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.
Kacey Musgraves — “High Horse”
Kacey Musgraves’s latest album Golden Hour is easily one of the most sonically gorgeous releases of 2018. Months after gifting that project to the world, she recently swung through to add a cherry on top via the music video for maybe the best song on that record, “High Horse.” The clip is a vintage homage to the ’70s with Musgraves in the role of an officer worker and karaoke master.
Father John Misty — “Date Night”
Father John Misty has been on a music video tear in 2018, sharing visuals for what seems like nearly every single track from his stellar new album God’s Favorite Customer. The latest is a trippy, animated video for the psychedelic piano ballad “Date Night.” Essentially, it’s the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine on acid-laced martinis.
Petal — “Magic Gone”
One of the most encouraging developments of 2018 is the outbreak of incredible, young women in the rock scene creating and releasing an increasingly staggering collection of guitar-heavy, emotion-packed albums. Think Lucy Dacus, Snail Mail, Courtney Barnett, et. al. Add to that camp Petal, the alias for Kiley Lotz, an adept singer-songwriter from Scranton, Pennsylvania. “Magic Gone,” and the video accompanying might be your first sample of what she’s capable of, but I promise you it’s only the tip of her impressive abilities.
Bully — “Guess There”
This was a pretty good week for Sub Pop artists and music videos. Along with Father John Misty, Nashville rockers Bully double down on their own fantastic album Losing with a tremendous clip to accompany their song “Guess There.” Directed by Aleia Murawski and Samuel Copeland, the video basically follows a day in the life of a snail as it wakes up, has breakfasts, and generally carries about its snail-existence. If you like snails, you’ll LOVE this one.
Soccer Mommy — “Scorpio Rising”
Another fine addition to the women taking over rock in 2018. Soccer Mommy is the brainchild of 20-year old Sophie Allison. Her latest album Clean is definitely one of the year’s best, and if I were to name just one song from that project to give you a clear sense of what she’s all about, it’d be this one, “Scorpio Rising.” The video itself is a celestial journey, with Allison, alight in a bright white glow, pining for worlds beyond this one.