Narrowing down my top albums of the years has proven to be much more complicated than I anticipated. Instead of letting a few days go by with out a post, I’ll be extending my music video list with a few more videos I enjoyed and act more like short films than music videos. I feel that when musicians find directors willing to go the extra mile and create a unique narrative with the confines of a song the results are often mind blowing.
Kendrick Lamar – God is Gangsta
Everything that has come out of Kendrick Lamar this years has been soaked in brilliance. So its no surprise that on the last day of the year he releases the videos for “u” and “For Sale?” combined as a short film. Its visceral beginning, showing Lamar furiously spouting his lyrics through the haze of a half drunk decanter of whiskey, leads into a nightclub scene filled to the brim with naked women and the cleanse purity of a baptism. The juxtaposition fits with the songs lyrics, which Lamar lets flow more like spoken word creeds than that hip hop
Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment – Sunday Candy
It’s very obvious that Surf was not a Chance project despite how much he appears on it. The album is a very collaborative project and while “Sunday Candy” does feature Chance front and center, it’s the whole atmosphere that takes command in the video. I’m sure a few people will dismiss the video as just an elaborate video, but the theatrical (not film but plays) feeling and the narrative progression in the video pushes it from the usual fare to a special treat.
Neon Indian – Slumlord Rising
Incredibly stylized video for “Slumlord” is one that speaks most to my favorite aesthetics. The video takes a few cues from modern films that seem imbued with 80s nostalgia, namely the works of Nicholas Winding Refn. There are also pseudo sci fi elements washed aglow in flashy neon with a healthy dollop of surrealism right on top. The best part of Slumlord Rising is it’s balance. The video takes itself seriously, occasionally sticking its tongue far into its cheek.
David Bowie – ★
David Bowie is releasing a new album next year and “Black Star” acts as the announcement. The song and video are as avant garde as avant garde gets. Not really but man is it fucking weird and everything you would expect from David Bowie. Crystal lined skulls (not to be confused with crystal skulls), tumultuous dancing, Christlike scarecrows, a weird monster or something. Just take my money.