Flashback Friday: Pinback

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 over 3300 videos under our belts in 20 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 many years ago.

Taking their name from a reference to the 1974 film Dark Star, Rob Crow (vocals/guitar) and Armistead Burwell Smith IV (vocals/bass) formed Pinback in 1998. They signed to Touch & Go Records in 2004, with their label debut Summer in Abaddon coming that fall. With lyrics that were at times both heartfelt and humorous, their soundscapes ranged from indie-pop to electro-prog to emo and shoegaze.

In the late summer of 2005, we worked with Pinback for the first time to promote their video for “Fortress”. Although the track is one of their poppiest and most accessible songs, Elliot Jokelson & Loyal Kasper’s video is anything with dreary backgrounds and a stick-figure love-story and war playing out on screen.

Pinback stayed busy, releasing the Nautical Antiques compilation in 2006 and their album Autumn of the Seraphs in September 2007. The album reached Number 69 in the US, their highest chart to date. We teamed up with them once again to promote the video for the lead cut, “From Nothing to Nowhere”.  The track, with a fusion of indie, prog, math-rock, and digital folk, is peak Pinback. Joshua Nichols’s clip is stark, showing the members playing under a dark sky on what first appears to be a barren field. But is that really the case? What could be on the ground, and what might be in the sky above? Are they really alone?

Most recently, we partnered with Pinback in the fall of 2012. Five years after Autumn of the Seraphs was released, they followed it up with their fifth album Information Received, released on Temporary Resisdence. We promoted their “Sherman” video from that album, and it’s a blast. Directed by Matt Hoyt of Wormwood films, it was largely inspired by low-budget films of the Cold War era: instead of CGI, all the special effects are done in camera. A science fiction space fantasy plays out on screen, also bringing to light some of the bigger questions in life, like the importance of human existence and the power of knowledge.

In 2017, Pinback released another compilation, Some Offcell Voices. They still tour and play plenty of live shows; once it’s safe to perform and travel again, we have no doubt Pinback will be back out on the road. Keep posted on what they’re up to by checking out their website!

Written by HIP Director of Marketing and Communications Molly Hudelson.