Hard to believe, but it’s been two whole years since Katy Perry‘s video for “California Gurls” premiered. During that time, Perry has experienced a number of highs (see: her six #1 songs) and lows (see: her divorce from Russell Brand), so it only makes sense that her new music video for “Wide Awake” starts off where her whole Teenage Dream run began: The video shoot for “California Gurls.”
Our story begins at the end of the “California Gurls” video shoot with the director calling it a wrap, at which time Katy heads back to her dressing room to remove her pink cotton candy colored wig. As she briefly contemplates her own reflection in the mirror — we are to presume that this is one of the few moments in her life where she is truly alone, not flanked by PR flunkies/makeup artists/record label suits/various hangers-on, and therefore free to get a little introspective — she is whisked through the looking glass (so to speak) and transported into a magical realm that blends elements of Snow White, Zach Snyder‘s Sucker Punch, Jim Henson‘s Labyrinth and the Lord Of The Rings. You see, she’s on a quest to find true love, but as you can tell from an exceptionally dramatic crane shot, it’s not going to be easy.
It’s like the 90s R&B era all over again in Melanie Fiona’s “This Time,” and we’re loving it. For the traditional rhythm and bluesy record expressing how much better she’d be in the relationship if she had a do-over, she teamed up with Roc Nation rapper J. Cole for what feels like the nostalgic time when R&B and hip-hop collaborations saturated the airwaves. Not to compare Fiona to another artist as she’s rightfully owning her lane, but we couldn’t help but notice the Mary J. Blige “What’s the 411?” similarities. The baseball hat and oversized jacket? Totally a great nod to MJB. Read more…
Jamie-Lynn Spears looks up to —and looks a whole lot like— her big sister in this video of her performing her a song, “I Look Up To You,” performed last night at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill. “You can imagine who I wrote it about,” she said, making no secret that it’s Britney she’s singing praise to. “I hope y’all like it a lot.”
“Scared little girl, sitting in a big old world,” she sings. “You’ve outgrown your room, it all happened way too soon. They took away your innocence, we forgot our strong defense.”
And so, for her history of breakdown and near demise, Jamie-Lynn sees a picture of — well, someone who very much needs a kind and nonjudgmental song like this. Jamie-Lynn doesn’t really get to the point of explaining what exactly she looks up to in Britney; rather, she mostly just sounds endlessly understanding, singing, “Whether you’re the sunlight shining down, or you hide behind a cloud, I look up to you.” It’s sweet gesture, even though it’s creepy that she looks so much like a pre-breakdown Britney while doing it. Not to mention, invoking her sister is also probably a helpful way to garner attention for her country singing career to-be.
Azealia Banks can now add equestrian to her list of skills. Her three day Twitter hiatus resulted in a cowgirl horseback riding Banks in the Rankin directed video for “Liquorice.” Banks is solo as she wanders through the desert with her beautiful horse. Wild Wild West meets Harlem in the scenic backdrop of mountains, grass and woods. Banks owns her inner cowgirl with her pistol, rapping in all black next to her black horse. She plays up just the right amount of sexy yet playfulness to make the guys go gaga over her liquorice. Read more…
Surely you’ve noticed: Best Coast frontwoman and hipster clothierBethany Cosentino loves her some Los Angeles. And in the new video for “The Only Place,” directed by Ace Norton, she and guitarist and Best Coast other-half Bobb Bruno shows us exactly why.
For starters, as she sings in the title-track to Best Coast’s well-received The Only Place, the video contains multiple references to the ocean, babes, the sun and waves. Those things exist on both coasts, though, so it’s the details that make L.A. is the true “Only Place.” Details like the bunny rabbits that roam the remnants of house parties and the outdoor couches; the watermelons and the blenders readily available for blended beverages; the troops of cheerleaders and the pyrotechnic bicycles and guitars. And everyone gets a matching “Best Coast” emblazoned jean jackets. (Just kidding, only Consentino and Bruno get those. But an East Coast girl can dream, can’t she?) It’s to these sun-soaked, oddball adventures that this love song sings.
Earlier this year, Cosentino told us that this song was inspired by a bout of homesickness. As she explained: “‘The Only Place’ is supposed to mean my bedroom, my home, Los Angeles, California. It’s a place where I feel the most comfortable and confident. I wanted to make a record that reflected that this place is my safe place, and all these songs that are written about more darker, kind of lonely feelings, those all go away as I get back to this only place.” And after watching this video, how could you blame her?
Usher joining forces with Fuerza Bruta for a Cirque du Soleil of sorts experience for the Looking 4 Myself listening party was both innovative and a wonderful production. It was so incredible Usher decided the video to his second single “Scream” would piece together his performances from the night of his Fuerza Bruta collaboration. If you are looking for a more concrete video that correlates with the song you may wonder what’s going on. But once you’ve made it to the end you understand why this was the perfect concept. Read more…
More accurately, Michael Angelakos wants you to take a bounce in the new video for “Take a Walk,” the lead single off of Passion Pit‘s upcoming Gossamer. The video begins with a well-dressed Angelakos asleep, in the middle of a suburban street, with a basic blue rubber ball in his hand. Risen by an eager dog, he chucks the ball and, taking its prospective, we bounce with it from the suburbs through baseball fields and running rivers, eventually finding our way into the big city and then beyond into the sky. (Actually, come to think of it, it’s not really so basic a ball after all!)
Already a veteran of the electro-dance scene after the success of 2009’s Manners, Anelakos has suggested that this this follow-up will be, needs to be, more expansive than the last. “I needed to do it in a way that was interesting and I wanted to do it in a way that would excite the listener with different sound and different worlds and movements,” he told NME. “It moves like an opera.” His famed falsetto toned slightly down, and his storytelling up (this seems be a tale of an immigrant working to bring his family to the stateside, addressing meanwhile taxes and the financial crisis), this first look and listen certainly show expanding horizons.
There’s only two reasons Trey Songz and T.I. are at the club–“the b*ches and the drinks.” And like any club scene there’s bottle popping, cupcakes and big booty women in heels in the Benny Boom directed video to Trey Songz’s second single “2 Reasons” from his forthcoming album Chapter V. Made for the club, “2 Reasons” is to Chapter V what “Bottoms Up” was to Passion, Pain & Pleasure . The difference between the two is that “Bottoms Up” automatically drew you in with its edgy R&B dance sound whereas “2 Reasons” is bit more popish, a lot less catchy. Both work for its intended purposes–to get people on their feet dancing. Read more…
And in the same swoop, we get a video for the album’s first single “Every Single Night,” by director Joseph Cahill. “Every single night I endure the flight,” she sings, inviting us into the surreal, zoological worlds of her dreams. There are hula-skirts and cuddling skeletons, squids and snails. Lots of snails. “I used to love to put snails on my arm,” she told Pitchfork. “I really like snails a lot.”
Back on December 25th in the year 2001, before Regina Spektor was signed to a major label deal, she decided to spend her Christmas Day in the recording studio. Over the course of the day, she recorded 12 original songs — ones that featured no other instrumentation besides her vocals and her piano — which ultimately became her Songs LP. This was a particularly fertile period for Spektor, creatively, and many of these songs remain fan favorites to this day. She decided to re-record that album’s first track, “Samson,” on her breakout 2006 LP Begin To Hope, and now she has decided to revisit another one of those early Lower East Side anthems that propelled her into the spotlight in the first place.
“Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)” was the closing track on Songs, but in its new incarnation, it’s the second single from Spektor’s brand new album, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats. We’ve been singing and dancing along with the original for years, but there’s no denying that the song has been tremendously improved by the addition of a more robust sonic palette, which includes adorable percussion (bells, a Casio Keyboard style drumbeat), a much needed bassline and even a rollicking horn breakdown. As for the video, it’s our favorite of Spektor’s since 2006’s “Better” (the one that propelled her to VH1 You Oughta Know status) — with its stately interior shots, slightly surreal imagery and continued use of slow focus, it’s the kind of music video that we imagine Stanley Kubrick might’ve been inspired to shoot. In it, Spektor remains as beautiful, quirky and ebuillient as ever, and thanks to the recent tide of interest in yé yé-style pop songs, perhaps this song —with its chorus of “Ne me quitte pas” — might land Spektor in the race for Song Of The Summer.