This was a weird week in the music-video universe, and that was a good thing. Many of this week’s videos (including those that didn’t make it onto this list, like clipping.’s genuinely harrowing “Body & Blood“) do strange things with the form, warping it and manipulating it but still finding ways to complement their songs. A relatively straightforward video, like Mastodon’s delightful “High Road,” might’ve topped the list some other week; now, it’s the middle of the pack because there’s just too much queasy fascination going on elsewhere. Check out our picks below.

5. Ryan Hemsworth – “One For Me” (Feat. Tinashe) (Dir. Martin C. Pariseau)

The French New Wave filmmakers thought they had the market cornered on glamorous ennui, but imagine what they might’ve done if they’d ever had the chance to film the life of a touring DJ.

4. Blood Orange – “You’re Not Good Enough” (Dir. Gia Coppola)

Pop music would be in a better place if we required everyone involved to be good at dancing. Dev Hynes is good at dancing.

3. Mastodon – “High Road” (Dir. Roboshobo)

Let’s be honest here. If most triumphant underdog stories unfolded in real life, they’d end up something like this one.

2. Nicki Minaj – “Pills N Potions” (Dir. Diane Martel)

Nicki’s video used to clobber us the collective face with their technicolor weirdness. With this one, she gets sneaky with it, and it comes off weirder stays in your head for longer. Bonus points for reducing the Game to video-eyecandy status; it’s the role he was born to play. This might be #1 if it wasn’t also a Beats Pill commercial.

1. Lydia Ainsworth – “Malachite” (Dir. Matthew Lessner)

This one is a lot better if you go in with no preconceptions and read nothing about it. Just click play and lose yourself in it. You can thank me after.

Comments (4)
  1. And just like that, I became a Lydia Ainsworth fan.

  2. “This might be #1 if it wasn’t also a Beats Pill commercial.”

    Touche. After watching #1 & #2 I was wondering why that Minaj video didn’t get the top spot, even though I wrongly assumed I’d get a Game verse somewhere in there. Him biting that bunny ear was enough though.

    Also, has Nicki spoken publicly about Iggy Azalea being a completely ripping off her vocal style?

  3. Apparently Matthew Lessner directed the video and wrote the lyrics for Lydia Ainsworth’s Malachite. And his dad took my senior pictures.

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