indie pop

VIDEO PREMIERE

Toebow - Key Song

By Gerard Marcus

New York indie pop wizards Toebow’s entire persona seems to exist in the surreal. They describe themselves as a “cartoon psych pop party,” and their recent debut album ‘Themes’ and accompanying video for “Mr. Tony” have done a great job of creatively honing the power of the outlandish. Their new video for the track “Key Song,” directed by Bernard Feinsod, is no different, stylishly showcasing a day at the beach with the group–a perfect visual accompaniment to the fun loving, playful tune. But their surreality manages to shine through, the peppy tone and sunny vibes in stark contrast to the song’s story of the end of a toxic relationship. It shows the beach as place to process and meditate, spending some time in the sun with friends to try and cope with stresses that seem ever present and extremely distant all at once. It’s a perfect summer track for an imperfect life, and it has me looking forward to many days at the beach. 

VIDEO PREMIERE

Alexia Avina - All That I Can't See

By Abigail Clyne

Like the recording of the Montreal musician’s album, Alexia Avina’s video for the track “All That I Can’t See” takes to the countryside; this time to make art with the body. Shot on film, the video grounds the track, a meditation on the fears and anxieties that envelope us. The acoustic guitar and sparse vocals pair beautifully with dancer Stephanie Jacco’s organic movement in field and pond as she dreamily dances about in a white cotton dress. She yearns to escape her fallible human body, “If I were a lake / my body wouldn’t break / beneath it’s own weight.” Sometimes dancing in nature can be the best balm for the anxieties of life. 

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Slow Dakota - Creation of the World

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By Abigail Clyne

Don’t let the joyful nature of the track fool you–Slow Dakota’s new single, “Creation of the World,” is asking the big questions. The title alone hints to this track being more than meets the eye. PJ Sauerteig (Slow Dakota) is joined by Margaux Bouchegnies on vocals and Corey Dansereau on trumpet. Throughout the song, the duo ponders where their urge for expression comes from. “I can’t decide if I write from some Great hole inside,” they sing, and compare their way of creation to that of Christ, “If Christ spoke Mountain Ice all because His Life was flat and dry.”

Later, the pair wonders if their inspiration perhaps comes from a more positive place, “Or do I sing from some Great abundance, bubbling high.” In the end, much like the different expressions of God shown in the Old and New Testaments, it seems a balance has been struck. Creation, and therefore expression, comes out of both desperation and love. The constant plucking of the guitar and later addition of the trumpet allows for this self analysis to never become dour. We all need a helping hand to guide us through the weighty questions, and Slow Dakota makes it both easy and profound all at once.

VIDEO PREMIERE

Arc Iris - Dylan & Me

By Gerard Marcus

The music of of Rhode Island’s Arc Iris has always come across to me as other-worldly. It’s a mix of their genre fluidity, the attention to detail in both the sound and structure of their songs, their overall musicality, and their mind boggling live performances. Everything they do blends together to present a fully realized universe of its own, an art so specific that it could only come from the depths of the minds that crafted it. Interpreting anything about their world and creating something within it is a daunting task, but that’s exactly what animator Anne Beal has done with Arc Iris’ new video for “Dylan & Me.”

In the video, Beal’s use of various animated elements allows her to make a visual representation that beautifully compliments the expansive realms of Arc Iris’ music. In a musical universe that feels boundless, Beal chooses to represent constraint. Pattens tesselate, band members are found frozen in time, figures effortlessly glide between designated frames before spinning into fractalized versions of themselves. The whole work seems to be stuck between constant motion and complete stillness–this tension is what gives the video its transfixing power. A surreal dream space showing infinite possibilities even in worlds with restraints.

Arc Iris will be starting a tour soon including residencies in Brooklyn, NY at C’mon Everybody and shows in Burlington, VT. Check out full dates down below, and if you are here in Brooklyn with us, be sure to go check them out live. They have consistently produced some of the more memorable shows I’ve seen throughout the years.

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PREMIERE

Slow Dakota - Canticle 69

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By Abigail Clyne

Has pornography ruined sex? That’s the question Slow Dakota ruminates on in his new cheekily-titled track “Canticle 69” (a risqué joke for the dutiful church goers who know a Canticle is a biblical hymn). The song opens on ebullient marimba and bass line pulsing continually, setting the scene for a successful sexual encounter. The falling scales and washes of sound mirroring the waves of ecstasy one hopes to feel during some good old hanky panky.

With the downward slide of the word “Easy,” PJ Sauerteig enters the scene, but he doesn’t seem to be having a good time. It seems not even this breezy intro can make things enjoyable. “Easy frankly, I’d rather have a Terabyte, a copy of a clone.” Real life sex has become gross, the sterility of porn has replaced the real thing, “Wonder when I fell so out of love with hair and spit.” In the end, he’s honest with himself, “And I can’t even keep it up I guess that means goodbye.” Why bother pretending?

The buoyancy of the track gives way at the end to a meditative spoken word section reminiscent of a biblical story. References to a man and his camel berate our singer, “They stood before my porch staring up at me with beady eyes and said ‘you ruined it, you ruined it forever.’” It seems he’s given up. The simulation has indeed superseded the real thing.

Check out more about Slow Dakota on his Instagram here.