Flashback Friday – Metric

Here at HIP Video Promo, we’ve been working hard to promote music videos since the year 2000. It’s important to us to help younger and independent artists get the recognition they deserve, and it’s exciting to be on the ground floor with artists that become household names (and with nearly 2800 videos under our belts in 18 years, there are quite a few). Every Friday, we’ll be sharing a “Flashback Friday” video, where we get to reflect on one of our favorite videos from a few years ago.

Originally from Toronto, Metric have been one of indie-rock’s most beloved acts for twenty years now.  The band was formed by Emily Haines (lead vocals, synthesizers, guitar, tambourine, harmonica, and piano) and James Shaw (lead and rhythm guitars, synthesizers, theremin, and backing vocals) in 1998 under the name Mainstream. In 2001, after changing their name to Metric and moving to New York City, they invited Joshua Winstead (bass guitar, synthesizers, and backing vocals) and Joules Scott-Key (drums and percussion) to join the group. They released their first studio album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, in 2003 on Enjoy Records (now known as Everloving Records); their second, Live It Out, was released in 2005 on Last Gang Records; and their third (although the first they’d recorded; it had been delayed for several years by the label), Grow Up And Blow Away, was released in 2007 on Last Gang Records.

Nearly a decade ago, we had the honor and pleasure of partnering with Metric to promote three music videos. In the spring of 2009, just as they self-released their fourth studio album Fantasies, we partnered with Metric for the first time to promote the video for “Gimme Sympathy.” It’s a stadium-ready blockbuster of a track, paired with a visual equally as dazzling. “Gimme Sympathy” begins with Haines getting ready in a club dressing room; when she joins her band mates on stage, there’s no one else in the room. In a dizzying visual, the members of Metric manage to switch places and instruments several times in one continuous shot. The video ends with wing-wearing children streaming in through the doors, letting the light in.

That summer, we worked with Metric again for two more videos: “Help I’m Alive” and “Sick Muse.” Up first was “Help, I’m Alive”, a surprise gift to the band from fellow Canadian artist Deco Dawson (named one of the 25 best young filmmakers in North America by Filmmaker Magazine, and also a friend of the band). “Help” is a swirling, hypnotic, kaleidoscopic collage of explosions, beating hearts, pulsating stars, and live footage from Metric’s 2008 tour. It might make you dizzy, but it’s impossible to tear your gaze away from.

Shot in one spontaneous night at a friend’s apartment, “Sick Muse” shows the members of Metric by themselves in a barren room. Yet the clip is entirely spellbinding, as Haines, Shaw, and Winstead play with sparklers, fish around for guitar picks, and attempt to capture the attention of drummer Joules Scott-Key. It’s witty and attention-grabbing, and ends with a bold move from Haines that shows they’re always up for a good time.

Nearly a decade since we worked with them, Metric have continued to be one of indie-rock’s most respected and loved artists, both by critics and by fans. They released their fifth studio album Synthetica in 2012, and their sixth, Pagans in Vegas, in 2015. Earlier this year, they released Dreams So Real, a live concert film with a limited vinyl recording. Per some recent posts on Instagram, it appears the band have been in the studio (we’ve got our fingers crossed that their seventh album will be out soon!). Metric will be touring all over North America this summer with Smashing Pumpkins; head to their website to see if they’ll be in a city near you!

We’ve been big fans of Metric from the start, long before we had the chance to work together, and we can’t wait to see what they do next! We can’t wait to see who becomes the next break-out artist. Do you think your video has what it takes to be the next break-out smash hit? Get in touch with Andy Gesner and the rest of the HIP Video Promo team by giving us a call at (732)-613-1779 or emailing us at info@HIPVideoPromo.com.