Mark Lanegan takes a ride, Tim Heidecker takes a meeting, Jackie Cohen takes it outside, Kevin Hearn takes things seriously and more in today’s Roundup. My neighbour just bought a new motorcycle. Imagine my joy.
1 You remember Jimmy the Cab Driver? Mark Lanegan clearly does. And for his latest single and video Stitch It Up, the deep-throated, dark-hearted singer-songwriter gets actor Donal Logue to revisit his ’90s MTV character. Even better: Lanegan himself shows up in the video for the moody rocker, which will appear on his upcoming 11th album Somebody’s Knocking, due Oct. 18. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Lanegan comments: “Had a blast making this video. We had some friends over for dinner and Joe Cardamone met Donal Logue there and they hit it off. When I later talked to Joe about directing a vid he immediately said “Jimmy The Cab Driver.” I called Donal and he laughed for like ten minutes and was totally into it. My head was pounding from laughing so hard the day of the shoot. It was extremely tough to keep a straight face when Donal was in character, he turned into an updated version of Jimmy so fast. Both Joe and Donal are brilliant. There’s a reason it’s the first video of mine I’ve been in for the last 15 years.” Give him five stars:
2 Why spend a ton of money making a video when you can spend next to nothing on a video about making a video? And just to make it more confusing, why not have it promote an incongruously upbeat song about depression, supposedly inspired by a divorce that never really happened? Confused? Blame Tim Heidecker and his song When I Get Up, the first preview of his June 7 release What The Brokenhearted Do… SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “For the last three years, Heidecker has been waging a hellish war upon the current presidential administration and its shady minions. Whether because of his unrelenting Twitter prodding of Trump, his spot-on impersonation of Info Wars’s Alex Jones or his well of caustic Trump protest songs, Heidecker has found himself in the crosshairs of the online alt-right community. At some point, one of those Incel or QAnon trolls started a vicious rumor that Tim’s wife had, in fact, left him, and the rumor caught fire across certain social channels. Instead of getting pissed off, our protagonist (antagonist?) Tim Heidecker got inspired. He knows full well that here in the music biz, nothing breeds good tunes like utter heartbreak. For What The Brokenhearted Do…, Heidecker imagined himself going through an awful divorce and let the hits flow.” Um, OK:
3 If I gave you a video camera, access to a retail parking lot, some amateur dancers and a few kids on skateboards, do you think you could turn that into a sweetly cool and undeniably entertaining video? And oh yeah, you have to do it all in one long, uncut shot. No? Well, that’s the difference between you and Jackie Cohen. The self-described “deep valley girl” just dropped the clip for her single Chico Chico — a preview of her May 10 album Zagg — and I’m willing to bet you won’t see a cuter video today. Or your money back. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Director Ori Ravid says about making the video: “Chico Chico to me is breezy and cheeky and just makes you smile. Jackie and I bounced some ideas off each other, and when the opportunity came up to shoot in my friend’s dad’s parking lot I knew we would capture something special.” Enter here:
4 You might remember Kevin Hearn from his days with those fun-loving scamps in Barenaked Ladies. But for his latest solo single The Chemical Valley — the first single from his June 14 album Calm and Cents — the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist shows his more serious side, with a sombre post-pop keyboard ballad that simultaneously tackles environmental and indigenous concerns. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Directed by Canadian artist Sylvia B. Cole, the haunting video features Maia Davies (Ladies of the Canyon) on vocals alongside Hearn and Martin Tielli. According to the World Health Organization, the Chemical Valley is located in Sarnia, Ontario and is where Canada’s most polluted air is found. “This song is dedicated to the people of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, who have lived there for centuries,” says Hearn. “For too many years, they have endured a slow, industrial violence, which has left their water toxic, their air polluted, and their people displaced.” Into the valley:
5 The Balkan war is not typical subject matter for a pop-music video. Of course, Irah are not your typical pop-music practitioners. So maybe it makes sense that the Danish duo of singer Stine Grøn and pianist Adi Zukanović have soundtracked the gossamer vocals and gently glowing keyboards of their lushly flowing single Cinematic with home movies of Zukanović’s youth in Sarajevo. Hear more when their Diamond Grid album comes out May 24. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The music video to Cinematic brings us back to the consequences of a war that today seems both strangely distant and as relevant as ever. The video was created by visual artists Jakob Steen and Samina Bazai, and Adi Zukanović contributed with home video footage from his first years in Denmark and from his first trips back to Bosnia after the war.” See for yourself:
6 It was so sunny out the other day, I started working on my tan in the backyard. I only mention that because this next video is from a Danish electronica outfit called Tan. Though based on the swooning, dreamy pop and whispered vocals of their single Blossom — not to mention the shadowy visuals of the accompanying video — I’m guessing these kids don’t see the light of day much. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “With their transcending take on dance music, Tan have quickly risen in the Danish electronic music scene. The group works inside a trippy universe where evocative soundscapes meets hypnotic techno beats, all mixed into a neon-colored club formula. Their new song Blossom is their take on 80s dream pop with gloomy synth patterns and Taiwanese vocals.” Skip the sunscreen:
7 You love power metal AND perusing ancient tomes in dusky libraries? You’re in luck: Former Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki’s Avalon mixes all the galloping speed, soaring vocals, blazing fretwork and musical majesty of the former with the unstoppable excitement of the latter — and a twist ending to boot! It comes from Return to Eden, the upcoming third instalment of the Finnish musician’s metal opera Avalon. Just don’t return it late or you’ll have to pay a fine. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Return To Eden took a few years to be completed as Tolkki had to battle his personal demons during the process. He enlisted the outside help of Aldo Lonobile of Italian power/prog metal masters Secret Sphere, who co-produced the album and helped him with the recording of the various musicians who guest on the album. The result is convincing, inspired and stronger than ever. Tolkki resumed the work for the third album with the concept of developing the sound and the music in an even more grandiose and metallic mood, bringing back the emotions and highs of the classic Stratovarius years.” Turn the page: