Music videos are a dying art form. With my childhood ego peaking at the transition from Rorry’s Pop Party to very adult MTV, just about all of my music consumption has gone hand in hand with epic visuals – whether it’s Kelly Rowland texting a sheet of Excel calculation on ‘Dilemma’ or Katy Perry squirting whipped cream on her breasts on ‘California Gurls’. Either way, I really miss casting this Soulja Boy in my living room with my brother, both eyes glued to that TV screen. Now, with major streaming platforms controlling music consumption, music videos have been put on the back burner and have long awaited a revival in the way we the general public listen to music.
In the month that saw the release of Beyonce’s album masterpiece RENAISSANCE, matching the crippling lack of music video pairings, August was still full of epic (and not-so-epic) music videos. from Joji, PinkPantheress, Greentea Peng, MIA, Black Honey and the returning Arctic Monkeys. So without further ado, the highs and lows of August were…
Joji – YUKON (INTERLUDE)
Providing a psychedelic trip of 3 minutes 28 seconds, the music video ‘YUKON’ is truly a feast for the eyes and ears. From the outset composed of solitary beach shots, it gives Castaway. Then the video continues and gives Donnie Darko to the car wash. Completely random and perhaps unintended cinematic references, but which turned out very well nonetheless. Directing duo BRTHR intensely experiment with shots, movement, transitions and visual effects, perfecting a pleasingly disjointed flow for the entire video, matching the track’s ever-changing rhythm and mood. As Joji sings “I’m overflowing like mercury”, that mercury pours out of the disco ball, giving a strong sense of carthasis, binding a sort of narrative that is benevolent for the viewer’s interpretation. Say what you love about Joji, but the man really kills the music video game. – 10/10
PinkPantheress, Sam Gellaitry – Picture In My Mind
With a cast for the coolest people, PinkPantheress and Sam Gellaitry filled the laundromat with anyone they could get their hands on: nuns, newlyweds, postman, someone busy shaving their heads – you name it. , they were there. Sam took the form of the janitor, while the cherub-faced PinkPantheress thrives on camera, with a mix of slow-motion and fast-motion people bustling around her in the background. With all that time in the frame, it’s hard to believe there was a time when the singer would refuse to show her face. Although it lacks a bit of punch, the whole video is cute and fits the banger well, with excellent set and costume design. Although I came away quite upset and confused as to how anyone managed to do their laundry under these conditions. – 6/10
Greentea Peng – Watch it
The “Look To Him” music video highlights an action movie type fight atop a moving car. As the scene progresses, the fight appears more like a lovers dance and the car below is driverless. Director Felix Brady said the two dancers/fighters “represent our two sides, anxious and bold” and that the car symbolizes the relentlessness of life. Like most works of art, given the context, it’s much nicer. The music video’s aesthetic is also brilliant, with the fight sequence circled, distorted and blurry at the edges and with gorgeous throwback shots to Greentea Peng, the ethereal, preggo narrator, in a kind of reverse fish-eye lens. , singing the groovy hook “If you have to force it, then you know it’s not gonna happen”. Very happy with this one. – 8/10
MIA – Popular
MIA’s terrifying lookalike robot dons a yellow bucket hat and claims “I’m living my best life” within the confines of a dark audition room, with the real deal MIA occasionally making a boogie appearance with his bot himself . A+ for choreography, of course. My favorite part is when MIA finishes off his doppelgänger bot with a spritz from a water gun, in a very selfish moment of death. The whole metaphor of the video, paired with the lyrics of the song, is pretty on the nose, with an exaggerated Black Mirror-like commentary on the harmful effects of social media and how we’re all robotic slaves to the system. The simplicity of the video, stuck in the audition room with some B-roll footage, gives the whole thing a pretty homemade feel.- 3/10
Dark Honey – Charles Bronson
Taking ‘This Girl Can’ to a whole new level, Black Honey’s ‘Charles Bronson’ video features gritty shots of makeup-clad sweaty faces and built full bodies. Following a fairly standard structure for a music video, with the scenes switching between the band playing in the fight ring, close-up shots of crazy singer Izzy Baxter Phillips, and then the macho B-character ladies occupying that same space. But the visuals actively seek to abrasively push the boundaries of aesthetic femininity and have a wonderful color palette that really reminds me of Blink 182’s album cover for Enema of the State but less nurse, more bodybuilder. Rage is unleashed throughout the video and ends with an epic “Ouch Charlie”. Girl power! – 7/10
Arctic Monkeys – There better be a mirror ball
Ah, the long-awaited return of the Arctic Monkeys. As the song and video bear the burden of setting the tone for their new era, Alex Turner leads with a prematurely nostalgic approach. Utilizing all the cutting edge technology offered in 2022 to create sound and image resembling 1978, even down to the way Alex holds his slightly too long and flat notes or his daddy hand gestures while he sings. But I have to say the vibe works. It’s almost a recreation of the look and feel of archival documentaries showing the times when your favorite band’s greatest album was released, almost playing on the popularity of this type of documentary right now. With a mixed mix of black-and-white shots and film-tinged colors of the band “making” the track balanced with more natural candid shots, it all plays out very well against the cinematic strings and soothing rhythm of the song. Bring the album boys. – 8/10
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