Ice-cave love, wild elk, and deadly technology in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

iLLism, just being in love outside, as one does

iLLism, just being in love outside, as one does YouTube

January was a sick bastard of a month. Mercifully, it’s over.

February was ushered in by a burst of sunshine replacing the record-setting 72 percent cloudy days we had last month, a breakthrough that bodes well for the 29-day anomaly we’re starting this week. Feels like a new beginning. So let’s seize it with four straight weeks of the best local music videos, which starts in just a line break.

iLLism – “MNsota Nice”

Is any local couple more in love than Envy and Fancy of hip-hop duo iLLism? The pair lead their new video with the epigram “Go where you most feel alive,” and then they proceed to parade their affection across Minnesota’s most scenic locations. Accompanied by mood-setting saxophonist Willie Moore and co-director Gregory Marrufo, iLLism tour Bde Mka Ska, First Ave, and the Ice Castles, continually falling more in love with each other and the state that brought them together. 

Andy Cook – “If Walls Could Talk” (PREMIERE)

Old family footage has become a popular source for music videos. There’s just something about the grainy yesterdays that illuminate an artist’s perspective. On his new single, Andy Cook dug all the way back to the 1950s for inspiration. The local singer-songwriter’s parents and grandparents are the stars of the video, mowing lawns, riding carousels, and camping alongside elk in scenes stitched together by Cook. “If Walls Could Talk” is the first single off I’ll Be Fine, Cook’s forthcoming LP, due out in June on his record label Good Eye. Cook plays March 6 at the Hook and Ladder with Actual Wolf and Faith Boblett.

Hot Pink Hangover – “Drones”

Doused in a red mist, Hot Pink Hangover turn technophobia into a deadly delusion. The Minneapolis rock band’s latest single, “Drones,” is decidely less sexy than their last, but that’s what you get in the modern technopolis where anxiety turns to paranoia and autonomous spies fill the air around you. Director Dave VanderMolen finds a secure lair for the band to scream out their mounting insanity, far from the airborne eyes of Big Brother.

Reed Benjamin – “Winterblue”

Remember all the bad things I said about January up there at the top of the page? Through it all, it’s been hard to not fall into the morass of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Reed Benjamin gets it. He knows winter can be oppressive. He knows people that have frozen to death in the Minnesota cold. But there’s a beauty to the resilience it takes to survive, and that’s what his new song and video are all about. Benjamin and director Matt Wales are out here shivering in mittens to let you know that this struggle is in our blood, so there’s no need to grouch it up through February.

Original Slim ft. GainesFM – “Green Eyes”

Let’s end with an introduction. Original Slim just had his album release party in mid-January. The young Minnesota rapper is a protege of GainesFM and a member of the hard-edged rapper’s Free Minds crew. As such, he inherits FM’s relationship with director Robert Henry, who makes Slim look like a big deal in the video for “Green Eyes.” Rapping just above a mumble, Slim drips with style, dropping punchlines with a casual confidence that’s usually earned only after far more reps. 

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]