There’s something particularly otherworldly about the music created by Paris duo As Animals. Maybe it’s the ethereal, yet forceful, timbre of singer Zara Desbonnes voice or the often dream-like, indie pop arrangements concocted by musical co-conspirator Frederic Grange, though what little we have heard from the pair has been stepped in the languid pop of the late 80’s and the vibrant, densely colored indie rock of bands like Arcade Fire and The National. The collaborative spirit of the band — Desbonnes writes the words, Grange writes the music, and they work to bring the two parts together — comes through in the way in which the music acts as the stage for Desbonnes words and, and likewise, the words act as the binding for the music. And when their debut LP is released in the early part of next year, we’ll be able to get a larger, more detailed picture of their unique sound.
For the video to their new single, “I See Ghost (Ghost Gunfighters),” Grange, Desbonnes, and director Maxime Bruneel pair the song’s arresting indie rock momentum with a variety of seemingly unrelated scenes — including clips from what appears to be a protest involving topless women, a fatal conflict between two men on a boat, and some quick shots that involve a boxer, a few more topless women, and an assortment of intriguing characters. This cacophony of faces and varying landscapes lends the song a hurried and frenetic appearance and the music follows suit with a bevy of guitars, thudding percussion, and Desbonnes deceptively fragile voice. After such an onslaught of visuals, even the apparently unrelated images begin to take on an oddly fractured narrative, though this is probably our brains simply trying to make sense of what appear to be random scenes taken from a dozen different lives. It’s a fascinating approach to the already memorable melodies and instrumentation that lay at the heart of the track. Watch the video for “I See Ghost (Ghost Gunfighters)” below.
Plugging away since 1999, The National finally hit mainstream success with the release of their 2010 album High Violet. Of course, this entailed their first world tour, but in the new documentary Mistaken For Strangers, it’s only the backdrop for the relationship between lead singer Matt Berninger and his younger brother Tom, who had no idea that these short videos he was shooting would turn into a public document of their troubled, if still loving brotherhood.
We talk with Israeli rockers Vaadat Charigim about some of their favorite records.
We talk with Yvonne Ambree and Jesse Barnes of Take Berlin about some of the records which influenced the recording of their debut EP, Lionize.
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