There are a lot of videos coming out of Austin these days, so we’ve decided to make life easier for you by compiling some of the most notable into a recurring feature called Out of Focus.
Walker Lukens “Lifted”
I don’t know the exact timeline for Walker Lukens’ transformation into Jamie Lidell as an ’80s Mute act but he seems to be getting pretty comfortable in his new skin if the video for “Lifted” is anything to go off of. Lukens has always been a confident performer whose natural charm is a significant part of why he clicks with audiences, but the more traditional side of the showmanship of, say, “Kindle to Your Fire” and its impromptu dance numbers, has evolved into a gonzo pop aesthetic on “Lifted.” Directed by Brad Montesi, “Lifted” has Lukens channeling his inner Peter Gabriel both musically and visually. The song mixes together beat boxing, dance pop and blue eyed soul while the video has a similarly collage-like approach, featuring puppets and typewriters and arts & craft projects. It’s a hypnotic experience, presenting Lukens as more than an indie inflected crooner– he’s a stylish chameleon eager to flit between genres before a single one can claim him.
Shark Rider- “I’ve Arrived”
The video for Shark Rider’s “I’ve Arrived” should be subtitled “How to Talk to a Girl When Another Guy is Shooting a Video of Her.” Shot in 8mm by Brittany Ingram, it’s likely meant to be a throwback to beach bingo parties and has the campy, melodramatic scripting to match that, eventually descending into fights spawned by romantic jealousy. But honestly I was hoping it would end with all the women realizing these dudes are worthless and massacring the place, a la Spring Breakers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice “Money from Home”
Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice’s new clip “Money from Home” has him drifting off to late night tv and then encountering spectral versions of himself trying to impart wisdom but its found footage horror aesthetic and moody lighting had me hoping it would become a little more terrifying at some point. Chief has been utilizing a paper mask of his iconic logo in most of his new clips and there’s a reflexive unease to that image, the way it’s vaguely human but not quite right. And musically, “Money from Home” has a horror element to it as well, with atonal samples and synth stabs punctuating the amped up beat and Chief’s cult mantra flow. Unfortunately the video never delivers on the unsettling opening dream imagery of a masked Chief glitching out in a parking lot, so I guess I’ll have to wait a bit longer for VHS 3: TheDoomsdayDevice.
Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice is currently crowdfunding a tour, you can support that here.
The Eastern Sea- “The Fool”
Zachary T. Scott of Last Resort Production is one of those rare music video directors who knows how to work in an actual, coherent narrative in a clip rather than relying strictly on striking imagery. That’s not to say his video for The Eastern Sea’s “The Fool” lacks vivid scenes, but they’re never there just for show, they progress a recognizable story. In a nutshell, “The Fool” is about two people who meet on a Tinder-esque app for conspiracy theorists. She’s the type of conspiracy theorist who believes the truth is out there, if you get what I mean, while he’s more of a general anti-government prepper. The video’s central scene has the two of them bonding over the connecting red lines between their conspiracy boards, like a crossover between Fox Mulder and Carrie Mathison. Their relationship blossoms from there until…well, you’ll see. All in all, it’s a well-acted and directed clip for a stately and gorgeous track.
The Eastern Sea play Wildfires’ album release this Friday, September 2nd at Cheer Up Charlie’s.
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