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. Hozier — “Nina Cried Power”
For many, Hozier will forever probably be the “Take Me To Church” guy, but the Irish singer-songwriter is doing his best to buck that perception with his just-released Nina Cried Power EP. To help bring some eyeballs to that project, Hozier recently unveiled a video for the eponymous single, which finds a variety of different people from a variety of different backgrounds listening along through large headphones. Stick around for a pensive-looking Hozier donning a pair of cans himself when Mavis Staples’ guest verse comes up.
4. 5 Seconds Of Summer — “Valentine”
5 Seconds Of Summer are firmly one of the most popular young rock bands going these days. Their latest album Youngblood was a massive commercial success, becoming one of only a few non hip-hop albums to debut at No. 1 on the charts this year. Though the record dropped in June, this week the band rolled through with a brand new video for their latest single from that project, a song called “Valentine.” The clip is a trippy melange of the different members either singing or be-bopping along to the song itself, interspersed with weird, quick cuts to things like skeletons and cakes. It’s a bit odd, but interesting nonetheless.
3. Gorillaz — “Tranz”
As a digital band, Gorillaz’s “Tranz” video, I guess counts as a live performance. It’s a colorful, psychedelic, and all around eye-catching live performance, to be sure, finding the varying members of the group performing the song with gusto. It actually might be the most ideal way to consume this particular track if we’re being honest.
2. Lana Del Rey — “Mariners Apartment Complex”
Lana Del Rey’s new album Norman Fucking Rockwell is right around the corner, and she’s been gamely sharing new tracks from that project over the last month, making her fans salivate seemingly every week until they can finally get their hands on the whole thing. One of her more compelling teases is this black and white video for the song “Mariners Apartment Complex,” that features a plethora of shots of ocean waves crashing into cliffs mixed with seemingly candid footage of Lana holding butterflies and such; you know, the usual.
1. Eminem — “Lucky You”
Eminem is far and away one of the most commercially successful artists of the 21st century. As such, he’s typically granted a budget for his videos that would make most other creatives salivate. For “Lucky You,” the Kamikaze album cut featuring Joyner Lucas, Em pulled out all the stops, peeling off flows in a dystopian near-future populated by hoodie-wearing creatures with glowing red eyes.