Welcome to winter, and welcome to another edition of Howl & Echoes’ Weekly Video Roundup, where we collate some of the best music videos from the past week. The big news in the Australian music world this week has been the long-awaited re-emergence of The Avalanches after 16 years in the wilderness. Amid the fanfare, you may have missed some of these tasty morsels:
Gold Panda – Chiba Nights
The latest visual offering from UK producer Gold Panda and director Dan Tombs is mesmerising. Divided into a grid of sixteen squares to represent the MPC sampler on which he makes his music, Chiba Nights is colourful and kaleidoscopic, and brimming with scenes of Japanese culture. Chiba is a prefecture just outside of Tokyo, one of the cities that inspired Gold Panda’s new record.
The song itself is lustrous. It chirps and bubbles with warmth and familiarity, underpinned by pattering percussion and undeniable Japanese influence.
Gold Panda’s gorgeous third album, Good Luck and Do Your Best, was released last week on City Slang via Inertia Music.
LDRU – Next To You (ft. Savoi)
In April, Sydney drop maestro LDRU followed up the success of Keeping Score with an equally radio-ready single, Next To You, featuring the vocals of Brisbane newcomer Savoi. Next To You is a classic festival banger, but the video is… well… less conventional. In fact, it’s really fucking weird, although I suppose it could be beneficial to have a boyfriend who’s a good source of potassium.
You can catch LDRU on tour next month. Tickets are available here. Fingers crossed he brings Bananaman on stage with him.
Baby Blood – White Lotus
Next up is Danish artist Baby Blood, whose progressive, ethereal brand of music and Mexican wrestling-style face mask set her apart from the crowd. Ahead of the release of her new EP, Await the Coven, Baby Blood has released a creepy DIY video to accompany her single White Lotus. Aggressive and unerring in its approach, the video is as compelling as it is bizarre.
White Lotus is a brooding and bewitching blend of electronica, hip-hop and R&B. It explores themes of nature, mental purification and the cycle of existence in the context of a fictional, animated world. That is one terrifying puppet.
Await the Coven is slated for release on the 17th June.
Calypso – Numbered
Numbered is the debut single from Tasmanian artist Calypso, and it’s a beauty. The sparse and moody opening stanza doesn’t prepare you for the exuberance that follows. A pulsating beat, delicate funk guitar and sultry saxophone accompany the powerful vocals of a talented and confident performer.
The video is a testament to what can be achieved with some paint, a smoke machine and a strobe light. It’s simple, it’s fun and it’s a yes from me.
Stay tuned for an EP from Calypso in the coming months.
Pacific Heights – Breath and Bone (ft. Dianne Krieg)
Pacific Heights is the solo project of Wellington musician Devin Abrams. The fourth single off his debut album The Stillness, Breath and Bone is rich and purposeful, yet delicate and atmospheric. This vibe is enhanced by the stunning vocals of Dianne Krieg, which lend an air of graceful intensity to the track.
The video showcases the breathtaking scenery of New Zealand’s South Island, which provides a backdrop for an interpretive dancer clad entirely in white. It’s a poetic representation of loneliness, and one that resonates beautifully with the sonic textures.
The Stillness by Pacific Heights is out now via Create/Control.
CRi – Don’t (ft. Gabriella Hook)
Perhaps the most striking and cinematic of this week’s videos comes from CRi – the pseudonym of Montreal producer Christopher Dubé. Don’t is the first taste of Dubé’s upcoming Tell Her EP. It flutters and soars gracefully, perfectly matched by the vocals of fellow Canadian Gabriella Hook.
A concept plucked from the mind of director Ménad Kesraoui, the video explores the form and fragility of the human body in its most vulnerable state. It’s beautiful stuff.
CRi’s Tell Her EP is out on the 17th June via Young Art Records.
BASECAMP – Esc
‘No turning back’ is the key message from Nashville trio BASECAMP’s single Esc. The track, which featured on 2015’s Greater Than EP, is about uncomfortable encounters and the point of no return, with gloomy vocals and downtempo synth crafting a dark and melancholic environment.
The video depicts frontman Aaron Miller in a decidedly shady bar full of judgmental onlookers and writhing, double-jointed men. It’s all rather unnerving.
BASECAMP’s Greater Than EP is out now via OWSLA.
Shura – What’s It Gonna Be?
The award for most uplifting video of the week goes to Manchester singer-songwriter Shura. Taken from her upcoming debut album Nothing’s Real, What’s It Gonna Be? is about as warm and fuzzy as they come. It’s a throwback to high school and a clever twist on traditional roles and relationships, inspired by classic films like The Breakfast Club and featuring Shura’s real-life brother, Nick. What’s It Gonna Be? is saccharine pop music, but with boundless romantic energy and a genuinely lovable aesthetic.
Nothing’s Real is set to be released on the 8th July.
Image: Stoney Roads