While Taylor Swift’s gorgeous looking revenge-fest music video to “Look What You Made Me Do” continues to break streaming records across the Internet, I’d like to shine a light on some of the lesser-known music videos that have stood out over the last few months that don’t demand the eye watering budget of a Swifty vid.
Jain - “Dynabeat”
The production team Spookland have made the last few music videos for 25-year-old French Solo Artist Jain, and each one has been equally as marvelous as the last. Their distinctive style of dance, graphic art, and strong visual concepts are prevalent in Jain’s latest release, “Dynabeat.”
Sundara Karma - “Happy Family”
Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best when it comes to music video production, and the Prettybird production team behind Sundara Karma’s “Happy Family” have absolutely nailed it when it comes to creating a beautiful piece of art to compliment the song. It’s a nostalgic, “Home Alone”-type story in the modern day. For aspiring music video directors, much can be learned from deconstructing this simple narrative, as well as analyzing the lighting, and the gorgeous color grade.
Nothing But Thieves - “Sorry”
Apocalyptic music videos are all the rage it seems right now, but this is the best one for some time, and props to Director Thomas James for bringing it to fruition. The performance of Nothing But Thieves' Lead Singer Conor Mason walking aimlessly through the carnage is complemented by dozens of beautiful small sequences of “poetic human honesty” as the director describes it. It’s definitely worth a watch.
HAIM - “Want You Back”
I adore execution of extremely simple ideas in music videos. Case in point, HAIM’s “Want You Back.” The three sisters walk down a closed L.A. street at sunrise performing the track. It’s wonderfully choreographed to bring out their personalities and all done in a single take. The preparation and planning for long single takes like this should not be underestimated. Kudos to Park Pictures for making something you can’t stop watching but you’re not sure why.
The Killers - “The Man”
This is a literal representation of the self-centered message Brandon Flowers sings about in “The Man” by the Killers. As a music video director myself, I often get these literal requests by clients rather than going down the abstract route. What I love about director Tim Mattia’s representation of the song is his characteristic use of color and shadow. Just check out some of his other work to see what I mean. It’s a superlative combination of a great performance by Flowers, wonderful lighting, silky anamorphic camera operation, and slick editing.