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.
5. The Menzingers — “The Freaks”
Just in time for Halloween, we have this great new video from the beloved punk rock group The Menzingers. The general vibe is ’90s costume party, with the band ably performing their latest song in someone’s living room under a canopy of flickering lights. The energy in the room, which is somewhat subdued in the beginning picks up with the energy of the song itself, and by the end, it’s a pretty fun looking soiree. The cuts into VHS quality video are a nice touch.
4. Lil Peep — “Cry Alone”
Lil Peep is sadly no longer with us, but this video for the song “Cry Alone,” is not something strung together without his input. Originally, the song was supposed to make it onto his album Come On Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1, but was held back for his upcoming posthumous release instead. The video was filmed last year, just after a gig in Berkeley, California. As director Maxwell Murder remembered about the shoot, “He’d just recorded a bunch of new music and that we’d pick a song when I got [to his hotel]. After listening to a few different songs and discussing ideas we chose “Cry Alone.” ‘It just feels right’, he said. ‘It’s the only song that fits the energy of the night.'”
3. Lil Wayne — “Uproar”
Lil Wayne isn’t just back in 2018. Lil Wayne is thriving in 2018. The latest video for his song “Uproar” from his much-heralded comeback album Tha Carter V is all the proof you need. The man is dripping in swag, decked out in a full-length fur coat, bandanas, chains, googles, and a double-cup. Shoutout to Swizz Beats too. That dude stays on point.
2. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats — “A Little Honey”
The Band may no longer be a going concern — RIP Levon Helm — but the Music From Big Pink vibes are strong in this video by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Directed by Rett Rogers, “A Little Honey” is a sunny piece of piano and organ-driven revelry. It almost feels like you’re getting a candid look at the Night Sweats clubhouse, with the different members of the band playing drinking, and juggling, and generally having a good time.
1. Travis Scott — “Sicko Mode”
There was no question about where Travis Scott’s video “Sicko Mode” was going to end up on this list. This actually might be one of the top three or four best music videos of the year. The whole thing is a psychedelic trip through La Flame’s Houston hometown, filled with burning suns, talking graffiti, horses, and many, many butts in various stations of gyration. Shoutout to Drake who ended up in this round-up as a featured guest on a track for the third week in a row, too.