Obviously, the best music-related video of the past seven days is the yelling goats remix of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and the second best is Wale attempting to fight a Toronto Raptors announcer during a game. Neither of these, however, is an actual music video, so I had to pick five others. Those five are below.
5. Screaming Females – “Poison Arrow” (Dir. Kate Sweeney)
The casting decisions here are fascinating, mysterious things, and the face-tattoos on the Jeff Gillooly-esque thug are a thing of beauty. But my favorite thing about this utterly strange, singular, no-budget clip is the way it treats a small-town art fair as a massive sporting event, one worth getting violent over. Also, if I could buy all the Screamales-themed art on display in the clip, I would.
4. DIIV – “Wait” (NSFW) (Dir. Sandy Kim)
Kim was the photographer who took most of the early shots of Girls that helped many of us understand that band’s aesthetic. And in this video, she pretty much does the same thing for DIIV, giving that same feeling of young people enjoying their own no-money foxiness. And since Girls isn’t around anymore, who’s to say DIIV can’t just take that style over? Also, I don’t know whether DIIV are helping Sky Ferreira get a seat at the cool kids’ table or whether it’s the other way around.
3. Bat For Lashes – “Lillies” (Dir. Peter Sluszka)
Back when Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze were still making music videos regularly, you’d often get clips that melded gently whimsy with softly creeping menace. That combination’s not around in videos much anymore, and I imagine it’s difficult to pull off, but it’s all over this one. Those monster costumes are just top-notch, and I love the way Natasha Khan seems to really enjoy getting to dance with them, almost like she’s getting to hang out with the animals at the zoo.
2. SSION – “High” (Dir. Cody Critcheloe)
You tend to know what you’re getting with a SSION video: Lots of suburban art-glam weirdness, all done with a near-kabuki form of theatrical self-consciousness. That’s here, too, but the video takes so many bizarre turns, and Critcheloe stretches what must’ve been a tiny budget so far, that I ended up absolutely delighted anyway. SSION make a lot of videos, but if you’re only going to watch one, this is the one.
1. Disclosure – “White Noise” (Feat. AlunaGeorge) (Dir. Luke Monaghan)
It’s a simple concept, but there’s so much this video has to get across: Detroit’s cinematic decay, the grey and depressing perma-cold, the sense of people just trying to get by in rough circumstances, the genuine joy that this guy gets to experience whenever he’s alone in this beautiful and dying building, the casting of a believable working stiff who can also dance his ass off. And Monaghan nails all of that with grace and empathy and a sense of serious fun, and he does it all without even overplaying the great little love story at the end.