Category Archives: video

Leon Bridges: River

With the beginning of Black History Month, Leon Bridges comes forward with the strongest message he has presented to date: He is a black musician living in the present. Obvious, sure. But amid the hype and excitement surrounding his authentic, throw-back sound and carefully curated nostalgic imagery, it’s still a message worth noting. With the release of the music video for “River” we find Leon in a dream partnership with brilliant director Miles Jay as he takes off his vintage suit jacket and joins the dialogue of 2016. He reflects, takes his time, tells a powerful story, and shares a redemptive moment with the golden-voiced Brittni Jessie, who takes the song to an entirely new dimension.

In a statement made this morning Leon says, “When thinking about how to best represent this universal battle, I reflected on the depiction of black communities in our media and particular experiences in my own life. This video showcases the unique struggle many black men and women face across this country. However, unlike the captured images which tend to represent only part of the story, I wanted to showcase that through all the injustice, there’s real hope in the world.”

Old soul revivalist hype aside, Leon has never been one to shy away from his history with R&B or love of hip-hop. He’s open to talking about the present and where he comes from with honesty and humility. Still, it’s important to see him participating in present day conversation on this level. It shows a depth and relevance which far exceeds that of a novelty sound or Instagram filter. It shows maturity and fresh direction for what lies ahead. And it reminds us all that we live in a world of both injustice and hope, reality and redemption, past and present.


Elvis Depressedly: Thou Shall Not Murder

This spring, Elvis Depressedly released their fouth studio album, New Alhambra, into the world and this is the one that got me. Having an admittedly petty aversion to heavy”indie” labeling and the whole band name pun trend thing, I’ve circled this band a few times but never caught the bait. I was recently encouraged to try again, to check out this latest offering, and I’ll be damned if this isn’t one of the most tastefully executed lo-fi creations I’ve ever heard. Beautifully written and nostalgically executed, New Alhambra is as honest and unassuming as it is loaded with emotion and obvious talent. I have some catching up to do.

Here’s the official video for the first track from New Alhambra, “Thou Shall Not Murder.” Director Micah Van Hove said the following about this video (via YouTube) :

“Mat’s music has always made me think about death, but always through the lens of love. You’d be hard-pressed to make it through a conversation with Mat or one of his albums without hearing a jubilant death wish, but I’ve always understood it as an expression of an overbearing feeling of love; a heart so heavy with love for this world and its people that the idea of death is merely a joke — a joke we tell our friends and lovers to keep them close, to remind them that the present is the most important gift we have.
For me, the words and melodies on New Alhambra are bathing in a sense of reclaimed innocence that compelled me to explore how a child internalizes the notion of death for the first time.”