Flora, The Royal Chief, Joel leoJ, and more of the best local music videos

Cine Local Posts5

The thing we love about music videos is that they’re a way to not only experience the music of an artist, but also a means by which we can really see how they craft a vision of a song. Sometimes, it fits right in with the vibe of the track.

At others, it can be diametrically opposed to whatever sonic vibe might be going on. Still more go for a complete disconnect from reality. Whatever form a video might take, it’s always a joy when a new one pops into our inbox, and getting to share them out is always the highlight of the month. Here’s the latest batch of musical eye candy from artists in and around the area.

Woodland Ave., “Child’s Play” 

Woodland Ave. performs a live version of the final track on Flare Tha Rebel’s latest EP, The Revolution Will Not Be Hashtagged. The name of the group comes from the street name of the school where they met, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City.

The group is “a collective of four solo artists”: Flare Tha Rebel (vocals), Ryan Marquez (keys, vocals), Matt Phoenix (guitar, vocals), and Bob Pulliam (drums), the four who met back in the early ’00s, and joined by Lauren Williams (bass).

Much as we loved the original, this song really soars with a full band backing up Flare.

Flora, “Violets Are Blue” 

“Violets Are Blue” is the third single off Flora’s upcoming Emerald City LP, due out June 4. The young singer is backed on this track by Kenn Jankowski of The Republic Tigers on guest vocals, and the horns are played by Dave Gnojek and drums by Jim Barnes, all three of whom have local music resumes as long as your arm. Not for nothing does Flora’s uncle, Sam Billen, pop up to play the sax player in the video, which was directed by Blackstarkids’ live keyboard player, Jerry P. It’s an embarrassment of riches for a sunny song of heartbreak.

Marty Bush, “Papa Told Me” (live) 

Marty Bush has a lengthy local music resume which includes hardcore act Salt the Earth, synthwave act White Girl, and stoner metal band Hyborian, so his latest incarnation as a country troubadour ought not to come as a surprise to anyone who’s familiar with his talent.

This live version of “Papa Told Me,” comes from his first solo album, The Long Way Home, and marks yet another project for Bush. That project, Freestate Field Recordings, seeks to collect “high-quality live performances in non-studio settings” from local and regional artists, and this looks to be a fine start.

You can snag The Long Way Home on a compact disc or digital download at Bandcamp.

The Royal Chief, “What You Started” 

The Royal Chief’s new single, “What You Started,” has a basic theme, according to the Kansas City rapper. In an email, he described it simply as “a hip hop/funk record […] about meeting a woman at the club and getting lost in a drunken night.” Interestingly enough, as Chief explained in a Facebook post, “What You Started” is a track he’s been sitting on since 2019.

While the Royal Chief might’ve originally been worried the track didn’t live up to a certain expectation of perfection he had for himself, his recent turnaround and decision to release it is to the listener’s benefit because it’s a goddamn banger. The Taye Taye-directed video is a clever collection of performance hypeness and reality TV insanity and elevates the track into something brilliant.

The Life I Love, “Under the Radar” 

“We enjoy a simple approach to music that’s organic and free feeling,” writes pop-punk alt-rockers The Life I Love in the description for “Under the Radar.” The song is off their new EP, Let Free, and it’s a high-energy rocker, with the band’s performance in this video matched equally by the four people who run around in their underpants and have a pillow fight. It’s silly and it’s fun and it’s gloriously unpretentious.

You can stream Let Free on Spotify.

Miki P, “Peter Parker!” 

Here’s something you should know: in addition to being a wonderful songwriter, singer, and musician in general, Miki P is a badass drummer whose praises are far too often unsung. If you’ve had the joy of catching her playing with Stephonne, you know that she can hit as hard as anyone in the game right now.

While you get but a taste of what’s she’s capable in the video for her latest single, “Peter Parker!”, it lends a bouncy joy to a song that also features her accordion work and some choice Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst samples. Oh, and she directed the video, too. That’s talent.

Kye Colors, “Grateful” 

Last year on Kye’s birthday he released the song “Grateful”. This year for his birthday he decided to release the music video to it. It’s directed by Kendu, and you know that a Kye Colors and Kendu collab is going to be worth giving your eyes and ears over to. This one’s no different and captures the vibe of the song with a visual flair that seems effortless.

Joel leoJ, “Priceless” 

We first caught wind of Joel leoJ when he featured on Cuee’s brilliant 2021 single, “Ain’t Going Back,” and now he’s returned with his debut full-length, Priceless.

The MvMix-shot video is simple, but it’s all the better to showcase the rapper’s rhymes, which manage to run the gamut from religious to earthly without ever sounding off-kilter in this, the album’s title track. It’s a stellar start to an album that is poised to take over our warm-weather playlists.

You can stream Priceless on all major digital platforms.

Lee Walter Redding, “Song for Joolz” 

“I have a really cool kid who likes to dance, sing, act, eat pancakes, go camping, swim, chip teeth, read books, watch Ghostbusters, play Ghostbusters, throw baseballs threw windows, kick balls of all sizes, help others feel better, makes her dad laugh, keeps her parents awake at night, climbs anything and everything, performs elaborate plays, communicates telepathically with animals and talks 24/7. And here’s a song about it.”

After reading that and watching this video, we want to hang out with that kid.

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

Categories: Music