Hey look, new graphic! Now this column can look something like the Best Songs Of The Week column, and now I can keep just the tiniest bit of suspense in this countdown; you have to scrowl down yourself to see what’s number one. Thanks to Claire’s homegirl Ho-Mui Wong for the image. This week’s picks are below.
5. CocoRosie – “Child Bride” (Dir. Emma Freeman)
A fucked-up vision that’s stuck with me: A little girl being married to an older man, in a ceremony that involves torches and masks and a sad rowboat ride. But the video doesn’t dwell on how wrong all this is; it shoots it all simply and prettily and lets the gross stuff play out in our brain. The girl they got for this video is so understated and so good at that blank emptiness, and her performance really hit me in the gut in a completely impressive and unpleasant sort of way.
4. Run The Jewels – “36” Chain” (Dir. Timothy Saccenti)
A fucked-up vision in a completely different sort of way. Ever since he introduced the cackling psychopath puppet Mr. Killums into his videography, El-P has been turning every one of his music videos into a black and rancid joke, and now he and director Timothy Saccenti have added eyeball-plucking to their visual arsenal. Next up: Graphic disembowlings!
3. Daughn Gibson – “Kisses On The Blacktop” (Dir. Jeremiah Rouse)
Daughn Gibson should really make more music videos. The camera doesn’t exactly hate him, and I can’t remember the last time I saw someone singing out of the side of his mouth this telegenically. If you were going to remake Road House, which would not be a terrible idea, here’s your house band.
2. Austra – “Painful Like” (Dir. Exploding Motor Car)
A perfectly-pitched homage to every goopy, nasty, foreboding B-movie that I loved as a kid. If more music videos adapted the visual language of Phantasm II, I would not be mad. If the critter creeps you out and makes you laugh at the same time, that’s a great critter.
1. Earl Sweatshirt – “Hive” (Feat. Vince Staples & Casey Veggies) (Dir. Hiro Murai)
A return to the dark, cartoonish, demonic dreamworld of the “Chum” video, a place where I’d be happy to spend a couple of hours. I’ll take the patient creepiness of Earl’s videos with Murai over the all-out goofball insanity of Tyler, The Creator’s recent videos any day of the week and twice on Sundays.