Cecilia Johnson, our regular Friday Five curator, is on vacation this week, and here’s what I’ve learned stepping in for her: there are way more great new music videos coming out every week in our fair Gopher State than we could ever fit into a five-track roundup. But a “Friday Fifteen” would be a little daunting, so I managed to cull it down to five new clips that have both musical merit and visual flair.
Buried Animals, “Heaven Keeps on Bringing Me Down”
We’ve all been at parties where we don’t feel quite as alive as the folks filling the floor, but electropop duo Buried Animals take it to a new level with their clip for “Heaven Keeps on Bringing Me Down,” with vocalist Eric Addams singing from an upright casket while the beautiful people lie around on the floor, wait in line for the bathroom, and drain their red Solo cups. If the opportunity to act out your own iPod ad doesn’t bring you back to the land of the living, I don’t know what will.
Just Wulf, “The Cypher”
“A cypher is when we are sharing, exchanging, and communing with one another,” says a voice at the opening of the new video from Just Wulf. The St. Paul rapper is joined by KPW, 4Mative, ACKronem, Walrus the Human, HagenTheDragon, I-Dub, AfterThought, and Tuvok the Word for this rap circle shot near Minnehaha Falls. In an e-mail, Just Wulf explained the track’s genesis.
Last summer, I was asked to submit a new, unreleased song for a compilation album hosted by the Minnesota Hip Hop Coalition. It was a tribute album to honor the elements of hip hop and encapsulate its impact on the world. I didn’t have a new song to submit, so I posted a status on Facebook for artists to collaborate on a song with me. My deadline was 7 days away from the time I made the post. Out of the 30 artists that showed interest and I sent the instrumental to, eight of them responded with their vocal recordings attached in an email. I quickly arranged, mixed and mastered the song in my home studio and got it submitted before the deadline. The song ended up with nine artists on it (including myself) from various cities in Minnesota from St. Paul to Monticello to St. Cloud!
Just Wulf will be part of Carnage the Executioner’s “Eat and Greet” event on Nov. 26 at J. Selby’s.
Mayda, “The Little Ones”
This one’s a holdover from Halloween week, but it’s worth putting your mask back on to watch Mayda get moody with a pair of young costars who apparently gave up tricks-or-treats to become part of Minnesota music history. Looks like one of them already has an endorsement deal. Mayda’s new album MRDR PXP is out now.
Waltzing on Waves, “Being Near You”
Jen Bluhm, the singer-songwriter who performs as Waltzing on Waves, calls this “a love song for introverts and my neuro-kin.” The black-and-white solo clip showcases the powerful voice of an artist who “identifies as ‘Multiply Neurodivergent,’ being both Autistic and ADHD; experiencing many of the co-occurring conditions associated with these neurological differences,” according to her website. Waltzing on Waves will be playing a “soft” release show for her album The One You Fell For on Dec. 6 at the Wolf House MPLS.
Katy Vernon, “Home”
“It never seemed so small,” sings Katy Vernon on “Home,” and she’s not kidding: Lily Vanderwood’s video has a little Katy pulling up to a dollhouse in a Mini Cooper (get it?) with a Union Jack roof that proudly signals the English origin of the “ukulele songbird” long based in the Twin Cities. It’s hard to know what Paul Hollywood would make of the pattycake she bakes, but the song is super sweet. There’s also a poignant backstory: director Lily is Vernon’s daughter, and the video features Vernon’s own childhood playthings, including furnishings made by Vernon’s mother, who died before Lily was born.
Vernon has several upcoming gigs, starting with a Saturday night show at Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater.