Amira Wang, Merlin, Y god Y, and more of the best local music videos

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our latest roundup of local music videos. Not only do all of these tracks sound amazing, they look great, too. Be it hip-hop from Amira Wang or Aaron Alexander & Zarin Micheal, or Merlin’s skronky doom metal, or Y god Y’s danceable pop, there’s something upon which to affix your eyeballs and perk up your ears.

Amira Wang, “Let the Beat Go” 

Like a sunny take on Missy Elliott’s video for “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” the visuals for Amira Wang’s “Let the Beat Go” embrace herky-jerky movements and a fisheye lens. The beat rides along, and when Wang says “Can’t no motherfucker stop us,” you best believe that. You can snag the track, along with six others, on the EP Rap Game Ragu, which is streaming via Spotify

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Merlin, “Tales of the Wasteland” live

This live version of “Tales of Wasteland” is from the band’s upcoming live DVD, Dank Souls and Dark Weed: Prepare to Die Edition. The song is the closing cut on the band’s 2016 album, Electric Children, and it’s an epic piece inspired by Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, as well as a soupçon of Sleep’s Holy Mountain. The audio version of Dank Souls and Dark Weed — recorded live at the Riot Room on June 27, 2018 — has been on Bandcamp since October, and it’s a solid jam that showcases the band’s robust six-piece lineup.

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Kartez Marcel, “Groove” 

It might be cold as fuck outside, but “Groove” is a windows-down, volume-up cruising jam if ever there was one. The title’s no idle boast. This cut is smooth as silk, and the chill-as-hell vibe of the video — Marcel and a crew of friends riding around, drinking, and getting Chinese food — compliments the track to a T.

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Y god Y, “Say”

The Weston Allen-directed video for Y god Y’s “Say” alternates between Blair Witch Project-style VHS footage and the members of the self-described “weird pop” duo dancing in parkas. The debut single from the band’s upcoming EP on High Dive is driving and dancey as hell, melding modern sounds with some mid-’80s vibes so perfectly that I almost expected a sax solo at the end.

You can pre-order Y god Y’s self-titled EP standard black and limited edition half-white, half-black vinyl from the High Dive Records store. It’s due out Friday, April 5.

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Aaron Alexander, “YBB” feat. Zarin Micheal

I appreciate the hubris of a 20-second intro on a song that doesn’t even break the two-minute mark. Alexander and Micheal don’t even appear together in this split-screen video for Fearless Worldwide, but they play off one another like they were right there side-by-side. The flip from Aaron Alexander’s laid-back flow to Zarin Micheal’s powerful spitting is amazing, but by the time you’ve got a chance to take it all in, it’s done.

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Carswell & Hope, “Nothing Compares 2 U” feat. Katlyn Conroy

Warm up for this year’s “Songs From Ireland” at Lawrence’s Liberty Hall with this performance from last year’s edition. La Guerre’s Katlyn Conroy performs the Prince-written song from Sinead O’Connor’s 1990 album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. Songs From Ireland this year takes place at Liberty Hall on Friday, March 8, with Carswell & Hope, Conroy, Sky Smeed, Betse Ellis & Brett Hodges, and Céilí at the Crossroads. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Audio-Reader Network. Details on that show here

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The Arsonists, “Alex” 

Jesus. Directors Jacob Schermerhorn and Daniel Sedlacek have created a video that resonates just as strongly as lyrics like “I’m young, but I’m not dumb/ Three shot dead in my hometown.” The audio and visual package is a strong endorsement of the March for Our Lives movement, started by the survivors of last year’s Parkland shooting, whose mission statement proclaims that they “cannot allow the normalization of gun violence to continue.” The song by the young Lawrence band is Queen by way of My Chemical Romance, and we mean that in the most complimentary way as to its raw, stripped emotional state.

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Are you a local musician with a new video to share? Email nicholas.spacek@gmail.com

Categories: Music