The director Grant Singer came very, very close to topping this list for the second week in a row, an unprecedented feat and a clear sign that Singer is ready to bang with the Nabils and the Hiro Murais of the world. But then (spoiler alert) Kanye West had to come along with his adorable child and fuck everything up forever. Kanye is, after all, a disrupter, and he does not care about Grant Singer’s feelings. This week’s picks are below.
5. Mourn – “Your Brain Is Made Of Candy” (Dir. Roger Guàrdia)
I came this close to giving the #5 spot to Cloakroom’s “Starchild Skull,” a very cool low-budget vision of people playing guitars and drums in visually interesting places. But this Mourn video looks too much like a European art movie from the ’70s, and that’s the best kind of art movie.
4. Programm – “Like The Sun” (Dir. Slavelabour.co)
Music-video directors do not have to overthink things. Sometimes, all you need is a drone camera and a craggy mountain range and some crisp black-and-white cinematography and maybe a star who holds your attention for five straight minutes.
3. Zola Jesus – “Hunger” (Dir. BANGS)
Nika Roza Danilova just has to stand in a bare warehouse and strike some dramatic poses while a camera flies around her, and it’s pretty much game over.
2. Ariel Pink – “Dayzed Inn Daydreams” (Dir. Grant Singer)
Pink’s last two videos with Grant Singer, for “Put Your Number In My Phone” and “Picture Me Gone” were queasy Kubrickian dreamscapes. This one, by contrast, is a loving and humane thing, a love letter to the almost-literal ghosts of glam-rock past.
1. Kanye West – “Only One” (Dir. Spike Jonze)
Maybe it’s myopic and self-involved. Maybe nothing happens. Maybe it’s cynical to cast your infant kid in a music video. Maybe it’s ridiculous to recruit one of the all-time great visionaries of the music-video form just to film you in a rainy field. But Kanye gets to the “you got the world cuz you got love in your hands” moment, with that big dramatic arm-swoop, and I just fucking lose it.