Between global pandemics, burnout culture, and the rise of AI, the future seems more bleak than ever. The alt-rock artist Moon Walker expresses his frustrations with the present-day in the track “Give The People What They Want”, tackling the defects of American society via an arresting punk rock song. The music video from Tiltshift Visual sets the song in a nondescript American office—aka, the source of many societal frustrations—and features a zombification of its workers.
Opening with an arresting dialogue between the guitar and bass lines, the music primes the video for its imminent belligerent energy. Amid the beats of drums and panning synths, zombies type away at keyboards and make trips to the fax machine, ambling their way through dimly-lit, whitewashed corridors. Anyone who’s ever worked a corporate job can easily relate to this shuffling, fatigued movement. All the while, Moon Walker’s electrifying voice echoes the sentiments of discontented people across the globe: “We want children we can’t care for, houses we can’t pay for, jobs we can’t stay awake for”.
The two zombies in the video are ghostly pale and dingy, covered in wounds as raw as Walker’s lyrics. Moon Walker’s guitar shredding accompanies the human coworkers running away from their zombie counterparts, terrified of the decomposed future they will inevitably embody. There is nothing subtle about Walker’s message: we’ve all become slaves and zombies to our jobs and the political climate surrounding us. The end of the video features a ticking clock, reminding us that time does not stop for anyone, and our zombification could be imminent if nothing changes.
In a world where solutions are few and far between, belting rock songs with catchy melodic hooks is a good form of escapism. “Give The People What They Want” previews the alt-rock artist’s third LP, the aptly named Apocalypticism, due out on October 20th. Walker will expose the most troubling aspects of society with this release, challenging the status quo and pushing for change. Additionally, get tickets now for Moon Walker’s debut U.S. tour in October 2023.
Zach Gerzon of Twin Bridges is an up-and-coming songwriter and self-taught cellist, breaking into the music scene with a distinct mix of folk and instrumental chamber genres. The project’s latest single, “Carbon & Dust”, puts instrumental chamber music through an indie filter, mixing traditional orchestral instruments with wistful vocals. Durnis Markov’s animated music video is as heart-wrenching as it is breathtaking, providing context for the song as well as eye candy visuals.
While self-teaching, Gerzon experimented on his cello, incorporating playing it on its side like a guitar and using a looping pedal. He brings this experience into “Carbon & Dust”, incorporating a plucked cello motif as the crux of the piece. Its ambling tempo resembles how the characters in the music video lumber through a forest aimlessly. The music video’s description elaborates that the song “explores a conversation with a loved one who has passed… Slipping between a dream and reality, the lines get blurred from reality, the afterlife and reliving trauma / tragedy.”
Along with cello and vocals, “Carbon & Dust” includes a trumpet, bass clarinet, bassoon, clarinet, and saxophone, creating a mini symphony. Each drastic change in instrumentation accompanies the events in the video. When a car crashes in a head-on collision—recalling the moment the mourned person passed in this tragic accident—the winds suddenly break into the song. The wail of strings and blast of winds juxtapose Gerzon’s forlorn voice, encompassing the simultaneously agonizing and gloomy experience of grief.
“Carbon & Dust” is only the beginning of Twin Bridges’ exploration into folk-chamber pop, as the lead single to the upcoming Fertile Ashes full-length debut, out on 10/27. With a strong start, Twin Bridges and animator Durnis Markov helm the sail of an exciting new genre.
Does a new future of folk-chamber pop lie ahead of us? Find out below!
In Jean Ryden’s music video for her song “Parallel Universe”, Jean desperately wants the trauma of losing her parents to have never occurred. In the beginning of the song, she replays images of her parents in her mind in black and white, because her past is like an old movie; the happy moments with her parents are covered with feelings of dread. All the color has been depleted from her memories because new movies are symbolic of new, happy memories with her parents being formed. In comparison, the old movies symbolize her happy memories as only in the past
Jean lays in her bed and leans her head to the side, which reflects when she would lean on her parents for support. She is alone in the bed because after her parents passed away, she felt alone and like she had nobody to lean on for support. The camera zooms in on a close-up image of her eyes while she lays in her bed because her eyes are her pathway to all of the loneliness she feels inside.
Color film of a garden with beautiful roses of different shades and a white bird flying above it is representative of her healing from her grief and finding peace. To elaborate, the bird symbolizes her flying because she is freeing herself from the black and white space of her grief.
Images lasting for a few seconds, all of her memories can never be remembered in complete detail, but the most important details remain engraved. The colored images represent her purely happy memories, the black and white images are symbolic of her memories remembered in sadness or trigger her grief, and the partially colored images are memories she is remembering to heal from her grief and sadness.
The same image of her alone, opening and closing her eyes, leaning her head against a wall, in a vacant room, occurring for a few seconds, repeatedly, shows her constant despair. She shuts off all of her memories with or of her parents because she goes into a state of depression, which she is constantly battling to escape from.
The video ends with her sitting in a dark room with candles and a black sky lit with bright stars. Images are played in quick seconds against Jean’s soft, melodic voice, which has a deeply sad tone on its edges along with hints of desperation. Her voice also has another tone, that feels like she is going through feelings of clarity.
Once she repeats her memories filled with many different emotions, she must admit that the reality is her parents are in heaven. Therefore, her memories are a “parallel universe.”
The electric guitar starts the song “Firecracker Man” by Thorslund with feelings of anticipation about what sounds, harmonies, and lyrics will be electrified. The pulsing sounds of the drums speed up the tempo with their steady beats and sudden rapid beats in between.
Our protagonist has kept his energetic and fun spirit hidden but now he is ready to take his dancing shoes out of his pocket. With these, he is a charming man who is confident to show everyone his expressive personality. The dance is a form of expression. The shoes are a metaphor for him taking the dancing steps to express himself to people he meets. Thus, he is no longer waiting to be a firecracker man; a man who charms people with his personality and makes everyone he sees smile. He now is going to be a firecracker man!
He is tired of pretending to not be the spotlight of the dance floor as in the past, he dominated the dance floor. Once he stopped dancing, he lost his self-confidence to reveal his charming personality. He felt ordinary because he lost his will to dance, which made him feel extraordinary and unique, as implied by the description of his dancing as “funky.”
He associates wealth with his charming personality. He always imagined that his charming personality and superior dancing skills would make him wealthy. As he continued toward his goals, he kept losing his confidence. But now a surge of energy is careening through him to dance his way to wealth and the recognition he craves from everyone he meets.
He not only wants to uplift himself, but he also yearns to uplift the people he meets who will be supportive of him. He will teach them to dance so well, that their incredible, funky dance moves will not be an illusion, but a reality!
The video itself is an edgy, fun display of Thorslund’s live performance chops. Check it out below!
If you have yet to happen upon the immense talents of Connor McLaren, now is your chance. The Indianapolis-based musician just released his first full-length with the indelible Ben Kweller’s label The Noise Company. Today, we get to peep the music video for the single “Candy Rain.”
A casual, meandering pace opens the track as we delve into the love story that is “Candy Rain.” While his romantic interest is metaphorically compared to this tasty concept, momentum builds and instrumentals are layered. The song becomes more of a quintessential rock ballad than originally expected, with a hint of grunge/surf rock influence in the whirring guitars. McLaren’s voice has the same appeal as your favorite 90’s crooners, giving all of his music what seems to be an unintentional – but completely genuine – layer of added nostalgia.
By the song alone, it is quite obvious that McLaren’s musicianship and professionalism far surpass the expectations normally associated with his ripe age of 21. But diving into the music video is a whole other treat. (See what we did there?)
The artist takes an artful approach to this visual release, with isolated color palettes dancing around his shadow profile in some frames, playing with natural elements like the textures in mother nature and the sun in others. Shots of the curly-haired crooner performing in earnest, surrounded by bubbles. Then covered in paint. Then avoiding a literal candy downpour under an umbrella.
The video is a kaleidoscope dream you won’t soon forget.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES: August 17 – New York, NY – The Footlight August 26 – Normal, IL – House Show August 31 – Bloomington, IN – The Atrium September 2 – Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s Apartment September 9 – West Lafayette, IN – House Show September 12 – Nashville, TN – The Basement East September 14 – Boone, NC – TApp Room September 21 – Chicago, IL – Bookclub October 14 – Charleston, SC – House Show November 10 – Appleton, WI – Appleton Beer Factory December 22 – Indianapolis, IN – HiFi **Homecoming show – TICKETS
SONG CREDITS Lead Vocals – Connor McLaren Acoustic and Electric Guitar – Alec McLaren Bass and Drums – Ben Kweller Backing Vocals – Connor McLaren and Ben Kweller **Written by Connor McLaren, Alec McLaren, and Benjamin Kweller and published by Weed Funded Songs (ASCAP), Charity Chase Songs (ASCAP) and Twelve Sided Die (ASCAP)
The Barenaked Ladies are back at it with another feel-good song full of optimistic energy. “Lovin’ Life” is the Toronto rock band’s first musical release since 2021, and excitement for their comeback shines through in its accompanying rainbow-tinged music video. Band members Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, and Tyler Stewart share their unhinged enthusiasm in appreciation of life’s highs and lows, reminding us to take a step back and smell the roses.
It’s hard not to smile while listening to “Lovin’ Life”. Even though it begins bleak, since “the world could end before the end of this song,” the band quickly jumps into why it is so important to not dwell on negativity and instead focus on living in the now. The chorus introduces keyboard synths and rockin’ guitar chords for a high-energy drop. Its catchy lyrics are an anthem to relishing the present moment and all the simple joys of summer. Life is not only “sweeter than a watermelon slice” but also as delicious as a gooey piece of pizza.
The MV’s visuals jump back and forth between the band’s in-studio sessions and their onstage performance of “Lovin’ Life” during their almost-annual Last Summer on Earth tour. As 2018 inductees of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Barenaked Ladies have much to celebrate for across their 35-year musical journey. If you can’t get enough of this single, be sure to check out the Barenaked Ladies’ 2023 Last Summer on Earth tour.
In need of a pick-me-up? Have a listen to “Lovin’ Life” below: