This week, I was something like the 75 millionth person to watch Kiesza’s “Hideaway” video, and holy hell, that thing is great. I don’t know what kept me from clicking play on it for this long. “Hideaway” was already a monster hit before I watched it, and the video has been up online since February; it’s easily better than any of the videos on this week’s list. People in the comments section sometimes get grumpy when this section leans pop, but I’m actually pretty sure I’m not paying enough attention to straight-up pop music. Well, there’s not much of anything on this week’s list that could be described as straight-up pop music — not without some serious qualifiers, anyway — but there are still some good videos on the list below.
5. Emily Browning & Belle & Sebastian – “God Help The Girl” (Dir. Stuart Murdoch)
As a rule, movie-soundtrack videos, the ones that edit in heavy amounts of random scenes from whatever movie they’re promoting, suck. But that rule might not apply when the movie in question is practically a music video itself. And it especially might not apply when I get to look at Emily Browning’s face for three minutes. That is a great face!
4. alt-J – “Left Hand Free” (Dir. Ryan Staake)
The whole story of “Left Hand Free,” where they band recorded an intentionally shitty attempt to pander to American audiences so that their label would get off their back, is pretty depressing. And so it’s tempting to watch the video, with its good-looking American kids doing stereotypical good-looking American kid things, as some sort of advanced cynical pander. But if the people involved are all laughing at us, they’re at least presenting us with a stylish, fun, beautifully shot piece of work, which is more than most bands seem to be able to offer at their most sincere.
3. Azealia Banks – “Heavy Metal And Reflective” (Dir. Rob Soucy & Nick Ace)
2. Bear In Heaven – “Time Between” (Dir. Nick Bentgen)
People in New York will sometimes try to tell you that New York is the greatest city on earth. Don’t believe them. If New York were the greatest city on earth, you might be able to live there comfortably without some unlimited line of credit. But New York, late at night, when you’re drunk? Yeah, that’s probably the greatest city on earth.
1. Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper – “Pony Blues” (Dir. Champ Ensminger)
There are many different ways to do “mythic,” and this video does like 15 of them at once. Salute.