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. Snakehips ft. Tinashe, Chance the Rapper “All My Friends”
We’ve all been there: It’s the weekend, you find yourself at a club you realize you actually hate. The one friend you came with is off making out with a random in a dark corner, and your other friend never made it in after arguing with the bounder. On Snakehips’ team up with Tinashe and Chance the Rapper on “All My Friends,” the lyrics alone trigger a nauseating feeling falling somewhere between a hangover and the spins. The track’s visual interpretation nails the lyrics’ sickening theme thanks to topsy-turvy camera frames, which literally make the viewer feel sick while watching. Balanced out with just enough shots of a flawless Tinashe to not make one physically ill, “All My Friends” turns an extremely relatable song into a sensory experience that might actually make you gag and reach for the aspirin.
9. Rustie “First Mythz”
If the audio alone from Rustie’s “First Mythz” wasn’t enough to induce flashbacks of Flipper, just wait until you check out the track’s video. A montage of aquatic and Sea-Doo home videos from the ‘90s, its heavy dose of dolphin-related nostalgia reminds us of how exciting Sea World seemed before we saw Blackfish. Brought to you by editing marvel Daniel Swan, the video’s hypnotizing compilation seems quite simple in theory. However, combined with Rustie’s dolphin-sampled track, this one hits a mentally stimulating, audiovisual home run.
8. Ghastly “Get on This”
After watching the video for “Crank It,” his team-up with Mija, we know L.A. producer Ghastly is no stranger to a, ummm, trippier lifestyle. Going full-on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the new clip for his track, “Get on This,” sees him return to an altered state. Creator and director Sean Lopez produces a kaleidoscope setting by splicing our teleporting hero onto psychedelic graphics, which take us back to a ‘90s rave.
7. Avicii “Broken Arrows”
If Avicii’s videography has taught us anything about the producer, it’s that he has a penchant for pulling on the heartstrings. For his country-meets-electronic single, “Broken Arrows,” Avicii again brings the awwww factor, this time with a struggling athlete succumbing to alcohol abuse. With the help of his bright-eyed daughter, the athlete regains his confidence and goes on to win a world championship and, of course, leaves the booze behind. Jam-packed with your typical Avicii themes of family, love, and overcoming whatever obstacle set before you, this music video might grant the producer/DJ the title of the most uplifting figure in the electronic music game.
6. David Heartbreak “Bonecrusher”
It’s always refreshing to see an artist break out of their mold and boldly take a new direction, and David Heartbreak’s new video, “Bonecrusher,” does just that. The last time we heard from the OWSLA recruit, Heartbreak was dropping riot-starting bangers and kicking up dust on festival stages across the world. With “Bonecrusher,” we see a new, more artistic side to the veteran producer most fans might not know. Featuring award-winning cinematographer Ambrose Eng, “Bonecrusher” sets a hauntingly beautiful scene with the use of a mind-blowing contortionist inside a gothic mansion paired with the darkly roving rhythms of Heartbreak. The striking aspect of this captivating piece is its lack of reliance on special effects and CGI, rather letting the dancer and Eng’s masterful vision behind the lens take center stage. As for the synopsis behind the video, Heartbreak states, “The video is about wearing a mask and pretending to be something you’re not, taking off the mask and showing who you actually are,” which sounds eerily like a metaphor for Heartbreak’s own metamorphosis as an artist.
5. ZHU x Skrillex x THEY. “Working for It”
Immersing the viewer into a land that seems like a Lichtenstein painting come to life, the video for “Working for It” from ZHU, Skrillex, and THEY. takes shape thanks to eye-popping motion comic animation. With a plotline that manages to pack in crime, fame, love, and death in under five minutes, “Working for It” is stylized in the classic film noir aesthetic. Like with any good noir film, you’re going to have to overcome the suspense and wait until the very end before all the pieces of this dismal tale begin to make sense. Plus, you’ll catch a glimpse of another form of animated Skrillex—yes, I mean Sonny—for one of the first times since his cameo in Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph.
4. Nero “Into the Night”
Looking through Nero’s videography, it’s clear the trio have a particular taste for throwback ‘80s and ‘90s film styles and animation. For “Into the Night,” the band has created a classic anime drama that is giving us flashbacks to the early days of Nero when they released their first anime video, “Innocence,” back in 2010. The brainchild of group member Daniel Stephens—who has had a hand in some of Nero’s most prolific videos, including “Reaching Out”—has again teamed up with director Markus Lundqvist and animators Red Knuckles. While an original creation, “Into the Night” roots its story in a futuristic setting brought to life with vivid colors and eye-popping imagery that plays homage to anime classic Akira. For those not fluent in all things anime, the cartoon version of the band performing throughout the video should be enough to keep your eyes glued to the fluorescent screen.
3. GTA ft. Sam Bruno “Red Lips” (Skrillex Remix)
If Skrillex will be remembered for anything in 2015, it will be for his continuous flow of jaw-dropping music videos. Closing out the year on a high, the producer/DJ has again teamed up with director Grant Singer, who you can also thank for the “Burial” music video, on his video for his remix of GTA’s “Red Lips.” The pair has brought to life a hellish fantasy where a red-lipped protagonist finds herself on the run from nightmarish attackers. Captivating and disturbing, the darkly spun tale is an aesthetic overload of incredible choreography, makeup, and costume and set designs, and it successfully establishes Skrillex as one of the few electronic music auteurs.
2. Kill the Noise ft. AWOLNATION & R.City “Kill It 4 the Kids”
A tongue-in-cheek reference for our current state of affairs, the video for “Kill It 4 the Kids” from Kill the Noise expresses his distaste for some campaigning politicians. Enlisting writer/director/animator Chris Ullens, the clip sets the scene with a cardboard cutout and claymation spectacle called Happyville. A once-serene place, the fictional town soon finds itself overrun by greed and corruption thanks to a visit from one “Tronald Dump.” At the helm stands a combover-donning “Dump,” as he spews his gluttonous gospel that drives the citizens of Happyville to mow down family-owned businesses in place of corporate supermarkets and McFatty fast food restaurants. If nothing, but an omen for our society, the citizens of Happyville self-combust after chowing down on a quadruple decker burger, and “Tronald Dump” becomes a fleshy patty himself. After watching “Kill It,” Kill the Noise gets our vote in next year’s presidential electoin. #KTN2016
1. M.I.A. “Borders”
As the unarguable queen of politically charged anthems, Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. strikes a match yet again with her new video for “Borders.” A self-directed piece, “Borders” sees M.I.A join scores of refugees as they cram onto overcrowded boats and traverse barren landscapes. Say what you want about the outspoken songstress, but “Borders” throws a fire under the current, hot-button issue and reminds us that music can be a powerful vehicle for social activism. As a refugee herself, M.I.A has established her career as a figurehead of the topic through her voice, and now her cinematographic vision. All politics aside, “Borders” is visually stunning, M.I.A is effortlessly cool, and her words are as potent as ever.