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Flamethrowers, dead Scandinavian royalty, and, oh, did we mention flamethrowers in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos

Firestarter: Devon Reason

Firestarter: Devon Reason YouTube

It’s no wonder the music video has made a comeback.

Human beings are naturally visual, and as our attention spans shrink, appealing to the sense of sound alone isn’t enough. You need to stimulate listeners dynamically and immediately. And what better to do that than a car chase or a flamethrower?

Thus, music videos have triumphed in the YouTube age, once again becoming the de facto medium of publicizing new singles, album releases, and tour dates. It can be an expensive proposition (flamethrowers ain’t cheap), but when audiences are this hard to earn, no expense is wasted.

Travis Gorman ft. Devon Reason – “R.Y.H.T.D.”

In case you forgot, death is coming, and Minneapolis rappers Travis Gorman and Devon Reason are here to remind you. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while you’re still here, though. In the new video for “R.Y.H.T.D.”, the anagrammed title track from Gorman’s 2018 album Remember You Have to Die, Reason lives it up in a train yard with a flamethrower on his hip. Jake Handegard of Morningside Films directs as Reason tries to scorch the skies.

Unturned – “Headrush”

Emo is back, baby, and local aughts revivalists Unturned are the latest stewards of the oft-ridiculed genre. Their new single “Headrush” is a wriggly bout of teenage catharsis straight out of the Taking Back Sunday playbook. But the song manages some freshness by maintaining a level of fun-loving self-awareness. In the Kaytlin Dargen-directed video, Unturned goof around, disposing of the self-serious dramatics that’s marred emo in the past. Unturned’s new EP Sunk comes out on No Sleep Records on March 22.

Lady Midnight – “Ion”

OK, enough revival. Back to death. This spring, Lady Midnight will drop her first solo album, and anticipation is hot. What wonders will the talented vocalist unfurl once she finally gets a full 12 tracks displaying her power? If brief new single “Ion” is any indication, it will be grittier and gloomier than initially thought. Produced by Ziyad Habib, the song is a rattling croon. The video, directed by Teddy Grimes, explores the cycle of death and rebirth in very literal ends, showing Midnight as she sings from her own grave, the earth around her crawling with insects.

Dead Kings of Norway – “Won’t Let Me Go”

On name alone, Dead Kings of Norway sound like they’d make Scandinavian atheist death metal and have one of those squiggly, indecipherable logos. That is far from the case. Dead Kings of Norway play frenetic Ben Folds-ish punk rock. What makes it even more fun is that their forthcoming record Absolute Zero comes with the prog-tastic concept story of a person leaving a manipulative relationship and venturing out into space. “Won’t Let Me Go” is the first single, telling the story of the divorce leading that kicks off the record. The video showcases the band’s percussive energy, setting the stage for something grand. See Dead Kings of Norway on March 10 at Moon Palace Books.

Daytym – “In Regards”

This week you get a Jake Handegard twofer, as the Morningside Films director returns to close out Local Frames with a video for Daytym’s determined new song “In Regards.” In the song, the poetic rapper yearns for success, but instead of being content to simply dream, he lowers his head and gets to work, ripping through an impressive sequence of verses. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to get up off your ass and get to work running down your own dreams.

Dream of seeing your video appear in Local Frames? Email writer Jerard Fagerberg at jgfagerberg@gmail.com.