Imagine Pink Floyd’s “Arnold Lane” re-imagined as a lullaby about an Interior Design Firm, and you might come close to this week’s video clip: The High Llamas’ “McKain James.” The song has a fascinating origin story, having been culled from the band’s newest album, Here Come The Rattling Trees, which is the soundtrack to a narrative-driven collection of stories first performed as a theater production. Pretty Cool!
“McKain James” is an album highlight, written from the perspective of the Decorator and centered on a fictional “creative care” company tasked with beautifying the rapidly developing neighborhood of Peckham. Overflowing with alluring musical flourishes and Sean O’ Hagan‘s gentled vocals, “McKain James” is typical of the impeccable arrangements and glistening production charms that unfurl themselves throughout Here Come The Rattling Trees.
For a video to highlight this special number, High Llamas enlisted the Magik Immoralist herself, Elisa Ambrogio, to create a stunning stop motion, animated video that compliments the song in a wonderfully unlikely way. Watch bunnies hold ritualistic meetings! Ordinary objects take new shape! Flowers bloom from dancing sugar skulls!
Here Come The Rattling Trees is out now on Drag City Records. Enjoy!
Two Words: Toy Robot! At a time when absolutely nothing original is happening in Music, NY based synth pop/rock quartet Jolly have miraculously delivered the most original DIY music video I’ve seen in 30 years! Created by the band themselves with only a cardboard box, construction paper and the aforementioned toy robot, “Lucky” is the fourth video from the album The Audio Guide To Happiness ll, out now on InsideOut Music. This crazy cool video features a cameo appearance by famed drummer Mike Portnoy (ex- (Dream Theater), who can be seen in the clip driving a Puppy Nursery van, and sporting his numerous tatts and blue beard. Mike Portnoy!
Sound-wise, Jolly lives up to its name with this upbeat, ridiculously melodic and hook-laden tune that for some reason reminds me of what Living Color might have sounded like if they had hit it big in the early ’80s. Also, tell me you don’t hear a little Faith No More in the mix, because I know you do. Furthermore: Lead Singer kind of Hot. Jolly is currently on tour in the US with plans to release new material in 2014. Find out more about Jolly and its very fun music at Jolly Band Dot Com. Enjoy!