Virtually the entire music-blogging universe (except me) is at CMJ right now, so you’ll have to forgive the indie music universe for neglecting to drop too many videos in the past seven days. I always think it’s funny how things come to a near-complete stop for the assumption that most music writers and publicists are going to spend all their daylight hours hungover, even when the vast majority of the music-consuming public is nowhere near CMJ. But anyway! There were still some great videos this week, including a #1 pick that I fully expect most of the comments section to viscerally hate. Five are below.
5. The xx – “Chained” (Dir. Young Replicant)
Hushed intimacy is this group’s calling card; they seem to create their own little sonic world. And this Creators Project-produced video, in which the three xx members share an underwater moment, is a nice visual representation of that. Beautiful laser-precise cinematography, too.
4. La Sera – “Break My Heart” (Dir. Cassandra Lee Hamilton)
Cuteness is an abstract concept that exists in the beholder’s eye; it’s not exactly a sustainable music-video aesthetic. If you’re relying on cuteness to make your music video, you’re running a real risk of producing some truly cloying bullshit. But sometimes, a music video will take cuteness and absolutely own it, turn it into something undeniable. That’s what happens here.
3. R. Kelly – “Trapped In The Closet, Chapter 23″ (Dir. R. Kelly)
Gloriously absurd serialized melodrama has returned to our lives, and I couldn’t be happier. This one hinges on the not-quite-riveting plot point of “everyone gets a phone call,” and I don’t remember who half these characters are, but I’m fully on board anyway because the sight of Kelly in pimp drag still makes my soul sing.
2. El-P – “Stay Down” (Dir. Timothy Saccenti)
Locking down that #2 spot entirely on the strength of TV On The Radio’s Jaleel Bunton, portraying Nick Diamonds as a celestial rock-star who drives female crowds into frothing riots of desire. The Prometheus to “The Full Retard“‘s Alien.
1. Nicki Minaj – “The Boys” (Feat. Cassie) (Dir. Colin Tiley)
Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott aren’t making videos like this anymore. Thank god somebody is.