Our Top Three Videos Of The Week #4
This week, the post will cover artists from the "NEW WEIRD GENERATION" and all three music videos and songs are delightful, calm, peaceful and very enjoyable. I think the best way to enjoy these videos is the following: have the first music for breakfast, the second one for lunch and the third for dinner, haha!
Ok, let's start talking about three (actually it will be four) amazing musicians with songs that make us feel more than we generally do.
3) 4AD & Jagjaguwar Session at AIR Studios - Bon Iver (Dir. Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard)
Let's start with this incredible live recording comprising "Hinnom, TX", "Wash", "I Can't Make You Love Me", "Babys" and "Beth/Rest".
This is not a music video but an incredible example of a live recording. Filmed for the beautiful 4AD Sessions series in collaboration with Jagjaguwar.
The artist chosen is the man in the spotlight at the moment, Justin Vermont of Bon Iver, who doesn't need much introduction but let me give you some facts…"Good Winter" (which is the translation from the approximation of the French writing "Bon Iver") is a singer-songwriter of Eau Clare (Wisconsin/EUA) who once felt lonely, miserable and disconsolate, which made him create an amazingly beautiful record called "For Emma, Forever Ago". This gave him the confidence and following to release his latest album "Bon Iver" which is a development of his sounds in a more accurate and fuller way.
The video is really well done with impeccable sound recording (which is not that hard in the amazing Air Studios Lyndurst Hall), different cameras and angles exploring instruments, feelings, techniques and interaction between the musicians (Justin with Sean Carey, also from Bon Iver). It's smoothly edited so as to show the viewer what he really needs to see and feel.
A must see, specially in the morning!
2) Swanlights - Antony & The Johnsons (Dir. Sara Hegarty)
My second guest is the dearest Antony & The Johnsons whose real name is Antony Hegarty, which a friend of mine described to be unbelievable, with enormous energy, sincerity and feelings, full of warmth and subtlety, his music is captivating, lovable. I couldn't describe him and his music in a better way. This lovely man with such a unique voice in vibrato and harmonies, who touches my heart deeply, is one of my favourite musicians; he also has really strong political & social views, but puts them across without being obtrusive. He's truly full of character and voice! Seeing him live is like seeing a bird on stage, so delicate and reserved, who between each song loves to spread his politic and social views, thoughts about life and love.
Born in Chichester UK, he spent most of his life in Santa Cruz, California but in the 90's he wanted to be seen so moved to New York playing by himself in cabarets for many years when in 1995 he put a band together and the world started to realise that Antony is among us and we should give him our love. In 2005 with "I'm a Bird Now" he got a lot of positive reviews as he started to become more "mainstream" and receive more attention, having distinguished guests playing with him as Lou Reed, Boy George, Rufus Wainwright, Devendra Banhart, Cat Power, Björk, Thom Yorke, CocoRosie and many amazing orchestras from around the world. Respectfully awarded with the Mercury Prize in 2005 for best album, which was well-deserved!
The music video is from his latest album "Swanlights" which has less minimalism and more strong/dark feelings. It carries a bit of Antony's new style you find in his performances, full of colourful lights, which is something I appreciate, everything Antony does always has a pattern, he really embraces the whole feeling of his album creating a new world to be lived in. The music, coming from the soul, is a duality between darkness and light, which the music video matches extremely well exposing those feelings, prevailing the sense of anxiety and mystery. The story develops really slowly in this six minute song and suddenly everything makes sense; again the subtlety of Antony and everything he touches! It is such a smart script, it grows with the music; the director is not just worried about telling a story, he is also constantly thinking about making the viewer feel what the music means and what the musician wants to say and feel.
2) You Are The One - Androwoski feat. Devendra Banhart (Dir. Skinny)
This is one of my favourite videos of all time - I mean it! (I think I watch this at least three times a day). The collaboration between Devendra Banhart and Androwoski (they could be brothers, if you see them together, they're so alike!) is so beautiful, it mathes perfectly, music video and song wise.
As far as I know, they didn't know each other beforehand but had heard of each others music, Androwoski messaged Devendra and they decided to make a collaboration, they met, wrote the song in two hours and recorded in another two hours, that's what I call synergy. There's an interview of Devendra and Androwoski about all this here. The music video as you will see, turned to be the perfect match for those two guys and their song. The whole video is so light and full of beauty where naked bodies are seen as a piece of art just as the video itself. The whole crew did such a great job, the story has great development, I love the shots that exploit every single aspect of the film, great scene direction with smooth choreography (the crew even received a sort of "sexual trance" training from the director); you can see the wardrobe/make-up/hair was specially done for that. The edition is perfectly done, it tells the story in a way that creates expectation, matching lyrics and rhythm, flowing with the music and the mood.
Now, about these lovely people!
Devendra Banhart might be who he is because of all the mixture of culture in his life. He was born in Houston, Texas but raised in Venezuela, lived in California as a teenager, studied in San Francisco and Los Angeles, moved to Paris and released his albums in New York… maybe that's one of the reasons why people say his genre is called "New Weird Generation" (that's a common point with our previous artists and the reason for the name of this post - other bands considered to be "NWG" are: Joanna Newson, CocoRosie, Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear etc...), but the truth is that his style is a mixture of hippie-love-fun songs, that's how I like to call it! His name was given by an Indian religious leader his father was follower of, he started writing songs when he was 9 years old and at 11 first heard Nirvana, changing his life towards music, but the main inspiration for his style of music came when he was 19 and heard the album "Just Another Diamond Day" a 70's debut album by the folk singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan.
Adan Jodorowsky who goes by the name Androwoski is an artist I had never heard of before but got really interested in. He actually has even more diverse origins than Mr. Banhart himself, a mixture of Chilean, Ukrainian and German roots, born and lived in France, living currently in Mexico. He was dancing with James Brown by the age of seven and took his first guitar lessons with no less than the greatest, George Harrison…! After this, sincerely, I should stop even writing... A musician, poet, tango dancer and actor (his father is the cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky, the fellow also belonged to the hippie style of living but more into alternative/folk/rock/indie style. Androwoski can also play the bass and the piano since he was six years old. He's the kind of artist who knows how to be inspired when he's happy too. He is a positive thinking person and I just think this matches perfectly and makes something really extraordinary!
Let us know what you think and send us some music videos you find amazing too!
If you'd like to see a bit more of Lara's work for Day Job Records, click here and for her other projects click here