I'm Seeing Songs | Music Video Spotlight (April 2020)
In this late April installment of I'm Seeing Songs, as we find ourselves in the thick of social distancing and self-isolation with the hope of brighter days on the near horizon, we take a look at six captivating and noteworthy music videos that showcase the artist performance, location and other visual elements that complement and enhance the music itself.
SYML | Here Comes the Sun
Coinciding with Earth Day 2020 (April 22) this past week, SYML, the solo music project of singer-songwriter Brian Fennell, released his moving cover of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun."
Presented with delicate piano arpeggios, acoustic guitar, atmospheric synths, and SYML's emotive vocals, this lovely cover inspires hope, new beginnings, and thoughts of brighter days ahead.
The single's accompanying music video was created with footage filmed by fans all over the world. SYML comments on his Earth Day-inspired music video: "My hope is that we celebrate the beauty of this earth, even in the darkest moments. I thought it would be fun to create a video that shows how you appreciate this planet that we call home. The soundtrack is my cover of George Harrison's Beatles classic 'Here Comes The Sun,' which I released this morning. Thanks to everyone that contributed to the video. We received over 760 submissions and were able to squeeze in about 92 of them."
Forever Honey | Twenty-Five
With the second single from their spectacular debut EP, Pre-Mortem High, Brooklyn-based indie band Forever Honey releases "Twenty-Five," a playful musical take on that first moment when you come to the realization that you might be turning into your parents.
Written on the eve of band member Olivia's 26th birthday, this upbeat track is a perfect taste of Forever Honey's appealing indie pop vibe and keen songwriting capacity. Forever Honey is comprised of Olivia Price, Aida Mekonnen, Steven Vannelli, and Jack McLoughlin.
The storyline of "Twenty-Five" finds its origins in band members Olivia and Aida living without a mirror in their flat for a period of time. On a visit home some time later, Olivia caught her reflection in a mirror. "I was taken aback – it was like I didn’t recognize myself at first," Olivia comments, "None of it was bad in any way, but it simply was not the body I remembered seeing last I looked at myself. Instead, it was the body I grew up seeing on my mom, and that was the first time I'd seen it on me – a mature, conventionally 'womanly' form that appears to have nurtured years of experience."
The song itself was recorded, mixed, and produced by Ben Rice at Brooklyn's Degraw Sound. The single's accompanying music video, created by Tristan Oliveira and Shayan Farooq, features all the band members, but it's Olivia's mother, Doreen, who is the real star of this three minute visual. Regarding her mom's video debut, Olivia remarks, "She trekked it all the way to NYC with my Aunt Joanne, got all jazzed up in attire my dad had to bite his tongue at, and let the camera capture her in her element."
JUNG | Believe
Promising their fans that they'd do a "quarantine cover" for them, Stockholm-based indie pop duo JUNG did just that during their recent live appearance on Swedish Radio's P3 Session Live with an impressive and inventive cover of Cher's "Believe." Comprised of siblings Henrik and Tom Ljungkvist, JUNG first burst onto the Swedish music scene two years ago with their debut single, "Vera," and have since released some stunning singles including "Wasteland" and "This Could Be the End of It," along with their impressive Formula EP and debut album Dreamers.
Eskobar | When Your Heroes Fall
I first fell in love with the music of Eskobar back in 2002 with their breakthrough international single, "Someone New," which featured American singer-songwriter Heather Nova. Two the band's albums, There's Only Now (2001) and A Thousand Stars Burst Open (2004), rank on my list of all-time favorite long plays.
Following a multi-year hiatus, the band re-emerged several years ago to once again create new music. Comprised of Daniel Bellqvist (lead vocals), Frederik Zäll (guitar), and Jocke Brunnberg (drums), the trio is set to release new album Chapter 2, a love letter inspired by the 90's UK Brit/indie scene, combined with subtle nods to the hip-hop production of the same era. The band comments, "This combo together with our northern sensibilities makes up the sound that we in the band call 'Northie' which is short for 'Northern Indie.'"
"When Your Heroes Fall" is Eskobar's first single from Chapter 2. With an impressive, upbeat vibe that takes me back to the musical qualities that initially drew me into the magic of Eskobar, the production channels a bit of The Beatles via Danielle Dax (think "Tomorrow Never Knows"). While we anxiously await Chapter 2, watch the single's accompanying music video.
Bryde | Paper Cups
With a clever spin on releasing a music video in the midst of a pandemic, London-based Bryde, a.k.a. Sarah Howells, unleashes the interactive 360° video for "Paper Cups," the third single from her forthcoming album, The Volume of Things, expected for a May 29 release. The new single continues with the upbeat, energized vibe established with previous single, "Silence," and features Sarah's expressive, warm and melodic vocals that contribute to the essence of Bryde. For the lyrical content, Sarah remarks, "'Paper Cups' is about misreading signs, wishful thinking and being web-stalked while connecting with someone over hot drinks from environmentally-unfriendly receptacles."
Regarding the impetus for the 360° video, Sarah comments on social media, "So we're all self isolating and sadly I don't live with a hot video director with too much time on their hands.. BUT I do know some very cool people and they made this 360 animated video using a bit of DSLR footage I took of myself mining to my song."
Be sure to watch the video in Google Chrome or in the YouTube App for the full 360° experience.
Darla Jade | Frenemy
Stoke-based singer songwriter Darla Jade releases "Frenemy," the follow-up single to the emotional and poignant "Overcrowded." The new single finds its lyrical inspiration in teenage friendships and the pain of growing apart. Its heartfelt lyrics energetically glide atop a punchy, Scandi-pop soundscape, with Darla's crisp vocals and harmony, resulting in an infectious melody that you'll find yourself singing along to.
Darla comments, "I started writing this song around two years ago just in my bedroom with my ukulele! I then went to Karma Sound Studios in 2018 where I worked on it with Rhys Fletcher (producer & co-writer) and Ruth Kelly (co-writer) - the track was really bought to life at this moment! Then in 2019 the talented Mark Smith added his touches and helped us bring it to the next level! 2020 we are now releasing!"
The current COVID-19 pandemic put a slight wrench in plans to record an accompanying music video, but an alternative solution surfaced. "Originally for 'Frenemy' I was going to get an official video done," Darla remarks. "However, with us all being in quarantine this was off the cards. But I still wanted to give you some visuals with the release of the track. So I got in touch with Eli Lev and he created this using stock footage that relates to broken friendships and frenemies!"