With our cornucopia of local talent, there’s never a dull night in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Even in the week of Thanksgiving, the gig list presents hard decisions. It can be stressful to pick between Whosah at the Entry and Jillian Rae at the Aster on the same night, but it’s a choice we should be thankful we get to make.
Scarlett Taylor—“Children of the Sun”
“Children of the Sun,” the most-played song on dour songwriter Scarlett Taylor’s Soundcloud page, is a stirring elegy. It originally appeared on her June EP III.
The video for “Children of the Sun” is directed by Disraeli Davis, who previously worked with Taylor on her July video “Concrete Angels.” It unfolds like a gothic hybrid of Kill Bill and You’re Next, following a prisoner as she’s murdered by a group of sadists in a forlorn wilderness. “I feel the devil near,” Taylor sings as the group descends upon her.
“FIGADO” is an acronym for “forever increasing greatness and dominating obstacles” — not quite as catchy as “YOLO,” but it works for Minneapolis rapper J. Plaza. The ultra-motivated rhymer has had a big year, and it was only a matter of time until he wrapped it all up into a slogan.
All-star local rap director Nate P handles the visuals for “FIGADO,” capturing Plaza at his most hype as he raps his new catchphrase over and over. The song is two minutes long, but after Plaza tears through his verses, rhyming every bar with “FIGADO,” it feels like mere seconds have passed. You’ll need to replay this one a few times to get the full effect. Angelo Bombay made the beat.
Zack Baltich—“Cavernous I: Shrugs Again”
Percussionist/composer Zack Baltich likes caves. He’s recorded four different pieces in four different caves around Minnesota. The first of these, “Cavernous I: Shrugs Again” is a percussion solo that Baltich recorded near Ely, and he brought Alex Behrns and Sam Wagner to film the experience.
There are no words or strings, just a unique acoustic environment that shapes the recording. Every time Baltich clubs a pipe with his mallet, the notes carom around the stalactites. The other three editions of the Cavernous series were recorded in caves in Harmony, Duluth, and Minneapolis, and Baltich will release all four as an EP titled Cavernous on December 8, when he performs at Fallout Art Co-op.
Psychic Revival—“Stop and Go”
On November 10 dark electropop band Psychic Revival released their debut EP Pain Free, a masterful slow burn replete with big, cinematic moments of longing. Perhaps no song capitulates the EP’s dramatic mood quite like lead single “Stop and Go.”
Vanessa M. H. Powers had a tall task to transform “Stop and Go” into a visual experience. Working closely with Psychic Revival lead singer Liz Ashantiva, Powers dreamed up a series of vignettes showing intergender struggles set in agonizing slow motion. The video is constant conflict, without ever hinting towards denouement.
Andrew Thomas—“Hold on to Us”
Andrew Thomas has worked behind the scenes in Minnesota music for a decade, producing songs for J. Plaza (yes, that dude up there), MN Fats, and FreeWifi. Now he’s using his skill behind the boards to build his own pop solo career. “Hold on to Us” isn’t Thomas’s first single, but it’s his cleanest, most powerful release to date.
“Hold on to Us,” a lovelorn plea that falls just short of desperation, showcases Thomas’s booming vocals. The video is set in a sweeping valley, surrounding the singer with plenty of sky as he tries to reclaim his lost love.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]