There are a lot of great videos coming out of Austin these days, so we’ve decided to make life easier for you by compiling some of the best into a recurring feature called Out of Focus.
Hundred Visions- “You’re Gonna Cut Me Loose”
As if I needed yet another excuse to try to force you to listen to Hundred Visions, the band recently put out a video for “You’re Gonna Cut Me Loose.” The song was already kind of ominous, like garage rock for a garage that’s swiftly filling up with carbon monoxide. But the video takes it to some new, unholy level, playing out like Videodrome for a generation of kids who sought out nudity not on the internet but on scrambled cable feeds where you were never sure too sure if those were boobs you were looking at it or unknown features from extraterrestrial snuff films. The only that’s really all that clear in “You’re Gonna Cut Me Loose” is a goofy, talkative skull, some kind of goat man leading a death cult, and, oh, yes, boobs. If I saw this as a kid I’d…well, I’d probably still have grown up to be the same as I am now, eternally grateful for all the non-scrambled perversion the internet offers.
Acey Monaro- “Come Undone”
Also taking the found footage approach, albeit in service of sweeter material, is Acey Monaro’s “Come Undone.” One of the standout tracks from her recent EP, “Come Undone” is Monaro working in a Go-Go’s vein, only instead of the beat she’s got the blues, narrating a series of mishaps and mistakes that have led her to conclude her life has come undone. You wouldn’t know that from the video, though, which seems to be built out of old travel clips of ’70s beach vacations. I know Acey knows a thing or two about life fucking you over, but I’m not so sure about all these surfers and gossipers that have filled out the video. But maybe that’s the point: Acey is over there feeling like she’s hit the end of the road and everyone else is having a damn good time.
Technicolor Hearts- “Pocahaunted”
If you’ve seen a local video with incredible choreography and fanciful fashion, chances are Woven Feet had their toes all over it, which is exactly the case with Technicolor Hearts‘ “Pocahaunted.” The track itself has the feel of a mid-period Knife effort, so Woven Feet’s avant choreography is even more fitting. Flitting between brightly lit sequences involving water nymphs and black light scenes where the dancers are contained within neon strings, the song truly comes to life through the video. Much of the credit for that is due to Naomie Cherie’s direction, which reconfigures the song as a mini-ballet, and Woven Feet are excellent artistic partners for her vision.
Max Frost- “Paranoia”
Max Frost seems like a nice enough dude. I say this because I occasionally make fun of his music on Twitter and instead of taking me to task, he usually just retweets me. Or maybe he’s a masochist. I don’t know. Anyway, I’ve struggled to get the appeal of Max Frost for a while now, and it hasn’t helped that lately I’ve been addicted to NHL 15 (totally out of character, I know) and EA has “White Lies” on a seemingly neverending loop on its soundtrack. But his new single “Paranoia” may be the first song of his to break through my grumpy exterior and make me move. The lo-fi filter Frost throws over all of his vocals isn’t as intense here as it was on “White Lies,” and the song itself is impeccably arranged and constructed, with a Dap-Kings-like beat and swing on the verses that makes the chorus almost entirely unnecessary. Even the kind of hokey lo-fi Apple commercial/Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” feel of the video is endearing. I’m not saying I’m a total fan just yet, but this is one single I won’t be getting snarky about.
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover