The Mid-Week Music Video Reviews Round-Up – 2/4/16 – Beach Towel Club, DNCE, Run River North, Andrew Huang, Mickey Cho, Malea, Pryde, Azure, Steve Aoki

Geeze. I hope you’ve been craving some new music videos to watch because this is as packed a round-up as we’ve had in a quite some time. We’ve got a dirty dozen to share with you, and there is both depth and breadth for your to partake in this week. It’s exciting to see how far Asian-American artists have come over the years. We’ve come a long way from AznRaps, soundclick, and webcam Youtube videos. Oh and don’t forget to peep the video of the week, immediately below.

VOTW: Beach Towel Club (Mike B x Yung Koconut x Rekstizzy) – “OVA”

I just realized what this world needs more of. We need more rap videos to take place in winter resort cabins. Maybe it’s purely superficial, but take a bunch of Southern California rappers and put them on a snowy mountain and it automatically makes it for a refreshing view. OK, I’m being slightly facetious but this is a pretty well done MV and made me enjoy a tune I was otherwise lukewarm on before. If they had gotten shots of them rapping on a snow tube or something it would have been game over. I dig it. Nice cameos from the likes of Dumb & Zo too.

DNCE – “Cake by the Ocean” (live)

This song is serious ear-worm material. And I’m surprisingly not sick of it yet after hearing it pretty regularly the past month or so. I think I’m just a sucker for killer bass lines and falsettos (shout out to Bruno Mars). But let’s talk about the main reason why we follow the group, and that’s Jinjoo the guitar girl. And there isn’t nearly enough focus on her from what I’ve seen thus far. Let’s hope that changes soon.

Run River North – “29”

This is another one of those videos that show that when done right, you can do so much with just a little. Props to the directors/editors because they found a way to take a pretty stationary set piece, along with a two-tone color scheme, and make it dynamic and engaging. The video is pretty decent but it still pales in comparison to the song itself. RRN is really beginning to find their sonic stride with songs like this.

Run River North  – “Pretender”

Whoa. It’s becoming more and more clear that the band is wanting to explore new themes and emotions with their sophomore album. This is easily the heaviest video they’ve released thus far. Do I enjoy it as much as some of their other works? No. I do miss their more organic folk-sound sometimes. But I do appreciate being able to witness them tap into a new area of their art and hearts. It should be interesting to see how this phase of their journey plays out.

Andrew Huang – “Swerve”

This kind of has the feel as if Andrew was on his way to hang out with his friends one night, and remembered he had to shoot an MV. But his years of work at the craft makes even a middling release come off fairly polished and decent. Huang has set the bar so high with some of his other stuff, that it’s hard for me to be satisfied with anything but his best.

Andrew Huang – “Once More”

Similar to the video above, this is an OK but not great visual. Andrew really seems to be churning out material at a frequent pace, so it may simply be a matter of quantity of quality.

Andrew Huang – “Nebulae”

See my critique for “Swerve” and “Once More”. Although this one is a bit more dynamic and interesting to watch.

Andrew Huang – “The World’s Quietest Song”

And just like that, everything is right with the world again. It boggles my mind has he can make a song out of pretty much anything. One thing I couldn’t help but question is how high quality of gear he must be working with because the sounds he picked up are so clean and their must have been a lot of gain. Too cool.

Mickey Cho – “Hands High”

If there’s one thing this video communicates, it’s that Mickey is quite the tenacious rapper. The entirety of the footage is comprised of scenes of him wild’n out in the woods. It piques the interest, but fails to ultimately capture it. Perhaps some zoom, or pan, or general motion in the wide shots would have helped.. there just a glimpse of that in the end. Regardless, it’s a great listen of a dope track but a middling watch for an MV.

Malea – “Come to Me”

Malea has a penchant for fantasy and sometimes ethereal elements in her MVs, and this video perpetuates that trend. It’s 1 part visualization, 1 part hallucinogenic, and one part soft pop-rock. It relishes in it’s own abstract qualities, but leaves me a bit lost in terms of the overall vision. What does it all mean? I’m really not sure, but it’s kinda pretty to look it. It’s like the entire MV was shot inside a lava lamp.

Pryde – “Thompson Diner”

On one hand, it’s great to see/hear from an otherwise quiet Pryde. He seemed to be staying low the past couple months but with some new music slated to drop, I’m glad he’s making his way back to the spotlight. This video is a safe way to make an entrance, with it being mostly flash and little substance. It’s a bit schizophrenic in editing, and has a Bourne Identity-esque case of the Shakycam. It makes me miss the days of the Prizzy x Cordeo collabos from years past.

Azure x Rayana Jay – “Fools”

Everything about this release is chill and laid back. The video isn’t action packed but everything it does is smooth and seamless. The scene transitions in particularly are executed very well. The attention to detail is admirable save for the lip-syncing, which surprisingly felt just a little bit off for the majority of the scenes. This isn’t the most memorable drop from Azure but it’s certainly solid enough in it’s own right. The guy is one of the most consistent artists that we follow.

Steve Aoki x Sherry St. Germain – “Heaven on Earth”

Steve Aoki is one of those guys that always looks like he’s having the time of his life every time he’s on stage. As much as I appreciate his over the top, sci-fi heavy music videos, it’s a welcome change of pace to see some live footage. But after watching it through, it almost felt like it was missing something when we can see all the energy on stage and in the crowd but can’t hear any of it. Has anyone been to one of his shows? Is it as exciting as it looks?


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