Music Archive

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    Toot toot! We are very, very excited to announce that we will be media partners of this year’s Secret 7" competition! If you don’t already know, Secret 7" is a project in aid of War Child that, for the past two years, has taken some of the world’s best songs and asked people to design record sleeves for specially printed vinyl.

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    Berlin-based sound designer David Kamp has worked for all the best animators around. You name them, he’s collaborated with them, from cult directors like David O’Reilly and Johnny Kelly, experimental studios like Quayola and Sagmeister & Walsh to MTV and Google. Why do they all go to him for him music and sound effects? Because he’s really, really good at making sensational sounds that add depth and emotion to already beautiful moving image pieces.

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    The year is 1998, the place is The Lake District, you’re sat at the pub with your mates about to head to the bangingest(!?) rave of your young adult life in a wood somewhere… and at the is point I’d like to pass you over to the polymathic Daniel Brereton and Erol Alkan who will take you by the hand and lead you through the rest of this ultra-euphoric, pill-free upper of a Monday Morning Music Video. Expect beautiful panoramic shots of English countryside and a brilliantly on-point set of subtitles. Perfect.

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    What a year for music videos! And before you think we’ve just put all of Beyonce’s 14 music videos in one list, think again. We didn’t even include Pharrell’s 24 hour masterpiece (we did put in the Kanye parody though, sorry). This list is a pick of the most graceful, interesting, intricate, watchable moving image pieces that have accompanied songs this year. This’ll kill a good half an hour while you’re bored to tears at home this Christmas. Enjoy!

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    Just over five years ago James Houston graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a project that blew minds across the country, programming a range of analogue gadgets to perform Radiohead’s Nude. Now he’s back with a rewritten christmas carol to warm the cockles of our stone-cold robotic hearts and a video with much higher production values than his debut. It’s still absolutely dumbfounding though. Sing with me! “Hail the machines, sweet old machines, blow off the dust, wipe off the rust…”

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    When you listen to Metronomy do you feel a creeping sensation of loneliness? I do, which is why this video from The Creators Project has struck a particularly raw nerve as it is set in space – the loneliest of all the places. Luckily for the lead, Joseph Mount himself, his cosmic voyage takes him to spots in the cosmos where other beings dwell. Meet smily meteor babe, King Child and sun lady. This is a fantastic video with effects similar to those of early episodes of Red Dwarf, perfect for the song, and directed by the clearly very talented Edouard Salier. Another reason to love Metronomy and space even more than you did five minutes ago.

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    Usually at Christmas I get a bit nostalgic with this slot; historically I’ve posted Wham!, Bing Crosby and David Bowie, so you’d be forgiven for thinking another Christmas classic was due. This year however, calls for a more serious bit of nostalgia, in the shape of one of the most memorable sets of music I’ve ever heard.

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    Can you hear that ringing noise? That’s the collective squeals of the millions of Beyonce fans who this morning had their minds BLOWN apart by the special lady releasing an entire album plus 17, yes 17 video previews. One minute she’s putting us off the scent by instagramming another vegan meal and the next minute she blows every single other pop star out the water with this unveiling. Genius. What are you still doing reading this? Watch all of the 30 second videos immediately so you can start joining in the imminent conversation around it. From now on, Friday will be renamed BEYDAY.

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    Woo! What a treat we have for you this week as Stephen Bass, co-owner of record label Moshi Moshi, has contributed by far the coolest mixtape we’ver had yet. In Stephen’s words, Moshi Moshi is “an independent record label and management company which has been swimming against the tide and trying to bang square pegs into round holes for 15 years this winter, balancing art and commerce and trying to enjoy it.” His mix of cellos, jazz and electronic dream music has been compiled today with a friday afternoon in mind. So, without further ado, here he is.

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    Let me invite you to take a moment out of your week to step into the collective moody weirdness of Devendra Banhart and Galen Pehrson, the animator responsible for the psychedelic video accompanying Devendra’s new single Taurobolium. Devendra Banhart stars in the form of his alter-ego, Mondo Taurobolium, a lilac-skinned, beaked man who’s found himself utterly disenchanted with the dark insincerity of Hollywood, while Gale, his ladyfriend played by Rose McGowan, accompanies him.

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    Anyone who’s read It’s Nice That for a while knows I’ve got a real soft spot for lo-fi videos of people dancing. I don’t know why I love them so much, but there’s something about the complete joy of seeing someone dancing without overly-produced choreography that really appeals. Anyway, the latest one to seduce me is this from Blood Orange, directed by the fantastic (and expertly-named) Alan Del Rio Ortiz. Stay warm!

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    After handing over our Friday Mixtape to the guys at NTS Radio last week we decided to treat you to our own studio’s taste once more. Look, no one said we were really cool and into trendy music, we’re into art and shit, yeah? Deal with it. This week we’ve got Jon Grant who got the top spot on the Rough Trade albums of 2013 list some Black Sabbath and some Tom Waits. What more could you ask for?! It’s Friday afternoon, crank. it. up.

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    This music video made me cry. Then my friend Greg watched it, and he cried as well. We don’t know how Emily Kai Bock does it, but everything she shoots seems to have this weird, emotional energy running through it – even the strip lighting in her films makes me feel giddy, romantic and lost.

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    The lyric video is a bit of a new phenomenon, but has given creatives confident with typography the opportunity to really strut their stuff. U2’s latest is beautifully penned and filmed by New York based creatives Oliver Jeffers (yes you probably recognise his handwriting) and filmmaker Mac Premo. Aptly shot, seductive type and some handy location scouting make this a beauty. Check it out here on Facebook.

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    If someone was to come swooping back into the limelight after a brief hiatus with a 24 hour music video, it was always gonna be Pharrell. 24 Hours of Happy is a music video that fills your browser window with scenes of Pharrell dancing around America, looking effortlessly cool and singing what could be the catchiest and genuinely happiest song of the year. Move the elegant, yellow clock around to see Pharrell doing his thing at different times of the day. Why make one music video when you can make 24? Silly people.

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    Seeing as music videos really started in MTV’s golden era of the early 80s, the great songs that were created before then sometimes get forgotten about by directors. But now with chart music at its very, very lowest, uninspired directors everywhere are turning to the musical heroes of yore and creating videos to accompany them.

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    Grace Helmer, Jake Evans and Luiz Stockler are all illustrators and animators that we’ve featured on the site before, either as part of our 2012 Graduates or in our Introducing feature. This is the first time we’ve seen there names listed together on the credits of creative project through, as they’ve all collaborated on the animation for Powster’s director’s cut of Bombay Bicycle Club’s latest track Carry Me. The original video was an interactive number that you could manipulate on screen, but that’s no good on YouTube, so Grace and co were enlisted to add some animated punch to a beautifully-shot project under the guidance of expert animator Anna Ginsburg.

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    When it comes to music, I think it’s fair to say that my taste is not hugely respected among my It’s Nice That colleagues. It’s probably jealously that I am not in slavish thrall to whatever manufactured hipster counterculture they’re being fed by tastemaking types with beards as full as their bank accounts. Or it’s because I quite like Les Miserables. Anyway with normal Monday Morning Music Video aficionado Alex Bec away this week, here I am delivering you a cracking musical-based start to your week.

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    We realise that sometimes the music we play in the It’s Nice That headquarters isn’t that “cool” so this week we’ve opened it up to our Twitter followers – yippee! The difference in quality is nothing short of astounding, and the wake up call to just how on the pulse we are in terms of popular music is more than a little unnerving. So here we are, a trendy playlist to dance walk you through the afternoon straight on to the dance floor. Bags on the floor, everyone in a circle, here we go…

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    Just so we’re clear, the woman in this video – which may or may not be Cate Le Bon herself – is living nothing short of a dream life. By day she sits making hand-thrown mugs on a potter’s wheel and smoking. She occasionally eats the odd pastry. By night this mysterious, boiler suit-clad woman takes off into woodland to observe bonfires with small children and later teach them the skills of the ceramics studio. Meanwhile, the mugs created by these wonderful people have come to life and are sparkling and fizzing away on the shelves like happy spirits. Now that’s what we call a music video. If I’m not mistaken, the little blonde girl making the mugs is the same girl as in Cate Le Bon’s last video.

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    What a whopper of a mix tape we’ve got for you this week! It’s Friday afternoon, it’s going to rain soon, so here we prescribe you with a healthy dose of R.Kelly, the Arctic Monkeys, Bjork, Panda Bear and the wonderfully named The Flamin’ Groovies. So what are you waiting for? Beers in the fridge, back on your chair, start digesting that overindulgent Friday lunch and crank this mother flipper UP.

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    When you make songs as beautiful as those of Cass McCombs you don’t want to go messing everything up and getting a dodgy video to accompany it. So when the time comes to put visuals to your melodies, you’d better give Patrick O’Dell a call and employ his youth-bringing lens to bring your song to life. In this case, Patrick has made a dreamy collage of old skateboarding clips from the days of yore, blending into each other in an endearingly home-made, double-exposure kind of way. Something about the combination of Cass’ nap-inducing voice and the footage of those kids swerving down suburban roads is enough to send you off a good old float down daydream river. See you later.

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    Apart from giving the early morning dancers of the 90s something to dance along to while they gnawed their own faces off, Massive Attack also had a super-big impact on the art world. This hefty (400 page) new publication produced by the Vinyl Factory documents the visual history of the band through the artwork of Massive Attack founder, Robert del Naja. Robert’s artwork and time spent with notorious Bristol art collective and sound system The Wild Bunch was a stepping stone in 90s counter-culture, and to see his importance reflected in such an enthralling book is a true honour. Typically, The Vinyl Factory have also released a special version of this book which is kind of a must-have for any Massive Attack fan, or even anyone who was in their early 20s in the 90s and can actually remember it.

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    Now I’m not usually one to quote press releases, but when a phrase as juicy as “a global party where everyone is dancing along to the end of the world” crops up, it begs to be repeated. The phrase is used to describe We Are Shining’s debut single directed by the Mill+’s fabulously talented Carl Addy and the video really doesn’t disappoint. The three minutes sees a tumblr exploration of hundreds of psychedelic, schizophrenic GIFs spliced together for an overall effect that literally had me on my feet. This single-handedly proves the worth of a stunning music vid to draw attention to new music – I for one cannot wait to hear what’s next for We Are Shining.

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    This week’s mix tape starts off with the first track on The Streets’ debut album which, when things get a bit stressful in the It’s Nice That office, always seems to get played to pump us all up. Maybe it’s because it reminds us of being all razzed up in the sixth form centre. We hope it has the same effect on you. Aside from that this week we’ve got some Roxy Music, some Cat Stevens and some psychedelic spooky stuff to get you in a halloweeny mood. So what are you waiting for? Lock the dial and crank it up!

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    Trust Devendra Banhart; beautiful melody-maker, artist, lover of Ana Kras and style icon to pop up with a game-changer of a video like this. Expertly shot, the story is of a young, black nun who escapes the confines of her convent and runs away to the big city where she becomes a glitzy, sexy television presenter. In between haunting imagery of her running through a monochrome forest in her habit, we are met with serene shots of her and Devendra dancing slowly side by side in a hypnotic, finger-clicking rhythm, the whites of their eyes boring into our own through our screens. This is how music videos should be: hypnotic, entrancing, stylish and perfectly in time with the music.

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    You’ve probably already clocked that most “spooky” Hallowe’en content isn’t actually that creepy, but this new music video from Glass Animals properly made us shudder. Maybe it’s because it shows beautiful orchids and wild flowers bursting out of the bloody wounds of some men lying in a dark, autumnal forest. The whole video, directed by Rafael Bonilla Jr, has a superb, jerky, stop-motion aesthetic kind of reminiscent of the style you see in that old Radiohead video for There There, but creepier. Watch if you dare!

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    This weekend the clocks went back in the UK, meaning the start of a stretch of pitch-black mornings and frosty evenings to keep us company until well into the new year. Usually, this would also mean the death of morning runs and fitness regimes, but the Dirty Projects are here to save us. Instead of rolling over and hitting snooze on that alarm clock, wack the dirty projectors in your ears and pretend you’re running through Yellowstone National Park, like this lucky chap. Breathtaking, impeccably timed stuff from Adam Newport Berra.

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    Right now in the studio we’re listening to Peg by Steely Dan and I’m here like “Why didn’t we put this on the mixtape?” But it’s too late, the mixtape has spoken. This week it’s a collaborative effort from all the music lovers at It’s Nice That. The selection is, as always, odd, but whoever said we were DJ’s? We’re a bloody publishing house, alright? Anyway, the tunes this week range from the new Kwes album to some early Rolling Stones to some flirty Snoop Dogg. Tantalising? You betcha. Crank it up and have a great Friday afternoon.

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    First you’ll try and work out how on earth Andrew Huang has managed to make the movement in this video so beguiling; stop frame? CGI? Magic? Then you’ll start forgetting that and become completely enthralled by the beautifully undulating landscapes before finally feeling totally inadequate by the sheer quality of what you’ve just watched. Well, you will do if you’re anything like me. Stunning stuff from a supremely talented director.

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    Oh hey guys! What better thing to do on a cold Friday than to put this playlist on for your colleagues and have a good old sing song to some classics ranging from Seu Jorge to David Bowie to Kevin Lyttle (don’t pretend you don’t remember the dulcet tones of Kevin). So all you gotta do is press play, sit back and enjoy your Friday afternoon with twelve songs to drive you slowly into the rabid jaws of the weekend…

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    Don’t ask me why this works, it doesn’t matter. Also don’t ask me who made this, that also doesn’t matter. All you do need to know is that NTS DJ and producer Kit Grill is making beautiful music and someone out there has found some totally entrancing old cycling footage to set it against. Stunning.

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    What a week! And what better way to round it off than with some slamming tunes. This week we’ve got an absolutely banging playlist with such hits as Pulp’s Sorted For E’s and Whizz, followed by some trippy Donovan track where he witters on about how much he loves his shirt. We end with an absolute banger from a 1990s girl band that isn’t The Spice Girls. Can you guess what it is yet? Don’t pretend you don’t know the whole intro off by heart. All together now!

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    Music videos don’t often spell out the title of the track, lest we forget the fruit of 2003 that was Stacey’s Mom, but this video actually feels like you’re crawling through the stars. Well, it doesn’t really, but it’s probably the same sensation. I’d imagine crawling through stars feels a bit like wading through glue, and seeing as this video makes you feel like you’ve sniffed a whole bottle of industrial adhesive, I’d say there’s a tenuous link in there somewhere. Senseless rambling aside, this is utterly brilliant. Watchable, stir-crazy, and a perfect accompaniment to the dulcet tones of Brooklyn five-piece, Crystal Stilts.

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    Your fingertips are bleeding, you’re suffering from malnutrition and dehydration, your brain feels like a shrivelled baked potato…it’s Friday afternoon! We’ve put together some fun songs to accompany that final push of the week, so send the youngest person in the office/studio/workshop to go and buy some beers, and get these 12 terrific tracks on the stereo for the rest of the day.

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    So it’s Monday morning, which usually means we greet you with a rousingly upbeat music video to perk you up for the week ahead. Not so this week. Instead we’ve got Keaton Henson, a man whose never written a song that couldn’t reduce you to tears and William Williamson, a film-maker who puts out incredibly honest and focussed short documentaries when he’s not shooting music videos. Together they’ve produced some incredible videos together and this latest piece for You is no exception. The concept is simple but it’s impeccably shot and the song is intense. Sorry if it makes you cry. Enjoy!

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    At first I couldn’t quite work out whether Tom Kenney’s new music video for Shit Robot was a too-easy-to-be-good stylistic cop-out, or a beautifully simple accompaniment to a great track. I’ve erred on the side of the latter, and ladies and gents, here it is – a guy who’s skin has turned into space. Have a great week.

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    Hipster rock anthems, what would phone adverts be without them these days, hm? It doesn’t seem that hard to make a catchy pub stereo fodder these days, perhaps because everyone can make music in their own bedroom and there are videos like this that give arguably entirely truthful advice on how to write a song. Not just any song, though, these are instructions on how to write a hipster song. Clapping? Tick. Lyrics about childhood? Tick? We have BuzzFeed to thank for a lot of things in life, but this cynical how-to video takes the biscuit. Everybody say “hey!”

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    There’s nothing I like more than a completely inexplicable music video, and this is from the top drawer. Even though I’ve sat through it four or five times now, I’ve still no idea why all of these snippets of moving image have been spliced together, I still also have no idea who is behind the madness, but you know what, I don’t think I care.

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    The Arcade Fire are back with a new track and in customary style they’re making the video process as complicated as possible. While most bands deem one promotional video to be sufficient for their requirements Canada’s biggest band has released two; one an interactive epic that seems to have involved everyone at Google Labs if the behind-the-scenes video is anything to go by, the other a dark piece of film noir directed by the legendary Anton Corbijn. And why the heck not eh? If you’re at the height of your creative powers and commercial success get as many videos made as you like.