Videos are pretty much the new singles these days, which makes for something of an odd circle. Singles were just singles, then they were videos because of MTV, and then MTV stopped doing music so they became mp3s, then they became streams as the technology caught up, and then people realised that a stream pays nothing whereas YouTube pay at least token royalties so they became videos again. All of which makes it rather frustrating how bad we are at actually making them for our own releases. I am just not a maker of music videos I guess, so it’s harder to embrace that ‘just get the fuck on with it’ ethic we try and live by when it involves asking for favours from other people.
One technique I’ve seen embraced rather a lot is using stock and archive footage and editing it together to fit the song. We’ve done it before ourselves, and Yusuf Azak has done the same thing for the new song Silver Rose (below), which is the first single from his new album Peace in the Underworld, out now on vinyl on Gerry Loves Records. The album will be instantly familiar to all fans of Yusuf’s previous work – his voice pretty much guarantees that – but there is a lot more use of drums, electronics and drum machines on this record.
Monoganon (above) released one of my favourite Scottish albums of 2013 (and along with Sparrow and the Workshop and The Pictish Trail were criminally overlooked by the SAY Awards nomination panel) and have also just released a new video. Not a new song, this is from that album, which is called Family and is available on vinyl from Lost Map Records. It’s basically a fuzzy indie album in the early-nineties sort of vein, if you want a hyper-superficial one-line description, but the melodies are ace throughout and the album as a whole is a fantastic listen. Grumbly but warm.