Nothing like a little rain (actually, make that a lot of rain) to make you want to stay in and watch some music videos. Especially when they're really cool ones like the newest from our friend Mal Blum for "The Bodies, The Zombies," and one from The Yellowbirds for "The Ceiling."
The video for "The Bodies, The Zombies" goes pretty literal, with Mal being pursued by and then [spoiler alert!] eventually becoming a zombie herself. I must say, the make up in this is spectacular! It's like "Thriller"-level almost. Keeping that connection going, there are some brief moments of delightful zombie choreography, too. I suppose there is some suspense, but mostly this feels like a fun video to me, that everyone is having a great time (which I suppose the very end supports). Also, Mal might have the lowest sense of urgency of anyone hiding from zombies I've ever seen, though there's a certain charm to it when she's chilling under the bed or by the lamp. I do like the moments when she temporarily vanquishes a few them with her guitar.
The song is of course great. Mostly just Mal, her acoustic guitar and some light accompaniment, it builds up momentum to a pretty and uses the idea of zombies and death (plus inspiration from the Bodies exhibit) as a way to explore relationships. She is so gifted at matching interesting, clever words with beautiful, catchy melodies. If you like this – which, how can you not? – go to her website linked above to get the wonderful Tempest in a Teacup album. And if you want to know more about that – which, again, how can you not? – check out this interview I did with her last month.
This track from The Yellowbirds does have something in common with the sea. Like the deep waves, there is a certain sway and pulse to "The Ceiling" giving it the perfect understated yet undeniable groove. Over this foundation, we have an assured bass line, a low key but charming melody, and some great fuzzed out guitar. There are sheets of texture and punchy solos. It all sounds amazing and it gets matched in this re-purposed footage of Jacques Cousteau expeditions. What a combo. Besides the recontextual editing, the artists added some of their own drawings and designs. I dig it. Look for their latest album Songs from the Vanished Frontier.