Sometimes the music is only half the story. Would Michael Jackson’s immortal pop ballad “Thriller” have been the runaway success it was at the dawn of MTV if not for the extended video filled with zombies, werewolves, and Vincent Price? Probably not. Though MTV’s clout has diminished significantly in subsequent decades, artists are still releasing videos at a stunning clip, sharing them on Youtube, Vevo, and pretty much every streaming service out there.
Videos not only offer another side of the person making the music, but also of the music itself, adding in context clues and visual cues that enrich the sonic material. They can also be fun, funny, weird, and shocking. Collected below are some of the most interesting and compelling videos released over the last week.
The Carters — “Apeshit”
Forget the week, Beyoncé and Jay-Z might just have the video of the year on their hands with the stunning visuals they put together for their Everything Is Love standout “Apeshit.” Leave it to the Carters to unleash the ultimate flex by shutting down the most famous museum in the world, The Louvre in Paris, and let loose with some nasty trap flows while standing in front of the f*cking Mona Lisa. God level.
Ariana Grande — “The Light Is Coming”
Ariana Grande is in full album publicity mode, announcing recently that her next record Sweetener is set to drop on August 19, and pushing the buzz with this stunning video for her single “The Light Is Coming.” You’ll have to click on over to Reebok’s official website to check it out, but it’s worth it to catch Grande’s late night hangout session in the woods with Nicki Minaj.
Jay Rock — “OSOM”
Though it hasn’t garnered the same kind of attention as some of the other blockbuster releases in hip-hop this month, Jay Rock’s latest album Redemption is certainly one of the best. Recently, he rolled out the video for one of the standout tracks from that album, a song titled “OSOM,” that comes with an appearance from no less than J. Cole, who is on the run with Rock after a heist gone wrong.
Father John Misty — “God’s Favorite Customer”
Father John Misty has already released some of the most compelling videos of the year while promoting his latest album God’s Favorite Customer, including the stop-motion animated “Please Don’t Die,” and the dystopian Groundhog’s Day-style nightmare that was “Mr. Tillman.” He might’ve topped himself however with his latest for the album’s title track. Directed by his wife Emma Elizabeth Tillman, “God’s Favorite Customer” finds our favorite sardonic troubadour strolling the streets of New York City in the wee hours of the morning, looking beat to hell while sucking down cigarettes and toting a bouquet of roses.
Beach House — “Black Car”
Everyone’s favorite Baltimore-based dream pop duo Beach House is back at it again. After releasing of the best albums of their career, the decidedly moody 7, the band have doubled down on their darker aesthetic with a new black and white video for the song “Black Car.” Directed by singer Victoria Legrand’s brother Alistair Legrand, the clip essentially features an old, driverless vehicle navigating a city at night. It’s a simple concept, sure, but evocative nonetheless.