Positive affirmations, new planets, and warehouse woes in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

Katy Vernon

Katy Vernon

Art-A-Whirl is, firstly, a celebration of art, but it’s become something so much bigger than that.

Breweries and bands have been criticized for making the open studio weekend a drunk-ass tailgate party, but music and art are natural bedfellows. The music video wouldn’t exist otherwise. So while it may be annoying that a midday set by Black Market Brass may suck potential buyers out from the Solar Arts Building, it makes the gallery-going experience all the more enjoyable.

Katy Vernon – “Suit of Hearts”

“You may never be brave/You might never save anyone’s life in this life but your own.” If you needed to hear those words today, thank Katy Vernon for writing them. Vernon’s affirming new single “Suit of Hearts” is the title track of the local songwriter’s new album, representing the record’s enduring soul. For the video, Vernon and director Rouse Productions asked attendees of the singer’s release show to share the moments when they feel most brave. In the process, they created a testament to the everyday battles people win through positivity.

Ecid – “Guru”

It’s been two years since rapper Ecid dropped his last album, How to Fake Your Own Death, and relocated to Brooklyn, but the echoes of that strange, powerful record still reverberate. This week, it reemerges in the form of a video for album standout “Guru.” Directed by Mercies May, the video stars Ecid as a marooned spaceman navigating a new planet and trying to understand its denizens. Ecid has a new record due out later this year, but be sure to check out his new pop band Toyfriend, which also features rapper Louis Logic.

Just Jimi – “Killing Me Softly”

Anxiety and depression are sorely under-represented topics in hip-hop, but on “Killing Me Softly,” local rapper Just Jimi doesn’t shy away from discussing his mental anguish. The video, directed by Khalid Silvers, brings these dark feelings into frame as Jimi retreats to an abandoned warehouse to wrangle with his inner demons. The crumbling environs are an apt representation of Jimi’s lyrics, the graffiti coming alive as the rapper uncorks his emotions.

Solana – “Beach House”

Solana has made a habit of featuring gorgeous choreography in his videos. His latest for “Beach House” is his third collaboration with director Adam Jacobs and choreographer Lydia Vejar, a spinning, hyperfluorescent party scene that was inspired by a sojourn to San Diego. “Beach House” feels more like a straight-up hip-hop radio song than the dancey electropop we’ve heard from Solana in the past. Blame it on the West Coast Zephyr.

Kashy – “Shame Freestyle”

Kashy is still working on his next record, but while that’s been delayed, the North Dakota rapper has been keeping his skills sharp. In his new video for “Shame Freestyle,” the sharp-tongued MC takes a Simon Hodapp beat and turns it into a three-minute showcase of his lyrical abilities. Kashy’s energy in the video is contagious though; after a few pogo-dancing choruses, he eventually collapses into a soulful soliloquy. Which Kashy will we get on the new record? The bombastic punk or the pensive ne’er do well? Hopefully we’ll know more soon.

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