An eclectic wave of music sprouted up in Dallas during the first half of 2018, much of which was accompanied by music videos filmed in and out of town. It isn’t easy turning local spots into visual moods or even social commentary, so we’re giving due recognition to five videos that managed to capture Dallas acts in interesting perspectives and locations.
“Like Me” – Bobby Sessions
2018 has been going well for Bobby Sessions. He signed with Def Jam Recordings in January and released his latest album, RVLTN: Divided States of AmeriKKKa (Chapter 1), in July. His achievements are no surprise considering his song “Like Me,” in which thought-provoking lyrics and socially conscious subject matter are powerful enough to grasp the listener with or without a music video. Choosing director Jeremy Biggers to visualize Sessions’ song made for an intense under-four-minute statement that got its message across clearly.
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The video starts with the rapper representing a slave with a loose noose hanging on his neck — the other end tied to a tree. Halfway through the song, Sessions is seen chasing a cop through a street and eventually takes him down, reversing the commonly-depicted roles between police and African-Americans. By the end, Sessions is covered in blood, symbolizing the violence African-Americans have suffered, ultimately ending the video by releasing himself from the noose from the opening shot. Sessions dedicated “Like Me” to his late cousin James Harper, who was shot in 2012 by a police officer while he was unarmed.
“Prince From The 80's ft. Go Yayo” – Dorrough Music
Dorrough may have released new music this year with The Jump Back album, but the Dallas rapper has also come out with new music videos for some of his older songs, notably “Prince from the 80’s” from 2016’s Six 3. Jeff Adair, who’s worked with Dorrough before, directed the video depicting various spots in Dallas with a thunderous background and violet color scheme. The song describes the success of Dorrough, who is presumably the "prince from the '80s," being born in 1986, and shows that he doesn’t forget to rep Dallas even after that success. Fort Worth rapper Go Yayo joins in for a verse midway through the song, maintaining the fast-paced braggadocio in front of a parked purple bike in a downtown alley. “Prince From the 80’s” is a boastful song beginning to end, but its visual component clarifies the pride is directed at the city.
“Burn Out” – Midland
Off their 2017 album On the Rocks, country band Midland released “Burn Out” as a single this year along with a music video filmed entirely at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth. Director TK McKamy co-directed the music video with Midland bassist Cameron Duddy, who has previously collaborated with Bruno Mars and even directed his “24K Magic” music video in 2016. “Burn Out” was shot in one take and features the Texan trio performing at the center of the dancing hall. Dancers swing around the band, while in another part of the venue, a drunk tries to hit on a waitress, ultimately resulting in a quarrel that leads to the guy being escorted out. The waitress understandably gets mad but soon cheers up once Midland singer Mark Wystrach convinces her to dance with him as he sings, ending on a positive note.
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“Blitzkrieg in Holland” – Rosegarden Funeral Party
All Hallows Productions director Erin Devany captured post-punk outfit Rosegarden Funeral Party at its gothic core with “Blitzkrieg in Holland.” Led by singer-songwriter Leah Lane, the band released its debut album, The Chopping Block, in March after entering the local Dallas scene in late 2017. Since then, Rosegarden Funeral Party has picked up where Siouxsie and the Banshees left off and established itself as a promising act.
“Blitzkrieg in Holland” shows signs of horror-movie influences not just from its lighting choices and expressionistic shots but also from the dramatic performance of Leah Lane acting out her words convincingly. The song depicts the narrator’s disillusionment with a religious belief, a realization that perhaps was experienced as fast as the song’s title alludes to.
“Faded Memory” – Jessie Frye
Synthwave made a comeback in the early 2010s and shows no sign of losing traction anytime soon. In June of this year, pop singer Jessie Frye released the single “Faded Memory,” a collaboration with Dutch musician Timecop1983, whose music is reminiscent of '80s pop. The music video is mostly shot in the Fort Worth area, where the main focus seems to be the 7th Street Bridge, although snippets of other Fort Worth locations, like Montgomery Plaza, are also noticeable. The singer tries to match the song’s retro style through her makeup and attire, wearing a neon-highlighted jacket and stark-red eye shadow appropriately. In an effort to fully express the nostalgic element in “Faded Memory,” Frye dances freely on the side of the bridge, hanging on to its lighted poles — maybe reflecting on a past love as the lyrics suggest.