Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds is known for beautiful compositions laced with the slightest of electronic twinges. His latest album, the EP For Now I Am Winter (out on April 2nd), includes orchestral compositions from composer Nico Muhly, but also features something new—words. For the first time, Arnalds is introducing vocals into his work via Icelandic vocalist Arnór Dan. Pushing his work even further, Arnalds just released “Old Skin”, the first video from the album and also his first live action music video ever.
I’m always excited when I get an email from Kristoffer Borgli telling me he’s made a new music video. This time around he’s worked with Young Dreams, a Norwegian band who’s new album Between Places comes out this week. The video is for the song “First Days of Something,” a stunning song which reminds me of the longing of love when someone is lonely.
That Thom Yorke is always up to something interesting. Following the release of his solo record The Eraser he gathered together a team of musicians to help perform the album live, and from that was born the idea for Atoms For Peace. After two years of working on the album AMOK was released on Tuesday along with a brand new video for their song “Ingenue.”
THe video was directed by Hammer & Tongs, music video extraordinaires who’ve directed their fair share of amazing music videos (Blur’s “Coffee & TV” anyone?). For the video Thom Yorke does pretty great dances alongside Fukiko Takase, though I’m not sure which is meant to be the ingenue. It still cracks me up that Thom Yorke loves to dance so much. He’s done it forever in his live performances and now it’s transferred into the videos he’s in as well (you saw Radiohead’s video for “Lotus Flower” right?). Anyhow, the song is pretty great, like a more structured version of something from The Eraser, and the video is definitely fun to watch.
When the MaKey MaKey made its Kickstarter debut the team issued a challenge: Make something amazing with this. The little microcontroller (Arduino based, ya nerds) can turn any object that conducts an electrical current into a keyboard key or a mouse. From linking The possibilities really are endless, I mean, you can turn a beach ball into a mouse.
Swedish band Junip, made up of Elias Araya, Tobias Winterkorn, and José González, is back with a new self-titled sophomore album on April 23. In anticipation, they’ve released the first installment of a new two-part video for the song “Line of Fire”. Languid, atmospheric, and hypnotically unsettling, it was directed by Swedish filmmaker Mikel Cee Karlsson and tells the story of an older man who is seemingly questioning his place in life. With slow-motion camera work that sweeps over the characters or pulls in slowly while they remain still—only one part of their body moving—the video is strangely beautiful yet foreboding and ominous at the same time. You have no idea where it’s going but are left wanting more. The same can be said about the new song, too, which begs for repeated listenings on nighttime drives through empty canyons.
Nearly four years after the release of their album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the French band Phoenix is back with a new album coming out April 22 called Bankrupt. Accordingly, the band have a new single out titled “Entertainment,” which sounds exactly like what you’d hope from the band, even after such a long hiatus. The sound has a “Hong Kong Garden” kind of feeling to me, at least the main guitar hook does. This definitely gets me excited for a new Phoenix album – Perhaps this is the album of the summer?
To continue on in the same thread (ha!) as Philip’s post on the Thread Wrapping Machine it’s only fitting that we enjoy this music video for the Black Books song, “Favorite Place.” The video was directed by Christophe Thockler, a French designer and director who’s brought the rather mundane world of threads and pins to life with wonderful results. Overall he used 10,000 photos, 1 km of thread, 350 reels of thread, 73,000 embroidery stitches, 6 kg of scraps of fabric and 100 needles and sewing pins. That’s devotion.
James Blake, in my mind, just keeps getting better an better. Above is the first single called “Retrograde” from his album Overgrown which comes out April 6. The sound of this track is certainly an evolution from his previous albums and EPs. The song structure is less experimental, it’s a bit like a pop song in format, but his trademark vocals and blown out instruments give this song such incredible power.
It only makes sense that The Knife will go all out in an intoxicating, slightly NSFW nine minute video. I mean, it’s only been since 2006. So by revealing that their next full length Shaking the Habitual will be a 98 minute, triple-LP (with a track called “Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized” that breaks the 19 minute barrier) and a European tour with twenty stops, 2013 has proved active for the band/sibling duo. With seven years since their last release, Silent Shout, the detail-obsessed, twisted-identities of Karin and Olof have been synthesized into this eccentric, focused short film by Marit Östberg.
Drums stumble like dominoes as Karin Dreijer hauntingly coos during the first few minutes. As the melodies ascend up note by note, the percussion builds into some heavy beast as Östberg explores the mundane hugs, long stares, sexual energy and broken glass of different peoples lives. The aggressive second half, something partially as diabolical as Richard D. James not giving a fuck, delves into a head banging, percussive beat. As the protest gets shut down and the crowd scatters, the beat remains relentless, weird tweak and, well, confusingly hypnotic. But to warned: pisses are taken, leather straps utilized, and stories entwine towards the end pf the track as the rhythm becomes self-conscious. A no shits given given attitude. A rowdy, engaging, creepy piece of music to start February.
“A Very Unusual Map” is a new music video from the French producer Hibou Blaster. The video is a lot of fun, featuring a bunch of cool looking characters dancing around and mixing with Hibou Blaster’s lush sounds and the songs aforementioned map.
The video is animated by BBBlaster, a Vjing, illustration and animation duo composed of Loup Blaster and Dalkhafine. Their aim is to promote animation and electronic music from the North of France and from the looks of this video they’re going a pretty great job! I love the rhythm, bright colors and movement in this video. It’s a wonderfully hypnotic watch!