24 Jan 2022

LyricVids Team Picks – Shayla

After hundreds of completed lyric videos, music videos and audio visualizers, the team at LyricVids all have their personal favorites.

Meet Shayla, our lead illustrator. Shayla is a natural creative with a deep passion for art and writing. She has the undeniable ability to tell beautiful stories with words and images. When asked about her favorite videos she says “This was a really hard choice for me, because there are so many I love for so many different reasons—art style, narrative theme, the message of the song, the artist, the overall vibe—and admittedly I feel a strong connection to the LyricVids videos I worked on as part of the team“.

1. Morgan James – Back Door Santa

Ever since LyricVids first started doing animated cartoon lyric videos, I’ve been dying for us to do one in this old-school black-and-white 1930s cartoon style—and I can’t imagine a better fit for it than Morgan James’s gender-swap cover of this sultry Christmas classic. All the big cartoon tropes of the era are there: the heart-eyed admirers, the “rubber” limbs on some of the characters, the piano keys that keep playing while the pianist spins… Part of the storyboarding for this project was our team just listing off as many of those recognizable tropes as we could. And it really was a team project, with all of us bouncing around concept or reference drawings to match this style and building toward one clear aesthetic vision. That kind of collaboration is always fun.”

2. Head In A Box – Feel: At Home

This is pure egotism, because I was the primary illustrator on this one, but this project has a very special place in my heart. The musical artist had a very specific vision for this song, complete with symbols he wanted us to include in various scenes (hint: notice the statue on the mantel and the shape of the windows in the basement), but he trusted us with a lot of artistic licence to find a visual style that jived with the tone of the song. We ended up aiming for something heavily stylistic and cartoonish, but in a somewhat unsettling way (think Edward Gorey, Tim Burton, Gary Larson), with a sickly blue/green palette and lots of textures to add complexity. It gives the video a particularly distinct visual feel.

3. Hälder – i do

“From the weird and wonderful brain (and pen) of Jessica Robert. This might be a odd choice (odd being the operative word), because it’s not as complex as some of the more recent animated videos we’ve done, but the Hälder videos continue to stick out in my mind as an embodiment of what you get when you ask Jess to create something strange and psychedelic: a serious trip! Our animation department has grown a lot since 2019, and Jess doesn’t do as much drawing as she used to, but that’s because she’s busy crafting the larger concepts/themes/moods for numerous projects on a constant basis. No one else has that kind of aesthetic “brainchilding” depth and stamina—her brain is like if LSD had a baby with a Pinterest board—and this video encapsulates that to me.

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