The last two Fridays both fell on holidays, so this column has been on hiatus. And that means we’re coming back this week with three weeks’ worth of videos. Things do tend to slow down in just about every pop-cultural area over the holidays, but three weeks of videos, no matter how sparse things might’ve been, means we have an absolutely killer list this year, with five must-watch videos on the list. Our picks are below.
5. London Grammar – “Rooting For You” (Dir. BISON)
It’s just a live video, sure, but the staging and lighting are so impeccable, and the single-shot construction is so beautifully executed. This is one of those videos with the confidence to hit these notes and to know they’ll resonate. It’s about the best way a song like this could’ve been presented.
4. Maggie Rogers – “Dog Years” (Dir. Zia Anger)
This isn’t how I remember summer camp at all. And now all I can do is wonder what might’ve happened if my parents had sent me someplace with better art direction.
3. A$AP Ferg – “Uzi Gang” (Feat. Lil Uzi Vert & Marty Baller) (Dir. Adam DeGross)
A raucous punk show is about the most photogenic thing in the world, but for whatever reason, it’s hard to capture that visceral thrill in music-video form. I wasn’t really expecting Ferg to be one of the few to pull it off, but that’s what happened.
2. Dirty Projectors – “Little Bubble” (Dir. David Longstreth & Adam Newport-Berra)
A beautiful meditation on nature and symmetry and the devil’s bargain of constant technological connection. Those aerial shots of Longstreth on what look like the Utah salt flats are just breathtaking.
1. Jenny Hval – “The Great Undressing” (NSFW) (Dir. Marie Kristiansen)
The concept is simple enough: A naked woman has a regular day out in the world, and nobody notices or comments on her nudity. But the video that results is layered and complicated and beautiful and provocative — not in the sexual sense but in the sense that you’re actually being provoked. How many music videos achieve that? Or anything like that?