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ANIMATION's Comeback to the Music Scene

With at least two new animated music videos in the past month and two animated mini games, it definitely feels like a new trend is brewing for 2020, besides staying inside and buying face masks online. There has been a sudden increase of bands turning to animation as a new medium to promote and release their latest music. Just from July, you have Yours Truly’s ‘Together’ music video and 'Together the Game' app, along with Californian band Movements’ music video for ‘Don’t Give Up Your Ghost’.

Just for a bit of context before diving into this article, and if you haven't listened to these songs yet, check them out! 'Together' and 'Don't Give up your Ghost' music videos are below.

Yours Truly 'Together' official music video

Movements ‘Don’t Give Up Your Ghost’ official music video

It is actually kind of nice to bring that childhood nostalgia of reading comic books, playing video games or watching cartoons every morning, into our kick ass music of today. Did anyone else watch Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! or even Digimon as a kid? (I’m slightly dorky and grew up with brothers, don’t judge okay! Moody Music Blog is a safe place).

Anyways back to music video animations.

With social distancing and pandemic issues worldwide, musicians have had to problem solve a way to still release new music out to their fans. Some bands such as Hands Like Houses’ ‘Space’ music video and Birds of Tokyo’s ‘Dive’ official music video, involve individually filming themselves and stitching the clips it together to make one flowing video featuring the whole band. Although this method may be more time consuming in the editing suite it still works as a music video, sometimes a bit awkward in parts when changing scenes, but it is always better than nothing. Very shortly we will loop back around to Birds of Tokyo's single 'Dive' and video games at the end of this article.

But until then, let’s keep the ball rolling with Yours Truly.

Yours Truly announced their new music video for ‘Together’ by posting to Instagram saying:

The concept of Your Truly fighting monsters is completely random, but the idea is light-hearted and quirky, which is what we will expect more of from Yours Truly when their debut album ‘Self Care’ comes out in September.

Just yesterday, Yours Truly has upped their game, literally, with ‘Together the Game’. The band has extended their animated fighting skills from the ‘Together’ music video into an app for fans to play as the band members and fight with monsters. Again it’s very light-hearted and quirky of the band to make an app, not only to promote the new single but also giving fans a fun little game to play. Because you know, you can never have enough iso activities! More info is on the band's Instagram page.

When Yours Truly’s 'Together', and Movement’s new music videos came out and appeared on my Instagram Newsfeed, it just really reminded me of Linkin Park’s ‘Breaking the Habit’ music video from 2009, just that visual aesthetic and cartoon animation action feel. While we are on the subject of Linkin Park and animations, can we take a moment to appreciate Linkin Park’s ‘In the End’ music video featuring the animated vines and iconic space whale flying around the Egyptian landscape. The space whale is SOO ridiculous it’s hard not to love!

Even in 2011, We The Kings jumped on the animation/ game bandwagon with their song ‘Say You Like Me’, which incorporates a mixture of real life video and animation. More specifically using multiple video game features throughout the music video, a few of the games that the video resembles includes Mario Cart, Guitar Hero, Wii Sports and I want to say a bit Street Fighter is thrown in there as well. ‘Say You Like Me’, is a really weird video clip, but still in the punk-kid scene aesthetic.

But a rough 10 or so years later, animations and graphics are making a come back to music videos. It is an innovative idea given the current circumstances of not being able to go out and record a music video together, but compared to Linkin park’s ‘Breaking the Habit’, its not an entirely new idea. Although is a new and different idea surrounding music and animations is Bird of Tokyo creating and releasing a mini video game to promote their single ‘Dive’ off their ‘Human Design’ album a few months ago, and more recently Yours Truly's 'Together the Game' app.

Before we talk about the ‘Dive’ video game, I have to point out that Birds of Tokyo ARE AN ALTERNATIVE ROCK BAND, I have seen them play multiple shows in multiple states and they know how put on a ROCK SHOW. Even though some of their most successful hits, ‘Plans’, ‘Lanterns’, and ‘Good Lord’, are all on the pop-rock side of things and the commercial radio stations love playing those lighter pop hits, Birds of Tokyo’s roots are rock. If you don’t believe me, go listen to ‘Brace’, ‘Broken Bones’, ‘White Witch’ or the last 1 minute 30 seconds of ‘Never Going Back’ where Ian Kenny (yes that Kenny from Karnivool) says “So there it is, the beauty and the bullsh*it… Well F*ck it c’est la vie, it’s all part of the mix”.

Anyways, as a way to promote Birds of Tokyo’s single ‘Dive’, their keyboardist, Glenn Sarangapany actually designed and created a mini video game for fans to play on their website (link to game). This idea is definitely unique for a band to promote their music via a self-made game, and it would not be surprising if more bands, like Birds of Tokyo and Yours Truly, released mini games from now on to promote their music. The concept of the 'Dive' game is similar to ‘Flappy Bird’ (if any of you remember or have played that game) but with a scuba diver. You have to keep tapping to make the scuba diver go up and down to collect items that are featured on Birds of Tokyo’s ‘Human Design’ album. The lyric video for ‘Dive’ shows the game in action, below.

So, there you have it, the animated comeback for music in 2020. Yours Truly are fighting monsters, Movements are story telling and playing music together via animations, and Birds of Tokyo are making music video games.

Leave a comment down below, have you seen any other bands taking an animation route to release new music in 2020?


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