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. The Blaze — “Queens”
The French electronic music duo The Blaze are making a case for releasing one of the most compelling new albums of 2018 with Dancehall. Their latest video for the single “Queens” shows they have a good eye for buzz-inducing visuals as well. Easily one of the most cinematic entries on this list, the clip opens with what appears to be some kind of dimly lit wake before moving outdoors in a flashback montage filled with cigarette smoke and shootouts.
4. LSD — “Thunderclouds”
LSD, for those unaware, is the name of a supergroup comprised of Sia, Diplo and Labrinth. For their new single “Thunderclouds” they decided to lean into Sia’s music video history, enlisting “Chandelier” dancer Maddie Ziegler as a whimsical wander who dances on top of a flying hippie bus driven by Diplo. It’s a wild, somewhat incomprehensible clip to be sure, but it looks and feels very fun, which is kinda the point right?
3. Muse — “The Dark Side”
Muse have fully embrace the “do everything the most,” ethos this late into their career. While announcing their latest album Simulation Theory, the band also debuted the new video for the single “The Dark Side,” and it’s cyberpunk nightmare, with lead singer and guitarist Matthew Bellamy piloting a sports car through a futuristic world on the verge of disintegrating. Whatever you think of their music, you can’t say Muse don’t make some spectacular sh*t to look at.
2. The 1975 — “TooTimeTooTimeTooTime”
You’ve got to applaud the 1975’s commitment to lengthy nonsensical titles. If you thought their last album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It was a mouthful, get a load of this single. The video for“TooTimeTooTimeTooTime” is a colorful production that opens with a solo shot of the newly bleached-blonde lead singer Matt Healy. Fro there it turns into a Michael Jackson, “Black Or White” reminiscent montage of people bopping along with the song as it bounces along in the background. Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the most effective.
1. Childish Gambino — “Feels Like Summer”
Of course, Donald Glover released the best music video this week. From Atlanta to “This Is America,” everything that guy touches turns to gold. For the video to “Feels Like Summer” Glover decided to get animated… literally. The clip opens with a shot of the rapper walking down the street and quickly turns into a who’s who of hip-hop in 2018, with the climax — at least on the Internet — fixed on a scene of Michelle Obama hugging a crying Kanye West while he’s wearing a MAGA hat.