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Tag: Cogs

Minor Victories – Cogs (Orchestral Version) (Music Video)

minor victories

EDITOR’S NOTE: This series of posts reflects back on some of the best material to be released over the past few weeks. Each post with this heading is a part of this series. After this series has concluded regular coverage will resume.

No band this year has managed to string together a run of music videos more astonishing than Minor Victories. “Cogs” and “Folk Arp” both earned featured slots on this site while “Scattered Ashes (Song for Richard)” and “A Hundred Ropes” both appeared in collective round-ups that covered two specific stretches of time. All four of those clips came laced with an electrifying intensity that the band presented in different ways.

“Cogs”, arguably, was the most effective in establishing that intensity, tracking a man fleeing a hooded figure wielding a rifle in a patch of woods. Tension-fueled and riveting beyond measure, the prospect of a follow-up act would’ve been daunting in the hands of less capable filmmakers. In “Cogs (Orchestral Version)”, the concept present in “Cogs” is flipped on its head, as the narrative focal point becomes a murderer coming to grips with his actions.

“Cogs (Orchestral Version)” is part of an upcoming record entitled Orchestral Variations that presents orchestral interpretations of the songs on the band’s impressive self-titled debut. The conceit that lays the foundation for the record taps into an emotive core that winds up emboldening the visuals of “Cogs (Orchestral Version)”, which is the most expansive of the band’s videos to date.

There’s a bleak, daunting story that’s painted in several exquisitely lensed black-and-white frames, capitalizing on the band’s penchant for vivid imagery and meticulous detail. Virtually every shot in “Cogs (Orchestral Version)” is gorgeous and the pain present in the central character becomes increasingly unbearable as the clip asks us to examine, scrutinize, and even empathize with a monster. It’s absorbing, disturbing, and shockingly effective. It’s also one of the best music videos of the year.

Watch “Cogs (Orchestral Version)” below and keep an eye on this site for more information regarding Orchestral Variations.

Minor Victories – Cogs (Music Video)

minor victories

Monday and Tuesday have all but come and gone, gifting us great new tracks from Young Jesus, The Regrettes, Purling Hiss, Drive-By Truckers, Sat. Nite Duets, Hoops, Cheena, Cass McCombs, Virgin of the Birds, Morgan Delt, The PoochesMutts, Tall Heights, and Indira Valey. Sweetening the deal were eye-catching music videos courtesy of Cara dal Forno, Boogarins, Numerators, AJJ, Slow Club, and Soto Voce. Rounding everything out was a surprisingly formidable slate of full streams belonging to artists like Stove, Dogbreth, Field Mouse, Good Morning TV, Russian Circles, Restorations, Super Defense, Soul Low, Daniel Kerr, Lungbutter, and Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band.

All of the above links contained strong material but none of those titles were as legitimately breathtaking as Minor Victories‘ latest music video, “Cogs”. The band’s been steadily revealing some of the most captivating music videos of 2016 by embracing the virtue of restraint. The best of those — the strangely moving clip for “Folk Arp” — saw them perfecting the art of the static shot, which had defined their prior two clips (“Breaking My Light” and “A Hundred Ropes“).

Following the conclusion of that static shot trilogy, the band’s turned their attention to motion. “Cogs”, which was released Monday, hinges on an exceptionally acute sense of fluidity. Presented once again through a crisp black and white, “Cogs” opens on a slow-panning shot of seemingly empty woods. Before long, a figure enters the frame at full sprint, though the video never wavers in its commitment to slow motion, unfolding at a pace that considerably heightens the tension. It’s an expertly staged trick, allowing the serenity of the setting to take on sinister undertones.

As “Cogs” goes through the motions, the central figure’s pulled tighter to the lens and some disconcerting imagery comes into play. The person assumed to be the protagonist of “Cogs” is a balding man, dressed in a hospital gown, whose movement grows more frantic and erratic with each step. It imbues “Cogs” with a sense of mystery that elevates the tension even further, prompting a series of questions that will go largely unanswered.

One of those question does find an answer at around the halfway mark as “Cogs” expertly stages the man’s exit from frame with the entrance of a figure in a poncho. Its imagery that echoes Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster and winds up benefiting from the association. The similarities serve to expand the scope of the questioning surrounding the contained narrative of “Cogs”, while offering an outcome that similarly manages to become both definitive on a small scale and ambiguous on a much larger one.

Swirling around everything is the bruising maelstrom of “Cogs” itself, a barbed, punishing song that’s one of the band’s most tenacious offerings. Surging forward with a euphoric sense of clarity and purpose, “Cogs” injects its visual accompaniment with so much additional urgency that the clip feels as if its about to come to life. It’s a staggering accomplishment that’s utterly transfixing through every frame, from its unassuming opening to its startling grand finale. In short: it’s a masterpiece.

Watch “Cogs” below and pick up Minor Victories from Fat Possum here.