August has been a beautiful, hot, wonderful month and we are so grateful to have so much new art available to us! We continue our monthly installment of the visual soundtrack, a Youtube playlist of new music videos that we love! Most – if not all – of these videos were released this month, so if you’re looking for new releases, this is your most up-to-date list. Check it out daily for the rest of the month for new additions, and come back anytime to relive August 2019!
Today, indie pop musician Nicholas Altobelli releases the music video for his track “Tell Me What I Got To Do”. A leisurely pace and a sincere host of lyrics give this song impact, as Altobelli lays vulnerable his desires. The video is interestingly shot, with warmth applied as if you’re viewing the world with rose colored glasses. But the subject matter is much more melancholy, matching the pace and composition of the track.
Get your first peep below, and let us know what you think on Facebook!
Vertigo was released August 2. Keep up with Nicholas Altobelli here.
On Friday, Americana rock musician Beth Bombara released her new 10-track full-length, titled Evergreen. With robust vocals that float around the Sarah Mclachlin range more often than not, we’re captivated by her well-developed sound. “I Only Cry When I’m Alone” sheds some uncomfortable light on covering up our metaphorical bruises when we are in pain. It lays out the propensity to make things seem perfect, and the truth that many of us face: We hide our hurt from others when support is much more important. And the emotion doesn’t run cold with the first track, either. “Upside Down” presents a feeling of dark nostalgia on hard times, a hard topic masked a bit by the upbeat tempo. “Anymore” slows it down considerably for us, but brings a sense of empowerment with the existence of newly-induced boundaries.
“Tenderhearted” definitely has more of your run-of-the-mill country love track flare to it, while “Growing Wings” presents a bittersweet view on change. “Does It Echo?” is interestingly composed, the strings played in a way that brings the instrumentals to the forefront of the track for the first time since we pressed “play” on Evergreen. That’s not to say we don’t hold her vocals in very high regard, but there is so much beauty in the composition that it seems to have been the driving force in the writing of this particular song. “Good News” picks the momentum back up, leading us into the title track, freeing percussion and a vivid descriptors giving life to the lyrics.
While “Criminal Tongue” does its best to blend some incredibly sassy blues instrumentals in, we can’t help but wonder if the track is a proper nod to modern day politics, or if the song tells of a more specific tale. If that’s the case, we’re clambering to find the inspiration for this one! Bombara rounds out the album with “All Good Things”, a proper tempo slowdown that has quite sincere and introspective lyrics. The way the melody plays out makes it feel like a traditional ballad, with all of the energy and emotion that Pink has provided in recent releases. Wouldn’t you agree?
Try the album on for size below!
Keep up with Beth Bombara here.
Folk-pop duo Starbird & the Phoenix – made up of Courtney Bassett and Andrew Swackhamer – are back with a groovy acoustic rendition of the hit song, “Sunbeam”. Producing a video full of summery feel-good vibes, the two are jamming out in a quaint space allowing the viewer to feel as if they’re right in the studio with the artists. Between Andrew shredding on the ukulele and Courtney hitting astronomically high notes, you can’t do anything but “groove along with me” as the lyrics suggest. Great for a pick me up, one watch through the video will have your soul feeding off the energy of the two in no time. Be sure to catch this wonderful remake of “Sunbeam” the week of August 12 and allow yourself to dive into the world of Starbird and the Phoenix.
Keep up with the band here.
All at once natural, manmade, and the product of a dream: With Fuwa Fuwa Music, Miki Moondrops guides listeners through an ethereal world that hums, glitters, and bleeds with vivid watercolors. The allure of Fuwa Fuwa Music lies in its fantastical nature – this album breezily transports listeners to an enchanted forest that is part organic, part machine, and always breathtaking.
The second studio release from Miki Moondrops, the finely layered production of Fuwa Fuwa Musicbubbles over with enthusiasm and curiosity. The group is comprised of Miki Masuda Jarvis, on bass and vocals, and David Lord on guitar, synths, and glockenspiel (for this record, they are joined by William Erickson on drums and Ben Snook on electronic percussion). The work as a whole is peppered with clicks, whistles, and cartoonish bounciness that serve as markers for the passing of time, as they weave in and out of earshot, brightly punctuating spells of haziness. Airy synths paint a permanent sunset as the backdrop for hearty drums, psychedelic guitar loops, and unrolling spools of abstract lyricism. While each track carries an individual theme all its own, the zeitgeist provided by Fuwa Fuwa Music is consistently sunny – even through spasms of chaos or harsher distortion.
Listening to Fuwa Fuwa Music feels brand new and yet somehow deeply instinctual. For example, characterizing features of track “Bumblebee House” include the faint buzzing of honeybees alongside a fuzzy distortion, reminiscent of the stuttering twitch of insects’ wings. On “Ants”, Miki Moondrops shrinks us down to microscopic size and into a glittery, glitching realm that could only thrive hidden beneath the earth. Rapid, perforating melodies from vocals and guitar plucking alike read like an ancient language, paired with more “known” elements of electronica. “Dragonfly Wings” is another play at perspective: listening to it inspires contemplation of whether we are watching a dragonfly as it flickers and jerks in and out of the sonic frame; or if we are the creature itself, ascending ceremonially before lilting back down to earth, settling like fog.
Woven snippets of found sound and electronically produced noise are essential to Fuwa Fuwa Music. At times, these elements drive the song’s direction, like on “Orange to Pink, Mushroom to Turtle”; while at other points, they flit in and out of the mix and of frontal attention, providing space to appreciate Jarvis’s drifty vocals humming with reverb – see “When You See the Eyebrow, You Will See the Gnome”. At the top of opening track “Shells”, at least three psychedelic guitar loops and reverses take the stage, weaving through each other and the Jarvis’s vocal melody like ribbons in the wind.
The last two tracks from Fuwa Fuwa Music serve more as mood suggestions than as landscapes. In just a fleeting 1 minute 19 seconds, “Glassy Eyes” wisps the faint chirping of birds and gentle harmonies knit together by the melody of a lullaby. Final track “It Is Glowing” feels more anthemic than illustrative or inviting. Its undulating electronic percussion, ensnared by subtle guitar strokes, provides a groove that satisfies Miki Moondrops’ quota for psychedelic rock.
- Orange to Pink, Mushroom to Turtle
- When You See the Eyebrow, You Will See the Gnome
- Dragonfly Wings
- Bumblebee House
- Glassy Eyes
- It Is Glowing
You can follow Miki Moondrops here.
Fullerton-based indie rock musician The Late Innings (Vincent Sinex) is coming at us hard with the video premiere for his track “Our Secret”. The song itself takes almost a spoken word tempo, packed with entertaining lyrics. As we get an audible glimpse into simpler times in the bay area, we are drawn to the adventurous nature of topographically-designed lyrics.
I made the ‘Our Secret’ video entirely using topographical maps. I wanted to capture the restless feeling of a traveler going from one place after another, searching for that perfect spot. I’ve always been fascinated by maps and travel. When I was younger, I would spend many hours poring over atlases and maps, studying place names and doing things like learning state capitals. To make the video, I took screen captures from United States Geological Survey topographical maps and used them to illustrate not only the lyrics of the song, but also the types of places (beaches, coves and bays) the traveler encounters in the song.
This song itself is about a guy who travels to a place he considers his ‘secret’ vacation spot, only to find out that the place is now overrun with tourists. He’s disappointed to discover that something he used to think of ‘his’ is now a place that apparently everybody now knows about. The inspiration for this song came from a trip of my own, where we went to a beach that seemingly no one knew about, and we had the whole place to ourselves that afternoon. After that trip, I thought, ‘The next time I want to go back there, will it still be a secret, especially since in the age of social media, nothing is a secret anymore?
Nothing is a secret, and we can all relate. Check out the video below!
Keep up with The Late Innings at thelateinnings.com.