With the advent of recording technology making it a lot easier for independent artists to express themselves without feeling the burden of creative limitations, merely suggesting that there’s been no shortage of quality music videos made in the 2010s just might be the understatement of the decade. That said, the video that The NaveBlues, a Norway-based rock group heavily influenced by American music, have just produced for us in “Pale Blue Dot” is undisputedly in the top tier of underground output to make waves internationally all year long. “Pale Blue Dot” is essentially a musical tale of communication, specifically with aliens who have caught up with the data sent their way via the Voyager 1 mission, but what it tells us about the earthlings who created it is even more magnetizing than its stellar storyline is.
On its own, this is a song driven by jazz-inspired rebellion; it’s willfully complex, outrageously unbalanced when juxtaposed with the black and white fodder of FM pop radio, and littered with a rock n’ roll machismo that contradicts everything about the minimalist structure of its grooves. Despite all of the boundless contrast, “Pale Blue Dot” makes sense because of its bonding tonality – whether it’s the crash of the percussion or the warm hue of the guitars pulsating against the beat, every stitch of audio in this track is brimming with a natural sonic depth that I would normally expect to hear in a live setting exclusively. The master mix is as ace as it gets in this industry and yet totally devoid of artificial plasticity.
I love that the band went big and bold with the string parts in this single. Too many of The NaveBlues’ mainstream rivals (many of whom are stationed on the American side of the Atlantic) have been steering clear of the big, boisterous fretwork that “Pale Blue Dot” sports with immense pride, and their critical reception has subsequently suffered for it. Navé Pundik, the creative force behind the group and star of the video for “Pale Blue Dot,” doesn’t appear interested in following any of the trends that his peers are in this song; he’s going out of his way to distinguish his band’s sound from the status quo, and looking like an artistic mastermind as a result.
If this single and its meteoric music video are just a sample of what we can expect to hear out of this next chapter in the career of The NaveBlues, then I’m fairly sure that we’ve yet to hear what the band can really do when there is nothing to come between their avant-garde ideas and the recording studio that gives them credence. What makes “Pale Blue Dot” such a fun find this August isn’t just its colorful design nor the crisp mix that it’s filtered through, but rather its one of a kind stylization of a theme that has been toyed with by scores of artists in the last six decades. They’ve got my attention, and after you see the video and spin its soundtrack for yourself, they’re going to have yours as well.
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