While you may often think of a musician gaining popularity by going out, playing live, and making connections, it happened in a starkly different way for Letdown. Initially, this was just a pandemic project for singer-songwriter Blake Coddington, a creative outlet meant to pass the time, but it has grown in size and stature in the three years since. Through several single releases and then strutting his stuff as a live act, Coddington has cultivated a dedicated fanbase and defined himself as more than just an internet sensation. But that is how this all began, with Letdown. first getting noticed on YouTube via uploads that Coddington was posting. At first, these videos were getting a few hundred views. Now collectively, that number exceeds 25 million.
Crying In The Shower, Coddington’s debut EP, was released in February via Big Loud Rock. It very largely focuses on his internal struggles, searching for meaning and answers in a dark time full of uncertainty and doubt. Despite the seriousness of the songs, these are some stadium-sized singles that are sure to please your need for that massive sound you can’t find anywhere else. It’s been a strange transition for Coddington, from at-home musician to live sensation, but he has taken it all in stride and not taken one second of it for granted.
Joining us today for Behind The Video is Coddington to discuss the latest video for “Crying In The Shower,” its origins, and the world of music videos in general.
Who directed the video?
Blake Coddington: “Max Moore (He is so good!).”
What’s the concept behind the video? Help us to understand the concept in more detail and how it ties into the lyrics.
“The music video is on point and plays out almost exactly what the lyrics depict. There are no metaphors going on, but a literal and visual presentation of the lyrics. She leaves him and he is broken by this. The visual storyline shows the couple, as they were happy, and him after she leaves, in his saddest moments. Even the ‘crying in the shower’ is a visual presentation.”
What was your favourite part behind the creation of the video?
“I got covered in paint. All the gear, the clothes, the mic, everything! This part was pretty cool. I felt like a little kid playing with fingerpaints and being able to do anything I want with it.”
What are some of your favourite music videos? What about when you were growing up?
“My favourite music videos are, and were, anything from My Chemical Romance. They are so theatrical. Love how they approach every video. Much like their songs, the theatrics are outstanding.”
What music video director would you say is your favourite?
“I don’t have one favourite, but I can tell you I do love Max Moore. Been a fan ever since I saw the video he produced for Spiritbox called ‘Rotoscope.’”
Which band or artist do you think had the greatest music videos?
“My Chemical Romance wins this prize!”
What makes a music video “bad” or “good?” What makes it “great?”
“I love theatrics and production in videos. That said, overproduction looks bad and underproduction looks bad. There is a sweet spot, and I LOVE to see that.”
Is there any part of the process you’d do differently now?
“No, not really. Making music videos is such a great part of the process. I have made music videos myself, and I have worked with great directors. I have loved the process at every level.”
What’s your favourite thing about music videos?
“Videos can interpret the lyrics of songs in different ways, sometimes a literal presentation, and sometimes it’s full of metaphors. I like to see how artists create the visual representation of their music. I love to watch great videos almost as much as I love hearing a great song.”
Did one of your favourite artists ever put out a music video you felt wasn’t as good as the music? Which one?
“I can’t say that I have ever felt a video doesn’t stand up to a song. This is a very subjective medium, and people will love it or hate it, and everyone is entitled to their opinions on it. I happen to appreciate the art of it regardless of how the artist interprets their song visually.”
Any mishaps that occurred on set?
“Jerry Tyler, the stylist, globbed me with paint for an hour. I’d say that’s an intentional mishap. It was a necessary one.”
Slightest Clue Release Their Rocking, Five-Track EP ‘Carousel’
Vancouver indie rockers Slightest Clue recently released their ‘Carousel’ EP, inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a relationship.
Vancouver’s Slightest Clue is like the secret after-school project of four kids who would have passed each other without a glance in the hallway at school, but once they’re plugged in and ready to play their distinct blend of post-punk, alternative rock, and dark pop, all bets are off.
Produced by Matt Di Pomponio, their new EP, Carousel, is inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a formative romantic relationship, spanning the trajectory from love to this loss of connection. The closing track, “Carousel,” marks the ultimate bittersweet reflection with unique harmonic layers to portray those contrasting emotions, shifting between grand and quiet tones.
Commenting on the album, the band states:
“The main theme is love, loss of relationship, and connection. The arc of the story is our foreshadowing of the end in our first song ‘These Days’ speaking on the day to day fights and how neither person can seem to get back to a happy place in the relationship. ‘Why Can’t I Call You?’ is the initial spark of infatuation and obsession with someone before you know them. ‘When You Wake Up’ talks of the blissed out honeymoon stage where everything is working and nothing could go wrong. ‘Suit Uptight!’ represents the mounting frustrations and resentments building tension from unmet needs. And finally our closing track ‘Carousel’ is the end and the bittersweet reflection of a cherished relationship that can no longer return.”
Each member, Malcolm McLaren, Hannah Kruse, Sean Ries, and Nick Sciarretta, brings distinct influences and experiences: a stage actor whose playlists go from Talking Heads to Sonic Youth to Björk, a hook-obsessed recovering choir girl, an electrical engineer whose personal idol is John Bonham, and a guitarist who played for (and left) 10 other bands before deciding this was the one for him.
Track-by-Track: The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord Cuts Through ‘It Leads To This’
The Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord breaks down each track on the progressive rock band’s new record ‘It Leads To This.’
It’s been a bit of a renaissance period for The Pineapple Thief over the last few years. This revitalization has resulted in the brand-new album It Leads To This. Released on February 9th via Kscope Records, the eight new songs comprise more of frontman Bruce Soord’s observations and deductions about life and the world around him. The initial concept for the record came together rather quickly, but the actual lyrical and musical components took time. Finalizing these songs required much work and collaboration between Soord and his three bandmates. Each member had a conception of what was satisfactory regarding the songs. Coming to that common ground took time, but in the end, each member was extremely pleased with the final product.
The release of It Leads To This coincides with the 25th anniversary since The Pineapple Thief formed. In that time, they have released over 20 full-length albums and EPs. It Leads To This proved to be one of the most intense writing periods ever for the band. They worked on these new tracks for almost three years. Each band member pushed each other to go above and beyond what they felt capable of. It was extremely fruitful from an artistic perspective, but personally, it did pose challenges for the band members.
Joining us today for an exclusive track-by-track rundown of It Leads To This is Bruce Soord himself. He takes us through each song on the record, their inspirations, motivations, and how they came together.
1. “Put It Right”
Bruce Soord: “This was the first song we wrote for the album, right in the depths of the pandemic. I remember standing outside my studio, which is in the garden of my home, when we were in full lockdown. I looked at the blue sky, not a vapour trail to be seen. Even the hum of my small town was gone. As a songwriter, you’re obviously going to take that in and use it. I started to ponder the fragile state of the world. I mean, how can the world be brought to its knees overnight? Which then led to thoughts about the past, essentially a re-evaluation. Are we all to blame? Was I to blame?”
“As soon as the lockdown was lifted, I remember talking to (drummer) Gavin (Harrison), and he had the idea to write some songs in the same room. I know, radical, right? So I got in the car and drove to his house. Honestly, in the history of The Pineapple Thief, I had never written in this way. Songs were built up in our various studios over weeks and months.. But we were up for trying something new. It could have been a very long disaster – a 6 day jam in E. But to my surprise, we wrote four songs in this way. The first one being Rubicon.
“The verses are in a ‘5/4 shuffle’ which is quite unique (see Gavin’s drum playthrough on the Vic Firth YouTube channel). The song is actually about Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, destroying the Roman republic for his own selfish ambitions. History repeating itself indeed…”
3. “It Leads To This”
“Following on from the theme of ‘Put It Right,’ this is essentially a positive song about focusing on the right things in life. What are going to be your biggest regrets on your deathbed? It’s obvious but also easy to miss. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard, I wish I had spent more time with my family and friends. It’s a love song really. ‘For all this time, I didn’t notice you…’”
4. “The Frost”
“I came up with the riff on my 6-string baritone guitar, so it has a low, edgy feel which I really love. This was a song that came together really quickly between the four of us (plus some great contributions from our touring guitarist Beren Matthews on guitars and backing vocals who played throughout the record). It’s about spending your life with a soulmate, through thick and thin, no matter how bad things get.”
5. “All That’s Left”
“Thematically, this continues the theme from ‘It Leads to This’ and, for me, is dominated by the riff and the middle section, which I love playing live. Again, it’s low in register, written using my baritone, massive drums.”
6. “Now It’s Yours”
“Written during the sessions with Gavin, this song goes on a bit of a journey. Soft, atmospheric, big riffs, a guitar solo… Lyrically, looking at the world as an older guy with a family about to be let loose into the world. What the hell are they going to inherit? Well, now it’s yours…”
7. “Every Trace Of Us”
“Again written during the Gavin sessions, I remember Gavin had the intro riff written on his Wurli keyboard he has in his studio. I took it, added some more chords in the progression and the song snowballed from there. Lyrically this is about the pressure of modern life, expectation, pressure, and the mental repercussions of it all. Modern life can tear every trace of us apart.”
8. “To Forget”
“I had this finger-picked acoustic guitar part, which the band liked, so I developed the first part of the song and came up with the words pretty quickly. Us humans, especially as we grow older, have to come to terms with loss and, in a lot of cases, tragedy. Touching on the debate as to whether life is a gift or a curse (I am firmly in the ‘gift’ camp). However, living with tragedy isn’t easy. Remembering isn’t easy, to forget is impossible.”
Lovin’ Life Music Fest Drops First Year Lineup
Lovin’ Life Music Fest dropped their official lineup this week, and it is exceptional. The festival’s will occur on May 3-5th, 2024, in North Carolina.
Lovin’ Life Music Fest dropped their official lineup this week, and it is exceptional. The festival’s first-ever installment will occur on May 3-5th, 2024, in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. The star-studded lineup includes headline sets from Post Malone, Noah Kahan, and Stevie Nicks. From headliners alone, we can tell this festival has something for everyone.
The festival will showcase many popular acts spanning various genres and generations. Supporting acts include Maggie Rogers, Dominic Fike, The Fray, The Chainsmokers, Quinn XCII, Mt. Joy, Young the Giant, and NC’s DaBaby and The Avett Brothers. There will also be a local stage to highlight Charlotte’s own artists throughout the weekend. This is one of the most stacked lineups we’ve seen for the 2024 festival season.
Tickets to Lovin’ Life are on sale now! Grab them while you can; this is sure to be an epic weekend!
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