Dave and I went on vacation last week and it turned out to also be a little vacation from the blog. There is plenty of good stuff coming in 2013, but for the last day of 2012, check out some cool videos from recently featured artists The Zolas and Rachel Brooke.
The Zolas caught my eye with their video for "Knot in My Heart," with its split-screen, stop-motion intricacies. They have a live performance of their song "Escape Artist" that is almost the complete opposite, but it's equally captivating. Instead of multiple clips painstaking crafted together, this is one shot in one take. The performance is simple, driven by piano and vocal harmonies on the chorus. It's stripped down but utterly engrossing. I love how the simple chords anchor the indelible melody. Right from the first line – "My alter ego, he's an escape artist" – the song is a detailed story that grabs your ears. Really great stuff, be sure look for their album Ancient Mars.
My introduction to Rachel Brooke came via her spooky and cool animated video for "The Black Bird." Similar to the change between the two videos from The Zolas, this video for "A Killer's Dream" is quite a different song and clip. The two are united by their black-and-white aesthetic and their throwback sound, but this new video shows Rachel and her band and the song is quite a bit more upbeat. The smiles and energy somewhat obscure the lyrics that seem to be a little more sinister. Regardless of the meaning, it's a lively, winning performance that cements Rachel's status as a songwriter absolutely worth following. This is the title track of her most recent album, which came out a few weeks ago. Go check it out.