PWR BTTM “Big Beautiful Day”
Artist: PWR BTTM
Label: Polyvinyl Record Co.
Video: “Big Beautiful Day”
Director: Christopher Good
PWR BTTM make music for “the coolest kids in the room”, but these aren’t the typical, mainstream “cool kids”; these are the queers, the weirdos, and the craft-store connoisseurs covered in glitter and rainbow face paint, wearing thrift store dresses several sizes too big. Ben Hopkins, (vocals, guitar, and some drums), and Liv Bruce, (drums) met at Bard College in upstate New York, but moved to Brooklyn after graduation. Brooklyn isn’t a bad place to be because, as Bruce told Out Magazine, when you’re in New York, “no matter what you do, you’re probably not the strangest looking person that someone has seen that day.” In New York these days PWR BTTM are the coolest kids in the room.
In a 2015 interview with Nylon, Bruce said that “songwriting is almost a form of magic, a crystal ball that show you the inside of your brain in flattering lighting and slow motion.” In anticipation of the release of Pageant the band has filled their calendars with both a UK/France tour starting 4/10 and a full US tour beginning on 5/27. Until that time, “Big Beautiful Day” has been a fervent, powerful preview of what fans can expect from Pageant.
The video for “Big Beautiful Day,” released on Valentine’s Day, begins with Hopkins receiving an emoji-filled text from their mom, before Bruce kicks down the door holding a plate stacked with waffles, something a YouTube commenter called “honestly iconic”. We then see the duo alternately playing guitar in a hallway, eating waffles on the couch, and in true PWR BTTM style, covered in face paint and glitter, singing to a room full of kids just like them. It’s a declaration to face both active hate and passive microagressions by being yourself: Hopkins affirms that “my advice is to look incredible as you make their lives regrettable by being your damn self.” The video ends with a grinning, glitter-covered Hopkins biting in to an apple and licking their lips, before a cut back to the aftermath of the party.
Jay Pray “Smile”
Artist: JAY PRAY
Label: NORDIC RECORDS
Director: Joe Staehly
Born and raised in rural Connecticut, Justin P. Romanos got his musical start recording in his makeshift home studio and as a regular in the local DIY scene, but it was at Drexel University- where he studied Music Industry- that he earned the nickname J Pré, a reference to an early band called “the Justin P. Romanos Experiment.” Through college he was the vocalist and conceptualist of indie-rock band SHMNS, and after graduation relocated to Brooklyn, where he reestablished himself with a brand new moniker: Jay Pray.
While this is the first album he’s created as Jay Pray, Romanos is no stranger to being a solo artist, having spent more time performing solo (since he was in sixth grade) than he did in a band. Produced by Brandon Bost at Electric Lady Studios, Jay Pray is a lush landscape of electro synth-pop tones, both sultry and full of sunshine, as every detail is perfectly crafted into place. Earmilk calls it “shimmery synth pop magic” and Bullett says it’s “so much fun it’s easy to lose sight of the subject matter and just get carried away by the fun of the beat and the exuberance of the arrangement.”
The video for lead single “Smile” premiered earlier this month on PureVolume. Our story begins with a woman setting up a projector in various locations like an empty swimming pool and a rickety fence, where she watches memories that she’s shared with her husband, who is revealed to have Alzheimer’s Disease. She’s happy at first, as she remembers times they were younger and carefree- like the time they jumped into a neighbor’s swimming pool or the time they rode in a hot air balloon. We then see her arrive at the hospital, where a nurse wheels her husband into the room. At first, he nervously glances around trying to figure out who she is. In an attempt to spark his memory, she projects videos of their shared memories all over the room. He looks at her and begins slowly shedding tears as memories fight to breakthrough.
The video- which New Sick Music calls “emotionally gripping”- won Best Music Video at Silver Sound Showdown Festival and Best Cinematography and Best Editing at Freedom Shorts XVI Festival. It was directed and edited by the wildly talented Joe Staehly, who used a clever mixture of modern (RED Epic Dragon) and classic (Super 8 film) to create an emotionally devastating clip full of arresting beauty.
Belle VEX “Make It Good For Her”
Artist: BELLE VEX
Label: BELLE VEX, LLC
Video: “MAKE IT GOOD FOR HER”
Director: Belle VEX
Last summer we brought you the “Famous” music video from up and coming indie pop artist Belle VEX. The video was an appetizing preview of things to come, and today we are very pleased to bring you the followup video for his soon-to-be-unleashed single “Make It Good For Her.” After the release and excellent reception of his EP, 15 Minutes of Fame, this track will surely gain widespread praise from fans and fellow pop artists around the world. Immediately enrapturing listeners with an appealing vocal hook that flawlessly matches the percussive, heavy bass-oriented arrangement (compliments of Ryan Kienle from Matchbook Romance), “Make It Good For Her” seamlessly evolves into an all-out dance anthem set to infiltrate radio waves and dance floors around the world.
Belle Vex’s “no holds barred” variety of beguiling electronic rock-pop and all grown up “Boy Next Door” saccharinity is a perfect anecdote to his palpable cynicism. He sings the sort of heart-on-your-sleeve music that makes you feel content and keeps your feet moving to the beat. After the release of 15 Minutes of Fame, “Famous” was listed in the Discography section in the 12th Issue of KBPS Music Magazine. Belle Vex also recently voiced a video game character for an upcoming release. With over 9,000 combined followers on Twitter and Instagram, Belle Vex has the hooks and the looks to break through within Indie Nation.
Imagine a combination of the bouncy 90′s style of pop vocals with a touch of a punk rock attitude and combine them with contemporary EDM grooves. That’s the sort of ambiance listeners get when listening to Belle Vex’s much anticipated hit, “Make It Good For Her.” Showing off his acting abilities as a TV Host on a show called, “How the World Works,” this video teaches viewers how to get the woman you want and how to mutually benefit from each other’s presence. Dripping with irony and a bit of reticent cynicism, this video imparts wisdom on the ironies and double standards in society, portraying a man changing his appearance and attitude that magically gets him the girl. This artfully crafted, fully realized, high quality video will have viewers tapping their feet, charmed by this sinister beat and Belle Vex’s starlit performance.
My Silent Bravery “Face to Face” (Acoustic)
Artist: MY SILENT BRAVERY
Label: MWS RECORDS
Video: “FACE TO FACE” (ACOUSTIC)
Director: Vassili Shields
It is now becoming evident that My Silent Bravery is chock-full of authentic hits. Matt Wade’s new single “Face To Face” from the acoustic version of his latest album, Breakthrough, is no exception. Last July we brought you Bay Stater Matt Wade’s melodically contagious, ‘Drunk Off the Sun.” Reminiscent of Jason Mraz and Train, it was the perfect summer anthem. As summer began to transition into fall, Wade gave us a sobering tale depicted by taking his viewers on a backwards journey through the events that lead to a relationship-ending blow out with “Warning Signs.” “Face To Face” is a tune that veers slightly away from the whimsical hopefulness of Wade’s usual work, but stays true to his typical theme of redemption and nostalgia. Fans will surely develop an unmistakable ache in their chests with this tune filled with yearning and restitution.
My Silent Bravery released its new album Breakthrough on September 28, 2016. Wade had already released the album’s first two singles prior to the album’s release and the song and video for “Drunk off the Sun” has already surpassed half a million views on YouTube, trended overseas and reached #1 on YouTube’s most popular chart in Brazil and cracked the top ten in Norway, Finland, and Sweden. The video was also featured on AXSTV programming reaching over 53 million homes. “Drunk Off the Sun” was also featured on United Airlines’ playlist, “The Hits List,” at 35,000 feet altitude throughout the summer, globally. The albums second single and video, “Warning Signs” also trended overseas on YouTube and was a finalist in the 2016 International Acoustic Music Awards. “Warning Signs” was most recently featured on XM Sirius Satellite radio station, “XM The Pulse” on Train Tracks with Pat Monahan.
Matt Wade wears his heart on his sleeve in his newest video for the acoustic version of “Face To Face.” Scenes starring an unmoved and seemingly dispassionate partner going about her daily life without worry contrast with the representation of pain and unsuccessful vying for attention that Wade desperately tries to achieve. Channeling the age-old struggle of unrequited love, Vassili Shields calls upon his artistic prowess once again to illustrate the anguish and openness My Silent Bravery brings to the song. As Wade follows this poker-faced woman around like a ghost fueled by regret and wanting, it becomes apparent that the relationship is beyond recovery. Viewers will have a tough time not feeling sympathy for Wade as he personifies the five stages of grief as his woman slips through his hands.
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IndiePulse Music 2017