I'm Seeing Songs | Music Video Spotlight (April 2022)
In this April 2022 edition of I'm Seeing Songs, we share six of our current music video favorites as we're heading into Spring and warmer weather in the Northern Hemisphere. These captivating visual accompaniments showcase elements of the artist performance, theme, location and other aesthetics that complement the music itself.
Ellie James | Uncomfortable
First up is the entertaining music video for "Uncomfortable," the debut single from Bristol-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Ellie James. Created by Clump Collective, the storyline paints a humorous, yet relatable glimpse into an elevator ride with random passengers and their quirky, etiquette-lacking behaviour. We've all been there in Ellie's shoes!
Some readers may recognize Ellie from her recent indie-pop project, Little Rêd, a few years back in which Ellie graced our ears with the dreamy, reflective "Hell" (debut single) and the upbeat, synth-based, "What Love Is." "Uncomfortable" is a strong, welcome return to the indie scene for this talented and promising artist.
"A few years ago, I started releasing music under the name Little Rêd," Ellie comments on social media. "It's never felt quite right, like I was hiding behind something fake." She continues, noting that "Uncomfortable" is "...the most authentic music I've ever made and I'm very proud of it so I've decided that a name change is in order. I'll be using my real name from now on! So hello, if you didn't already know, I'm Ellie James. It's nice to meet you properly." Watch out for new music and gig announcements from Ellie James very soon!
Thompson Springs | Save The Trouble
Chicago-based alt/indie rockers Thompson Springs just released Homefield, their impressive and anticipated sophomore album. The music project is the creation of singer-songwriter Matt Smith (guitars, vocals), along with Jacob Bicknase (drums, piano, organ, synth, percussion, vocals), David Thrift (bass guitar, vocals), and Jeff Sullivan (guitars).
Lead single, "Save The Trouble" was released back in March, but now receives a picturesque, travelogue video accompaniment created by Thompson Springs' very own David Thrift, who arranged Super 8 footage the band captured on the road last winter. The grainy imagery is a befitting visual backdrop to this laid back, steady tempo indie anthem that's packed with superb warm and melodic guitar riffs and Matt's chill vocals.
The band explains that the new album was recorded in their house. While daunting to start, the entire process was worth it in the end. The band comments, "It’s been a 2 year process of Pro Tools forums, cracked computer screens, Logic, hard drive recovery (Jake's coffee), cassette recording, recording live, doubt, triumph, more doubt, frustration, and breakthroughs. And gear, gear, gear." In addition to Michael Mac, who mixed "Save the Trouble," the remaining tracks on Homefield were mixed by Pat Sansone (Wilco) and Rob Laakso (Kurt Vile).
Check out the band's socials for information about live performances this April, supporting the new album. And for fans in the band's hometown, the Chicago "tour homecoming/release show" takes place April 24 at The Hideout with opening band Humbird.
Hazlett | Please Don't Be
Australian singer-songwriter Hazlett unveils "Please Don't Be," his first new music release since 2020's brilliant Thundering Hopes EP, which brought us delicately intimate and uplfiting tracks like "Suncats," "Monsters" and "Fireworks." Featuring a gorgeous and delicate acoustic treatment and Hazlett's heartfelt, emotive vocals, "Please Don't Be" is just the track many of us need to hear. "Listen to it with all your heart," the artist offers on social media. "Feel all the things you need to feel. And remind yourself 'I love you and I always will.'"
"Move like a typhoon, I'm just a flame
Smokey by nature, charmingly sane
See golden empires, Queens burning sage
Boys with their desires
And hearts in a cage
Please don't be in love with someone else"
Working with creative director Kyle Dobie and Nano Lab film processing, Hazlett releases the accompanying music video, comprised of Super 8 footage of the artist in what looks like the fields around Queensland, interspersed with curated footage of The Films of Arthur H. Virtue. "I'll share a little more about the song soon," Hazlett comments on socials media. "But for now, I kind of just want you to listen to it, feel it and discover what it means to you."
Angel Olsen | All The Good Times
"All The Good Times," the outstanding new single from indie singer-songwriter Angel Olsen gets the full cinematic treatment with its beautifully shot accompanying music video, directed by Kimberly Stickwisch and produced by Ian Blair and Briana Goldberg. The video stars Angel Olsen and Beau Thibodeaux as a couple that appears to fall apart as the song progresses. The director's comments aptly sum up the theme of this captivating, dreamy video: "A tale of running over yourself while running from yourself to yourself..."
"So long farewell, this is the end
I’ll always remember you just like a friend
And the way that you said, as heavy as lead
Oh you’ve always known how to get straight to my head
Thanks for the free ride and all of the good times"
Angel comments on social media: "It's been really special to work with Kimberly Stickwisch. I’m so proud of how our visions came together, making videos is always a bit like chasing a tornado, but I had such a fun time - I even learned how to drive a stick shift on Big Tujunga Canyon Road!"
"All The Good Times" will be featured on Angel Olsen's forthcoming album Big Time, out June 3 on Jagjaguwar Records.
Cade Hoppe | Morphine
NYC indie pop singer-songwriter Cade Hoppe presents the music video for his new single, "Morphine," an intimate track that meditates on coping with the weight of life’s expectations and whether we let those expectations make us or break us. "I think your life experiences can either make you the person you always feared you’d become or the person you always hoped you'd become," Cade expands. "By putting this song out, I hope I’m one step closer to the latter."
In the self-directed music video, Cade riffs off one of his favorite lyrics from the song: "The coffee's out so the nurse brought me lemonade / I'm scared to death because they taste the same." He elaborates, "Somehow that line says everything I wanted to say in the song with such a simple metaphor, and I really wanted to expand on that both visually and thematically in the video by literally making lemonade in a coffee pot." The song itself is produced by Cade's frequent collaborator, Harper James (Eighty Ninety, Middle Youth).
Allison Ponthier | Autopilot
Rounding out this edition of I'm Seeing Songs, we take a trip back in time to the 1950's with indie singer-songwriter Allison Ponthier and watch along as her love affair with a baby blue Ford Thunderbird blooms in "Autopilot." This clever video is directed by Jared Asher Harris, and produced by Aaron Johnson, with executive production from Austin Barbera and Jake Krask at Sixtwentysix.
Serenaded by Allison's gorgeous, magnetic vocals, we find ourselves immersed in a world of bright, vibrant color as the video opens in Allison's 50's style kitchen. The T-bird love affair unfolds with outings in the park, scenic highways drives and an eventual stop at the altar where Lord Huron's Ben Schneider presides over the wedding ceremony.
"Unless I wake up in 2100
I can’t stay between the lines
But not for lack of trying
I’m just stuck on Autopilot"
While the T-bird love affair doesn't last, we find that Allison is already onto her next potential love affair as the video wraps up.