Welcome to 2022, everyone. New Years are a great time to start trying new things. This year is no exception. After reading back through some previous columns, I think I would like to try something new and different with my recommendations. I want to talk about how they make me feel.
Let’s be clear, I could talk about the amazing guitars or the crisp drumming, but I think it is understood I don’t recommend poor musicianship in this column. These songs have to pass my strict filtering system to even be recommended, so I want to talk about what kind of effect they have on me as a lifelong music lover.
In that vein, I have a very active imagination. Having grown up in the age of MTV, I often create my own version of what the video would look like if I had directed the shoot. So when I describe how the music affects me emotionally, I may also tell you what images are created in my overactive mind.
Let’s delve in, shall we?
In a Word: Quirky
How has this talented singer been active since 2001 and it is just now that I am introduced to her? LP’s babydoll voice reminds me of Gwen Stefani and Stevie Nicks. The video treatment came to me instantly. LP would be a talk radio DJ in the studio taking calls with people facing difficult conversations. A pregnant teen talking to her dad, a gay kid coming out to his family, or a person who needs to leave an abusive relationship. Yes, all these are heavy issues, but they all start with having a conversation. I miss good talk radio.
Artist: In Her Own Words
Song: “Leaving Forever”
In a Word: Energetic
I am a sucker for cute emo bands. Of course the natural choice for this video would be quick cut live shots, but I get more of a quick cut skateboard vibe for this song. This song would for sure be included on a Tony Hawk video game. Emo is alive and well and In Her Own Words are worthy of carrying the crown.
Song: “Somebody I Fucked Once”
In a Word: Unexpected
Zolita is another example of why I write this article. In a normal world, I would have never crossed paths with this singer. But seeing how I am taking alternative routes to find new music, I happened upon her and instantly fell in love. As director, she did an amazing job by taking this video in a fresh new direction. It beats my tired cliché of two girls cruising at a lesbian bar. Did I mention she identifies as a witch? It’s rare for me to fall in love with a singer so hard, but I guess I am under her spell.
Artist: Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers
Song: “Miss Your Birthday”
In a Word: Riot Grrrl
Power rockers Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers are serving the same vibe as L7, The Donnas, and a bit of Sleater-Kinney. They keep the rock straightforward and simple which is genius. The video would be sped-up super eight grainy video of them just being the crazy girls having a good time. Think in the same vein of The Monkees theme song video. Sometimes, less is more.
Artist: Benson Boone
Song: “Ghost Town”
In a Word: Haunting
How this twenty-year old has the ability to channel such powerful emotions in this signature song is beyond me. His vocals are honest and genuine and the melody is consuming. Video directors Ty Arnold & Matt Eastin did a fantastic job with so many cinematic shots, but the image that came to my mind was a bit more simplistic. My vision was also black and white, but just Benson at a piano with images of his life and love being superimposed on the walls behind him. Too obvious? Perhaps, but the focus should be on Benson Boone and his brilliant craftsmanship of this prodigious song.
Well kids, I am back off on my travels. I hope your 2022 is a year of abundance and happiness. It can’t be any worse than 2021.
You can hear these songs and more in my curated playlist, “K-JIM 2022,” by clicking this link:
You can follow me on Twitter @TheFoundFive. Don’t be a stranger. ｜ Jim Ryan