Straight To Video

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

In music, as in virtually every other arena of American culture, this has been an exhausting, exciting, overwhelming week. For once, though, music videos weren’t really a part of it. Instead, the good ones — and there were some good ones — were a balm, a chance to experience some low-context imagery and general visual delight. They gave me a chance to take a break. I appreciated it. This week’s picks are below.

5. Hayley Kiyoko – “What I Need” (Feat. Kehlani) (Dir. Hayley Kiyoko)

Lots of music videos have told the wild-young-lovers-on-the-run road-movie story. I’m pretty sure at least a few of them have told the story of queer couples. But I’ve never seen one that tells the story of a queer couple this well, or treats their queerness as this much of a regular, natural thing.

4. Father John Misty – “Please Don’t Die” (Dir. Chris Hopewell)

The Orpheus story, basically, except with a happier ending, and with a haplessly bemused folk-rock dude in the Eurydice role.

3. Sudan Archives – “Nont For Sale” (Dir. Sudan Archives & Ross Harris)

It brings me great joy to report that the utopian black-boho glamor of, say, the “Formation” video can be achieved on a budget, and it looks pretty much just as fucking cool.

2. Cardi B – “I Like It” (Dir. Bad Bunny & J Balvin) (Dir. Eif Rivera)

It’s summer now. Colorful liquid-joy injections like this are supposed to be part of the atmosphere. And even if gossipy rap beef has sucked up all the oxygen in the room, spectacles like this will always make for some beautiful and effective counter-programming.

1. Jay Rock – “Win” (Feat. Kendrick Lamar) (Dir. Dave Meyers & Dave Free)

Jay Rock just scored his biggest-ever hit on a superhero-movie soundtrack. So now, he’s pretty much made his own superhero movie.