VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Twin Shadow “Saturdays” & More

When Twin Shadow released his album Caer in April of this year, it brought a sense of relief to fans – not only did it signify recovery from his bands’ catastrophic tour bus crash, the music felt like a return to form. His first two records, 2010 debut Forget and its 2012 follow-up Confess, gained him indie acclaim thanks to their epic ’80s synth pop sound, but 2015’s Eclipse saw him all but abandon his hallmark style in favor of a more pop-friendly sound. Unfortunately, Eclipse didn’t make a good, or lasting, impression on critics or fans, while the bus accident nearly ended his career in the process of promoting it.

Caer sees Twin Shadow – real name George Lewis, Jr. – return to the nostalgic sound that made his music so immediately accessible, without sacrificing his serious pop star ambitions. There’s no one track on the album that emphasizes this more than feel-good jam “Saturdays;” it even features pop rock sister act HAIM. The video for the track doubles down on the nostalgia, as Lewis digs into his childhood memories of wiling away the weekends in front of a fuzzy television set. The video follows a young George Lewis, Jr. look-alike enthralled by what can only be a direct throwback to Nickelodeon’s “You Can’t Do That on Televison” and on into the teenage intrigue scrambled late-night signals, offering an enthralling journey through the visuals that shaped Twin Shadow.

DeJ Loaf is back, and showing fans her softer side. When she broke onto the scene with “Try Me” and followed it up one year later with “Back Up,” her sound was that of a woman trying to prove herself in the male dominated hip-hop scene. But “Liberated” represents the newfound freedom she’s found in defying convention and refusing to play by someone else’s rules. It opens with a potent depiction of the Black Lives Matter movement, eventually encompassing a number of grassroots protests that have taken hold in these challenging political times. The message is clear – the only way to get “Liberated” is to do it for oneself.

With a provocatively titled new track and sensual clip to match, Anna Calvi announces her return to rock, and perhaps her intent to destroy gender roles once and for all. She’ll release Hunter, her third full-length record – the follow-up to 2013’s critically lauded One Breath – on August 31st via Domino.

Trippy Brooklyn music collective Pendulum People continues to invite audiences into their world of spectacle and illusion. This latest video for their song “Paradise” pulls imagery from their live shows, and highlights the elaborate costuming and dance the crew’s fans have come to expect.

We couldn’t be more excited about the return of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s experimental rock project Low. This week they teased the September 14 release of Double Negative with a triptych of videos for “Quorum,” “Dancing and Blood” and “Fly.” The new songs and their accompanying clips find beauty in the dark, dramatic, and unsettling.


NEWS ROUNDUP: Blurred Lines, The NRA & More

NEWS ROUNDUP: Blurred Lines, The NRA & More

By Jasmine Williams

Blurred Lines Gets Cleared Up

On Wednesday, Robin Thicke and Pharrell lost their appeal in the infamous “Blurred Lines” copyright case, the landmark music verdict ruled that the groovy 2013 track sounded way too familiar to Marvin Gaye’s much groovier song, “Got to Give It Up.” The appeal results continue the “giving credit where credit is due” debate and is extremely worrying to those who believe that the court’s outcome damages creative freedom in the songwriting field. The three judges in the appeals case were not unanimous in the decision to uphold the ruling; the dissenting judge cautioned that the final result “establishes a dangerous precedent that strikes a devastating blow to future musicians and composers everywhere.” Marvin Gaye’s three children, who were awarded more than $5 million from the original decision, struck back with the statement, “If an artist wants to use the work of others for ‘inspiration,’ they always have been welcome to ask for permission.”

Country Music Turns Its Back On The NRA

Country music has long been linked with a specific type of Americana – one that features flag-flying, blue jeans, trucks, and of course, the right to bear arms. However, a recent edit to the NRA’s website indicates that the classic genre’s relationship with guns is changing. The shift began after the Las Vegas shooting on October 1st, when a gunman massacred fifty-eight people during country music festival, Route 91 Harvest. In the week following the shooting, Rolling Stone reported that many of the musicians featured on the NRA’s website were no longer inclined to confirm their ties with the association. This week, ahead of Saturday’s student-led “March For Our Lives” protests, over thirty country musicians’ names have been removed from the NRA’s online list of associated artists.

That New New:

R&B’s princess of minimalism is back with a new ear worm – Jhené Aiko debuted a double serving of videos for her new track, “Never Call Me.” Global music collector, Diplo returns with a solo EP called “California.” Jack White’s long-awaited album, Boarding House Reach, is here, and reviews are mixedKimya Dawson, Leon Bridges, and Thom Yorke have all announced tours, while Bloc Party will be playing their seminal album Silent Alarm on six European stops this October. Magda Davitt, the artist formerly known as Sinead O’Connor, also delivered dates this week; next month she plays in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In other live news, passes for all of Red Bull Music Festival’s May events are on sale now and on Monday, tickets for Christine and the Queens’ Halloween show are up on Brooklyn Vegan.

More Music News:

  • Realizing that teachers across the United States like to use their zany music videos in the classroom, OK Go has debuted an educational website. OK Go Sandbox pairs the band’s creative clips with free learning guides that bundle suggested assignments, spelling words and more.
  • Lollapalooza announced its lineup, and like so many others this year, the Chicago festival features very few female musicians, and a lot of lame excuses as to why male stars always seem to get top billing.
  • As part of a court ruling for securities fraud, Pharma-bro Martin Shkreli has been ordered to forfeit his copies of unreleased albums by Wu-Tang and Lil Wayne. However, we still might never hear Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and The Carter V; their future will probably be determined by U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. He doesn’t seem like much of a hip-hop fan.