This week’s list is necessarily going to be incomplete, since Joanna Newsom and Paul Thomas Anderson made a video for “Divers” and it’s already been pulled down from the internet. The last time these two made a video, for “Sapokanikan,” it was an instant classic. To see the new one, though, you’ll have to go to an actual movie theater, which seems crazy. Even without that, though, there were a lot of great videos this week. Five of them are below.
5. Drake – “Hotline Bling” (Dir. Director X)
I was deeply torn as to whether I should give the #5 spot to Drake or to Savages’ video for “The Answer.” Savages’ video is pretty much entirely slow-motion moshing, and that’s great, since slow-motion moshing always looks great in music videos. (Word to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and the Offspring’s “Gotta Get Away.”) But I’m going with “Hotline Bling” because the video made me like the song more, whereas I would’ve loved “The Answer” no matter how good the video was. Also, I just like Drake’s dancing. I think it’s good dancing and he looks cool. Sorry.
4. Florence + Machine – “Delilah” (Dir. Vincent Haycock)
As much as I like Drake’s dancing, Florence Welch’s dancing is better. Also, Florence’s video has a goblin in it. Drake’s video doesn’t have a goblin in it, unless you consider Drake to be a goblin.
3. Titus Andronicus – “No Future Part IV: No Future Triumphant” (Dir. Patrick Stickles)
So this is a murky DIY video, and I usually don’t like those. It’s full of blatant and obvious band-merch product placement, and I would normally think that’s pretty lame. It’s got a white guy singing a rock song in front of a Biggie mural. Usually a pretty bad idea! It’s got a lot of Patrick Stickles smoking weed while driving. I don’t approve! And yet this thing was made with so much energy and fervor that I have to surrender. It’s fun to watch in a way that few indie rock videos are.
2. Chairlift – “Ch-Ching” (Dir. that-go)
“Swirling, luxurious post-apocalyptic pop star” is a really, really good look for Caroline Polachek. There is so much confidence in this video.
1. Neon Indian – “Slumlord Rising” (Dir. Alan Palomo & Tim Nackashi)
The movie that this video most clearly reflects is Liquid Sky, the absolutely nonsensical ’80s punk sci-fi B-movie that helped birth the electroclash aesthetic and that remains virtually unwatchable to this day. But there’s a certain strain of grimy, seedy low-budget ’80s horror/sci-fi movies that I really, really love — The Hidden, The Wraith, Near Dark — and this video does an awesome job reflecting the sensibilities of those movies. Extra points for making no sense at all.