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VIDEO: Is CARR’s “Loser” The Catchiest Kiss-Off To An Ex Ever?

photo courtesy artist's bandcamp page

 

Out this week is the single “Loser,” by New Jersey-born, L.A.-based artist CARR (Carly McClellan), along with an accompanying music video that takes on the perils of modern dating, the art of indecisiveness, and the disillusion behind today’s gut-wrenching romantic expectations.

The track begins with a stuttering hybrid electro-acoustic drum rhythm before CARR’s slightly languid, pleasingly vulnerable double-tracked vocal enters, along with muscular, ever-so-slightly distorted rhythm guitars, immediately evocative of early 2000s pop punk. They offer CARR’s vocal an interestingly muscular counterpoint, delivering the right amount of barely-contained aggression and spite. The pre-chorus adds a bit of hauntingly airy synth pads for emphasis, before the explosion of the chorus unleashes full, crunchy guitars and cacophonous drums, complete with cymbal bell clangs. Meanwhile her lyrics viciously call out an archetypal douchebag boyfriend, attacking everything from his lack of talent for lying, lack of friends, history of broken promises, and even his small penis.

It’s a throwback pop-punk sound in the vein of Avril Lavigne and All-American rejects, to be sure, but it’s more insular in its sound, and refreshingly free of the clichéd rock posing and guitar-slinging those acts performed. Here, the genre is used as a perfect aesthetic vehicle to express CARR’s disgust with partners who lie, cheat, or otherwise shatter her romantic hopes and expectations. In the process, she somehow miraculously transcends the tropes of the genre while being an exemplary example of the punk-pop genre.

Meanwhile, the video (directed by Natalie Leonard & Rachel Cabitt of POND Creative) is a comical—if slightly gonzo—affair, with CARR portraying a blood-soaked serial killer disposing of her most recent victim: a young man who has apparently done something to earn her ire, just one name on a list of the many male victims she’s killed an dismembered. it’s bold, but never overtly graphic, and evokes the sound and spirit of the song expertly. Here’s to hoping CARR keeps delivering top-notch, catchy guitar-powered anthems in the future. Gabe Hernandez

 





VIDEO: ”Back in LA” Is Jordi Up Late’s Midsummer Feminist Bop

photo credit: Isabel Damberg

L.A.-raised artist Jordi Up Late (aka Jordan Tager) grew up around filmmaking and music production, picking things up here and there as the years passed. Eventually, her passion for visual art took her to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to earn her BA. With a unique visual style and musical influences ranging from Daft Punk to Little Dragon and James Blake, Jordi seems to be cresting at the right time, as the video for her song “Back in LA” demonstrates.

The track opens with piercing, club-ready synth pianos banging out syncopated chords, while Jordi confidently belts her vocals in between the empty spaces. Soon after, tight electronic drums and a gooey synth bass come tumbling in, laying down a funky, instantly catchy dance groove, reminiscent of some of the 80s-90s best dance-pop tracks, but with a 2020s vibe of her own. The choruses, though, when she delivers an assertive kiss-off to the lover whose spell she’s finally broken free of (“two is for you/ and three for me/ fuck you / ‘cause I love me”) offers an ethereal, muted oasis from the previous electronic cacophony. They seem to represent, in music, the relief and freedom she feels upon regaining her sense of agency after an emotionally-trying romance.

The video itself is a pastel, Day-Glo, multi-textured, Memphis Group-inspired moving tableau of simple, looping animations that provide both evocative and humorous counterpoint to the track. It’s an impressive feat that Jordi is able to do so much with so little, and demonstrates her confidence as a modern animator. Both track and video seem to co-exist with each other, and one should experience both to understand Jordi’s full talents. Gabe Hernandez

 





VIDEO: On “Habit,” Angelnumber 8 Draws Us Like A Moth To A Flame

photo credit @jeralddjohnson 

 

L.A.-based singer-songwriter Angelnumber 8 today releases “Habit,” the first single from his upcoming project Digital Tribal, along with an accompanying music video, released via CashApp Studios.

The track begins with Angelnumber 8’s crisp, double-tracked vocals accompanied for a couple measures by echoing synth keyboards, until the beat (complete with itchy-sounding snare) enters, alongside delicately arpeggiated, tropical-sounding electric guitar and deep, rounded synth bass. At points, Angelnumber 8’s voice is transformed with clever use of tremolo, lending a hypnotic quality to his voice and blurring the lines between vocal and instrument. When he chooses to bypass the effect, it’s in favor of double-tracking his vocals using the low bass range of his voice, which lends an additional pleasant depth to the soundscape. The track ends just as quickly as it starts, with mischievous vocal hiccups and gentle yelps seeing the drums and bass out until, at last, all that’s left is the electric guitar.

Lyrically, Angelnumber 8 seems to address some unnamed romantic interest in terms of his addiction to them, but also laments their neglect of him in favor of other distractions, including those that earn them money, but not artistic or creative output. “Breathless/I am again,/Like jeans ripped from the hem/Holding on to a thread/Bending,/Twisting,/With limbs,” he sings, describing his strung-out state of mind after bing neglected by the person he’s addressing.

The ingenious music video (directed by the artist and with visual effects by Zach Beech) finds Angelnumber 8 in an idyllic romance with a glitch-ridden, technicolor digital moth. They cavort together in the wilderness, they have dinner at a “fancy” restaurant (although she goes unnoticed, at first, by the waiter), but their time together takes an unfortunate turn toward the morbid, as well as the surreal. The final sequence is startlingly Lynchian in both its banality and its chilling effect. This writer expects bigger and better work to come soon from this artist on the rise. Gabe Hernandez





Alt Pop

Time: 
20:00
Band name: 
Big X
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
http://www.facebook.com/thisisbigx
Venue name: 
The Viper Room
Band email: 
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VIDEO: INNER WAVE’s “Take 3” Is A Surreal Take On Covid Life

photo courtesy of the artist

 

L.A.-based band Inner Wave has announced the coming release of their fourth and latest album, Appotosis, on September 30th by releasing a music video for album track “Take 3.” Inner Wave are managed by Cosmica Artists + Records.

The track begins with a thick, honky, effortlessly funky bass line rolling alongside a languid but insistent four-on-the-floor drumbeat, both sharing space with polished, delayed synth mallets. Frontman Pablo Sotelo’s vocals are pleasingly lethargic in the way his syllables land in the pocket with the four-on-the-floor groove. Sotelo’s vocals are accompanied by delicate, echoed guitar strums and mournful, siren-like, infinitely stretched synth lines that seem to underline the melancholy and emotional fatigue of his vocals. Plucked synths that dominate during the chorus add an extra layer of dancefloor gloss that wouldn’t be out of step at a local club some night this weekend. The icing on the cake is the lush middle section that leads the song into it’s conclusion, which has an “everything but the kitchen sink” feel, while managing to remain stately in its unraveling.

The track is special in that its music video also marks Sotelo’s directorial debut. It’s a fairly simple affair, but full of symbolism for covid quarantiners. The singer spends the bulk of the video standing camera center, viewable only from the waist up, and wearing a simple white tank top. Footage of vintage road scenes are projected onto the upper part of his face (an enigmatic but potent visual, to be sure), which alternate with multi-exposed versions of himself. Some are lit from the front with a blood-red glow, some from behind with a single blinding white light, revealing a sea of fog at his feet. It’s definitely a pick for best use of minimal prop resources, and the shot where Sotelo slowly struts across the multicolored stage wearing a full military gas mask apparatus is a not-too-subtle nod to the Covid pandemic. It’s an effectively narcotic video for a lush and hypnotic track that accurately reflects the breakdown of time and space that the covid crisis created, and another artistic document to note the events of the past year and a half. Gabe Hernandez

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