This list is never easy to make, but it gets a whole lot harder when some of our best artists release their videos in huge data dumps. Earlier this week, Solange released two videos from her new album A Seat At The Table at once. And then Grimes, in an amazing display of largesse, dropped seven videos at the same damn time — four from herself, three from her friend HANA. If I’d made this list a different way, I would’ve included Solange’s two videos and Grimes’ seven as discrete bodies of work, and I would’ve still had room for three other artists. But I didn’t make this list another way. I made it this way, and I did my best to pick out the best individual videos. Those picks are below.
5. Grimes – “Butterfly” (Dir. Grimes)
Grimes may be one of our greatest weird-pop stars, but she kind of missed her calling. She was simply born too late to be the Fellini of early-’80s MTV.
4. Solange – “Don’t Touch My Hair” (Feat. Sampha) (Dir. Solange & Alan Ferguson)
Both this and the “Cranes In The Sky” video are lovely, lyrical videos, every shot immaculately composed. This one gets the edge, mostly just because I love those shots of Solange and Sampha wilding out together.
3. Khruangbin – “Two Fish And An Elephant” (Dir. Scott Dungate)
A beautifully surreal and violent vision that would’ve been #1 in virtually any week when Grimes did not decide to unload the full destructive power of her hard drive upon us.
2. Grimes – “Belly Of The Beat” (Dir. Grimes)
Grimes shot all of her AC!D Reign Chronicles videos in her spare time while on tour, and part of me wants to imagine that she planned her tour around the prettiest mountains and the most gloriously lush wig shops she could find.
1. Grimes – “World Princess Part II” (Dir. Grimes)
These videos don’t have plots, per se, but I would absolutely pay $15 to watch a movie in which Grimes and HANA play castle-dwelling, umbrella-wielding superheroes, since that’s basically already what they are here.