Even before the heyday of MTV and the Buggles letting us know that "The Radio Killed the Video Star," artists have long recognized the strength of pairing music with images. Whether it's 40 years back and the Beatles helping to lay the groundwork for the music video with "Strawberry Fields Forever"
or "I Am the Walrus"
or going back even further when man first realized he could combine music with dramatic storytelling for the opera/musical. These days, most artists specialize in one form or the other (unless you're in Gorillaz). Few people take pride in calling themselves true multimediaists. Thankfully, then, bands like Breton
exist, blurring the lines between musician and filmmaker in exciting ways.
This London five-piece has been making waves in their homeland for a while, and it can't be too long before their presence is felt here in the states. Even if they were just musicians (and not intriguing avant-garde filmmakers as well), Breton would be buzz-worthy thanks to their growing library of tunes. With a sound that's difficult to pinpoint, Breton incorporate some of the trip-hop and experimental electronic rock of Massive Attack with a great ear for avant-pop hooks (so throw in some shades of Ariel Pink), the minimalist dub/two-step garage of Burial, and even some hip-hop influences for vocal delivery. You might be able to point out the influences on different parts of the sound of Breton, but I can't come up with a single band that I would categorize in the same subniche as them sonically. And now a days, that's a rare achievement.
What makes Breton special though is the way that they combine this unique and highly engaging sound with music videos that make my inner-experimental cinema fan explode with joy. They channel David Lynch, Luis Buñuel, and Stanley Kubrick in the service of often terrifying and unsettling music videos. There's a psychological unease at the core of nearly all of their videos and along with their atmospheric music, it generates a physical reaction in the listener. Some of their videos
are a little inaccessible (the ones that feature the most minimalist ambience with strange shots), but they even possess their own stark beauty. Breton just landed on our radar. If you want to hear more of their sound, check them out on their Spotify
page if you want to hear more. We know we do.