory (delusion?) of meeting his favourite band in Blacktop Mojo’s video for their gritty single “I Am”. I’ve been lamenting for a while now that the true classic grunge sound has been sorely lacking in the alt-rock scene for some time now, polished over with pop sensibility to appease mainstream media. Blacktop Mojo’s sound is unabashedly bluesy rock of the Southern persuasion, but it also roars with the kind of chops Layne Staley would admire. Get ready to headbang (and maybe play charades).
Have you seen an amazing video that deserves our undivided attention? Tweet us: @OTMidnight.