This is Past Sounds. Every Friday Ghettoblaster Magazine is looking back and finding great music from various eras. This week we present some of the best music videos for great songs because, why not? Below are songs and videos that sound and look great no matter what decade they’re played in. So strap in as we take a musical journey, back in time.
The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist (Since I Left You, Sire Records) 2000
In 2000 The Avalanches released Since I Left You, an absolutely classic album with just around an hour of sample based summery dance music. It’s the type of album you really have to listen to from start to finish in a single sitting as the songs bleed together, providing an astounding DJ set. Frontier Psychiatrist is not the best song on the album by any means, but the song, and even more so it’s music video, are a very good representation of what the album is all about: manic joy. This is my favorite music video ever and it is utter chaos. Looking for a grandma drummer? How about a turtle with the face of your grandfather? There are awesome looking horns, a strange parrot and so much more all on a single stage. It simply is the best.
Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend (Body Talk, Konichiwa Records) 2010
Robyn took the indie pop world by storm in 2010, releasing three mini-albums and a full length collection of the best songs from these as well as some new songs. Everything she put out that year was fantastic and she has since become a staple for Hipster dance parties around the globe. Call Your Girlfriend is a powerhouse pop song with a stellar music video. The music for Call Your Girlfriend repeats itself, as do the lyrics, growing bigger and bigger each time until it culminates into an outright synth meltdown. Likewise, the music video begins in a simple open warehouse with Robyn singing to the camera and dancing; however, over time the landscape changes a bit with great lighting and more involved dancing from Robyn. The most impressive part of the video is that it is a single long tracking shot and Robyn nails the choreography the whole way through, making the video a visual delight.
Cut Copy – Need You Now (Zonoscope, Modular Recordings) 2011
Cut Copy is not necessarily a stuffy band but they had commanded a sort of stoic presence, especially during their live shows. Need You Now is the opening track on their great 2011 album Zonoscope and really set things off in the right direction. It’s a fantastic driving song with a solid beat and shimmering synths in the same vein as New Order. It’s not a playful song and Cut Copy had not been known as a playful band, which is what makes the music video for Need You Now so much fun. It begins pretty normally with the band performing their song, but various athletes from several different sports show up and are captured on video in full gear, which is edited in a very cheesy and funny way. Soon they are exchanging equipment, rushing the band’s playing area and eventually declaring love and war on one another. It’s super fun and the fact that it came from Cut Copy makes it even better.
Lambchop – Gone Tomorrow (Mr. M, Merge Records) 2012
Gone Tomorrow is the opening track from the gorgeous album Mr. M, which was released by Lambchop, a band whose label describes them as “Nashville’s most f*cked up country band.” There’s nothing on this song that really points to their more sinister side, it is just a simply beautiful track. Yet, that statement from the label does shed some light onto why the video for this slow, lovely song is full of local professional wrestling. The pacing of the video matches the song and is a meditative and deliberate piece of art that captures wrestling moves the way you would capture ballerinas at a Julliard performance. The combination of song, subject matter and video aesthetic is absolutely perfect, resulting in a seven minute video that leaves you wanting more.