Ten Rapid: Latest videos from Savages, Courtney Love, Honeyblood and more
The soundtrack to your weekend from The Skinny, also featuring new tracks from Death In Vegas main man Richard Fearless, Garbage featuring Brody Dalle, grunge-era veterans The Afghan Whigs, spoken word sensation Kate Tempest and more
In this week's Ten Rapid playlist, we showcase videos from Savages, who share an atmospheric live performance; Richard Fearless, the main man behind Death In Vegas, makes a welcome return; Sweden's Little Dragon go on a rural road trip; alt.rap star Akira The Don delivers his swansong; Kate Tempest takes on The Beigeness; and we deliver a triple (or even quadruple!) whammy of videos from female-fronted rock bands, with the new single from Honeyblood, the return of Courtney Love, and Garbage in collaboration with Brody Dalle. We'll finish up with a live track from The Afghan Whigs, and some gorgeous electronica from Gold Panda affiliate Glitterbug. Everyone ready? Let's dive in!
"Don't let the fuckers get you down," sings Jehnny Beth on Fuckers, one of the standout cuts from Silence Yourself, the debut album by Savages. We interviewed Jehnny Beth on the album's release back in April of last year, and she told us about the singlemindedness with which she and her bandmates pursue their goals. "Guitar music has been adrift in a way," she told us. "Bands are the same, and to be in one with a direction is kind of an old school thing, almost like it was gone." The video for Fuckers was directed by Giorgio Testi of Pulse Films.
"I wanted to do a video that was more related to my more conceptual based abstract photography I'm doing at the moment," says Richard Fearless of his new video, Higher Electronic States. The Death In Vegas main man has been DJing and pursuing other art forms, and we haven't heard from the band since 2011's Trans-Love Energies album, aside from the odd remix. To have Fearless back on production duties, and delivering a pounding slab of analogue techno, is a joy indeed. "I wanted to make a track I could end my sets with and I didn't want to do a video that competed against it, but instead to do a non narrative film to simply drive Higher Electronic States." The clip is directed by Fearless himself, with assistance from Olly Wade of Chapeau London.
Sweden's Little Dragon, synth-pop sensations, deliver a very funny video for their track Paris next, taken from the album Nabuma Rubberband. The video, directed by Trevor Kane, chronicles a rural road trip, with the band's singer Yukimi Nagano and her band crossing the country in a combi van, stopping to check out some pretty dull tourist spots.
Akira The Don has been making videos and releasing his music independently since 2004, putting out more than a dozen albums, EPs and mixtapes in that time. His videos have steadily increased in scale, scope, ambition and budget, veering wildly between pop, rap, indie rock and electronica. For Lately, he travelled to the Californian desert to shoot with director Adam Egypt Mortimer, inspired by the landscape called home by Trevor Philips in Grand Theft Auto V. It's an impressive mini-movie, and a fitting final video from the rapper and producer, who has confirmed on his website that this will be his last outing as Akira The Don. He's moving to LA after his final gig in London's Surya on 19 May to pursue a different career, but you can cop his final album, A.T.D.R.I.P., from his site.
Next it's the turn of spoken word artist and rapper Kate Tempest, who after conquering the performance poetry scene in London and beyond, recording with her first band Sound Of Rum, guesting on tracks by Bastille and Sinead O'Connor amongst others, and publishing plays and collections of poetry, has now signed to Big Dada and recorded an album of super-dope hip-hop jams. Veteran producer Dan Carey has done an incredible job of pairing her honest, observational lyrics with fresh, forward-thinking beats on Everybody Down – we're looking forward to its release on 19 May.
Next, it's the new single from hotly-tipped Glasgow nouveau grunge duo Honeyblood, with a standout track from their debut, self-titled album which we are awaiting feverishly. It drops on 14 July. We visited Honeyblood in the studio recently to chat to Stina Tweeddale and Shona McVicar about the making of their debut, and they told us about the joy of being in an all-female band. "When you’re in a band with three boys they just poke fun at you all the time," Tweeddale told us. We also chummed the band along to this year's SxSW, where we followed them around with a camera – watch the film here.
Courtney Love is back, and touring, twenty years on from the release of Hole's classic Live Through This, and the death of her husband Kurt Cobain. Rather than play a revival tour, she's written some new tracks, and will be drawing on material from her under-rated solo album America's Sweetheart, also celebrating its 10th anniversary. You Know My Name was released as a single last week. Love plays Manchester's O2 Academy on 13 May, Glasgow's O2 Academy on 15 May, and a string of other dates throughout the UK.
Garbage are another female-fronted band with a strong 90s pedigree – here, Shirley Manson teams up with Distillers front-woman Brody Dalle, who has just released her own album, Diploid Love – we caught up with Dalle last issue to talk about the challenges of balancing motherhood and a career in rock music. "I’m not like Nick Cave where you go into the office and you sit down and you work from 9 to 5," Dalle told us. "I’ve never been that kind of artist. It just happens. You go through a phase when ideas come and they to start to flow through you." This collaboration was featured on a special 10" recorded for Record Store Day.
Next up, a live session track from revitalised grunge-era titans The Afghan Whigs. Greg Dulli spoke to us in April about their new album Do To The Beast, taking us on a track-by-track journey through their first album since 1965, released 16 years ago. "I think we always confounded expectations – it’s the band we were, it’s the band we are," Dulli told us. "The records we made were wildly out of step with what other people were doing, so welcome back to that. Of course, we're engaging a legacy too, but at this point in life you do what you want and you do it the best you can..." Check the band out in full, fiery flow on Later... with Jools Holland tonight.
And finally, a track of stately, majestic electronica from Germany's Glitterbug, aka Til Rohmann, signed to Gold Panda's NOTOWN Recordings. Inspired by the work of Brian Eno and Derek Jarman, he makes the kind of expansive electronica that evokes stark landscapes and the shadow-play of natural light, and in the video, directed by Ronni Shendar, these are exactly the kind of scenes depicted. Deserts, mountains and riverbeds drift dreamily past the camera as the beatless electronic compositions of Rohmann pulse and glow. It's the perfect end to our Friday playlist.
That's us finished for another week! If you want to cue up the whole playlist, see below, or visit The Skinny's YouTube channel, where you'll find regular video premieres from the likes of Lady North, The Skull Defekts and Randolph's Leap, plus forthcoming exclusive live sessions from We Were Promised Jetpacks, Prides, and more. You can also check out past playlists on our website, under Ten Rapid.