We’ve combed through hours of footage and gathered the most eye-catching visuals and unique storylines to bring you the best music videos of the month. Happy watching.
10. Breakbot “Get Lost”
Returning after a few years out of the spotlight, French groove mastermind Breakbot is back with his first visual for the new single “Get Lost.” Playing up the producer’s throwback motif, director Dent de Cuir weaves a visual journey encompassing love, adultery and outrage in a classic soap opera format that quickly spirals into a melodrama full of kinky surprises. While the narrative is enough to keep our eyes locked, make sure to take special note of the aesthetics of the feature. Early into “Get Lost,” we’re introduced to a gorgeous wedding scene that has been meticulously arranged by a team of stylists, creative directors and set designers. They’ve also used props and colors as subtle cues as to where the story might head next. Small details—for example, dressing the brunette whistle-blower in red, as opposed to the angelic, blonde-haired bride in white—act as plot clues as to the drama about to unfold. However, we do understand if you’re too distracted by the dapper, pink tux-sporting Breakbot cameo to pick up on any of the director’s visual nuances.
9. Robot Koch ft. Fassine “Spine”
Some of the most impactful music videos we viewed in the past year have been those that relish simplicity and don’t rely on big budgets or over-the-top effects to construct a compelling tale. Closing out the year, we’re met with yet another example of this in Robot Koch’s “Spine.” Playing off the single’s spooky vibe, director Mickael Le Goff uses somber, dark blue lighting to illuminate his scene. Enlisting a troupe of dancers, Le Goff uses the movement of their muscular bodies to create distorted images and eye-catching content. Syncing their motions with the fluctuations of the melody, Le Goff simply edits the continuity of his footage and adds a few electrifying effects to construct a surreal audiovisual experience.
8. Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique ft. Maluca “Love Is Free”
If there were any question that Robyn’s latest artistic output as Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique would be anything less than quirky and off-the-wall, look no further than the video for “Love Is Free.” Also featuring Maluca, the video cuts right to the chase with an opening sequence filmed from an upside-down camera angle, reassuring viewers we’re in for yet another voyage into Robyn’s topsy-turvy world. While the video features a brazen motif including bright colors, a number of varying textures, and stark scene transitions, the real stars of “Love Is Free” are the costume and set designers, along with director SSION, who together created this elaborate feast for the eyes. Aside from her status as a legendary figure in pop music, the Swedish songstress also reigns supreme thanks to her penchant for sensory overload, with “Love Is Free” as certainly one of her crowning achievements.
7. Baauer “GoGo!”
Buckle up: You’re in for a ride down failed relationship memory lane. For Baauer’s “GoGo!” video, director Thomas Rhazi imagines a couple traveling through the atmosphere in a cramped vehicle as they begin their journey together starting a new relationship. The couple’s story begins blissfully in the clouds, literally, as they take off on their first date. As soon as they have their first kiss, things begin to go downhill as their relationship blossoms, until Rhazi throws them literally into the eye of the storm as their romance implodes into explosive arguments and tears. The trajectory of the narrative, beginning in a heaven-like state and eventually falling back down to earth, acts as a metaphor for the euphoria felt at the beginning of a romance that fades as reality sets in and you’re forced to take off the rose-colored glasses. After watching this video, don’t be surprised if those repressed memories of your ex start flooding back. You’ve been warned.
6. Hudson Mohawke ft. Antony “Indian Steps”
On his latest single, “Indian Steps,” Hudson Mohawke takes a step back from the typically raucous sound he’s become associated with to try out a more soothing, downtempo approach to production. Playing off the track’s fluid emotion, director Daniel Saanwald takes “Indian Steps” into his own imagination and creates a breathtaking side of love and aging not often portrayed. Drawing his inspiration from Auguste Rodin’s timeless sculpture The Kiss, Saanwald reinterprets the work with the use of a nude elderly couple simply embracing one another. The unabashedly exposed bodies create a stunning canvas for Saanwald to intricately examine with the use of a zoomed-in camera. Paired with the haunting vocals provided by Antony, Saanwald’s vision for “Indian Steps” is hauntingly intimate and allows us to realize the beauty of the aging body and bask in the idea of eternal love.
5. Björk “Mouth Mantra”
Taking her track title quite literally, Icelandic visionary Björk uses the human mouth to create an ocular experience for “Mouth Mantra.” Enlisting Jesse Kanda to bring that vision to life, Björk opens wide and invites us into her head-hole to get up close and personal with her gums, teeth and tongue in all their slimy glory. Almost feeling like Ishmael deep in the trap of Moby Dick, the viewer feels imprisoned within Björk’s constantly distorting mouth, so much so that it begins elicit a slight case of claustrophobia, all thanks to a set of specially designed cameras. If this isn’t an intimate enough experience for Björk superfans, you’re in luck. The art-pop songstress will be bringing this video to her 360-degree virtual reality app, Stonemilker, so you can really feel like you’re all up in there.
4. Elliot Moss “Pattern Repeating”
Visually stunning and conceptually daunting, Elliot Moss’ eerie “Pattern Repeating” comes to life via the vision of director Daniel Howlid, who reveals a twisted tale of mundane lives. Our cast, dressed entirely in green bodysuits, invites the viewer to look through the window of a banal suburban dystopia. Our characters go through the motions of their everyday lives, but being faceless, due to their body suits, causes their actions take on an unsettling emptiness. In conjunction with Howlid’s use of slow-panning cameras, “Pattern Repeating” is so hypnotizing that feelings of dread begin to resonate subconsciously as the story unfolds. This one might take a few views before its disturbing message really sinks in, but whether you understand the video or not, rest assured that Howlid is manipulating your brain and guiding your thoughts to the video’s seemingly ambiguous conclusion even if you don’t realize it.
3. Matmos “Ultimate Care II Excerpt Five”
Baltimore duo Matmos have achieved a critically praised reputation thanks to their mind-boggling sample usage that has included everything from neural activity of crayfish to the sounds of surgical procedures. For their upcoming album, Ultimate Care II, Matmos have looked in the most unassuming place to source their sounds—their Whirlpool washing machine—truly embodying the idea that one can find and make music from anything. The video for “Ultimate Care II Excerpt Five” takes this concept one step further, thanks to the help of audiovisual pioneers Vicki Bennett (People Like Us) and Peter Knight, who specialize in sourcing, splicing and compiling found footage. Naturally, they dive into the archives to find vintage footage of washing machines, with some editing tricks and a few trippy effects added in. The video adds another dimension to the ingenious composition of the project and reminds us why Matmos are some of the most creative individuals in modern electronic music.
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2. Ryan Hemsworth “Surrounded”
It could be argued that Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth is one of the most forward-thinking minds in electronic music. The producer may be raising the bar yet again, this time for the future of DJing. For single “Surrounded,” Hemsworth straps on a pair of goggles, thanks to Ubisoft, and steps into a virtual reality. As a CGI version of himself, Hemsworth assumes his natural role behind the decks as he DJs behind a digitally created version of the track’s vocalist, Kotomi, in a massive church rager. The audience itself is made up of people wearing virtual reality goggles in different places across the world, all grooving in time to the beats of Hemsworth. While we might be a little ways away from being able to strap on our own pair of virtual reality goggles and join the fun, “Surrounded” acts as a road map for the potential virtual reality has within the concert-going community.
1. KAMRA “Déjà Vu”
In 2015, we witnessed the rise of the interactive music video. First, there was Avicii’s “Waiting for Love” YouTube 360-degree video that granted users a fully interactive experience. Then there was Squarepusher’s very own virtual reality in “Stor Eiglass,” which also used YouTube’s 360-degree technology. Continuing the trend, KAMRA’s “Déjà Vu” lets users enter the artist’s uber-creative noggin by simply uploading a photo of themselves to begin their own literally face-melting journey. Paired with the ambient tunes of KAMRA, “Déjà Vu” is as trippy as they come, as it acts like a fun-house mirror on steroids. Besides getting lost in our own distorted faces, what’s really tripping us out is the creative concept behind the piece and the level of CGI wizardry that went into making this existential project. Experience the fully interactive version of the video here.