Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Marathon Artists

Fraser A. Gorman – Shiny Gun (Music Video)

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After two consecutive clips dealing with extremely heavy subject matter, switching focus to much lighter fare almost seems necessary. Before getting into the carefree fun-fest that is Fraser A. Gorman’s latest clip for “Shiny Gun”, there will be one last video round-up to get the coverage of the format caught back up to the present release cycle. Heartless Bastards unveiled their confrontational “Gates of Dawn“, Angelic Milk went the irreverent effects route for “IDK How“, Fred Thomas indulged in some light masochism for “Cops Don’t Care, Pt. II“, Leon Bridges furthered his throwback aesthetic with “Better Man“, Elisa Ambrogio tapped into a deeply moving wistfulness through “Arkansas“, Vince Staples flexed some serious artistic muscle with the arresting “Señorita“, and Glockabelle’s immensely lovable 8-bit lunacy intensified with “Wolf BBQ“. All seven clips deserve a few run-throughs and quite a bit of attention. Of course, so does Fraser A. Gorman’s “Shiny Gun”, which is why it wound up as this post’s headline selection.

After some humorous text-only exposition- over some tongue-in-cheek broadcast music- about news anchors getting fired for unprofessional behavior (and then starting a band), “Shiny Gun” takes us back to that final, fateful day in the studio. What follows is an absurd collection of non-responses after a bevvy of failed studio re-direct attempts, with a cast of misfit anchors (including site favorite Courtney Barnett) doing an abysmal job at their actual job, completely ignoring everything and looking miserable in the process. That sense of downtrodden misery carries throughout the black-and-white broadcast, that is, until someone shows up with some guitars. After the first hand-off results in a twangy solo (cue Gorman’s enthused “Deep!”), the whole thing switches back over to technicolor as the studio side anchors get to shed their shackles cut loose as Gorman’s “Shiny Gun” (which is the closest thing I’ve heard to someone accurately emulating The Band in ages) takes them home. It’s one of the more joyous, deadpan clips to emerge from this year and it certainly bodes well for Gorman’s upcoming Slow Gum (which is being released on Courtney Barnett’s own Milk! Records label), which is sounding more promising by the minute. If you were looking for something enjoyably simplistic and carefree to unwind with tonight, you’ve just struck gold.

Watch “Shiny Gun” below and pre-order Slow Gum, which will be available via Milk! in Australia, House Anxiety/Marathon Artists in the UK,  here.

Courtney Barnett – Kim’s Caravan (Music Video)

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Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit has managed to standout from an already over-crowded 2015 since its release. It reaffirms Barnett’s clout as a songwriter by effectively expanding her range. “Kim’s Caravan”, a sprawling treatsie on Austarlia’s increasingly ravaged landscape, being the record’s most arresting example. Recently, it was given a Bec Kingma-directed clip that more than did the song’s serious subject matter justice. Before diving too far into that video’s innumerable strengths, it’s worth noting that the past few weeks have been full of great clips. To help get the site caught back up, the next few posts will be devoted to those clips- just like the handful preceding Watch This were connected to songs.

Each of these posts will come with a featured video and ten accompanying clips, all of which are worthy of heavy investment. Starting off this round of music videos are Eternal Summers’ stop-motion “Together Or Alone“, Mittenfields’ color-damaged clip for “Optimists“, Sheer Mag’s characteristically scrappy “Fan the Flames“, currents’ deranged revenge fantasy “Build Ups“, and The Wooden Sky’s low-key dancefloor romance “Saturday Night“. Whitewash’s hallucinatory “Tentacle”, Peach Kelli Pop’s blissed-out sugar rush “Princess Castle 1987“, Night School’s incredibly lo-fi singalong “Unkind“, Coeds’ stock visual-effects experiment “Sensitive Boys“, and Never Young’s intensely dark “Like A Version” round out this post’s offerings. While, as mentioned, they’re all worth repeat viewings, this post’s focus belongs to Barnett’s stark, mesmerizing clip for “Kim’s Caravan”.

While it may be too early to brandish a term like masterpiece, it’s certainly tempting. Kingma’s vision- especially when paired with Joshua Aylett’s photography direction- recalls fellow Australian filmmaker John Hillcoat (The Proposition may actually be the closest companion to “Kim’s Caravan”). An almost harsh sense of rural lyricism is on full display as the clip traces over desolate scenery, downtrodden inhabitants, and Barnett herself to create a bold artistic statement. Coming on the heels of the nonchalant “Pedestrian At Best“, “Kim’s Caravan” takes on the feeling of an epic. After establishing a palpable sense of loss, the clip arrives at an arresting climax that includes what will likely go down as one of 2015’s most unforgettable shots. Packaged all together it’s just about enough to knock the wind out of anyone lucky enough to lose themselves to the video’s spell.

Watch “Kim’s Caravan” below and order Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit here.