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.
5. King Krule — “Biscuit Town”
King Krule’s last album The Ooz came out nearly a year ago, and while that seems like quite a while — especially these days — that didn’t stop Archy Marshall from sharing a deep and dark new view for that project’s opening track. The clip, which was directed by the duo CC Wade feels like a midnight fever dream, capturing the singer as he wanders around a noir looking London at night. It’s almost novelistic in presentation and leaves you hovering over the replay button as soon as it’s over.
4. Quavo — “Workin Me”
Quavo certainly has his hands full these days, opening for Drake alongside the rest of Migos on the Aubrey And The Migos tour, but that didn’t stop him from dropping this new clip for this solo track “Workin Me.” Quavo co-directed this video himself alongside Joseph DeRosiers Jr. and Edgar Esteves and it charts a dramatic course of kidnapping and revenge. “There are three things you should know about me,” Quavo says near the beginning of the clip. “One, I’m loyal to the end. Two, I don’t trust many. And three, most importantly, don’t f*ck with me or my family, ever.” Truly, words to live by.
3. Courtney Barnett — “Charity”
Full confession: I’m a sucker for the rather straight, day-in-the-life-of-an-artist video. The kind of clip that finds the subject going about the daily routines in their life on the road or in the studio. Courtney Barnett’s video for “Charity” is just that, finding the Aussie singer going about her business while prepping for a pair of gigs at Danforth Hall in Toronto. It doesn’t really reveal anything revelatory about Barnett, but truly giving you a better sense of who she actually as a person.
2. Blood Orange — “Saint”
Dev Hynes finally dropped his new album under the Blood Orange moniker last Friday. As our own Aaron Williams said of the empathetic Negro Swan, it, “Feels like an antidote crafted to directly address the depression itself. It exists to say, ‘It’s okay. You’re not alone. You can get through this.'” One of the standout songs from Hynes latest is “Saint,” a video for which was directed by the singer, guitarist, producer extraordinaire himself. The production value isn’t exorbitant, but watching the one-man band that is Dev Hynes put together the track amidst a low-key party in a high-rise apartment is just fascinating.
1. Interpol — “If You Really Love Nothing”
Interpol know the secret to getting people to tune in to watch a music video they might otherwise skip out on: star power, baby! For their latest clip for the song “If You Really Love Nothing,” the New York rockers enlisted the talents of the esteemed actress Kristen Stewart to help convey the power of their music. The mood of the video is dark, filled with neon red hues and cigarette smoke. Stewart herself plays a seductress who eventually hijacks a taxi and takes off into the night. Very compelling stuff to say the least.