My favorite music videos have always been the ones disguising themselves as short films. There’s something more powerful about watching a video devoid of the artist who sings it, or one that puts them in a world outside of their projected image. Vincent Haycock is a director working almost exclusively—and brilliantly—in this medium. His videos for the likes of Calvin Harris, Florence Welch, and MSTRKRFT take the ethos and energy of a song and place it in a specific, often hyperrealistic setting. It’s as if the songs are merely the soundtrack to a lush, spare, complex, and deceivingly emotional cinematic journey.
Analog-synth weirdos Black Moth Super Rainbow make some pretty strange videos to accompany their brand of warbly, vocoderized psychedelic music. With the release of their 2012 album Cobra Juicy, the first two videos from the album express that weirdness in very different ways.
Lead single Windshield Smasher starts with a familiar tale of an argument over a GPS malfunction that quickly leads into a frighteningly surreal confrontation with a crowd of latex-orange-skull-masked hoodlums assaulting the protagonists by giving them haircuts and force-feeding them birthday cake. I love the juxtaposition of uneasiness and lightheartedness in this video. The visceral reaction to the seeming danger makes the cake and haircuts even weirder to watch.
The second video, Hairspray Heart, starring Dustin Runnels (a.k.a. Goldust, of pro wrestling fame), reads less like a linear story and more like a hallucinatory transmission from something like an imagined public access television station. I feel like this video is like a confused, nostalgic dream of a kid from the 90s who’s been watching too much pro wrestling. You might want to watch some cat videos after this.
We featured some pretty rad videos on the site yesterday, so I figured I’d keep the trend alive with this new video for the song Cirrus by Uk musician, Bonobo. The song itself is an evolution of Bonobo’s sound, with a bit more of an upbeat rhythm to the track and less violins this time around. It’s certainly a winner in the sound department.
As for the video it was directed by Brighton-ish based director Cyriak who’s known for his somewhat mind-bending videos. The video for Cirrus is no different. What starts out as a few simple repeating elements soon becomes a chaotic collage of video snippets that take on a life of their own. He says that he uses Photoshop and After Effects for most of his animations, which I find totally astonishing. I’d suggest watching this video several times so that you can fully appreciate the amount of work he had to put into this incredible music video.
Thanks to Matthew Gore for the tip.
Poland-based creative duo Kijek/Adamski have done some amazing work in this new video for Katachi by the Japanese multi-instrumentalist Shugo Tokumaru. For anyone who knows the painstaking process of stop-motion animation then you’ll know exactly how impressive this video is. Made with approximately 2000 silhouettes extracted from PVC plates using a computer-controlled cutter, the video is a rush of color and a parade of movement. For Kijek/Adamski, the video is “an everlasting chain of convulsive memories”.
Tokumaru’s track itself is pretty wonderful too. Taken from his latest album In Focus?, the album was released late last year in Japan and came out in the US last week through Polyvinyl. There’s a free stream of it currently on Under The Radar which I recommend you go check out. It’s a wonderful album!
I think it’s still pretty awesome that some folks are cranking out awesome looking music videos. With the death of Music Televion I would have thought that the medium would have died out, but just like the record, the classics never fade. This video for Kris Menace’s track Hide, which features vocals from Miss Kittin, was animated and directed by Mathieu Bétard. What Bétard has done so well is capture the energy of the music and translated it into two dimensional drawings full of spontaneity. It’s impressive that he was able to create so many different patterns and shapes in a 4 minute song. Definitely one of the best videos of 2013 (all 22 days of it).
I love this strange and surreal video from the Brooklyn indie-folk outfit Family Band. Directed by Sam Macon, it shows a pair of skeletons share a day together; finding love in the suburbs and put a whole new spin on the phrase “till death do us part”.
It’s a very sweet and spooky video and set against the Family Band’s mournful ballad it feels rather touching. Family Band’s album Grace & Lies was released last July on No Quarter.
If there’s one band that’s poised to break out in 2013, it’s Dublin’s Little Green Cars. Already named ones to watch by XFM, Virgin Music, and by BBC’s annual Sound Poll, their album is due stateside on March 26, along with a string of US tour dates and a SXSW debut. I don’t know if it’s the five-part harmonies, driving guitars, dramatic crescendos, or the simple yet powerful lyrics of their single, The John Wayne, but there’s magic being conjured here. What’s more, the song includes two arresting videos. While I highly recommend checking out the official video, I’m taken with the artwork version featuring the work of illustrator Peter Strain. Who knew the Lone Ranger hung out with amorous plushies?
That Will Be The Day is a great audio/visual collaboration between composer Aldo Aréchar and the motion graphics artist Matthew DiVito. I’ve been a fan of DiVito’s work for a while (particularly the GIFs he makes under the alias Mr. Div), and was really excited to see that he had collaborated with a composer on this new project.
Aldo Aréchar’s music is beautiful and the perfect compliment to DiVito’s images. Together they create something pretty magical. The music is taken from Aréchar’s new EP I and it’s available as a free download here. Also make sure to give a listen to his album Water, I’ve been working to it all week and it’s fantastic!