New artist of the week: The Blaze
Plus songs you have to hear from Serpentwithfeet and David Kitt
The Blaze: their impassioned video for Territory is set in Algiers and follows a recently returned alpha-male reconnect with his family
What: Cousins make affecting multimedia art. Where: France Why: Despite the promise and the ubiquity of the music video form, it’s not a medium that has been explored to tell stories that match an artist’s vision as often as it’s been used as a marketing tool or to employ novelty but incomplete new tech like VR and 3D.
Behind the camera, drones and cheaper equipment and editing software, there remains few musical artists who are dedicated to using the medium to elevate their art into the arena of storytelling.
Step forward then, the French cousins of Jonathan and Guillaume Alric, who have a 360 vision of their music that has produced some of the most engaging and affecting multimedia art of the last 10 years.
The Blaze make emotionally-charged electronic music with gentle deep house roots that sound like a natural soundtrack to a particularly euphoric house party. Their seven songs are evocative and are constructed to take the listener to a safe and warm altitude.
Conceived at the same time as the music itself, the pair’s self-directed music videos inspired by the likes of Ken Loach elevate the music to new heights.
Witness the intense and impassioned video for Territory, set in Algiers and following a recently returned alpha-male tenderly reconnect with his family and homeland. The clip for Virile beautifully captures platonic love between two French Algerian men while their latest, Heaven, is concerned with a utopian day out for a community and a young family, in particular.
The Blaze’s video reinforce the music’s soulful edge, while their music underscores the films’ positive perspectives on the humanity of others. The Blaze’s art suggest that music videos still have untapped crossover potential.
You have to hear this... David Kitt – Like Lightning
Throughout Yous, the newest singer-songwriter record from David Kitt, the Dubliner excels at the small moments of rumination. Like Lightning is a tale of the aftermath of missing the last bus from Galway home and it twinkles appropriately faraway synths, drum machine beats and Margie Lewis’ string playing that conjures a good time in the West.
You have to hear this... Serpentwithfeet – Bless Ur Heart
Somewhere between the operatics of Anohni, the R&B tones of Frank Ocean, the soul of Sade and the contemporary production of Bjork, is the former Baltimore choirboy Serpentwithfeet, a baring singer who works with Paul Epworth (Adele), Clams Casino (A$AP Rocky) and mmph (experimental production). Bless Ur Heart is an ode to a lover sung in a fluttering timbre that is as a strange and compelling as its influences and collaborators suggest.