The Weeknd sticks to the shadows in his "Wicked Games" video.
Before he was booking studio time with Drake and headlining festivals, The Weeknd was a mysterious figure -- a feeling main man Abel Tesfaye's new video for "Wicked Games" sinks deep into. He begins singing alongside a seductive, nearly NSFW model, who moves offscreen, leaving only her shadow to dance to the moody slow jam. "Bring the drugs, baby/ I could bring my pain," Tesfaye sings as her shadow reaches toward his mouth. Spooky!
Watch The Weeknd's "Wicked Games" video after the jump.
Regina Spektor won't fly away from her sadness in "How."
Leave it to Regina Spektor to rock a violin f-hole as eye makeup. That's how the chic singer opens her video for "How," a piano ballad with a lot of feelings and serious, straightforward lines like "How can I forget your love?/ How can I never see you again?" But Spektor's quirks shine through in the visuals, as she sings amid a combination of live action and animation. She even puts a bird on it -- somebody's been watching Portlandia. (Spoiler: It's us!)
Watch Regina Spektor's "How" video after the jump.
TOPS are bringing quirky back.
If you need more quirky guitar pop in your life (and who doesn't?!), look no further than TOPS -- a Montreal act that sounds like the adorable baby of Twin Sister, Broadcast, and the Cardigans. With a soft, synth-aided sound built around Jane Penny's gauzy upper-register vocals, TOPS are perfect for lazy Sunday mornings and romantic comedy montages. "You and me will never meet again," Penny sings on "Evening," a song that could also soundtrack a '70s Bond film -- or at least In Like Flint. The group gets sassy on "She's So Bad" and jangly jam "Turn Your Love Around," which kicks up the tempo to dance floor velocity.
Listen to TOPS after the jump.
Bon Iver is going intergalactic in "Beth/Rest."
Bon Iver gave us a bountiful harvest of Planet Earth-style videos when the band released last year's Grammy-winning Bon Iver, Bon Iver, but they forgot to release one with GLOWING SNUGGIES. Problem solved!
In the new video for "Beth/Rest," we get a possibly Return of the Jedi-inspired video starring a forest-dwelling couple whose love literally shines. The glowing jammies make for a captivating clip, though we hope the duo's wedding registry included some serious sleep masks. As they tramp through the woods, Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon floats majestically among the trees, playing a rainbow-colored keyboard. And. It. Is. Amazing.
Watch Bon Iver's "Beth/Rest" video after the jump.
Hear Bayside have a heart attack-ack-ack on "Movin' Out."
Billy Joel's 1977 hit "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" is one of the Piano Man's guitar rockers, so Queens-based outfit Bayside don't give the track a total makeover -- just a punk polish. Like the band's take on "Be My Baby," for the new cover, Bayside turns up the volume and picks up the pace. The song's signature horn hook gets some guitar sizzle, and the band offers an a cappella surprise to close out the track.
Listen to Bayside's "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" cover after the jump.
Lana Del Rey sees America in "Ride."
Want to take a "Ride" with Lana Del Rey? Better strap in. Her epic 10-minute mini-movie for the track finds her hitting the open road with a biker gang, her pop career behind her -- "I was a singer, not a very popular one," she says in a voice-over. You're too humble, girl! The film opens with Del Rey, a vision of '80s jean-short Americana, swinging across the screen on a tire. "I was in the winter of my life, and the men I met along the road were my only summer," she says, before 10 minutes of cuddling up to a lucky selection of biker bros.
Watch Lana Del Rey's "Ride" video after the jump.
Anarbor won't damage your ears with their new jam.
Some bands want to "Fix You." Anarbor's trying to get a grip on themselves first: "I don't want to live a day past 29," Steve Echeverria sings on "Damage I've Done," but dude might also be freaking out: "I'm scared/ That I never will repair the damage I've done." Birthdays are rough sometimes, guys. One thing he can stop worrying about: the song's upbeat track, which opens with an "Adam's Song"-esque melodic guitar line before the rhythm section dives in, definitely won't do any damage to your ears.
Listen to Anarbor's "Damage I've Done" after the jump.
Watch Sleeping With Sirens' new video for "Roger Rabbit."
It really doesn't get much more romantic than taking a trip to the beach with a crew of band dudes. Magic is in the air in Sleeping with Sirens' "Roger Rabbit," a video that's seemingly more about hitting the water than chilling with 6-foot cartoon bunnies. An adorable real-life bulldog does join the band for their end-of-summer vacation, tagging along as the group runs through a series of warm-weather tasks: boating, stone-skipping, hand-holding, and music-making, then finally busting out an acoustic guitar to sing as the sun goes down. The track matches R&B-influenced verses (we kept waiting for Timbaland to pop out from behind a sand dune with an "Uh-huh") before surrendering to a strummy, campfire-ready chorus.
Watch Sleeping With Sirens' "Roger Rabbit" video after the jump.
Listen to Bayside cover The Ronettes' classic track, "Be My Baby."
We've been straight-up suckers for punk covers ever since bringing Me First & the Gimme Gimmes tapes home from summer camp back in, um, a year ending in "9." The latest band to take on the venerable tradition is Queens-based quartet Bayside, who have just released an enthusiastic take on The Ronettes' 1963 mega-jam "Be My Baby."
Though Bayside pay homage to the original track by keeping its iconic drum intro, the pace picks up considerably as a set of punk-tinged electric chords charge in. Instead of writer/producer/probable crazy person Phil Spector's beloved Wall of Sound style, we get a wall of Marshall stacks and the octopus-armed drumming of Chris Guglielmo. Somewhere, Weezer is bummed they didn't think of this first.
Listen to Bayside's "Be My Baby" cover after the jump.
A Lion Named Roar might get loud.
A Lion Named Roar are ready to make a big sound. The Louisville quintet has been together for more than six years -- a seemingly Olympic-size prep time that's led to songs sounding more focused than a mid-race Ryan Lochte.
Emerging from the birthplace of groups such as My Morning Jacket and Ben Sollee, ALNR have already drawn nationwide attention: When the band went by the name Waketheday, they beat out 6,000 acts on Fox's reality competition "The Next Great American Band." Now the group's released their latest, "This Won't Last for Long," a passionate guitar anthem that'll stick in your mind like the pilot for "Lost." (Or was that just us?)
Listen to A Lion Named Roar's "This Won't Last For Long" after the jump.