GØSPEL- “EMPR”

I pressed play on this video and wanted to hate it. In my hazed fueled haste of flicking through multiple new tracks on emails from PR companies and bands, I listened to this which from the outset has fake applause overdubbed over it and I recognized it to be the logic pro preset applause ( that I had experienced through childish gleeful holding down keys in friends home studios). At first, I thought this video was them faking and rushed to register my disappointment with them but was assured by the band on email that this was meant to be a mock up of a 1990’s video studio in the video.

The video is shot in a darkened room with some lights, singer at the front and two guys at the back on a raised platform which looks more like a fake school talent contest than a fake 1990’s TV studio. All the members are wearing plain clothes and have modern instruments, there is no way to really tell the age of this video. It just appears as a more like a poor attempt at a studio shot video rather than some cool retro throwback thing because there’s nothing really ‘retro’ about it, which is why the fake applause confused me. The style of the band and the song sound more 80’s to me, their name with its logo built in like a naughties doom / nu-metal band. This made me wonder: are the 1990’s really old enough yet to copy in a retro faux video fashion? and how would people of the 90’s feel to have themselves put into a set category of time like this- is this perhaps karma for when I wanted my hair cut like The Beatles when I was 13, “coincidentally” during the early 90’s??? Are the 90’s cool enough to market bands with in a retro way like this aimed to do?  we all know the Liam Gallasher swagger is cool to a certain degree but is the supposed early 90’s blank TV studio of GØSPEL that cool and worth doing as a concept or homage to the period?

As a child of the 90’s maybe I can’t get my head around something I grew up with being used in a retro fashion and this is why I can’t acclimatize to this. Yet to make it a better throwback video, why not include something of that era? popular brands, motifs, clothes, instruments, have CD:UK presenters mocked up too? go really to town on it… but at the moment just who in the 1990’s the band are trying to nod to is impossible to know. There’s a slight Cocteau Twins look about it maybe? in the sense of a female singer and two arty guitarists with a synth standing by them. The singer’s vocal echoes all about ( school halls do have good acoustics I’ve experienced but this seems to be an affect added in the studio) and there’s shiny guitar and synth bubbles which are nice, yet not quite giving the edge or the depths of Cocteau Twins. However, I can’t hate this track, despite the cackle of logic’s fake crowds going loopy at the beginning and the end. Perhaps it’s my early 90’s subconscious picking up something familiar about them or maybe my late 80’s subconscious but this is engaging music with feeling.

There’s hooks and expansive minimal atmospheres and a naivety to it which is refreshing, bypassing the naff and confusing choice of video press angle. The track is deep and contemplative and chorus line is memorable, I just don’t know if by wrapping up the video as ‘something’ in particular like a ‘1990’s studio’ shot, the band are shooting themselves in the foot by not let people gauge their own enjoyment from it whether it takes them to the 1990s or somewhere else. They are providing here a preconceived idea for people of what they are about which doesn’t really show what they are about at all, nor the 90’s particularly. Or atleast I hope there’s something more interesting about these guys than just a blank studio or school hall. The music hints at something and maybe we don’t all have massive marketing budgets or the best ideas at how to make a video. Why would you wanna be someone else when you can be yourself? but who are you if not made up of the past? and what is the value of a certain time period now when bands can make music or videos today that can effectively sound like any time period in a studio setting? (or try to as the case may be here). Questions… questions… questions.

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