2013 in a Nutshell :: Part I

2013 was the year of our launch; it was a rip-roaring, pulsating and most certainly undulating roller-coaster of a ride.  Having enjoyed so much of what's gone by, we've compiled a mouthwatering array of some of the sites and sounds that have influenced and entertained us during 2013 - in 2014 - better late than never!  There are plenty of omissions - soz! - and yet there's something here to occupy most tastes, from the somewhat well known to the occasional hearty discovery.
:: Watch in HD for maximum enjoyment.  Enjoy!

 

             // MUSIC +             

 

James Blake /\ "Overgrown"

// This was our first music related post to the Mona Mara blog, so a safe place to start.  James Blake, who of course is an established name when it comes to the harmonised, teams up with Nabil - the Director no doubt - and a warning ought to be given, for goosebumps can emerge.  A steadicam conceived dreamscape ensues.

• • •

Laura Mvula /\ "She"

// Some might say, and quite rightly, that the music industry is awash with singer-songwriting competence.  In Brummie Laura Mvula's case however, there is room for one more of the most exquisite order; a flawless live performer.


• • •

Mount Kimbie /\ "Home Recording"

// The video for "Home Recording" typifies Mount Kimbie's insistence on flirting with the experimental. The outfit was keen to harness "Anthony Dickenson's enthusiasm for trying a new technique in merging shots to create something that was bigger than the locations it was shot in; a multi dimensional landscape with no direct reference to a specific place, more a familiar but fictional reality".

 

• • •

King Krule /\ "Octopus"

// South East London's Tilda Swinton lookalike Archie Marshall has been a hot tip since performing under his early moniker Zoo Kid.  The 'King' is certainly one to watch in 2014.

 

• • •

Mount Kimbie /\ "You Took Your Time" (ft. King Krule)

// A collaborative effort with sombre, thought-provoking overtones (of the subtle sense, not necessarily of the musical). 

  

• • •

Grouper /\ "Living Room"

// Grouper is Liz Harris and 'Living Room' is perfect in its conciseness.  Short lived, like a fleeting and wisened visitor, minimal yet profound enough to will you on to keep its melancholic lullaby on repeat.  

(Nobody said I couldn't use oxymorons.)

 

• • •

Julianna Barwick /\ "Crystal Lake" (Live at Judson Church)

// Is it just me or is there something most edifying about this gem of a live performance.

• • •

Jarbird /\ " More Bad Celebrity Poetry

// ...and on that note, ex-Pengilly's star Ric Hollingberry has evolved his sound into this:

 

• • •

BANKS  /\ "Warm Water"

// A Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs-produced single for the very much up-and-coming BANKS.  For those that noticed, it is indeed Joon (of OverDoz) that features alongside in the video.

  

• • • 

FKA Twigs  /\  "Water Me"

// FKA Twigs is hot-tipped for success in 2014.

  

• • •

Lorde /\ "Royals"

 

• • •

Jon Hopkins /\ "Open Eye Signal"

// Nominated for Best Alternative video and Best Colour Grading; winner of Best Cinematography at UKMVAs 2013.  It's easy to see why.


• • • 

DESPERSONALIZAÇÃO the stretch of life

// Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) has composed music especially for this splendid Joana Linda video. The collaboration was born to support Noah's wife, clothing designer Fernanda Pereira‘s Spring/Summer 2014 line "DESPERSONALIZAÇÃO / the stretch of life".

  

• • •

 Haim /\ "Falling"

// The Californian sisters are an obvious inclusion for feel-good reasons alone.

  

• • •

Toro Y Moi /\ "Rose Quartz"

// Chaz Bundick has been a major player in the Chillwave genre for some time now - consensus hasn't been reached on the official name for the genre, but Chillwave is much easier to contend with than other namesakes like Hypnogogic Pop.  Mr Bundick has been rather prolific over the years too, culminating in a recent (2014) Chromeo collaboration of contemporary Daft Punk-Pharrell style; also worth checking out.

  

• • • 

Stromae /\ "Tous Les Mêmes"

// Stromae is one for the deliberately avante-garde; a deliberately androgynous concoction from a creative maestro.  Note that the name Stromae is derived of a syllablic inversion of "Maestro".  Clever!

 
...Stromoe's got a few interesting takes on this theme but this edit will at least aid in the deciphering of his idiom:

• • •

Phédre /\ "Infinity Chambers"

// According to Phédre, they are "lovers from Monaco".  "Raised in a cave of gold," this duo go about their muso business under the self-defined genre of "broken love".  Directing 'Infinity Chamber' themselves, this avante-garde piece is taken from their record 'Golden Age' (Daps Records). 

 • • •


Summer Camp /\ "Fresh"

// Londoners Summer Camp returned with a dreamy lyric video for 'Fresh'.

 

• • •

The Knife /\ "A Tooth For An Eye"

// 'The Knife = Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson. 'A Tooth For An Eye' was arguably the standout track from the 'Shaking The Habitual' album, their first studio album since Silent Shout. Video Directed by Roxy Farhat & Kakan Hermansson.

 

• • •

Disclosure /\ "When a Fire Starts to Burn"

// If the Bo Mirosseni directed official video for Disclosure's 'When A Fire Starts To Burn' doesn't get you in the mood, nothing will!

  

• • •

Deerhunter /\ "Monomania"

// This video doesn't do Deerhunter's 'Monomania' any justice at all.  We recommend watching them perform their title track from their album of the same title live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show for full effect.

 

• • •

Lorde /\ "Tennis Court"

// It has been a good year for Lorde, so a second inclusion from the Kiwi born songstress is arguably a prerequisite.

 

• • •

Cousin Marnie /\ "You've Been Fooling Me Baby"

// Lead track from the 'Is Sleeping' EP of Carter Family.

 

• • •

M.I.A. /\ "Bring the Noize"

(Language)

// Alexander Hammer has achieved a wonderfully flamboyant edit of pink-haired M.I.A.'s 'Bring The Noize' in which M.I.A. retreats into a clouded club, an alternative reality almost. This was M.I.A.'s lead single from her fourth studio album "Matangi".

• • •

Bipolar Sunshine /\ "Fire"

// On first inspection I believed him to be a Ghostpoet ripoff.  How wrong can you be?  Bipolar Sunshine's debut EP 'Aesthetics' is as original as it is heartfelt.  There are similarities with Ghostpoet though - which isn't a bad thing at all - with a shared expression of apathy and the melancholic.  Bipolar Sunshine is ex-Mancunian ska-band Kid British frontman Adio Marchant.

 

 • • •

Jamie Isaac - 'I Will Be Cold Soon' EP - ''Softly Draining Seas''

// Jamie Isaac is a former King Krule collaborator. Isaac's spacious + mature melodics, similarly to those of Krule's guitar, are wiser than his years.

 

• • •

 Raffertie /\ "Build Me Up"

// Behind Raffertie is Ben Stefanski, who in 2011 signed for the Ninja Tune label. The video, which interestingly interweaves and interacts with Raffertie's track is Directed by the talent-pool that is Somesuch & Co's Vincent Haycock.

• • •

Lapalux /\ "Without You" (ft. Kerry Leatham)

// 'Without You' is taken from Lapalux's debut album Nostalchic.  The video stars Natalia Tena who sings and plays the accordion in the band Molotov Jukebox, and of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones fame.  Directed by Nick Ray Rutter in collaboration with Lapalux.

• • •

Julia Holter /\ "World"

// Domino Records released LA-based Julia Holter's album Loud City Song back in August.  Here's 'World,' the opening track from it.

• • •

Disclosure /\ "White Noise" (ft. Aluna George)

 

• • •

Blue Hawaii /\ "Reaction II"

// A video entirely befitting of Blue Hawaii's 'Reaction II', taken from the album Untogether (Arbutus Records). Directed by Melissa Matos, the video stars Carola Wisny amidst a wandering dreamscape.

 

• • •

London Grammar /\ "Nightcall"

// Directed by Andre Chocron.

 

• • • 

Jai Paul /\ "Str8 Outta Mumbai"

// The release of 'BTSTU' back in 2011 and the continuing general mystery surrounding the Rayners Lane based artist ever since has combined to successfully engender a feeling that something big will occur for Jai Paul in 2014.  A 16-track album appeared out of thin air last year - his label XL Recordings seemingly knew nothing and it went down in history as an illegal leak - 'Str8 Outta Mumbai' is Track 2 from this surprise disclosure.

 

• • • 

Breach /\ "Jack"

// Nomination for strangest video of the year goes to this catchy yet ever so hairy number ::


• • •

Washed Out /\ "Don't Give Up"

// Washed Out is Ernest Greene.  He makes music tinged in tropically dramatic summer dream haze.  This is one of his lead tracks from the 2013 album Parascosm.

 

• • •

Grizzly Bear /\ "gun shy"

// Grizzly Bear go .gif heavy in Kris Moyes directed gun-shy.

• • • 

Grimes /\ "Genesis"

 

• • •

SZA /\ "Ice Moon"

• • •

Pure X /\ "Thousand Year Old Child"

// Malcolm Elijah's beautifully directed video for Pure X's 'Thousand Year Old Child' (starring Bob Olson, actor). Interestingly, all three are from Austin Texas.

 

 • • •

BRAIDS /\ "In Kind"

// Canadian Art-Rockers BRAIDS are the combination of Raphaelle Standell-Preston's voice and the drums of Austin Tufts, amounting to something altogether celestial.  Angus Borsos directs the official video for "In Kind".

 

 

Part II

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