Sometimes the music is only half the story. Would Michael Jackson’s immortal pop ballad “Thriller” have been the runaway success it was at the dawn of MTV if not for the extended video filled with zombies, werewolves, and Vincent Price? Probably not. Though MTV’s clout has diminished significantly in subsequent decades, artists are still releasing videos at a stunning clip, sharing them on Youtube, Vevo, and pretty much every streaming service out there.
Videos not only offer another side of the person making the music, but also of the music itself, adding in context clues and visual cues that enrich the sonic material. They can also be fun, funny, weird, and shocking. Collected below are some of the most interesting and compelling videos released over the last week.
Arctic Monkeys — “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”
Arctic Monkeys made the most with their boozy, piano-ballad filled return Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. It’s certainly one of the better records of 2018, and just a couple of days ago the band dropped a new video for the title track, just ahead of their North American tour. Filmed in Reno, Nevada, the clip is filled with neon lights and desert landscapes. In other words, the Martin Scorsese-Casino vibes are strong as hell.
Macklemore — “How To Play The Flute”
It’s been nearly a year since Macklemore dropped his Ryan Lewis-less album Gemini, and if you thought that might be too long to churn out new videos for the different songs from that record, you are dead wrong. As most Macklemore videos are, “How To Play The Flute” is a pretty fun watch, filled with tons of costume changes including some Bob Roberts cosplay and a cameo from his adorable daughter in goth gear during the credits.
Oneohtrix Point Never – “The Station”
Oneohtrix Point Never is on a roll in 2018. Having just released his new album Age Of, he’s also releasing The Station EP on July 27, the title track for which got a full-on animated video that he shared this week. As you’d expect the visuals, which were directed and animated by Daylen Seu, are pretty dark and wildly unsettling, featuring some kind of being locked up in a black and white void. Par for the course for Oneohtrix Point Never, in other words.
The Internet — “La Di Da”
Hive Mind, the latest album by The Internet is one of the funkiest and most soulful full-length projects of the years. One of the standout tracks from that album is a song called “La Di Da,” which finds Syd taking over lead vocals over a truly bouncy Steve Lacy guitar melody. The video itself is pure joy, filled with footage of the band, seemingly out on the road before performing together in a darkened room filled with neon light.
Muse — “Something Human”
Say whatever you’d like about Muse’s music, you have to give Matt Bellamy and company this, they certainly know how to put together some stunning visuals. Their video for “Something Human” is no exception. Opening with a shot of the singer donning a virtual reality headset hooked to a futuristic car somewhere out in the desert, the clip only gets more vivid, and frankly incomprehensible from there. That being said, while the plot may be a bit difficult to follow, the shots of vintage video stores and wolf men are certainly compelling.