High Five in association withThe Immortal Awards

High Five Music Monthly: Al Risi

Music & Sound
New York, United States
Founder and music supervisor at Groove Guild, Al Risi, chews over five global music videos from the last month or so that each stir him in a different way

From a consumer point of view, I really just want a couple of things from a music video. Primarily to be entertained, but I also want to feel something. I want the combination of the song and visual to stir up some kind of emotion. That’s what all of these videos have in common: they are entertaining and they make me feel...mostly good - but that is besides the point. More to the point, these all stir some kind of emotion in me...

Mount Westmore - 'Big Subwoofer'

Director: Jesse Wellens and Sam Macaroni
Record label: Def Jam

It's hard not to love this hip-hop sci-fi adventure from the recently formed hip-hop supergroup Mount Westmore, featuring Snoop Dogg + Ice Cube + Too $hort + E-40. The video takes inspiration from sci-fi classics like 'Star Trek', 'Star Wars' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy' with lots of hip-hop flavour baked into it. The opening dialog of this video makes it worth your time alone...'planet Snoopiter' - classic Snoop! I feel like I got a contact high from watching the video. Snoop in general just puts a smile on my face and makes me feel immediately at ease. Seeing all of these hip-hop legends come together to make this silly fun video while putting their own musical stamp on it just makes me feel happy and definitely entertained.

Destroy Boys - 'All This Love'

Production: Lethal Amounts
Record label: Hopeless Records

No smoke and mirrors here, just a simply-shot intimate music video that delivers a raw, honest and personal performance that hits you right in the feels! I love the repeating melodic guitar hook over the chorus too. The raw and honest sensibility of this video taps a very familiar feeling that we all have experienced at some point in one way or another. It’s that feeling of loneliness and desire for companionship that makes you question your own role in your singleness, but this performance also has a sense of confidence - maybe even optimism - about what you have to offer a romantic partner. It’s conflicting and painful, yet hopeful and confident.

Michael Franti x Spearhead - 'Good Day for a Good Day'

I dig Michael Franti for the solid positive vibes he continuously puts into the world - especially right at this very moment in time, with this song and video. There are a lot of great lyrics in this song but I think we all can relate to: “We all need a little more love and a little more laughter a little more good vibes and less disaster.” The people in this video all feel like they are truly having a 'good day.'. What it makes me feel, in a word, is optimistic. The infectious sense of positivity is beyond contagious and a good reminder of the power of positive thought.

Baring All - 'Side Effects'

Director: Rohitash Rao

I’m not quite sure what to make of this song, but the creativity behind the stop motion animation is truly mesmerising. The whole experience is kind of like listening to Les Claypool, (only he’s a guitar player instead of a bass player), but his music sounds like the love child of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Sonic Youth, as interpreted by the guitar-playing Les Claypool, on mushrooms, while staring inside a medicine cabinet, at 3:47am, I assume. The cacophonous nature of the song itself makes me feel oddly uncomfortable. But somehow, when it is paired with this visual, there is a sense of intrigue that comes with a weird paralysis that does not allow me to look away, for even a second, until the video is over.

Ya Tseen - Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Production: NPR / Tiny Desk Music

In honour of Native American Heritage Month, I want to bend the rules just a bit and include an episode of Tiny Desk (Home) Concert by Ya Tseen. This video is shot live at Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi community house, home of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and wins my heart on overall vibe and aesthetic alone. That said, the combination of the electronic and acoustic instrumentation blended with organic sounds in this amazing sounding room makes it all gel together perfectly. Listen with a headset! I feel like I’m in the same room, in a very zen state of mind. This entire performance gives off such an authentic and genuine sense of warmth, and it's not just from the first pit right in the middle of the studio, which is a nice touch. The organic instrumentation, voices and handclaps included give the music such a human connection that it conjures up a sense of innate warmth and calmness.