Woodkid’s video for “Iron” isn’t exactly brand new—French music-video director Yoann Lemoine released his first EP under that pseudonym back in March—but I just stumbled upon it this week and it’s so bloody breathtaking I couldn’t not mention it here. And when I say breathtaking, I don’t just mean the stunning black and white video featuring supermodel Agyness Deyn and this really scary/pretty owl charging into some imaginary battle. The song itself is this huge, rousing orchestral beast, Lemoine’s haunting vocals reminiscent of Antony Hegarty’s. Call me overly dramatic or geeky or whatever, but this one goes on my iPod, right alongside that Game of Thrones theme song.
Lemoine has hinted in interviews that whatever story he began in the “Iron” video will continue in the clips from his upcoming full-length debut, due out in early 2012. Can’t wait!
NEXT: Peter Gabriel does Peter Gabriel
New Blood, Peter Gabriel
Sticking with this week’s orchestral theme, New Blood came out earlier this month. The album picks up where Gabriel’s last, Scratch My Back, left off—only this time instead of covering other artists’ songs with an orchestra, he’s re-recorded his own classic tracks.
I’m not usually a fan of artists fiddling about with their canonical work— it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (See Kate Bush’s Director’s Cut.) But here, Gabriel actually does bring a bit of, well, new blood, to his back catalogue, taking these highly produced songs full of big ’80s beats and synths and recasting them with strings and brass. It may seem smarmy, but I’m a sucker for “In Your Eyes,” and the New Blood version brings out something truly majestic I never felt in the original.
NEXT: Kirsten Dunst does REM
“We All Go Back to Where We Belong,” REM
This week, REM released two videos for what I’m thinking of as their farewell single, “We All Go Back to Where We Belong.” The clips star Kirsten Dunst and poet John Giorno respectively, and the song is a lovely way to bid adieu to one of the greatest bands of the last 20 years.
NEXT: Marianne Faithfull does Halloween. Plus: New on CD
“Witches’ Song”, Marianne Faithfull
The Halloween season always makes me think of Marianne Faithfull’s “Witches’ Song” from her 1979 comeback album, Broken English. In this video, footage of Faithfull is spliced together with scenes from the 1922 silent film Haxan. Of course, if you’re partial to Juliana Hatfield’s cover from The Craft soundtrack, that’s pretty damn excellent as well.
OUT ON CD
Justin Bieber: Under the Mistletoe
Decemberists: Long Live the King
Miranda Lambert: Four The Record
FYI: REM’s best music was early on in their career, which falls outside of “the last 20 years.” Twenty years ago, they were preparing to jump the shark.
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