Music videos are as exciting as they ever were. They’re killing it right now as if it were Summer of Sam. The platform has changed (pouring one out for you, MTV), but the quality has not. Month after month I find myself gawking at a barrage of colors, filters, and the occasional narrative (Spike Jonze, I miss you, but you’ve gone on to bigger and better things). Below are a few videos from this summer that are making me click twice. [Full disclosure: I haven't seen any of Nabil's recent videos, though they're bookmarked]
Action Bronson, “Strictly 4 My Jeeps” Live at St. Hilda’s Retirement Center
Maybe it’s a little troll-ish, but the live performance of the enormous and tatted Bronsalino rapping as loud and uncensored as possible to a room full of geriatrics is damn brilliant. The original video is trashily entertaining as well, but this is the most creative live performance I’ve seen in a minute. It reminds a bit of “Breakfast at Sulimays,” the series that includes elderly people reviewing modern albums. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bronson handed out medical marijuana when his performance was over.
Julia Holter – “In The Green Wild”
Whimsical and draped in faded colors, Julia Holter’s video for this cut from her upcoming album is impressive without being gaudy or too tongue-in-cheek. We see circus-friendly troubadours preparing for a theatrical performance that complements the bouncy tune that sounds like a mixture of Fiona Apple x Joanna Newsom x Amanda Palmer. “Loud City Song” is one of my most anticipated albums of the year, even if it isn’t summer music and this isn’t a summer video.
King Krule – “Easy Easy”
I still get shocked every time I see what Archie Marshall, aka King Krule, looks like in person. Does it surprise anyone else that a skinny white dude from the UK could have such a crooning, soulful voice? This video by the Focus Creeps captures that juxtaposition of old soul vs. young body as we see Marshall and friends climbing about London like the bored teenagers they probably are. He wears a suit and smokes cigarettes, but he’s still a youthful kid figuring out what to do with himself (and all that talent).
M.I.A. – “Bring The Noize”
She may be one of the most exhausting figures in pop music, but I unswervingly love M.I.A. and believe that a handful of her videos will go down in history as iconic. “Bring The Noize,” a single from her long-awaited follow up to the cacophonous ”/\/\ /\ Y /\,” is a banger that makes me want to sprint at full capacity before nausea overtakes me. The video makes me feel the same way, not unlike a movie shot by Benoît Debie (the DP of “Enter The Void” and “Spring Breakers”). There’s a balance between visual overload and sleekness, though, forcing me to keep mentally sprinting without ever getting that headache.
FKA Twigs – “Water Me”
FKA Twigs is shockingly beautiful and this video turns her into an alien goddess that fits the sonic mood. It’s hair-raising without having any gimmicky shock value. The UK newcomer is getting serious attention, and it makes perfect sense that she paired with Arca, who’s recent mixtape is another favorite from this summer.
(above is a pic Antwan took of her from a while back at Santos Party House)
Music videos make me just as giddy in 2013 as they did in 2003. Now what are your favorites from this summer?