“Roy’s Tune” – Fontaines D.C.
Fontaines D.C. came to town last week for two sold out dates at Union Pool, and it’s safe to say we, New York city, are collectively obsessed with them. Coinciding with their trip, they dropped a music video for their softest track “Roy’s Tune”. As with all their music, you could pluck the lyrics out and put them on a page instead of in a song and they would be equally impactful. Set in the countryside on a sheep farm, it’s so Irish, even the protagonist’s cigarette smoke looks green. The video tells the story of young father caught struggling with his newfound responsibilities and the feeling that his days of being young and reckless are slipping through his fingers.
– Lauren Khalfayan
“The Whole of the Moon” – Kirin J. Callinan
Why make a music video when you can make a musical/foreign-film hybrid. Retro theatrics, an unexpected pseudo dance break, and a complete costume change (paired, of course, with some killer vocals) elevates this cover of The Waterboys track, making it a worthy first single off Calinan’s upcoming release with Terrible Records.
– Lauren Khalfayan
“Shuggie II” – Reptaliens
“Shuggie II” is an analog feast of suave synths and dreamy vocals that makes you think of any 80’s prom scene where every Molly Ringwald character would come up the stairs and meet her fate: does he love me or does he not? In this case, Portland’s Reptaliens share a manic collage of landscapes, flora, and a confused dog admiring a dancing alien. Dinner is served – literally, in the form of limbs… bon appetite!
“Eclipse” – Looms
“Eclipse” is beautifully bittersweet. The world is dark — physically, emotionally — during the collision of an eclipse and a relationship coming to a close, but the song is still thick with summertime nostalgia and an unexpected warmth. A result of creative constraints, songwriter Sharif Mekawy wrote the track in one night, refusing to leave his roof until it’s completion. Elevated by a guest appearance by Nels Cline of Wilco, it’s an impressive offering from the group and likely in tune with their upcoming LP, The Way Up.
“Sunflower” feat. Steve Lacy- Vampire Weekend
The Upper West Side moves at a different pace than the rest of New York City but is still very quintessentially New York, and similarly Vampire Weekend has always vibed differently from other New York bands but still exudes the same unflappable cool exhibited by their harder edged peers.
In the video for “Sunflower,” Ezra Koenig leads The Internet’s Steve Lacy on a tour of the neighborhood in exchange for lending his characteristic guitar tones to the song’s Sunday afternoon atmosphere brought to life under the sepia toned direction of Jonah Hill. The lazily rolling camera follows the pair through a checklist of Upper West institutions straight out of a 90s Nora Ephron film; The Vampire Weekend boys put in some time behind the famous fish counter at Zabar’s, order a bagel with lox at Barney Greengrass, and eavesdrop on Jerry Seinfeld not even pretending to enjoy an unsolicited joke from an enthusiastic deli employee.
One of Vampire Weekend’s biggest strengths is their ability to blend a myriad of influences together to create something wonderfully unique while remaining inherently referential. Like the Beastie Boys mined dusty record crates for obscure sonic samples, Vampire Weekend draws from the world around them for inspiration and uses established institutions (yes, Jerry Seinfeld counts as an institution) as anchor points to craft a new, modern sound that respects the past as much as it looks toward the future. A musical melting pot like the city itself.