A lot of videos worth watching came out while you were obsessed with “Despacito.”
This year’s almost over! And looking back at all the releases and newcomers, the music industry has really pushed the limits regarding video exposure. Attempting to innovate and make powerful statements to catch everyone’s attention, artists have teamed up with talented directors and producers to come up with the craziest music videos ever. Some of them had made it to our screens, becoming instantly viral and turning into frequent topic of discussion.
However, there are hundreds of genius masterpieces that you probably passed by. Yes, I know; you couldn't help watching "Despacito" over and over (it's so addictive!), or singing out loud the chorus from Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" and "Mi Gente" by J Balvin. I get it, those tunes are good. But they are not the only ones worth obsessing. In fact, here are some examples that really sum up the quality work that you have been missing this year:
“New Rules” by Dua Lipa
Dir. Henry Scholfield
This is not the first video the English singer songwriter and model presents, but sure it's one of the best. With “New Rules,” Dua Lipa has proven to be more than just a revelation artist this year. In her video, colors and synchronicity make a perfect match, while she makes strong statements about the power of friendship during a breakup. This perfectly choreographed clip is a visual delight you can’t miss.
“Venus Fly” by Grimes ft. Janelle Monáe
Dir. Claire Boucher
It may be a seven-minute long video, but when it comes to Grimes, you’re always in for a treat. This Canadian self-taught singer songwriter, producer, and visual artist has been around in the music scene for a while. But in the past years, she just got the spotlight she deserved. In “Venus Fly,” the visual elements of special effects, glitches, and makeup are the perfect combination.
“Lift” by Radiohead
Dir. Oscar Hudson
After the twentieth-anniversary of Ok Computer was released, we couldn’t think of anything that would overshadow this huge wave of nostalgia. Enter “Lift,” a video that proves less is actually more. The story revolves around Thom Yorke inside an elevator, as he is waiting to get to the last floor. Meanwhile, different and mysterious stories come and go in front of him. Very much like the video, the song itself feels different yet familiar. Is it some kind of hint for a follow up to A Moon Shaped Pool?
“Wyclef Jean” by Young Thug
Dir. Ryan Staake
This is by far one of the weirdest videos of the year and it seems no one seemed to talk about it that much. I don’t know if it was because, since it involved Young Thug, people were expecting to see more of the same: money, drugs, and women. Well, in a way they were right, but this video was such a failure, it was actually great. At the beginning of “Wyclef Jean,” even the director of the video confesses that the shoot was such a mess, he decided to make a story about it, describing how the video came to life, crashed, and burned. I’m pretty sure you’ll have a laugh with this one.
“New York” by St. Vincent
Dir. Alex Da Corte
Colors, colors, colors. The visual aspect of St. Vincent’s video is almost ecstatic. Sure, at times, the narrative doesn’t make much sense, but it is such eye candy that it really doesn’t matter that much. Maybe what Annie Clark (St. Vincent) was trying to depict through all of these colors and textures was some kind of Pop Art version of SoHo inside her mind, don’t you think?
“Boys” by Charli XCX
Dir. Charli XCX and Sarah McColgan
This is one of funniest videos of the year, and mostly because it was filled with familiar faces just being cute. And yes, celebrating men in the music industry was among the goals when Charli XCX shot “Boys,” but taken to the cheesiest side. More than 50 artists make short appearances, among them Wiz Khalifa, Mark Ronson, Will.I.Am, Major Lazer’s Diplo, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, and of course, Joe Jonas.
“The Gate” by Björk
Dir. Andrew Thomas Huang
Defying innovation in music, as only she can do, Björk recently presented the first piece of her latest album, Utopia. Very much like Vulnicura, this new material attempts to endow her music with her deepest feelings and love experiences. Alongside her frequent collaborator and close friend, Andrew Thomas Huang, Björk brings a new surreal but beautiful world in a Gucci dress that will blow your mind.
“Obsession” by OK GO
Dir. Damian Kulash, Jr. & Yusuke Tanaka
If you haven’t seen an OK GO video before, you are missing true audiovisual innovation. In collaboration with the paper company Double A, OK GO applied stop-motion imagery and created the "world's first paper mapping" project ever. And don’t worry, the video is super eco friendly. At the beginning, a message appears, explaining that the paper will be recycled and proceedings will go directly to Greenpeace.
All of them different, and still interesting, these videos sum up what you’re missing when you’re stuck with trends. Don’t get me wrong. The music world has created a vast canvas of creativity through videos, but there is so little time to watch them all, we usually stick to the most popular ones. Next time, browse a little deeper on YouTube and you might end up finding marvels like these!
Check out these other mind-bending music videos: