While the MTV generation may have turned into reality TV, local musicians know (or should know) the importance of music videos when it comes to promoting their music and their band. We now have sites like YouTube where anyone can become a video star.
Grand Rapids’ rockers LOKELLA have seen the light when it comes to making music videos, and they have a knack for coming up with fun and stellar ideas. In the last five months, they’ve released two new music videos, one showing them in a roller skating rink and the other with them playing dodgeball with friends. They are clever videos that inspire, make you laugh, and actually add something to the listening experience.
Who Is LOKELLA?
OK, so, I’ve covered that the band is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Let’s look at who is in the band. LOKELLA is Jennifer Bartlett, Evan Bartlett, Chris Bursley, and Josh Poel. According to their Facebook band page, the band describes themselves as “progressive, grungy jazz-rock with catchy hooks.” Their videos show an energy and camaraderie you don’t see enough of in bands these days.
We’re going to take a look at the two latest videos from LOKELLA, which are for tracks taken off their sophomore album Shedding Skin.
Check out the video for "Keep Quiet"
“Keep Quiet” takes us to the roller rink, ala the 70s. With glitter garb and fake mustaches, it’s a fun video for a song that will kick your ass and rock your socks off. There’s also nothing quiet about this song.
Jennifer has some killer vocal abilities that could easily compete with popular women vocalists in the metal and rock scene, including Lzzy Hale of Halestorm. The video itself has a bit of a corny vibe to it, but it’s well-done and shows that this band isn’t taking things too seriously. They’re a laid-back bunch of creatives that are real people - and they like to have fun.
Aside from the awesome musical talent, amazing songwriting, and fun video ideas, one of the things I love the most about these videos happens after the songs are over. It’s a menagerie of outtakes that let you get a little look behind-the-scenes and allows you to see that video making isn’t an easy task.
Watch the video for "Precious"
“Precious” takes us onto the court for a not-so-friendly game of dodgeball (or maybe it is friendly, it’s hard to tell). This video is even more fun and crazy than the last one. People that didn’t know about this band previously have to love them after seeing such talent and spunk.
Again, the video really doesn’t seem to have a ton to do with the song itself, but it’s done in such a way that you find yourself making the actions about the lyrics - you’re on the court, you’re feeling precious.
And, again, you get to see some outtakes at the end of the video, so don’t stop watching just because the music ended or you’ll really be missing out.
Both videos were filmed by Hayley Sikorski and directed/edited by Jennifer Bartlett (who should put all of us to shame with her multitude of talents).
I can’t recommend this band enough - I love their powerful, tight sound. I love the female vocals that show that women can really rock.
For more local coverage of local creatives, check out Support Grand Rapids Literary Journal.
If you like this music review, please take a moment to check out some more of my reviews of awesome tunes here on vocal and on Side Stage Magazine. I have new reviews up almost weekly. You’ll find an array of musical genres covered, so you’re bound to find something you like.