Perfect songs are few and far between, but when they find you, they change you.
I had an exalting experience this weekend when “Tibetan Pop Stars” by Hop Along barged into my Spotify playlist, reminding me what a galvanizing tune that is. It’s since embedded itself into my life in a way that no song since “Old Town Road” has been capable of. What a joyful experience.
It’s changed the way I listen to other music, and this week’s Local Frames has been brushed with optimism because of it. I feel the curiosity returning to me. The hope that, with the press of the play button, whatever song that begins could do the same. So go into this list with that curiosity, and perhaps you’ll find the same.
The Jolly Pops – “I Want a Puppy” (PREMIERE)
Kids’ music isn’t for everyone, but you’d need to be a sociopath to not love the new mission-driven tune from The Jolly Pops. The Pops teamed up with Secondhand Hounds for “I Want a Puppy,” a video that promotes responsible pet adoption in a rambunctious ‘80s metal parody. The children in the video (who are not adoptable) headbang and throw devil horns all while trying to convince their parents that they’ll take real good care of Fido. The song is the latest single from the upcoming album Bad Bad Dinosaur, which you can preview tonight at Bunker Hill Activities Center in Andover or next Sunday at the Parkway Theater.
Smellkin Ernesto – “Feel Okay” (PREMIERE)
Smellkin Ernesto’s recent family trip to Bogota, Colombia, turned into a bout of inspiration, becoming the basis for their new video for “Feel Okay.” This feels more like a home video than a vehicle for a lo-fi indie pop song, but that’s Ernesto’s style. Their music is unadorned and instantly familiar, which is why it doesn’t feel weird to watch Ernesto change pants in the streets of a South American city. “Feel Okay” is from Smellkin Ernesto’s February EP Cambios, and you can see them play June 20 at the Eagles Club and June 22 at Moon Palace.
Rob-1 – “Poor Baby”
Cedar-Riverside’s Rob-1 grew up in poverty, and he’s still fighting to climb up out of it. But luckily he’s got an iron will and a silver tongue. Rob-1’s new single “Poor Baby” outlines the benefits of growing up penniless, the way it makes you determined and how, once you remove money from your relationships, you can find true community. Director Jake Handegard of Morningside Film makes Rob-1 look like a down-and-out poet, cutting the video in a dire black and white.
Taylor Rouge – “Mirrors”
Reflecting isn’t as easy as looking in the mirror. It takes the courage to look beyond what’s peering back at you in the glass. You gotta go inside. Bloomington singer Taylor Rouge took a deep, deep look at herself in the new song “Mirrors,” and she came out of the experience feeling more empowered and motivated than ever. Director Matt Wales Media gives the experience life in a gorgeous video that posits inner beauty as life’s greatest virtue.
Mumblebug – “Boring”
Aaron Simic’s ADHD has prevented him from finishing a lot of things. As a musician, it’s been an obstacle to creation and distribution. However, Simic finally cracked the code to his brain, and the result is Mumblebug, a whispery bedroom-rock band whose average song is under two minutes long. “I make up everything on the spot with no second guessing and roll with it,” Simic says in an email. “This has been my way to finally let things out of my squishy brain for people to hear.” Mumblebug’s latest single “Boring” comes along with a lush visual by Khalid Silvers, showing the confusing yet vibrant world inside Simic’s head.
Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at [email protected]