As you may or may not know, session videos are Baeble's bread and butter. Throughout the year, we scour locations throughout New York City and beyond to capture your favorite acts in the most unique settings possible. This year provided some of our greatest productions to date as we were often forced to break out of comfort zones to explore new means of presenting acts in the light their music so deserved. Here are our 10 favorite sessions of 2013.
10. Bat For Lashes at Mophonics Music and Sound
We've encountered few female artists whose presence matches up to that of Natasha Khan. Although she's pleasantly far from intimidating, the English singer-songwriter manages to hijack one's gaze, and her room-crippling voice sent chills straight to our souls in this one-of-a-kind session filmed at Mophonics studios.
With frontman Sebastian Pringle draped in a grandma's sequin jumpsuit, and one of Andrea Marongiu's many Hawaiian shirts picking up the rear at the drum kit, at a glance British-based Crystal Fighters are an enigmatic image. To help capture this essence we placed them in a set that would send even a PETA neophyte into a tiff. Surrounded by a family of taxidermied deer noggins, we asked Crystal Fighters to bellow songs off their latest LP, Cave Rave
Oxford's guitar layered dance rock group Foals are known (by us at least) as one of the best contemporary live rock performers. As frontman Yannis Philippakis owns the stage with Prince-esque spins, audiences are injected with an unavoidable desire to romp and rave. It was a chance we couldn't pass up to hear the regularly reeling group tone down for an acoustic session to perform songs off their latest LP, Holy Fire.
Our cameras first encountered Dallas Green and his guitar a few years back during a secret concert, so we were thrilled to have a second shot in a more private setting. When filming one-man shows, we must take into consideration their unavoidable, static nature. To further enrich the stirring sounds shared by Green off his fourth studio album The Hurry and the Harm, we traveled a few doors down to the quirky camera store, Lomography Studios.
This Communion Records crew has shown up on more than one of our year-end lists; most notably, the English trio was recognized as one of our favorite new acts of 2013. Surely, our first introduction to Bear's Den, which took place in our own backyard, had an enormous impact on such high praise. Baeble's CEO described their performance of "Pompeii": "I almost cried over the loss of my mother, only to remember that she is very happily still alive in Philadelphia."
Our snares were set for some time before they finally captured Icelandic folk five-piece Of Monsters and Men. Their familial howls on the debut record My Head Is an Animal had the music world clawing at a chance to get them behind focused lenses, and we traveled all the way to the opposite American shoreline to do so. Shortly after their performance on Saturday Night Live, Nanna, Ragnar and crew visited our Coachella bungalow prior to taking the stage at the festival.
As we stated earlier, although it sounds delightful, an acoustic session can be a difficult one to envigorate. Scotland's Frightened Rabbit, however, were far from still sitters. With frontman Scott Hutchison leading the charge with his poignant allegory, his brother Grant kept a chugging pace with his floor tom and Gordon Skene switched between instruments like a man with a third arm. Along with our crew's creative ingenuity, Frightened Rabbit filled an otherwise stagnant library with vibrant life.
On summer's final fair weather afternoon, we were graced by the harmonies of Brooklyn-based folk country group The Lone Bellow, who guided spectators through Washington Square Park like a Pied Piper trio. We're certain that those who were lucky enough to catch this once-in-a-lifetime performance will look twice next time they see a group busking in the park.
Waking up in the wee hours of a cold February morning can be a struggle for anyone. Even with a hard hangover added to this scenario, Kishi Bashi and banjo partner Tall Tall Trees powered through a divine session of loop-mania. With his debut LP 151a loaded in the chamber, Kishi tickled our ears with his violin wizardry and ecstatic voice. Even the pounding of a sous chef's morning meat tenderizing couldn't hamper this brilliant session. And have you ever seen a man sing into a banjo's pickup?
It had been a long time in the making—ever since Cults' debut hit single echoed through our office quarters back in 2010, we've eagerly awaited our opportunity to film the New York-based duo. When the situation finally presented itself, we knew we needed to make it special. But one question remained: Where could we film indie pop's favorite retro-noised group that would properly complement their unique aesthetic? ACME Studios, the most enigmatic prop house we've ever encountered seemed like the perfect fit. In the carnival-like yard sale, we placed Madeline Follin, Brian Oblivion, and co., who blew off the Brooklyn warehouse's roof with supreme performances of tunes off their latest record Static as well as a few fan favorite throwbacks.