As music moves indoors, Local Spins offers up lots to ogle while listening to new tracks by Michigan artists. Plus, a couple of bonus videos from The Accidentals and Billy Strings.
It’s that time of year.
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The final week of October brings falling leaves, falling temperatures and rising interest in indoor entertainment.
So, to rev up that indoor vibe, Local Spins has compiled a Top 10 roster of new music videos by Michigan-bred artists, covering the gamut of styles from Halloween-appropriate deathgaze to lilting folk to dreamy hip hop.
As part of that, Local Spins is premiering a brand new video from Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Cameron Blake, featuring Majestic Praise, for a single that doesn’t officially get released until Friday. You’re seeing/hearing it here first.
Check out all of the Top 10 below, with bonus videos representing the latest releases from bluegrass king Billy Strings (who appeared on “Austin City Limits” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” this past week alone) and The Accidentals (who are in the final week of the U.S. tour behind their new studio album).
1. (Premiere) Cameron Blake / Debra Perry & Majestic Praise, “You’d Better Run”
From Cameron Blake: “I wrote this melody that sounded like an old spiritual that’s been around forever with lyrics about the prophet Jonah in the Old Testament (without mentioning the Whale). I brought it to Debra Perry and she pulled together all the harmonies with Majestic Praise and then I worked collectively with my band on the arrangement before coming together. The song turned out to be a perfect opener to our set at Frederik Meijer Gardens this past August. We recorded it a month later at Local Legends Studio in Grand Rapids with the engineer/producer Josh Kaufman. His brand new studio has a live room with a really high ceiling and a natural reverb that is entirely unique. The video is Majestic Praise’s final take of the vocals. I just love their energy and it was really exciting for me not to sing or play on this track, but to simply support and celebrate this wonderful collaboration.” The single officially release Friday here.
2. Voluptuous Panic, “Midnight Chrome”
The West Michigan-bred Voluptuous Panic — Gretchen DeVault and Brian J. Bowe — originally released this song in 2015, about the time that Bowe was relocating from Michigan to the state of Washington. The video was released last week.
From Bowe: “I wrote this song almost fully formed on an airplane. I was messing around with some recording software. I started playing a synth part using the letters on my laptop, not a real keyboard, and I got absorbed. I think there are some elements of that original demo that are still there on the final version. The video was shot around Detroit the summer before the pandemic. I had been experimenting with recording video on my phone using an anamorphic lens made by a company called Moment. I like how that setup makes images that are simultaneously luscious and lo-fi. To me, there’s nothing like driving around on a summertime Detroit night while blasting music to capture a feeling of infinite possibility. ‘Midnight Chrome’ has always felt like a Detroit aesthetic to me, so I wanted the video to reflect that.”
3. Luke Winslow-King, “Lissa’s Song”
Written in tribute to late New Orleans singer Lissa Driscoll, Cadillac native Luke Winslow-King also has released a two-part documentary of “Lissa’s Song” with unreleased video footage.
From Luke Winslow-King: “I’m super excited to be releasing a new song, video, and short documentary in homage to my dear friend, New Orleans blues singer Lissa Driscoll. We’re raising funds to support New Orleans musicians in need of health care via the NOMC.Lissa was a great friend and inspiration to (guitarist) Roberto Luti and I both, and was the reason our dozen-year partnership ever began. I feel like I’ve been working toward this one my entire career. It just feels so good to be releasing something I believe in so much, and God knows folks in New Orleans could use some good healthcare about now.”
4. VAZUM, “Wytch Lych”
From VAZUM: “Unrated V” is the new electronic Halloween album from Detroit deathgaze duo, VAZUM. Released Oct. 22, it features 12 dark electronic tracks inspired by classic horror tales and ghoulish characters. Layered with synths and drum machines, it explores industrial, electro and ambient styles. “Unrated V” is the electronic counterpart to “Rated V,” which the duo released last October as a Halloween concept rock album. In both releases, the first six tracks tell the stories of horror characters while the latter six tracks dive into dark realms of other worlds and paranormal phenomena. VAZUM recorded and produced “Unrated V” in their very own Light Echo Studios.
5. Colt Snuffer & The Dead Horsemen, “Pulled on a String”
Muskegon’s Colt Snuffer & The Dead Horsemen released their full-length debut album, “The Devil You Know” in September. This shadowy video directed by Kyle Gifford unfurls the murder ballad, “Pulled on a String.”
6. Wuzee & Samil, “Join the Cult”
“Join the Cult” is the closing track on Grand Rapids hip hop artists Wuzee & Samil’s latest album, “Where Thoughts Go to Die.” The video was directed and edited by Andy Miller of Orange Cap Pictures.
7. Bradley Sinclair, “Difficult Day”
Rockford native and recent contestant on “The Voice” Bradley Sinclair released “Difficult Day” in September, with this live rendition of the tune filmed at Gnome Studios by Image Dei Productions. Now based in Nashville, Sinclair wrote the song with Marielle Kraft.
From Sinclair: ” ‘Difficult Day’ is a song about the importance of people in your life that are willing to be there for you when you are having a tough time. Whether it be through depression or just a tough day emotionally. The initial inspiration for this song was actually from Winnie the Pooh, where Pooh tells Piglet he had a difficult day but doesn’t want to talk about it, and Piglet just sat down and stayed with him. He told Pooh he doesn’t need to talk about it, he just wants him to know he cares.”
8. Joey Frendo, “Lordstown”
After moving from Grand Rapids to Oklahoma, singer-songwriter Joey Frendo, former frontman for West Michigan’s Watching for Foxes/Winnow, wrote this song, inspired by auto strikes and “GM gypsies.” He describes the genesis of the song as part of the acoustic, “stripped” version of the new single.
9. marsfade, “Do U Know What I Mean”
Grand Rapids’ indie electronic artist marsfade, aka Marley Ferguson, released this single in April, with the video released in August. The video for this track was directed by Dustin Tan, with Jake Wolfert serving as director of photography.
10. Flowers on the Grave, “Icarian”
Jackson’s dark rock band Flowers on the Grave released this single and video last week. The video was co-produced by Ryan Hudson of 1887 Media.
From Flowers on the Grave: “The song ‘Icarian’ is about tearing down the barriers we all have in our minds that keep us from reaching our true potential. This is a song about breaking out and reaching high, portrayed through the lens of the myth of Icarus. The video expands on this theme, with the Icarus character played by a woman on the edge of an ocean. She begins her journey in darkness, gradually building confidence in claiming her sovereignty, until she spreads her wings and begins her flight.”
BONUS VIDEOS: Local Spins originally featured these two videos along with its reviews of new albums by The Accidentals and Billy Strings. Since then, Billy Strings’ video has racked up nearly 196,000 views on YouTube; The Accidentals’ video has attracted more than 2,800 views.
VIDEO: Billy Strings, “Heartbeat of America” (from “Renewal”)
VIDEO: The Accidentals, “Vessel” (from “Vessel”)
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