Video Round Up: The Sink or Swim, Steff and the Articles, Weslynn and More!

This here video round up is the result of getting a lot of cool new videos for songs I’ve already written about in one form or another, as well as a couple brand new videos for brand new songs. Also, it seems that everone and their mother are releasing new videos this Thursday, so I wanted to get this out before that new deluge began. Enjoy.

Photo by Surrealsister Photog

The Sink or Swim – “Arizona”
As 2017 progresses and we start to slither our way into the warmer months of the year, “Arizona” by The Sink or Swim feels more anthemic with each passing day. Maybe it’s just because every other day I wake up with this tune on my mind or maybe it’s because I don’t hide my adoration of Arizona or The Sink or Swim. This is the first single they’ve released featuring Derek Rossman–sure he’s been key to their live shows for some time now, but this is his first appearance on record. It is ‘s not just his guitar work that’s showing up here either, his vocal contribution lends to the most laid back single The Sink or Swim has issued yet. Their first mid-tempo rocker still stuns me, because they still manage to capture a million hooks no matter what pace their working at apparently. The video looks like it was found in a box of VHS tapes from 1992 and nothing about how the band looks would suggest otherwise. Perfect.

Photo by De Anastacia Photography

Steff and the Articles – “Keep You Around”
Here we have a new song with a new video from Steff and the Articles. First of all Steff Koeppen possesses one of my favorite voices in Arizona, secondly, this song has me on the edge of my figurative seat waiting for the forthcoming album Timekeeper to be released this Summer. Finally, it’s another stunning video from Cory Davis and Yellowbox Films that perfectly matches the mood, the very color of the music being represented. It’s a concise, pop hit in no uncertain terms coming in at under three minutes–which is perfect. It needs no additional time to get it’s confection laced commentary across with an infectious pop aesthetic. Koeppen’s voice is flawless, the strings are sublime and the entire architecture of the song feels like a warm hug for your soul. If this is any indication Timekeeper may be the thing that will boost your serotonin in a year lacking toward that regard.

 

Photo by byRay² Productions

Harper and the Moths – “Chemicals”
I’m not actually sure how many times I’ve written about this song. Could be upwards of three times, actually. Either way, Harper and the Moths came up with a brilliant lyric video for “Chemicals” and though I’m not usually a fan of lyric videos, recent efforts from a few local groups have forced me to rethink their economical efficiency. I’m a big fan of lyrics, so I just hop on the bandwagon with lyric videos I suppose. The song hails from last year’s collection Rock. Pop. Soul. and before that as a superb standalone single. Still, the TRON like lyric video has my eyes dazzled and the song is already etched in my soul, so there’s no harm in getting this to more people for those in the back who missed out on this tune over the last year or two. Look for more excitement from this crew soon or catch them opening for Mother Mother at Last Exit Live on May 20th along with Fairy Bones.


 

Andy Warpigs-”My Dog Ate My Dope”
Alright, so I just wrote about this tune a few weeks ago, not knowing that there was a super homemade video for it. I mean, this could use a bit of that VHS effect that The Sink or Swim used on “Arizona”, but it’s already at C Movie grade, so no worries. In all seriousness, this video is campy as fuck and that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be, I’d expect exactly that from Andy Warpigs to boot. The song is fantastic and one of two that Andy Warpigs released on April 20th this year as he slowly releases  his new album across the coming weeks or months or whatever the hell he’s doing. The real lesson here is that you may want to be less casual about leaving your dope around your dog, because it could clearly lead to your dog playing bass wildly in the living room, doing bong rips while you’re at work and wasting precious pooch hours on video games. As Andy Warpigs himself says at the very end, “That’s awesome.” Yes, yes it is.

 

Weslynn – “Black”
Weslynn’s Black + Champagne from last year was a surprise EP that I couldn’t get enough of and “Black” was one of my favorite pop anthems from it. “I love it when you wear black” is, I’m pretty sure something we’ve all said to a special someone at some point. Black is slimming and nearly everyone looks great in it, so it stands to reason. I’ve seen Weslynn play this live a few times and it’s even more striking from the stage, but this video adds something to the recorded version that makes it every bit as lively somehow. I realized about halfway through that it had to be Cory Davis behind the camera, but I was on full screen and couldn’t check. What do you know? Another amazing video from Yellowbox Films, of course. Davis has such a distinct visual style there’s almost no mistaking where he applies his auteur sensibility. The song is great and the video is a perfect match.
 

Hotrock Supajoint – “I Love Weed”
If I wanted to, I’m pretty sure I could make an entire writing career out of covering everything Hotrock Supajoint releases, and I’d probably have a pretty great time doing it. If you haven’t checked out the self help video he released late last year, please do so now. Just search for Chakra Kahn (A Stoner’s Guided Meditation…) and you’ll find your guide to inner peace. Never one to rest on his laurels Supajoint celebrated this year’s 420 by releasing his own take on a mix tape, called, subtly enough Bitchez love Mixtapez. If you weren’t aware, Hotrock Supajoint loves weed, not like, not like like, not affectionate about it, none of that sensitive Drake type shit, Supajoint fucking loves weed and a distant second seems to be rapping about how much he loves it. This mixtape is amazing and I’m going to slip most of it into this blog over the coming months until you all download it. Enjoy Hotrock Supajoint with DJ Swamp and the hilarity that is “I Love Weed.”

The Linecutters – “Anxiety”
Even though I’ve liked The Linecutters for quite a while now, I’m not sure I’ve ever written about them. Mainly because the guy that turned me onto them was Jeff Moses and every time the band was on my radar, he was already writing about them, quite well in fact. They recently released a video for “Anxiety” the preview single from their forthcoming album Anthill, which I’m assuming is going to be filled with punk anthems like this one, when it’s released on Slope Records May 15th. That is perfect timing for an album of breakneck paced skate punk as the weather kicks up, at least for me anyway. If there is a contest for best punk song of the year, this should be in consideration. This reminds me of days in the late 1980s, the kind of punk you’d blast out of your jam box while debating with your friends which Dogtown legend was more important to you, right before eating shit, picking yourself up and doing it all again. Some of the best punk energy available in Phoenix and aptly titled for the pervasive mood found about these days.

 

Scattered Melodies -”Trying To Find Me”
This tune hails from Scattered Melodies 2015 masterpiece Modern Repair and it was my favorite track from that album. Here we get a magnificent video treatment here for a tune that still gives me goosebumps years later. Laura Hamlin blesses the song with some of the most angelic vocals I’ve heard in my life, Josh Montag plays one of the greatest piano lines ever, Sam Wiley (The Wiley Ones) gives a great galactic rap of cosmic consciousness, and they have a string quartet from The Phoenix Symphony accenting the whole damn thing.  “Is this what we’ve come to be? I lost myself trying to find me, tell me what we’re supposed to be, or am I not ready to see?” is the chorus and it makes me die every time. This song is perfection, through and through. Now it’s got a socially aware video that’s every bit as great as the song itself. This is easily one of my favorite songs to ever come out of the local scene and now I can’t stop watching the video over and over again. Also Wiley’s portion in the video is mind-bendingly brilliant, be sure to check it out.

 

Ben Anderson – “Perfect”
You’ll be hearing a lot about Ben Anderson this year, trust me on that. That said, last year’s EP Where The Lights Go? was Anderson’s brilliant calling card to the world. In retrospect, I’ve never been asked by more musicians in anticipation of a debut if I had heard the artist yet. Seriously, it seemed like that was the question everyone had for me for a couple months until I finally met Anderson and heard his music. “Perfect” was a beautiful choice for a single early on and a great pick for a video, since lyrically it’s just asking for some film time. This is Anderson’s debut video as well, it might seem a little late in coming, but in reality it’s, well, perfect. The video is as lush and beautiful as the song, the tune seems to be a snapshot of 1970s AM rock and the video gives that vibe as well. There’s something comforting about the entire thing, the song, the video, that voice Anderson wields with restraint and beauty in mind. When Anderson next collaborates with Olivier Zahm at Flying Lotus, they will collectively blow your mind wide open. In the meantime, immerse yourself in something perfect for right now.

 

Citrus Clouds – “Shapes And Things”
“Shapes And Things” was an early pick as a single off of Citrus Clouds debut full length Imagination. With a nod in title only to The Yardbirds, the shoegaze impresarios present a quirky video to demonstrate all the inherent psychedelia of classic Shoegaze rock. Citrus Clouds are the tops when it comes to that scene, which has no scene. Out of context the song is a perfect single, while within the album it may stand out, but it deserves the isolated treatment it gets here. Plus, outside of the album there’s a better sense of the Sonic Youth-ness of it all, which I don’t think I’d picked up on before. Citrus Clouds clearly prophesized the re-emergence of this genre as bands like RIDE, Swervedriver, Slowdive and others are regrouping or recording new records for the first time in decades. Clearly it is a sound some cherish and enjoy beyond the sake of nostalgia. It still gets my blood pumping through the sheer texture of it all.

 

The Glides – “One Time”
Man, oh man, if you didn’t like The Glides already, I’m pretty sure all you need to flip that switch is spending just three minutes, just three minutes and seventeen seconds to completely fall for this group of gentlemen rocking their souls out on “One Time.” Whether it’s the awesome 1960s movie intro with credits, the style of the video with Summer Marcus dancing while the band is suited up or the song itself, which is some of the most fun to come out of this scene in while, The Glides should win your favor in one way or another. Their entire self-titled EP from last year is a solid four track debut with singles galore, but this was easily my favorite for no other reason than Travis Kenny’s blistering vocals here. There’s a retro vibe to be sure, but if they’re revivalists, they’re pulling their groove from an alternate universe where soul filled blues rock like this thrived far beyond where it did in ours. The Glides are damned refreshing, especially when it comes to that indomitable groove.

 

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