MUSIC SUBWAY

Maria's Pick: Lil Dicky's PILLOW TALKING ft. Brain

Most definitely not your regular music video (really: don't watch it at work!). If the explicit sex scenes make you uncomfortable (although trust me, you haven't seen an intercourse shot quite like this ... and in Matrix style! ... though you might remember this Megaforce wackiness) feel free to ffw to 40s in where the love ends and the 'war' (a.k.a talk) begins. The witty rap lyrics are brilliantly lip-synched and so awesomely complimented by the occasional animations. The debate escalates (in a bizarre way!) quite naturally and what's so great about it is that it transcends 'pillow talk' and manages to depict conversations we might easily find ourselves having as well - whether online, with colleagues or people we have just been introduced to. The animated Brain, disregarded in the course of the action (as it's often the case in such contradictory talks), is left stating it needs to poop. And this might very well be the most adorable thing you've heard all day!  “Pillow Talking” is not the first collaboration between Dave Burd (Lil Dicky) and director Tony Yacenda. Though sharing a series of similarities with the four previous works between the two, "Pillow Talking" definitely ups things a notch being much more complex, cinematic and overall more similar to a short film rather than a regular music video. So embrace its uniqueness and enjoy the chit chat! 

  About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

The last couple of years have seen an explosion of lyric music videos. They are less expensive and easier to make than regular music videos and they keep fans on the channels of artists rather than give them the opportunity of exploring unofficial sources. So, it has become somewhat of a custom for well known artists to do one or two lyric music video for tracks they are also planning to release. Most of them are quite straight-forward. Some, however, are rather creative. Here are three fresh releases, worthy of your time!        Green Day – Too Dumb To Die  A very beautiful collage style video with a retro look, this promo is an absolute joy to watch. Smart use of typography fusing brilliantly with the simple yet effective animations, all incorporated in MiraRuido's aesthetic. The director is actually called Joseba Elorza and comes from Basque County in Spain. He studied to become a sound technician but his evening hobby of working on collages later prompted him to become an illustrator/animator.  

  Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do Before there was the super expensive video everybody liked to talk about, Taylor released this beautiful ode to Saul Bass a.k.a 'the man who changed graphic design'. Created by ODD and produced by Taylor herself, together with Joseph Kahn, director of her official promo, this lyric video is (we think!) waaay more witty and interesting than the live action one.  

  P!nk – What About Us A more low budget lyric video but with a very special approach to the actual typography. Mimicking handwriting, the words become harder to read in the songs' more emotional and dramatic moments. As a matter of fact, a number of fans have complained that the promo defies the whole idea of a lyric music video whose purpose should be to see the actual words that are being sang. But it is this precise illegibility that makes it stand out - not to mention perfectly fits the song's message (that of a deteriorating relationship). Even more so, it also beautifully compliments the stirring live action video directed by Georgia Hudson.  

 About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

We're ending the summer in a quirky breezy way with an arts & crafts style video! LAMAR + NIK go back to the simple yet witty concept that made them famous. Before lyric music videos were even a thing, they made this dazzling piece that featured the song's words made of gigantic cardboards. “Magnolia” was everything we loved about indie, low budget productions...not to mention it was also environmentally friendly given the letters were made from discarded cardboards from grocery stores. For The Shins' new video, they chose another tactic - yet, it's still as ground-breaking and impressive: filmed on a white backdrop, edited, then printed out. “Half A Million” was created with 5,566 stickers, hand cut from 4,868 frames and animated by sticking them down on top of each other at each of the 40+ locations. Great concept and an awesome twist for a video based on a band performance! 

 About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

Maria's Pick: Radiohead's MAN OF WAR

Sometimes you just need a refreshing 'going-back-to-basics video' in an environment that values more and more artifacts and visual extravaganzas. Stripping things down, keeping the protagonist's interpretation at the core and heavily relying on exceptional editing: all these are key ingredients that make “Man of War” a tremendous joy to watch! Might be nostalgia talking, but it's really beautiful to see basic filmmaking elements (no hats, no tricks!) being used to create a compelling narrative worthy of 2017. Part of the story is set during the day, part of it in the night. The mood and emotions vary: during the day, the protagonist seems calm and composed while in the night, he looks paranoid and terrified. Despite an alternating day-night scenario, his actions maintain continuity (with the exception, of course, of his mood). This gives the promo the feeling of one continuous take, even though there are different temporal periods. But that's just the catch! The appearance of continuity is exactly why, at some point, the shadows can no longer be contained only in the night setting, thus slowly but steadily invading the day narrative as well.  The conceptual approach of director Colin Read seems a brilliant choice for Radiohead's track. 'Man of War' is part of the band's 20th anniversary album but is actually an unreleased track from OK Computer. So the stripped back filmmaking style (but with a contemporary result), makes perfect sense! Even more surprising given the director's limited experience with music video directing. A broken pelvis left him unable to skate when he was 18 years old and prompted him to become a filmmaker instead - yet Read chose to specialize in movies focused on skateboarding. How he managed to step so much out of his comfort zone and achieve such a spectacular result, remains a mystery yet a clear indication we should continue to keep our eyes on him!  

  About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

Maria's Pick: James Blake's "My Willing Heart"

Without a doubt, the fact that Natalie Portman let herself be filmed in such intimate settings, revealing her baby bump and even diving under water for a music video, just days before giving birth, is pretty amazing. It seems, however, that director Anna Rose Holmer has lots of amazing tricks up her sleeve because her latest music video, “My Willing Heart” by James Blake, is simply full of them. Holmer is no stranger to directing music videos, a couple of years ago having created the intriguing “Baby” for White Hinterland. However the work for Blake's track is simply at another level of accomplishment and subtlety. Natalie Portman is undoubtedly a key element of the video but her work, gestures and movements are so simple and natural, that we don't even need to see her face in order to know we are looking at the quintessential beauty of a pregnant woman. Holmer too seems to realize this, opting for black and white cinematography, an aesthetic that is as revealing as it is concealing. Complimented by close-up framing, details and insanely atmospheric shots, Portman seems to lose her own Hollywood glamorous-looking-pregnant-star identity, and simply capture the general beauty and mystery that usually comes with a pregnancy. You see her serene gestures, her calmness, you watch her admiring her moving baby and you simply know that this is exactly the magic and beauty most women remember from their own pregnancies. Blake's track brilliantly glues everything together. It sinks in every gap, fills every crack with emotions so that, at the end, you simply can no longer point fingers and say who is the star of the music video. It's not just Portman, it's not the brilliant director, it's not the cinematography, it's not a singular element. It's everything together. What we allow our willing hearts to feel. The experience.    

   About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

Maria's Pick: Millington's "Being"

We may be nearing the end of February (AKA Valentine's Month), but with March just around the corner, why should the <3 stop flowing!? Maria Dicieanu of Submarine Channel shows us that it’s never too late for romance. Case in point, her pick for February: Millington's unforgettable music video for the toe-tapping single "Being". In this mini creature feature creation, girl meets boy...well, more like "boy"...with quite the unexpected, parasitic twist. "Being" offers one alien-like concept and marriage between musicality and visuals we promise you won’t soon forget! They say love is blind and this music video pushes that theory to its limit. Time to fall in love and check out Maria’s pick below! "February – the month of Valentines, romance and cheesy love.... Yeah... not exactly! Enter: the guys from Oh Yeah Wow, determined as ever to show us stories with a twist. Who could forget their amazing stop motion meets light with painting masterpiece for All India Radio's Rippled, the seemingly one shot extravaganza for Gotye's Easy Way Out or the (back then!) innovative and cutting edge vfx for Clubfeet's Everything You Wanted? For “Being”, director Darcy Prendergast and his gang push viewers out of their comfort zone with a mind-blowing hook up: a young woman falls in love with a slimy, alien-esque creature. If the Being's gooey eyes and a strong belief in happy endings could actually make viewers think these two stand a chance, rest assured, it all very quickly escalates into an outburst of crazy-ness, blood and monsters. An original take on Alien vs. My Bloody Valentine bound to stun pretty much everybody. Apart from all bizarrities however, the love story does feel incredibly genuine. Everything in the evolution of the characters seems very well thought of and one can actually feel the drama and torment in their choices. Quite remarkable and an ever so impressive accomplishment is also the fact that you could swear there's actually chemistry between Nina (played by Charly Thorn) and the creature. A touch of romance, after all! In any case, a music video that doesn't easily get erased from the memory."  

  About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

Maria's Pick: OK Go's "The One Moment"

NEW Year. NEW You. NEW opportunities to discover NEW innovative creations! Stick with your resolution to make 2017 a fantastic year by kicking things off with a brand new Maria’s Pick for January. Maria Dicieanu, Submarine Channel author & former 2Pause.com editor, brought Indie Street a musical menagerie of drop dead, mind-blowing music videos throughout 2016. And 2017 is already shaping up to be just as extraordinary. Her pick for this month? Only one of the most mesmerizing, jaw-dropping videos from the end of last year: OK Go's "The One Moment". Check out the reason for her recommendation below!  “We're kicking off the new year with a splendid and insanely creative music video for the ever surprising band OK Go. Directed by Damien Kulash, the band's frontman, the promo literally takes a moment to watch: 4.2 seconds to be more exact. Of course, the artistry of the music video only becomes apparent once the promo rolls in slow motion, but even at a normal speed it makes an interesting, and not to mention time saving(!), experience.When it comes to the idea behind the music video, Kulash admits they wanted to construct “a moment of total chaos and confusion, and then unravel it discovering the beauty, wonder and structure within”. Unlike the band's other works which distinguish themselves also through the buoyant and exuberant tone, this one feels “more intimate and contemplative”, the director calling it the “most heartfelt and sincere” promo yet. “The One Moment is a celebration of those moments in life when we are most alive. Humans are not equipped to understand our own temporariness; It will never stop being deeply beautiful, deeply confusing and deeply sad that our lives and our world are so fleeting”. The video was shot using several robotic arms as there is currently no camera control system that can capture a movement of such length and complexity. It also features the now regular exploding paint buckets, popping water balloons, some moments of lip-synching stop motion and a series of blown out guitars (some that were already being scrapped by Fender for having failed quality control tests). The promo also showcases a humanitarian dimension as it promotes and supports the campaign – an initiative encouraging young innovators to bravely make a positive difference in the world through their projects. "The One Moment" is an extremely ambitious and condensed project that indeed conveys a fascinating array of messages. Like most of the OK Go music videos, it pushes things, further leaving us to wonder what else we should expect from this very exciting new year!”  Make sure to set aside more than ONE moment to watch or revisit “The One Moment”. We guarantee you’ll need at least a few free ones to overdose on this curious visual and musical wonder more than once!  

  About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

“Maria’s Pick” may have taken the month off but that doesn’t mean the music should stop on Indie Street! As we near the end of 2016, why not revisit some of Maria’s best picks from the year, including Jamie XX’s “Gosh”, directed by Romain Gavras, Makeunder’s “Great Headless Blank”, directed by Carine Khalife, and last month’s “Unreceived”, directed by Jordan Bruner, with music by Nelly Kate. While you’re in the musical mood, why not check out No Film School’s list of the top 8 music videos from 2016 - ones that blur the line between music and filmmaking. Get introduced to new artists/filmmakers ready to take over the scene in 2017 as well as familiar legends still busting out top quality work!

Maria's Pick: Nelly Kate's "Unreceived"

Happy November! Looks like the holiday season is finally upon us! And while it's that time of the year again when many of us become merry and full of cheer, there's a chance you might need an escape from all of the hustle and bustle of seasonal shopping crowds, festivities, Christmas music and decorations. Our monthly music video collaboration with Maria Dicieanu, Submarine Channel author & former 2Pause.com editor, may just offer the getaway you need! Maria's Pick for November brings you into a zen, chill space while also serving up a healthy, lovely dose of visuals and musical perfection. Soak up the sparkling ambience of Jordan Bruner's eye-popping, abstract video for Nelly Kate’s tune “Unreceived”, a collaboration that practically (well, literally) glitters. Maria describes her newest pick below:  “She doesn't do music videos on a regular basis, but when digital artist and gifs mastermind Jordan Bruner has a go at promos, the results are nothing short of spectacular. From Hem's “Tourniquet” - portraying a love story between two forest foxes exploring the wilderness of a city ran by animals, to the eclectic psychedelic PacMan-ish animations for Paramore's “Anklebiters”, her works are mesmerizing mashups of eclectic shapes and colors with a touch of cutting edge originality. In her most recent promo, a collaboration with Nelly Kate, Bruner delivers her most abstract music video yet. “Unreceived” sums up a series of looping visuals Jordan made for the singer's summer tour. The different fragments blend together beautifully, cohesively portraying a story about the disintegration of processes through repetition. The fuzzy visuals brilliantly enhance and compliment the song's story dealing with a couple's struggle to fight the routine out of their relationship. Using simple yet intriguing shapes, Burner once again creates a fascinating yet haunting piece that can have you hypnotized for hours.”  If you've yet to see any of Bruner’s work or hear this month's pick, experiencing the combination of the two together for the first time means you're in for a real treat. So, get ready to immerse yourself in this glittering goodness. While you're at it, you can revisit some of Maria's best picks, including the stunning animated journey that makes up Makeunder's "Great Headless Bank" (created by Carine Khalife). See you next month, as we wrap up 2016 with another wondrous pick! Enjoy!  

   About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"

Maria's Pick: "Gonna Stop Killing"

Today is the ultimate triple threat. First of all, it’s still October! It’s also Friday! And surprise – it’s another monthly installment of Maria’s Pick! Maria DicieanuSubmarine Channel author & former 2Pause.com editor, has brought to Indie Street a wealth of knowledge in regards to the music video industry, introducing us to some of the coolest, eye-catching videos out there. If you’ve missed out, you can start catching up by checking out last month’s hypnotizing pick, “Great Headless Blank”, created by artist Carine Khalife. This month we have something totally different but just as top notch. It’s all about the narrative cinematic experience this time with Carla Bozulich’s video for “Gonna Stop Killing”, directed by Martijn Rijnberg. Haunting music and a video that plays out like a well-written, well-directed short film?! Count that right up our alley. Here, we journey into the mind and life of a man on the verge of ultimate change. Rijnberg gives the viewer a chance to escape into a different world through the beautifully balanced synthesis of music and story. Maria further describes her pick below (with bonus behind the scenes insight from the director himself): A darling of international film festivals (including the ones from Miami, Cork, Portobello and even Indie Fest USA), this music video for Carla Bozulich significantly blurs the borders between promos and cinema. The protagonists inspires a remarkable “man next door” feeling giving viewers the sensation he could be like any one of us. Except that he is not. He is a hitman on the verge of retiring and we're invited to witness this shifting moment in his existence. The change has nothing of the spectacular we have learned to expect in these circumstance (and we might need to thank Hollywood for these unrealistic false expectations)! No gun chase, no apparent love interest. It all feels, however, extremely organic. Like somebody deciding to suddenly stop smoking or grow a beard. And it's all beautifully cinematic. We contacted director Martijn Rijnberg from Zero Landscape and he was kind enough to share some thoughts on the filmmaking process:  “My initial idea was to film the actor, Steven Lucke, in his daily routine at home. To almost hide myself in his house with my camera, record  as much natural footage as possible and to thus get a feeling of rawness. After doing some initial tests at his place and also some in the subway, I quickly felt a more cinematic and stylistic approach might work better for the imagery and could give a more dramatic and natural flow combined with Carla’s music. In the end, I am happy to have gone in that direction. Shooting the music video took almost half a year because of other ongoing projects, and also due to the intense workflow by using RAW files out of a Canon 5D Mark III (beautiful files thanks to Magic Lantern). This gave us the possibility to shoot a lot of different settings and think through the concept of the song quite thoroughly: a hitman retiring from his profession and getting ready to embrace a new life. The parakeet was an idea that came during the project, a bit like the plant in the film "Léon". And the use of votive candles was something of an idea that we thought of more towards the end of the project. I am a big fan of Tarkovsky’s “Stalker” and wanted to get this feeling in the imagery: escaping reality, integrating in the nature and finding some peace in the context of featuring the destructed buildings. I tried to link Steven's home routine with these harsh elements of escapism, letting him almost merge with the sun at the end of his journey.” Check out October’s must-see music video, "Gonna Stop Killing", and stay tuned for next month’s installment! Enjoy! 

 About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project"   

Maria's Pick: "Great Headless Blank"

Happy September! The seasons are a-changing but our collaboration with Maria DicieanuSubmarine Channel author & former 2Pause.com editor, happily remains! Maria has introduced us to quite the assortment of music videos over the past few months, from interactive offerings to videos using stunning visual effects (read more about last month’s pick here). The September Pick is something completely different but just as jawdropping and visually innovative. We present the animated wonder that is Makeunder’s “Great Headless Blank”, created by artist Carine Khalife.  Though Makeunder, an indie rock troupe based in Oakland, released their Great Headless Blank EP a year ago, the visual accompaniment to the title track has just been released… and boy, was it worth the wait. Premiering on VICE's The Creators Project last month, each frame of the music video was hand painted on glass by artist/director Carine Khalife. Swirls of colors greet us, filling the void of where our character’s head should be. Musically-speaking, "Great Headless Blank" gives off beautifully punctuated, deeply inspired emotions through its building of harmonies and instrumentation. In fact, Makeunder’s EP was inspired by a large amount of grief and trauma, and that can be felt and heard through both the music and visuals. Like some type of fever vision, it's triggering and calmingly hypnotic all at once. Hamilton Ulmer, the man behind the tune, said he has “always seen music as a visual medium” - and the synthesis of this track with Khalife’s style couldn’t be a better example of that phrase. Khalife’s work is a journey that spins a tale as chaotic as it is melodic. Maria beautifully explains her spot on pick below:
  “Painter-photographer and visual artist Carine Khalife stuns us again creating a mesmerizing music video, this time for Makeunder's “Great Headless Blank” - the title track of their forthcoming EP. Back in 2011, Khalife delivered the spectacular promo “Blown Minded” for Young Galaxy. Music video director and mastermind David Wilson called it back then in Motionographer “a rare gem”, “one of the most beautiful animated films seen all year” raving that “the fluidity of the oil paint and connection with the music just washes over you”.  In the “Great Headless Blank” Carine uses the same paint-with-oil-on-glass frame by frame technique as in Blown Minded, yet brings more color and spices things up with a psychedelic vibe. The torments, thoughts and explorations residing in the protagonist's mind, are beautifully visualized in a carousel of brush strokes. The fluidity she manages to pull out of the jerky frames is mind boggling, to the extent it almost seems she is using rotoscoping techniques (she isn't though!). The visuals enrich the audio track with more depth and possibilities, making it an overall spectacular collaboration. Carine Khalife confesses that “she only needed to hear the first notes to jump in” the project, which, thanks to her artistry, is just as long as we need, as viewers, to fully emerge in the liquid consciousness of the protagonist. What an incredibly immersive visual journey!” If you’re looking for something both energetic and relaxing, you've found it in this music video. As the song states: "I’m waiting for an escape to unfold while I dream, 
While I am asleep, 
I’m waiting for the hole to mend me, 
And make it all better."  The irony is, this video may be all the escape you need! You can watch Maria’s Pick below. Stay tuned for next month! 

  About Maria: "Multimedia in Human Form. Media researcher. Journalist. Filmmaker. PR and Social Media Mind. Cinephille. TV Shows aficionado. Books Lover. Music Video guru and former curator of the 2Pause.com project" 

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