A song should be paired with a music video that highlights its strengths and furthers its purpose. In the case of The Elwins’ new video for “Forgetful Assistance”, playing at NXNE on June 13, a whimsical concept corresponds with a catchy tune, foregrounding the fun nature of the light and breezy song.
The indie band The Elwins, heralding from nearby Newmarket, was founded in a high school hallway in 2008. The group has lately been receiving attention in regards to their recently released LP And I Thank You, and after viewing their new video for “Forgetful Assistance”, it is easy to see why the CBC radio heralded them as “a Canadian act to watch.” Images appear on the screens of four iPhones and combine to form an entire picture. In addition, the phones are continuously moved in a choreographed sequence, allowing the picture to change and the images to jump from screen to screen. Not only is the idea fresh and unique, but the execution is masterful as well.
It is appropriate that The Elwins’ video should screen alongside the music video for “Silver Trembling Hands” by Oklahoma rock band The Flaming Lips, a group that The Elwins cite as a major source of inspiration that ultimately brought them together as teenagers. Here, The Flaming Lips present a recording of a live performance from the Nelsonville Music Festival that will screen on June 14 at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema as part of the NXNE Festival. The video visually captures the energy and passion that the band brings to their performances, focusing on excited crowd- and band-members alike. However, I must say that I preferred the experience presented by The Elwins, who provided a video that actually enhanced their song instead of simply reflecting its mood.
Festivals such as NXNE are celebrated for featuring local talent alongside well-known and established acts. It is especially exciting when the up-and-comer impresses as much as, or even more than, the seasoned professional. Try and check out “Forgetful Assistance”, screening at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on June 13 at 6:45.