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.
Travis Scott — “Stop Trying To Be God”
It hasn’t even been out for a week yet, and many people are already hyping up Travis Scott’s latest album Astroworld as the best of 2018. One of the standout songs from that project is the track “Stop Trying To Be God,” which features some sublime harmonica accents from no less than Stevie freaking Wonder. For the video, Trav got downright biblical, pulling out all the stops while pulling in a stand-in for the Almighty himself, a cameo from his girlfriend Kylie Jenner, and a giant fire-breathing monster. The budget for this thing is almost as big as his artistic aspirations.
Drake — “In My Feelings”
Another week, another lavish Drake video. For his latest No. 1 hit, Drizzy decided to pay homage to the city of New Orleans, where the entire bounce vibe of his song was born. The video includes an appearance from the comedian Shiggy, who helped blow up the song after kicking off the “In My Feelings” challenge on Instagram, the queen of bounce herself Big Freedia, and a $14,000 gold grill. What more can you ask for?
Aphex Twin — “T69 Collapse”
When you see the name Aphex Twin attached to any project really, you know you’re in for something kind of nuts. “T69 Collapse” is no exception. Both the video and the song itself are wild experience that move at a breakneck pace. The visuals were put together a London-based designer and animator named Weirdcore, and they certainly live up to his moniker.
Deafheaven — “Night People”
To the ears of their many fans, the metal group Deafheaven returned to form on their latest album Ordinary Corrupt Human Love. One of the best, and most melodic, songs from that album is “Night People,” the video for which the band shared just a few days back. It finds frontman George Clarke and the song’s collaborator Chelsea Wolfe floating around together against a dark backdrop before their faces become super-imposed. Trippy to say the least, but engrossing nonetheless.
Robyn — “Missing U”
It had been a long, long, long time since we last heard from Robyn. Many were beginning to worry that the Swedish pop star might never deliver new music. Then, seemingly out of nowhere last week, she dropped a sublime new single titled “Missing U.” The song is great, and the extended video shows her efforts to put on a Robyn party for some of her luckiest fans. The FOMO levels are off the charts.