Art Appreciation – Kii Arens for Big Grams’ Self-Titled EP

Arens’ uses gold-painted women to create seven idol-like trophies illustrating this Big Boi + Phantogram EP that exalts the Cardinal sins.

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Big Grams' Album Cover

Kii Arens‘ (1967 – ) artwork for Big Grams (2015) is a series of trophies features golden women depicting the seven deadly sins. Rather than condemning these transgressions, the premise of this seven-song EP is a celebration. You can check out the all the trophies and descriptions on Big Grams‘ page.

  • Sloth – a woman covered with a sheet and smoking from a bong
  • Pride – a woman crowned with a tiara and receiving her own trophy
  • Envy – a woman holding a knife as she looks over her shoulder at another woman happily sniffing a rose
  • Lust – two women embracing and also appears on the EP cover
  • Greed – a woman dropping cash while drinking wine
  • Gluttony – displays a woman with her arms around a large ketchup-covered, crinkle-cut French fry.
  • Wrath – a woman crouching with a gun pointed up at another woman ready to come down with a chainsaw

Arens has also designed Eagles of Death Metal album, Heart On.  He has created concert prints for musicians such as Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, and Tame Impala as well. Aren’s has even had stints as a DJ, MC, guitarist and vocalist, and video director.

Feel free to check out more Art Appreciation posts or e-mail me suggestions for artwork you’d like to see in a future post. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Video Appreciation – Phantogram's "Fall In Love"

Light show starkly silhouettes trip-hop duo singing about bad love over heavy synth bass and intense electronic drums on their latest video.

“Fall In Love” is the second video to go with Phantogram‘s 2013 album, Voices. This electronica duo created a synth/sample-heavy tune about the dangers of falling in love with the female singer.  Vocal, string, and piano samples float over the keyboard’s bass notes and electronic drum kit.   The soft interludes and vocals add an excellent contrast to the intense beats.

The video is high contrast black and white with lights projected on the band and a dancer.  The 90’s digital light patterns harken back to the songs’ album cover and to trip-hop’s rise.   Waves of points, spiraling rectangles, spinning boxes, extending bars, and other patterns illuminate the scenes.  The dancer is crouching on a box.  She waves her arms a bit and swims in the lights.  In the last chorus, she dramatically rears her head back, whipping her hair and kicking up a cloud of powder.

The video also highlights the singer’s metallic accessories and studded jacket.  They shimmer as she dances, a contrast of attractive and threatening.  The visual climax occurs as the camera pulls back on the musicians rotating on the platform while noodly panels converge in kaleidoscopic patterns and envelop them during the bridge.

Check out Phantogram’s videos for “When I’m Small” (2011) and “Howlin At The Moon [Live]” (2014), or more Video Appreciation posts. Please e-mail me suggestions for other music videos, too. And if you value Write to Remember, consider buying my music.

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