Video Premiere: Mike Robbie “Sideways”

Check out the new single from California singer-songwriter and AUK-friend Mike Robbie.  Driven by strong rhythms and catchy hooks, ‘Sideways’ grabs our attention from the outset.  All the parts were essentially written, arranged and recorded by Robbie as a one-man-band.  The sonic textures are absorbing and Robbie’s swirling sounds soar to the cosmos with hints of psychedelia adding extra dimensions to his Americana.  LA songwriter, producer and engineer Eric Corne added some extra recording and editing before creating the final mix.  He says: “Mike had given me a bunch of tracks from his own rough 4-track recording which I reworked and tried to bring a little bit of an Indie rock flavor to the Americana roots nature of the song. Mike told me to feel free to experiment, which I did, and I’m really thrilled with how it turned out.  Mike is great to work with because he has a good understanding of what he’s going for, but he’s not afraid to try new things and see if we can hit on something better.  Those are my favorite artists to work with.”

The video for ‘Sideways’ is a genuinely effective piece of art in itself.  Recorded by DP Justin Aguirre on Super 8 in various locations, the film has the grainy feel of old cinema blended with home-footage, creating a delightfully retro visual that fits perfectly with Robbie’s nostalgic sound.  Matt Newman, also known as ‘Mount Emult’, directed the video remotely, edited the footage and added animations and collage-art to produce the final film.  Flurries of images and pop culture references are interspersed with shots of Robbie playing and going about his daily life as the video bounds along at a rapid pace, matching the song.  Newman explains his artistic technique and how he applied it to the video: “The collage animation style is just a lot of cut up paper animated frame by frame.  It’s a process that I’ve been using for quite a long time and it’s very meditative when doing it. I try to collect a lot of source material upfront and then give myself some leeway to improvise in the moment – so, I have an animation stand that has a ton of paper all around it and I’m kind of just working on the imagery freeform, starting from the general song theme and then improvising outward.  I loved working with Mike on this project, and the song is an earworm that I never got tired of hearing even after listening to it probably hundreds of times now. It has that psychedelic pop vibe. The super 8 footage shot by Justin [Aguirre] was super fun to work with and was exactly what I was hoping for when we originally talked about the concept for the ‘Sideways’ music video.”

Robbie adds: “I’ve always truly loved the look of Super 8 and also 16mm film since my younger days in the Cal State Fullerton film program.  Psychedelic collage art has also been a fascination of mine, maybe from those old Fillmore posters – which led me to Mount Emult, after seeing his work on the Look Park ‘Aeroplane’ video. I was very happy it all came together in the way I was envisioning.”

‘Sideways’ is the first single from Robbie’s forthcoming album, tentatively-titled ‘Riverweeds’, which will be released in early 2024 on new label Goat Hill Distro.  The multi-instrumentalist adds plenty of layers and depth to his songs.  However, he explains, “If you strip away the labels and other non-sense, it’s all folk music at its core.  Almost everything I write starts out on a good old vintage acoustic guitar – just me and the wood and the strings, usually in the late night hours. The more interesting instrumentation and arrangements are added later, as the song grows.”  The result is fine songwriting with heart and melody.  Enjoy.

About Andrew Frolish 1414 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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