Category Archives: video

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.


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.


KAAN – Just Another Day

Just another day, just another K.A.A.N. video. By my count, rapper Brandon Perry has published an astounding 10 music videos so far in 2016, and there’s still a few weeks left. The_Faiz_Phase delivers both the woozy beats and the flickering VHS-style music video for “Just Another Day”, while K.A.A.N. provides his signature precise and rapid-fire delivery. K.A.A.N. is the best reason to get a SoundCloud account to keep up with his frequent releases.


Wylder – We’re On Our Way feat. Skout (Out Loud Session)

Hey, remember a month ago when we featured indie folk band Wylder playing an Out Loud Session? Here’s another live cut from the same rooftop, with singer Will McCarry and violinist Lavar Edmonds collaborating with Brooklyn’s Skout to cover “We’re On Our Way”, a song from the 2011 EP The Bastards Vol. 1 by Jacksonville FL’s Radical Face. Wylder opens for The Riverbreaks Saturday night at Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown.


Hand Grenade Job – July

Hand Grenade Job describe their lo-fi sound as “post-Americana”. The duo of guitarist Beck Levy and drummer Erin McCarley have strong punk and indie rock backgrounds from bands like Pygmy Lush, Turboslut and Governess, but their vibe on the new single “July” channels their love of John Fahey’s American Primitive Guitar. Their debut album Devotionals comes out in Februray on Sister Polygon Records, the DIY label run by members of neo-punk band Priests, and yesterday the band released the debut single’s music video. Levy directed and filmed the video in simple handheld style, suggesting a narrative of feminist awakening.

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Wall of Trophies – Trees (Live)

Wall of Trophies began as a long distance collaboration between singer Brittney Jean and producer Will Copps while he was stationed abroad in Germany. They released their excellent and atmospheric album Heliograph earlier this year, but couldn’t play any live shows to promote its release. Well now Copps has returned to our area and, to be honest, we at Hometown Sounds have been politely hounding them to play their dreamy, mysterious electronic pop music live. Their first show was a secret exclusive at Sofar Sounds DC, and their second took place a couple of weekends ago by the Washington Monument, on a dragon (why not?), for the Catharsis on the Mall post-election healing vigil. For those poor souls that missed it, here’s a live video of Will and Brittney playing “Trees” from Heliograph. And come see their next show with us, whenever it is.


Cinema Hearts – I Want You (But I Don’t Need You)

Last week dreamy indie pop trio Cinema Hearts released their second music video from their debut album Feels Like Forever. “I Want You (But I Don’t Need You)” is the perfect vehicle for singer Caroline Weinroth’s darling vocal delivery, with a retro 50s style radio single about love and assertiveness. The music video, directed by Brad Howard and produced by Weinroth, leverages her background in musical theater to create an “Enchantment under the Sea” worthy dance extravaganza with matching outfits and dance moves.