The smooth croon of Sympha over the ever-mysterious SBTRKT meets a gruesome scene of voluntary release. The "facilitator" of this gory action looks sinister, but there is a calm surrender on the character's face that wanted --needed-- her cranium exposed. The mise en scène is surreal, if not totally incredulous. Alas, one must make a certain leap of faith. Especially where a cheeky reference to White Zombie persists. Whatever the case, SBTRKT music videos have shaped up to be visual treats that pair well with mind-warping narratives.
Santigold makes fun music. Her videos reflect this, directing your attention away from the uniformity of pop music. "Girls" takes this to a classic MJ "Black or White" realm that brings to mind what kind of a editing gauntlet was involved in syncing audio and compiling video. Directed by Weird Days, the production is an entirely social affair, sampling a diverse range of people to display. Though it is an evidently Winter world portrayed, that does not stop anyone involved there from shaking off the frosty chill.
There is a decidedly British flair in M/V choices this week. Perhaps the claim can be made once more that they are outdoing us from across the pond. Check out the outfits in the video, it is, pardon the vernacular, Hype Beastly. The theme is over the top. From the grainy effects to the set pieces, it is another fitting example of pop sensationalism. Pardon the masochism, but the errant cuts away from Charli XCX wrecked the mood. Note to self: stop watching this video every day.
And now, electronic music with a softer feel that does not sexualize the content. The locations and lighting create a personal feel to our glimpse of Laura Clock; vulnerable but with enough of a bite that makes one step back to admire first, then engage. When the song builds, the visuals follow, and then we are brought back to the somber image of fireworks. It is all very sad in a slow swaying dancey retrospect, but this kind of allure can be very addicting.
Rejjie is a young Irish emcee to look out for in the Isles. Take a growling flow that is within the ranks of contemporaries such as Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, put that in the woods and we are witness to a powerful rap phenomenon. The cinematography is matched well with the stalking track. If the wild trek was not enough, it concludes as a weird bedtime story that teaches the lesson to not sleep with the television on.
Coming from the historically important Duck Down Records, Sean Price humbly contributes to the progress of Hip Hop. The clever rhyme-play is grounded in the conscious rap periphery, doubly signified by his rustic outfit. Though it looks plain, I am thrilled by the effect of his name appearing. In order to leave this video under-analyzed, I shall not touch upon the reason behind a white woman being the victim.
Ab-Soul struck viciously in his track "Nibiru," and pretentious hip-hop heads craned at the prospect of a feature with Kendo. Neither rappers let up in this video. After the stage is set and the score rides, we are fed a mathematically mean verse from Ab. Insert a projection of the rapper in N.W.A. swagger and the chorus rolls in, firmly placing Ab-Soul as a hungry contender. Do not forget that a partially disguised Kendrick can blast a machine-gun verse with an itchy trigger-tongue. At the heart of the video is a statement about Los Angeles and those kids who shall inherit the West Coast rap mantle.
This is the inevitable change of pace seceding a trio of hip-hop offerings. A peregrinating drum, adventurous riffage, and kinky visuals. Splashes of neon against a dark backdrop are instant hits for those that adequately employ their eyeballs. The music video is snappy, and that is the way we like it. Things break, people fall, and the story ends abruptly. It is a very succinct anecdote concerning life. The song's bottom line is laid out by the energy exerted by the band, and PAPA looks to have plenty to share.
Flume and Chet Faker may not have set out to make a confusing music video, but that is what we see here. Neither artist is prominently on display, letting the music play a greater role. The camera trucks around and we are privy to their faces, but whatever it is they are "doing" is not up for debate. Aside from the air of mystique, the song is bouncy on its own. While music videos are not widely recognized as entries in film canon, I think there is a kernel of intellectualism to be gleaned from "Left Alone." When the artist is not an overt subject, the audio-visual weave is a presentable topic to examine.
Prepare for a shocking music video that aligns with the normalized standards of music videos. An interesting narrative, an interesting band playing interesting instruments, interesting film techniques, interesting music. Bland description not withstanding, there are some enjoyable overlays of imagery that are not out of place with the meandering tune. When they conceived this project, I will bet dollars to dozers that the group agreed it will make great road-trip music. I am convinced *begins assembling a travel mix*
Finally, the Bloc Party. They are an enduring rock band that fail at losing the attention of music pundits. It is a testament to a joyous simplicity that will never fade from earshot. My honest opinion is that their tracks sound very similar to one another, but that points to an undeniable truth about really good music: the recipe is too good to disappoint. Now, we are to look for the show that artists must perform for our sake. In "Truth," we see that the nuance of vision is a fickle fiddle to pluck. The strumming pattern brings even more vibrancy to the colorful throb. It is fleeting. It is ephemeral. Just like all tremendous musical experiences.