David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Sampha
"(No-One Knows Me) Like The Piano"
3 mins 50s
8 February 2017
UK Promos

Sampha - starting to become known as 'the musician's musician' - tinkles the ivories sparingly as he explains how the piano in his mother's home set him on his journey. British model Adwoa Aboah moves around the almost empty room listening as if he were her son. There is a 3D VR version available, which suits the promo's minimalism.

Adidas
"Creativity"

Stephen said:

So.


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Recent Promos

Macy Gray
"White Man"
3 mins 25s
27 Mar 2017
'White Man' is Macy Gray's comment on contemporary America, reminding us all that some people are still considered more equal than others. Fatima Andrade Koehler's accompanying clip features some terrific choreography as two women - one black, one white - confront each other while their hung-out laundry dries behind them (nice metaphor).

Rag'n'Bone Man
"Skin"
4 mins 27s
27 Mar 2017
Rag'n'Bone Man delivers an a capella intro to 'Skin' against a wasteland backdrop that is as beautiful as it is austere. It sets the scene for what follows: a young boy picking his way through a post-apocalyptic small town searching for signs of any other human life. The landscape is the real star here - empty, sweeping vistas of Kazakhstan give Rag'n'Bone Man's plangent tones a different kind of depth.

Run The Jewels
"Legend Has It"
4 mins 03s
24 Mar 2017
Brian Beletic puts Run The Jewels duo Killer Mike and EL-P in a mind-melting police line-up for their latest release. The promo suggests the dice are loaded against them, especially when others in the line-up include a nun, a schoolgirl, and a guy in a full-body plaster cast. Or are we just assuming that's the case? Stick around for the ending to find out.

High Contrast
"Questions (ft. Boy Matthews)"
3 mins 15s
23 Mar 2017
They say you should always put your smartphone to one side at bedtime. Give the brain a chance to switch off. Well, someone forgot to tell this young man. This hyperactive promo for High Contrast’s ‘Questions’ shows what happens when desire refuses to rest. Starting with his dream woman, the film dives deeper and deeper into the protagonist’s subconscious.

Joe Goddard
"Home"
4 mins 56s
23 Mar 2017
Hot Chip's Joe Goddard pays tribute to those hazy cab rides home with his latest solo effort. This clubber's all tuckered out after pulling an all-nighter... but the party's only just begun. His imagination (possibly chemically-enhanced) takes flight as early morning London morphs into a Technicolour discotheque with an animated Goddard on the decks.

Police Dog Hogan
"Tyburn Jig"
3 mins 41s
22 Mar 2017
The bluegrass band formed by Blink's James Studholme gets a promo packed with Victorian ne'er-do-wells for their latest single 'Tyburn Jig'. Director Fred Rowson turns the band into arrestingly sinister crims bound for Tyburn over misdemeanours such as organ harvesting, hysteria, and cat strangling. Even their names are inspired: with a moniker like Mildred Battyfang, you're doomed from the word go.

Goldie
"I Adore You"
3 mins 37s
22 Mar 2017
The talented Stephen Graham steps up for Goldie's single 'I Adore You', playing a prisoner whose sole purpose in life is maintaining a bond with his young daughter. All-too-brief visits on day release leave him seeking other ways to connect with her, and so he records tapes she can listen to as he replays precious moments with her in his mind.

Unkle
"Cowboys or Indians"
4 mins 04s
20 Mar 2017
Unkle may be a constantly changing act, but they know when consistency pays off. 'Cowboys or Indians' is their latest collaboration with directors Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton-Jones, and the pair deliver a typically trippy promo. Murky shades and hues ooze across the screen as bodies shift in and out of focus.

The Moonlandingz
"The Strangle Of Anna"
3 mins 40s
20 Mar 2017
Ah... Lias Saoudi. Where to start? The louche frontman of Fat White Family has an alter ego - Johnny Rocket - who sings with The Moonlandingz; a band that is, in itself, an alter ego for the Eccentronic Research Council. Here, his wasted hero sings an elegy to a woman called Anna while Slow Club's Rebecca Taylor comes on like a Yorkshire Julee Cruise.

The Weeknd
"I Feel It Coming (ft. Daft Punk)"
4 mins 56s
21 Mar 2017
Fresh from their on-stage collaboration at the Grammys, The Weeknd and Daft Punk star in this slice of retro sci-fi for ‘I Feel It Coming’. The Canadian singer mourns the loss of his celestial amour as he mooches about, stranded on a rocky planet like an ill-fated love interest from Space 1999. The early MTV video aesthetic - complete with control track flickers – is terrific; ideal for the track’s summery Eighties vibe.

Refuge
"Grow"
4 mins 04s
20 Mar 2017
Delicate animation and an apt song choice drive this emotive piece of work from Refuge. Lyrics from Frances's 'Grow' take on new meaning as Melanie drifts through her daily life, knowing an abusive partner awaits at home. While she appears transparent throughout, the advertised charity provides the vital support she needs to feel whole again.

Oyinda
"Serpentine"
4 mins 48s
16 Mar 2017
Born in Nigeria and raised in London, Oyinda could be the artist who saves contemporary R&B from disappearing up its own stultified fundament. Her music is intelligent and unexpectedly shot through with electronic influences: surprisingly it reminds us of early Portishead in its after-the-party mood of alienation. Pussykrew's accomplished video takes that mood and runs with it... to a very different place.

Glass Animals
"Pork Soda"
4 mins 14s
15 Mar 2017
The Oxford quartet have released another track from last August's album 'How To Be A Human Being' - their alluringly-named 'Pork Soda'. Catchy but bonkers in a way only Glass Animals can be, the song comes with an equally out-there video by Eoin Glaister and involves an elderly couple, a human dog, and some very strange infomercials.

6lack
"Free"
4 mins 16s
15 Mar 2017
6lack's new release seems to be all about those miserable relationships where you're never into each other at the same time. And Andrew Donoho's promo suggests that the unhinged fan 6lack wants more from him than he expected. Yes: it turns out she is a black widow spider weaving her web around her prey.

Ray Blk
"Patience"
3 mins 18s
9 Mar 2017
BBC Sound of 2017 winner Ray BLK urges caution for those with pound signs in their eyes. In today's get-rich-without-trying world, "Don't let the moolah make you blind" sounds even more pertinent. The promo's close-knit setting serves her grounded lyrics well, with director Hector Dockrill deftly flitting between BLK and the salon’s clientele.

Vaults
"Hurricane"
3 mins 20s
9 Mar 2017
The moody new track from Vaults explores the familiar subject of broken relationships, and comes with a promo suggesting the ties that bind us can sometimes drag us down. Like a contemporary tableau vivant, it opens on a man and woman in a stylised woodland glade... but their innocent-looking intimacy is as oppressive as it is tender. Classily directed by Bullion's Alexander Green.

High Contrast
"Shotgun Mouthwash"
3 mins 50s
8 Mar 2017
What do you do when your audience violently accosts you while you perform? You make like Marina Abramovic and carry on regardless. The promo for High Contrast's 'Shotgun Mouthwash' by Favourite Colour: Black takes the artist as its inspiration and shows the band playing on even as singer Lincoln Barrett is spat on, stabbed, and finally strangled.

Marika Hackman
"Boyfriend"
4 mins 06s
28 Feb 2017
Marika Hackman’s ‘Boyfriend’ receives a wry promo courtesy of Libby Wilde Burke. We watch an all-male band begin their set. They’ve got it all: sleeve tattoos, leather jackets, and well-managed manes… if only their instruments were plugged in. While the crowd automatically sways to these faux-rockers, Hackman and backing band The Big Moon bring the noise upstairs.

Vancouver Sleep Clinic
"Someone To Stay"
4 mins 11s
22 Feb 2017
There’s a hint of Bon Iver to Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s ‘Someone to Stay’. Mister Clinic a.k.a. Tim Bettinson delivers a wistful ballad which should chime with anyone who’s endured a rough patch. Director Georgia Hudson brings an other-worldly feel to suburbia as Bettinson chases a will-o'-the-wisp through the streets. Suitably dreamlike.

The Chainsmokers
"Paris"
3 mins 42s
22 Feb 2017
This promo for 'Paris' reminds us of the Ikea 'Beds' ad by Juan Cabral, with a dash of 'Up' thrown in for good measure. A mournful young woman (Victoria's Secret model Martha Hunt) drifts through her home and realises it's floating into the sky. She prepares to jump out of the window... what will happen? Classy photography and grading enhances the dreamlike feel.

Leningrad
"Kolshik"
4 mins 16s
17 Feb 2017
Ilya Naishuller turns a night at the circus into a symphony of destruction in this astonishing promo for Leningrad’s ‘Kolshik’. Beginning on a thick plume of black smoke, the video slowly reveals what caused this audience to flee in terror. It’s one of the more demented examples of the butterfly effect you’re likely to see.

Skott
"Glitter And Gloss"
3 mins 33s
14 Feb 2017
Skott's 'Glitter and Gloss' has the kind of electro alt-pop sound you expect from your typical Scandi artist, and brings with it a cool promo to match. Cryptic journeys across frozen landscapes, singers lurking in freezing mansions; a colour palette that gives your eyeballs frostbite. Good stuff... brrrrrr.

Arman Cekin
"California Dreaming (ft Paul Rey & Snoop Dogg)"
3 mins 46s
14 Feb 2017
Arman Cekin's release gets a trippy video courtesy of directing trio Youth Hymns. Snoop, elegantly spotlit at a piano, plays a few chords... then takes a hit of his joint. The mood changes as we're led into his mind; a brightly-coloured cartoonish world where he and singer Paul Rey conjure up a California lifestyle full of the requisite babes, boulevards and, er, bongo brains.

Katy Perry
"Chained To The Rhythm (ft Skip Marley)"
3 mins 55s
15 Feb 2017
A human hand reaches down from above deus ex machina-style - to prepare a miniature meal in a miniature kitchen in Katy Perry's latest single. The diner? A celebrity hamster jaded by life in a bubble. We love the conceit and the painstaking care with which it's executed, although the track itself will probably have limited appeal for anyone over eight years old.

M.I.A.
"P.O.W.A."
3 mins 49s
10 Feb 2017
M.I.A. has had some epics promos to accompany her music - one of our all-time faves being 'Bad Girls' by Romain Gavras. Quite a lot to live up to - but this self-directed promo is up there with the best and features some of the most compelling choreography we've seen in a while.

Recent Promos

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