Bless These Sounds Under the City and Small Creatures make dark waves with new video

By Delaney Clifford 

June 7, 2017

The Charlotte-based video marketing firm Small Creatures has released their latest production; a music video for “Too Much Everyone,” a song by folk duo Bless These Sounds Under the City. Comprised of Albert Strawn and Derrick Hines, the innovative musical partnership has always stayed ahead of the curve. The two musicians have managed to blend electric folk music with opposing styles of soul and hip-hop, utilizing the individual talents of both Strawn and Hines to create a stunningly unique sound. “Too Much Everyone” is a song that focuses more on the soul and folk side of this group, showcasing an imagination for the sounds that one instrument can make and how the non-traditional ties into the norms of folk music. The song originally appeared on the group’s debut self-titled full-length record, standing apart from the rest of the tracks as a specifically somber song in comparison, and now, an interesting choice for a music video three years later.

Will Davis (Middle Left), Derrick Hines, and Albert Strawn

The video matches up perfectly with the song’s harrowing sound, featuring Strawn and Hines on a stark stage, accompanied only by light-bulbs hanging from the ceiling and their instruments. Strawn wields a xylophone played with a bow while Hines remains seated at his piano, also contributing percussion and the lower range of vocals to the song. Small Creatures founder and director, Will Davis conveyed the raw emotion of the song from the sound to the screen. The tin-type feel of the video takes viewers back to the early 20th century, casting Strawn and Hines in a kind of light that makes them look like they’ve just returned from a long, filthy day of work at the factory and are putting their woes into their song, which ironically enough, sounds like it’s being played over an early-century phonograph thanks to the intimate live-performance setting of the video and Strawn’s breathy tones, almost capturing the vibe of certain vaudeville singers. Hines soulful voice falls in behind the resonant piano, complemented by the shrill harmonics of the xylophone and the pounding cracks of the drums to Hines’ side. The focus fades in and out throughout the entirety of the video, sometimes revealing the two men in incredible clarity, and other times blurring the entire scene into the music, never letting go of the viewer’s attention.

Derrick Hines and Albert Strawn photo by Will Davis

Everything about the video matches up with the tone of the song. It’s somber, it’s bleak, and it pulls you right in. The combination of Bless These Sounds Under The City and Small Creatures is sure to make a long, dark, and beautiful wave over Charlotte music.

Watch the video for “Too Much Everyone” directed and edited by Small Creatures.

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