David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

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Recent Promos

Alice Jemima
"Take Me Back"
2 mins 38s
26 Jul 2017
This halcyon Alice Jemima promo says thanks for the memories. A woman summons past acquaintances in a near-permanent daydream. Director James Heaphy flits between past and present as the protagonist revisits time well spent. A chilled soundscape and Jemima’s delicate vocals complete the video’s summery vibe.

Tom Grennan
"Found What I've Been Looking For"
3 mins 14s
26 Jul 2017
Powerhouse vocalist Tom Grennan returns with this stark promo to accompany 'Found What I've Been Looking For'. Shot primarily in black and white, with brief flashes of golden light for contrast, the video lets Grennan's voice and understated performance stand alone. Blank backdrops place the singer front and centre as a relentless guitar line lifts the raw vocals from the void.

Nothing But Thieves
"Sorry"
4 mins 02s
25 Jul 2017
How would you spend your last two hours on Earth? Director Thomas James asks if we have any plans for doomsday in this Nothing But Thieves promo. Some drink to forget, others run for the hills… though business is booming for one riverbank preacher. As frontman Conor Mason sings “I’'m ready for it/I've been waiting so long”, the inevitable looms large.

Vic Mensa
"Rage"
5 mins 18s
19 Jul 2017
Rapper Vic Mensa has been steadily making a name for himself since 2009, and his first album for major label Roc Nation is hotly anticipated in the hiphop world. If bonus track 'Rage' is anything to go by, it's going to be pretty special. Reflecting on more turbulent times in his life, it comes with a promo by Andrew Donoho which takes the 'crash and burn' metaphor quite literally.

Punctual
"What I Love"
3 mins 57s
20 Jul 2017
This gorgeous promo for Punctual's 'What I Love' captures childhood exuberance at its finest. Director Geej Ower follows a lad with seemingly boundless energy around his estate, as he joyfully dances the day away. The shrewd decision to avoid casting a trained dancer pays off here, as the boy's moves have a compelling, childish rawness to them.

Otherkin
"React"
3 mins 07s
19 Jul 2017
Dublin outfit Otherkin create exuberant, thrashy guitar rock that hails from an era when energy was an instrument in its own right. The frantic pace, full-on vocals and squally riff of 'React' is infectious: you know that if there's more than a square metre of empty space in any room where it's playing, pretty much everyone nearby will rush in to fill the vacuum and get moshing.

The All-American Rejects
"Sweat / Close Your Eyes"
11 mins
19 Jul 2017
Jamie Thraves explores identity in this pair of promos for the All-American Reject's first album in five years. The promos - which function as a short film despite showcasing two separate tracks - explore identity in a unique, poignant way rarely seen (let alone pulled off with such aplomb) in under twelve minutes. Things begin with 'Sweat', in which we're introduced to singer and sometime actor Tyson Ritter playing Betsy, a cross-dressing prostitute.

Sälen
"So Rude"
3 mins 37s
17 Jul 2017
Sälen - a band who chose their name by throwing a dart at a map - create poppy electronica with an icy edge. Vocalist Ellie Kamio sounds deceptively sweet, but her lyrics - with track titles like 'Diseasey' and 'Heartbreak Diet' - are full of glacial disillusion. Their star is currently rising, and director/animator Kent Hugo mines Sälen's coldness with a CG promo that leaves nowhere to hide.

Danger Mouse
"Chase Me (ft Run The Jewels & Big Boi)"
3 mins 54s
6 Jul 2017
It’s 'Baby Driver', but not as we know it. The eponymous Baby (Ansel Elgort) has a new crew in the backseat: Run the Jewels. This promo-stroke-movie trailer flits between rapping getaways and footage from Edgar Wright’s latest. While Run the Jewels flee a bank robbery, Danger Mouse and Big Boi evade the Atlanta fuzz.

Alt-J
"Deadcrush"
4 mins 58s
14 Jul 2017
For those wary of Love Island, Alt-J offer a hypnotic spin on celebrity dating. The title of their latest track is, well, a dead giveaway. The Leeds trio ask which late personality we’d like to date. Their picks? Sylvia Plath, Anne Boleyn, and Surrealist photographer Lee Miller. Call it romance for the ages. Pulse’s Young Replicant set this cultural resurrection in an ominous bunker.

Ghostpoet
"Freak Show"
4 mins 04s
12 Jul 2017
Zhang + Knight’s latest Ghostpoet promo appears to be set in the same dystopian future as the duo’s ‘Immigrant Boogie’ video. Now we find ourselves in a grey metropolis where the pollution forecast is grim. The Agile pair bring a murky, smog-ridden aesthetic to Obaro Ejimiwe’s guitar-driven track.

Kesha
"Praying"
5 mins
10 Jul 2017
Comeback singles can be a tricky proposition. This is a comeback single of a different kind. Kesha’s court battle with music producer Dr Luke has been well-documented, and this promo for ‘Praying’ lays bare her scars and - crucially - her resolve. That the music doesn’t kick in for a full minute only heightens the anticipation. It’s worth the wait.

Duke Dumont x Gorgon City
"Real Life (ft NAATIONS)"
3 mins 52s
10 Jul 2017
Vaguely reminiscent of the prom scene in Stephen King's 'Carrie', this frothy promo for 'Real Life' has an innocent high school girl going into meltdown as the 'populars' jeer at her. Having been the vessel into which they've poured their emoji-heavy abuse for too long, she finally turns - but instead of getting all telekinetic on their asses, she projectile-vomits those same emojis right back at 'em.

Escape from Acapulco
"Hit and Run"
3 mins 47s
6 Jul 2017
Two boxers take fancy footwork to the next level in this excellent promo for French group Escape from Acapulco's 'Hit and Run'. The opponents square up for what looks to be a fearsome bout... until one decides to give the Ali Shuffle a run for its money. The sheer bewilderment of his opponent is masterfully drawn, as the dancer literally spins circles around him.

Calvin Harris
"Feels"
3 mins 42s
4 Jul 2017
Calvin and his friends Katie, Pharrell and Big Sean all chill out on their magical summer island in Emil Nava's promo for 'Feels'. The grainy look and artificial backdrop weirdly combine to suggest Barbie and co have stumbled onto the set of an old Timotei ad shot in Hawaii, but that's not a criticism. It's all good, undemanding, frothy fun - just what summer needs.

The xx
"I Dare You"
6 mins 53s
3 Jul 2017
Filmed in collaboration with Calvin Klein's CD Raf Simons, this extended ad for the brand is rather less than the sum of its parts. 'I Dare You' sounds like The XX covering a pre-teen band, and although the cast features Milly Bobby Brown and Paris Jackson, the theme of adolescent angst isn't handled with much subtlety. MBB still stands out as a terrific young actor to watch, mind.

Hamilton Mixtape
"Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)"
6 mins 07s
3 Jul 2017
K’naan, Residente, Riz MC (aka Riz Ahmed), and Snow Tha Product team up for Hamilton Mixtape track 'Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)'. Accompanied by Mister Whitmore's unflinching visuals, the song is a scathing indictment of the treatment of immigrants in the US. We're shown gritty visuals of sweatshops and manual labourers, along with the grim conditions faced by those fleeing worse.

Femme
"Fire With Fire"
3 mins 26s
3 Jul 2017
Femme's garage-tinged track Fire With Fire is about squaring up when faced with a fight; and Ben Mahon's stylised promo illustrates this by turning up the heat. In a drab cafe a sweet, purple-haired old woman challenges a chap to a chilli-munching contest. Despite there being no purpose to this he accepts - but sadly doesn't even make it through the first one, the wuss.

Confidence Man
"Boyfriend (Repeat)"
4 mins 17s
3 Jul 2017
Comprising members of The Belligerents, Moses Gunn Collective and Jungle Giants, Confidence Man is a brand new Brisbane band whose track 'Boyfriend (Repeat)' is as sassy and surefooted as its name. Vocalist Janet Planet doesn't sing so much as announce, and what she tells us is that “My boyfriend wants to talk. My boyfriend talks too much. Too much about our love. Our love is not enough.”

All We Are
"Dance"
4 mins 22s
3 Jul 2017
In the final part of Eoin Glaister's tale of planning-related shenanigans, the rural community makes a last-ditch attempt to stop the developers building a road through their village. Ruthless girl guides, topless pensioners and some territorial pissing all contribute to the task at hand, and at a celebratory party months later folk are disappointed that the live band isn't the hoped-for Al Weare. Great fun.

Saint Etienne
"Magpie Eyes"
3 mins 32s
29 Jun 2017
This promo for Saint Etienne is filmed entirely in the new town wasteland of Stevenage (which happens to be this writer's hometown). Atmospheric shots of deteriorating Southern England are accompanied smoothly by the laid back, electronic chug of 'Magpie Eyes'. The sleepy soundtrack gives the small-town landscape a dreamy sheen, bringing a beauty to the urban decay.

The Killers
"The Man"
4 mins 27s
29 Jun 2017
Brandon Flowers gives a - ahem - killer performance in this bombastic promo for The Killers' first single in five years. The track marks a funky new direction for the band, while Tim Mattia's promo has Flowers' Vegas sensibilities dialled up to eleven. We see him inhabit a number of cocky personas... but it quickly becomes apparent they're only legends in their own minds.

Manchester Orchestra
"The Alien"
5 mins 37s
28 Jun 2017
While indie rockers Manchester Orchestra remain sure-footed, this woman endures the eye of a private storm. Closure becomes a personal cataclysm here: glass shatters, wood splinters, and ashes turn into a whirlwind as her homecoming unfolds in reverse. It’s a familiar technique, but the rewind effect produces some compelling and bruising imagery.

Grandbrothers
"Bloodflow"
4 mins 42s
27 Jun 2017
This disorientating Grandbrothers video delves deep into a woman’s memories - almost too deep. As the piano-driven 'Bloodflow' intensifies, childhood memories - bathed in a late-summer haze - give way to a murky abyss. Hugo Jenkins’s fragmented execution leaves us wondering if this is the cure or something more insidious.

Three Laws
"Siren Song"
4 mins 34s
27 Jun 2017
Great Guns’s Calum Macdiarmid delivers well-calibrated fury in this Three Laws promo. As a crime lord awaits his favourite girl, the London duo’s debut lures us in with a minimalist beat and a shimmering piano riff. When vocalist Louise Gold purrs “Trust me with the gun”, consider the stakes raised.

Recent Promos

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