In this week’s top music video picks, we take a journey through foxy animation, angst-ridden melees, and even a how-to on making tortilla soup. From hip hop to electronic and indie rock and featuring artists like Meek Mill and Hem, see which music videos are becoming viral.
Grizzly Bear: “Gun-Shy”
Brooklyn-based indie rockers Grizzly Bear seem to be pros at knowing how to make their audience feel subtly unsettled without quite knowing why—and they do so artistically. (Their “Two Weeks” music video from 2009 showed the band as silver-faced and robotic, slowly moving with trippy, blank stares.) In “Gun-Shy,” everything looks like a sunny backdrop for a woodsy Urban Outfitters ad, except something’s amiss—up-close medical procedures are being performed, and the whole video feels like a million GIFs pulsating.
Meek Mill: “Dreams & Nightmares”
In another Maybach Music Group music video released this month (after Rick Ross’s speedboat adventure last week), things escalate quickly for rapper Meek Mill as he reminisces about his distressing past—revealing his younger self with dreadlocks, flowing the lyrics, “In a matter of time I spent on some locked up shit / In the back of the paddy wagon, cuffs locked on twists,” to his new life hanging with Mariah Carey and driving luxury cars. Eventually, all hell breaks loose with his crew, as they have a predilection for setting cars on fire (see 3:15). Hopefully, no Bentleys were hurt in the making of this video.
Samantha Crain: “Never Going Back”
Oklahoma-raised folk goddess Samantha Crain released an extraordinary music video for her latest track, “Never Going Back.” Directors LAMAR+INK shot a simple video of Crain and her fiddler, but then decided to print out more than 3,800 frames, and then hand-cut each and every one (seeing is believing)! They then laid out the cutouts in order like dominoes and shot it in one long take.
Tame Impala: “Mind Mischief”
Ever dream about jumping in your sexy high school teacher’s car, smoking a joint, and then having unbelievable sex? Sure. That’s what this preppy school kid gets to do in this hazy and retro Tame Impala video, where things take a surprising turn toward the psychedelic (see 3:30). A fitting video for the Australian rock band known for their dreamy melodies and who will be performing at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.
The Lonely Island (featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar): “YOLO”
The Lonely Island, the hilarious SNL musical troupe, released a new track called “YOLO” (as in the overused 2012 freedom cry, “You Only Live Once”). With the help of real-life musicians Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar, the boys explore their misunderstanding of “YOLO,” by doing everything safely, from not going to loud clubs because “it’s bad for your ears” to Lamar giving advice on investing in your 401k.
The angelic and tender voice of Sally Ellyson of folk band Hem perfectly complements the fancifully animated video for “Tourniquet.” This stop-motion piece was shot in front of a green screen and then put into an editing program to create the gorgeous world of whimsical animals with bouts of glittering ground—resulting in a visual explosion of colors. “We in Hem are suckers for anything involving anthropomorphic animals, so of course we jumped at this idea,” said songwriter and pianist Dan Messe in an interview with NPR.
Yo La Tengo: “I’ll Be Around”
Veteran indie trio Yo La Tengo has indeed been around for awhile, with the release of their first new music video off of their 13th album, “Fade.” A peculiar video with an exorbitant amount of text will leave you obsessed, scrambling to read everything and find meaning in it, and possibly even try to cook up a promising-sounding tortilla soup recipe. Things take a turn at 4:06, making you wonder if that relates to what was prefaced in the video as “inspired by true events.”