Local Current Blog

Friday Five: Best Minnesota music videos of 2019

Gully Boys in "New Song No. 2" (L-r: Kathy Callahan, Natalie Klemond, and Nadirah McGill)

Today’s Friday Five is a big deal, for two reasons.

First, I had so much fun making last year’s “Best Minnesota music videos of 2018” post that I decided to resurrect the shtick for the end of 2019. These aren’t what I would call “objective” picks; I’m just one person with her own visual and musical taste. But I think I’ve corralled a rich sampling of 2019 music videos, and I hope you enjoy this precious cache.

Also, adieu; three and a half years after assuming lead blogger stance on Friday Five, I’m moving on to more podcast and editing work for The Current. From next week forward, associate blogger Emma Manley will be steering the ship — like she did in last week’s marvelous guest turn — and I’ll be cheering her on. If you’d like to submit videos to Friday Five, please send them to the shiny new email address fridayfive@mpr.org. They’ll land in her inbox, and although she may not be able to respond to every submission, she’ll certainly give them all a watch.

Thank you for spending time with this weekly video spectacular. I’ve discovered some of my favorite new artists through this column, and I look forward to checking out Emma’s selections.

Gully Boys – “New Song No. 2”

Minneapolis rockers Gully Boys try on iconic boy band looks in “New Song No. 2,” the first single from their EP Phony (out today!). If you can, be sure to check out the remaining dates of their December 7th St Entry residency; on Dec. 22, they’ll present Static Panic and Veil (featuring members of Astralblak), and Dec. 29 will bring tiny deaths and Lydia Liza to the stage.

Adam Meckler Orchestra – “Let’s Live Pt. II”

When you read “orchestra,” you might think violins and timpanis. But the Adam Meckler Orchestra is an 18-piece squad with a guitarist, bassist, drummer, piano/Rhodes player, and more than a dozen horn players. In this song, special guests Harjinder (Fatbook) and J.D. Steele (the Steeles) provide verses and vocals, respectively. “Let’s Live Pt. II” is from the Orchestra’s album Magnificent Madness, recorded at Pachyderm Studio in Jan. 2019.

John Chuck & The Class – “JUNE (feat. Dwynell Roland & DENNY)”

Holy production value. If you can make it through the opening face tat scene, you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from John Chuck & The Class‘s “JUNE,” featuring Dwynell Roland and DENNY.

Kiss The Tiger – “Bad Boy”

I wish all plays crackled with as much energy as Kiss The Tiger‘s “Bad Boy.” Frontperson Meghan Kreidler and her fellow professional actors (™) pull off an exuberant action film in three minutes.

Poliça – “Driving”

Following their lead singer’s ice dam accident and lengthy recuperation, Poliça return with “Driving” from their upcoming album When We Stay Alive (out Jan. 31, 2020). “Driving” is more bassy than I’ve ever heard Poliça, glitched and wary as usual. The video stopped me in my tracks. Isaac Gale directs, with production design by vocalist Channy Leaneagh and Poliça drummer Drew Christopherson.

Honorable Mention

Student 1 & Letmode – “Early Tyler Caves”

Welcome to The 3:45 AM Show, where host with The Most Mitt McClinty interviews our hero: down-to-earth rapper and internet humorist Student 1. Letmode (FKA Cory Grindberg, who produced Four Fists’s “6666”) provides the beat, and the video is a collaboration by Ice God the Macgyver and Jay Kastle.

Al Church – “Savannah”

If you like karaoke, gore, and narrative twists, Al Church‘s “Savannah” is for you. Inspired by the time Church dreamed about local musician Savannah Smith, this video stars both artists.

The Cactus Blossoms – “Got A Lotta Love”

Last winter, the Cactus Blossoms set up shop in Minneapolis’s Bockley Gallery and performed “Got A Lotta Love,” a tender song co-written with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, from their 2019 album Easy Way. Their harmonies are simply the best. (Disclaimer: The Current multimedia producer Nate Ryan served as director of photography and editor for this video.)

Ness Nite – “GUCCIPRADA”

Designer handbags sprout from a fuzzy pink field in rapper-producer-singer Ness Nite‘s ode to making your boo feel priceless. Watch this mesmerizing video animated by Supa Flowa, and you’ll be humming the hook for hours.

Lena Elizabeth – “Nobody Wants You”

Femmes deal with unwanted attention at the 331 Club in Lena Elizabeth‘s “Nobody Wants You.” It’s a little less flashy than other picks in this post, but this video still resonates with me every time I watch it. “It is a song about cat calling, sexual harassment, and everyday micro-aggressions,” Lena Elizabeth writes, “that woman/femme-identifying folks deal with on a daily basis. The chorus of the song portrays the anger behind being made to feel uncomfortable, unsafe, and violated. The verses talk about my own personal experiences in these situations.”