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TV madness, family photos, and Kirk Cousins redemption in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

Naél

Naél

Two weeks in, how you doin’?

This year already feels like a hallucination. An entire continent is on fire, the world’s dumbest leader has been impeached, and another war in the Middle East is fomenting. Fuck. What could possibly pull us out of this dystopian death spiral?

Probably not local music, but it’s worth a shot. This week, I’ve mixed up a five-part cocktail that includes a little bit of everything. There’s angry hardcore, resplendent folk, sports rap, and even soft R&B. All topped with a nice live video. Let it be a brief tonic to this rapidly unraveling year.

The Motion Mosaic – “Nirvana”

There isn’t nearly enough metal in Local Frames, so we’re kicking off this edition with a five-minute throwdown from Twin Cities band the Motion Mosaic. “Nirvana” is not quite as peaceful as the name might suggest. Surrounded by a wall of staticky TVs, the band thrashes around, with singer Spencer Hanton reaching down deep into his gut to pull out some growling vocals. Trevor Sweeney directs.

Greta Ruth – “Heaven After”

Folk artist Greta Ruth is back with her Super 8. Last winter, she released a homey vision for “A World Perhaps,” and now she follows up with the serene handmade video for “Heaven After,” an attempt to bring an old photograph of her grandmother to life. The photo, which is the same as the one on the cover of the single, was taken when her grandmother was 16 in her hometown of Beschka, in what was then Yugoslavia. Ruth borrows her forebear’s dark glasses and sweater, standing in a field with her guitar as she reaches back through time.

Alex Matthew – “Random (Vikings Hype Song)”

The Minnesota Vikings could’ve used Alex Matthew’s G-Eazy remix “Random” before their game on Saturday. “Random (Vikings Hype Song)” was hoping to usher in a new dynasty following the team’s ass-whoopin’ of the much-hated Saints. That will have to wait another year, but Matthews’ well-rapped homage to the 2019-20 season can help recontextualize this weekend’s loss. Give it a watch, and maybe you’ll feel bad about all those Kirk Cousins hate Tweets you sent on Saturday.

Naél – “Reciprocate”

I had never heard of Naél until Jordan Lyga sent me an email with his new video this past week, and I’m glad to be smartened up. The singer, who is also a member of the local artist collective Clickbait, drips with a retro smoothness that’s not often seen. The dude is just cool, and the stylish video for “Reciprocate” is visual proof. Directed by Justin "Jojo" Ofori-Atta, “Reciprocate” is a catalog of Naél’s best looks, exhibiting far too much steeze for such a heartbreaking song.

pure SHIFTER – “No Mind” (live)

Ever wonder how pure SHIFTER create all those wacky sound effects? Their recent performance of “No Mind” on Radio K provides some clarity, but it’s still surreal and beguiling to watch John Genz sing while a mewling filter echoes him in nigh-angelic octaves. Perhaps it has something to do with all those knobs Doug Deitchler is twisting between his dance moves. Better watch this one twice to get a better idea. Or better yet go see pure SHIFTER, Flip Rushmore, Denim Matriarch, and Vial at the Entry on Friday.

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