Sonder is a group composed of singer Brent Faiyaz and producers Atu and Dpat; recently, they released their debut music video for "Too Fast" off of their Into EP. The video, directed by Noah Lee, beautifully depicts birth (the boy), death (the man) and rebirth (the baby) as Brent walks through a flock of sheep. More interestingly, however, the video ends with the man returning to the Earth as "a fetus enclosed in a transparent orb of light" lowers from the sky. Stream Into below, and buy it here.
Honestly, I was never really put onto Sade as a youth nor do I know much of her catalogue of music. I have listened to her a bit here and there but to self-describe myself as a true fan would be false. Although, from what I've heard, I know Sade is truly one of those best-of-all-time types and her level of credence is above most. So when Brooklyn-based DJ/producer VACATIONS (John McSwain) decided to mash-up a few of Drake's More Life tracks with the UK songstress, it doesn't take any stretch of the imagination to know it works. Stream it below and download it here (alongside the absent "Never Thought I'd See the Passionfruit").
The Emptiness, as Alex puts it, is "the music itself" and "Alex Bent is the Emptiness." In other words, it's the creative void that he feels as a singer-songwriter based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Last week, his newest single, "Vanilla Blue," was released alongside its very own music video directed by Riley Deacon. The song itself was inspired by different interpretations of the words "Vanilla Blue," one of which struggles with "a sweet kind of sadness." The video begins with a brief intro before it is properly interrupted with guitar-driven, occasionally barking production where Alex's voice cuts through. Enticingly, everything holds up and complements each other rather nicely (seriously, like my text to Riley said: “this ... is really fucking good”). From the song itself to the video, "Vanilla Blue" is a bona fide hit — the type of thing I show to others to try and put them on to an artist. That being said, I've definitely become a fan. Keep watch as Alex Bent + The Emptiness have an upcoming album releasing later this year. You can download and stream "Vanilla Blue" here.
"She see money all around me
I look like I'm the man, yeah
But I was down and out like last week
Tell me where have you been?
You came out of hiding, girl
Don't act like I'm your man
You just a fan, you don't hold rank
Don't hold no rank"
Last year, director Makoto Shinkai returned to the silver screen with his latest work entitled, Your Name, a film depicting two youths inexplicably switching bodies in a romantic fantasy drama. It received universal acclaim and I am still patiently waiting for a Western release or fansub to appear. However, in 2007, Shinkai released another emotionally-driven film, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and it focused on the relationship between a boy and a girl in Japan. The story itself reminds me of "On Seeing The 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning" by Haruki Murakami—and the even more recent film La La Land (directed by Damien Chazelle) to an extent—wherein a man and woman end up passing each other by on the street, and ultimately, passing each other by in life.
While all of the aforementioned stories depict a bright, piercing romance, they perhaps even more so depict the disheartening inevitability of fate. Similarly, all of these stories and themes cry parallel to Frank Ocean's momentous release of Endless and Blonde last summer. On the former, a song called "Wither" plays after eight other excellently crafted tracks. The song's title itself is a homophone between "Wither" and "With Her"; while the subject matter describes the revivification of another relationship between two lovers. Frank sings about his time spent with his significant other, and as all good things must end, he reflects upon his time with her and how he has undeniably "enjoyed sunshine." In sum, the pairing of Makoto Shinkai and Frank Ocean is not that far of a reach at all.