Monthly Archives: December 2016

Top 5 Videos of 2016 #1 American Television – Explosions In This Guy

Here we are folks, this is big finish to our year in music videos, and taking the 2016 crown is American Television. These guys charmed the hell out of us with their 2015 debut music video “Optimist”, and their 2016 EP Reaction showed that 90s style pop-punk can still be relevant and fun as hell. “Explosions In This Guy”, a play on the bro-approved post-rock band (so much fist-pounding when I saw them at 9:30 in May), is our favorite music video of the year, and it’ll only take you a minute and a half to find out why. Director Brad Howard, who also gave us the recent romantic video by Cinema Hearts, presages the ridiculous creepy clown scare of Autumn 2016 with this brief tale of a bad day in the life of a children’s entertainer.

There’s going to be a lot more benefit shows in 2017 as DC struggles to adapt to the changing atmosphere. Start making plans in 2017 with American Television’s show to raise money for the International Rescue Committee at the Velvet Lounge on Saturday January 14th with Railsplitter and Washers. And we’ll be back in January to continue our mission to show you and everyone how DC rocks. Thanks for listening!


Top 5 Videos of 2016 #2: Wylder – Bitter

Indie folk band Wylder, and their debut full length album Rain and Laura, was my favorite find of 2016. They display a delightful mix of youthful exuberance and impressive pop music chops that really should land them on FM radio and select Pandora stations. Their debut video “Swells” is a ridiculously catchy earworm, but it’s the irresistible follow-up “Bitter” that lands as our #2 music video pick for 2016. Director Samuel Rogers delivered such a charming tale of singer Will McCarry’s quest for the last relic of a lost relationship. Bands like Near Northeast, Handsome Hound and Wylder are giving DC’s typical angular and moody sounds a refreshingly positive spin, and we are going to need that in 2017 like we never have before.


Top 5 Videos of 2016 #3: Ras Nebyu – No Love

Washington Slizzards crewleader Ras Nebyu made his musical mark on 2016 with his excellent third mixtape Slizzatrism. His music video highlight “No Love” originally surfaced back in 2015 as a SoundCloud single produced by Casito Del Frisco. Chop N Shoot Films, the studio responsible for a string of DMV hip-hop vids from Lightshow, Phil Ade, Godsilla and others, touches on Nabyu’s Ethiopian heritage and family in the “No Love” video, our pick for #3 DC music video of the year. Nebyu channels two alter egos, Malcolm and Drew, in singing the harsh breakup song and throwing a party to forget the heartache.


Top 5 Videos of 2016 #4: K.A.A.N. – Phoenix

K.A.A.N. – Knowledge Above All Nonsense. Columbia, MD rapper Brandon Perry has delivered anything but nonsense in his prolific output this past year. He kicked off the year with a 5 song EP called Eclectic Audio with epic and cinematic production work from ORBT. Since then he’s posted new songs to his SoundCloud at a rapid clip, mirroring his signature nimble vocal delivery. Many of the songs have been filmed as music videos, unmatched in quantity by any other in our area. The best of the bunch is the first one we featured, Perry’s violent and surreal tale “Phoenix”, with direction by Josh Sallee and Logan Meis. KAAN stands apart in the DC hip-hop scene, and is bound for rising fame in 2017.


Top 5 Videos of 2016 #5: Wall of Trophies – Never/Always

There are a handful of blogs that write about DC music, but only Hometown Sounds exhaustively covers all the music videos from any genre. We’re giving our last week of coverage in 2016 to our annual countdown of favorite DC music videos from the past year.

Will Copps and Brittany Jean Valint, together as Wall of Trophies, are greater than the sum of their parts. The tension between Valint’s warm and powerful vocals with Copps’s sinister production is best expressed on “Never/Always”, the second single from their debut full length album Heliograph. The song’s music video, shot and visually manipulated by the band in Amsterdam back in October 2014, is deceptively simple, reminiscent of The Chemical Brothers’s masterpiece “Star Guitar” by visionary director Michel Gondry. “Never/Always” is beautiful, mysterious and psychedelic, drawing viewers into the song and taking them on a meditative and hallucinatory journey looking out a car window at the city scrolling past.


Holiday Podcast for December 15th, 2016


It’s our 5th annual mix of DC holiday music! Also Tony’s feeling under the weather, so Paul serves up delicious cold remedies.

Aerialist – Little Drummer Boy [nuzak EP]
DuPont Brass – This Christmas [Christmas Time Is Here]
The Archives feat. Christos DC & Olivia Simone – Christmas Time Is Here [Dub Carols]
Kingsley Flood – We Three Kings
Andy Shea – What Child Is This [unreleased]
Gent & Jawns – Turn Up Ye Merry Gentlemen [A Very Decent Christmas]

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Aaron Tinjum & The Tangents – Oslo, California

Singer-songwriter Aaron Tinjum and his band The Tangents certainly made an interesting choice for the first music video from their newest full length album Foreign & Domestic. “Oslo, California”, a moody ballad suggesting heartbreak and loss, gets a lighthearted twist from animators Nathan Poljak and Kaitlyn Colhouer. The video depicts an adorable troll stuck in traffic, wistfully remembering better times.


Tarica June – 4-Unit (My Life)

Rapper Tarica June is unafraid to share her daily life struggles with the world. Her bare honesty about making ends meet and getting ahead as both lawyer and musician on her single “4-Unit (My Life)” stands in stark contrast with the braggadocio of her male counterparts in DC. The video was shot by Oleskii Osyka and edited by June herself, and comes from June’s free 5 song EP
Stream of Consciousness Vol. 1​.​5.


SHAED – Name On It (Live)

Synthpop trio SHAED is a rare example of a DC band making a determined play for national pop attention. A few months ago Zane Lowe, influential host on Apple Music’s Beats One station, premiered “Name On It”, the second single from SHAED’s EP Just Wanna See. Now watch twins Spencer and Max Ernst and singer Chelsea Lee belt out the funky, catchy track on this live video from House Studio DC.


Be Steadwell – Precarious Place

Whether backed by full band or just her own looped voice, queer singer Be Steadwell‘s songs always cut deep and yet retain a warm friendliness. Because of her solo setup’s simplicity, and her drive to create, she often drops single-take live singing videos that are captivating with their honesty and authenticity. Her latest is a heartbreak song called “Precarious Place”, well worth clicking through to view her lyrics on YouTube as the song plays. Catch her live Thursday night December 8th at Busboys & Poets in Takoma engaging in a “healing musical dialouge” called Black Soul Mantra with cellist Monica ‘Spirit’ McIntyre.