Filed under: Editor Picks, Music Videos | Tags: Editor's Picks, Popular Songs, Yo La Tengo
As if we needed another reason to love Yo La Tengo for their kooky brilliance, they bestow unto us the Popular Songs music videos. Every week leading up to their upcoming album’s September 8th release, the band will put out an accompanying video to each song off the album.
Fruit, triangles, and airplanes; when you watch this series of music videos for Popular Songs, you feel like you’re watching Sesame Street (but only the trippiest, best-when-watched-under-the-influence episodes, of course). In each of the three clips, the focus is on something so ordinary, we rarely take the time to think about it or its purpose. These videos have such a simple, childlike aura about them, but considering the source, you can’t help digging deeper, and analyzing their intent.
So often a music video is so contrived and specific, the message the song is evident even on mute. But the Popular Songs series allows you to experience the music and images on your own terms. Watching the soaring skywriters and listening to the swirling, otherworldly melodies of “Here to Fall,” it’s hard to imagine listening to the song any other way. The videos provoke you to come to your own conclusions about what you’re seeing and hearing — no one decides for you.
My favorite, for example, “Periodically Double or Triple,” featuring people shoving fruit in their mouths, can be interpreted as nauseating, hilarious, or suggestive — depending on your mood. Each video has its share of “WTF” moments upon first watch, but is later followed by some odd level of understanding. Or, more appropriately, “Yo la tengo!”
— Carly Wolkoff, Managing Editor