GREAT TIME - Lazy Lilly

Abigail Clyne

Every generation has their own conventions to push past or upend. Anywhere you look today, millennials are blamed for the death of some established norm. Whether it’s cable tv, brick and mortar stores, or the sacred bonds of marriage, it’s all young people’s fault. Great Time’s new video for the song “Lazy Lilly” (the title itself perhaps a tongue in cheek nod to the “lazy millennial,” who knows!) explores how relationships have changed from one generation to the next.

The video follows an older man going about his day in his cozy home somewhere in the Northeastern US. Unlike the singer’s past relationship, “Oh, we fell apart making our hard decisions,” this man is alone because death has separated him and his wife. Having the choice to break up or get divorced is a necessity of modern living, but it can also turn what used to be simple fact, that you stay with who you’re with, an overwhelming chain of what if’s. With the line “Is love ours to fall apart?” the song seems to be asking if all modern relationships are doomed to fail without the societal pressure to make them work. 

The band makes a brief appearance in the video, seated on the windowsills as if they’re a part of the house, and by extension showing how much each generation is shaped by those that come before. The warm and cozy feel captures the comfort one hopes to attain in old age, while simultaneously creating a mood of melancholy and loss. Jill Ryan’s brooding vocals combine beautifully with the sparse yet buoyant instrumentation to create a wistful dreamlike reality. The closing line “Oh, we fall apart, our love won’t make it last...” ends the song on a downer. Maybe us millennials just don’t have what it takes to make our relationships work? Or maybe we’re just still young. 


Trees Take Ease - Birds Like Leaves

Gerard Marcus

The music of Brooklyn-based musician Trees Take Ease holds a special place in my heart. It perfectly captures the emotional space where my oldest memories reside, dancing in and out of fantasy. With its earnest sensibilities and lo-fi feel, his 2017 record ‘Magnetic North’ is easily one of my favorites from last year. He’s had two releases since then, but I’m happy to see him return to Magnetic North to create a beautiful video for its track “Birds Like Leaves.”

Directed by Kathleen Elizabeth Dalton and Stephen Becker (Trees Take Ease), the power in the “Birds Like Leaves” video is its ability to draw attention to its fringes. Scraps of paper trapped by the wind, hands without bodies, shadows dancing and connecting on the ground—the entire video hints at the presence of more while focusing on the less. Is there a grace in how the wind carries the paper? Do those shadows connect us more completely than we do in the flesh? The video, like the music of Trees Take Ease, asks us to pay attention to that middle ground between reality and fantasy, the etherial and the concrete. A world where contemplation on the big and small can hopefully lead to deeper knowledge.


Obvious Creature - Hiding (Video by: Lobo Incognito)

Gerard Marcus

Through all the histories I’ve read in my short time here on earth, I've learned that hiding has been a crucial elements of human survival. Hiding from danger, hiding from the truth, hiding who one really is–it’s a skillset one develops in order to protect or withhold one's personal world from outside influences. As important as hiding has been in the past, it's interesting to think about the modern-day climate of shared information where everything you do is recorded. Nowadays, where can you truly hide? Artist Lobo Incognito takes on this question his video for Obvious Creature’s track “Hiding.”

The video is a mixed collage of found-footage and hand-shot imagery exploring the idea of where we go when we hide. Some of the imagery seems almost voyeuristically intimate, while at other times it is distant and cold. It's the balance of these contrasting elements that Incognito nails beautifully in this video, perfectly capturing the tension of hiding in a modern world where nothing is really secret. Images distort, repeat, and cut to the point where they only fly past as reference. Color change to impossible hues. And digitally-constructed images bend around the analog. Nothing seems stable, and it feels like at any moment all the secrets held within the video will be revealed–but it never happens. Incognito is able to hold it all together with a strong sense of style and aesthetic, teasing at a digital realm where all secrets lie. The video's warped digital style, paired with the chill jazz stylings of the Obvious Creature’s track, creates a dueling experience that breezes through subliminal messages and shows us the reality that today, we all hide in plain sight.


Gabe Goodman - Envision It

By Abigail Clyne

At first watch, Gabe Goodman’s new video for “Envision It” seems a bit inscrutable, but dive in and what he’s going for is clear. “Envision It” is a song detailing that dizzying feeling we all get when meeting someone new. Those butterflies we all experience are exciting, but also bring along a heap of anxiety. It’s hard for him to give into these new feelings of love, as he sings in the chorus, “Hard to envision it / hard to live within it / hard to feel good.” However, throughout the video, Gabe does his best to reconcile the fact that it’s ok to feel this confusion. At the end of the day, this feeling is a good one. 

The video opens on a distorted close-up of Gabe’s face, mirroring the haziness and confusion he’s feeling about this new rush of lust. Later, he does a headless robotic dance, seemingly wanting to literally lose his head and live his life on autopilot. At one point he scrunches his face as if he’s only now realized what he’s said out loud. Through all of this confusion, by the end Gabe seems to pull himself together. The distortion of his face disappears, and he’s no longer singing along, the chorus playing on as he stares motionlessly. Who knows what will happen next. I hope he goes and finds this new love, after all, they took a bus to get to him.


.Michael. - how could you do that

By Jordan Feinstein

.Michael. traffics in the beautiful threads connecting the overwhelming and the mundane. Michael Buishas and Michael Sachs (now you get their name) write music that can feel delicate to the point of fragility, both in its wandering, sparse instrumentation, and its willingness to spend a whole (usually short) song within a single thought. Through their quest for simplicity, their music finds a way to evoke an emotional truth that can be powerful to let yourself fall into. It’s a focus that leads to a sort of purity, an exploration of feelings edited down to their base components.

Their music video for “how could you do that,” off their upcoming album Crumb Devotion (just look at that album title), perfectly fits this feeling in .Michael.’s music. In “how could you do that,” Michael sings about a girl that he’s broken up with, and thinks about her already dating again. Directed by Sam Taffel and beautifully choreographed / performed by the ever-talented Melodie Stancato, the video shows the girl he’s thinking about performing normal household tasks, but with an elegant dance to her movements. It conveys how he’s thinking about her wonderfully, applying an unrealistic import and beauty to her perfectly run-of-the-mill actions, the product of him building her up in his mind through constant thought. It’s difficult to describe, but conveyed effortlessly through the music, lyrics, and video. The ability to convey this very specific emotional space perfectly, while I sit here struggling to make it work in mere sentences, is exactly what makes .Michael. so special.

You can catch .Michael. on tour with Big Thief throughout October, and pre-order their album “Crumb Collection” here.