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. MØ “Kamikaze”
Pyro, raves, property destruction, and dance moves that rival Drake’s in “Hotline Bling,” Danish singer MØ’s devil may cry attitude takes center stage in her latest video for “Kamikaze.” Although MØ’s pipes may rival those of Katy Perry or Britney Spears, MØ isn’t your typical popstar, and through “Kamikaze,” she puts that notion on fully display. Setting up shop in a dusty part of what looks like eastern Europe, MØ dances awkwardly in her laid back apparel and successfully reinforces the notion that things other than sex sell. More striking than the emancipation of MØ is the features set design whose highlights include a golden throne built from spray painted tires and a pretty blasphemous mural of Kim Kardashian as the Virgin Mary. If we walk away from “Kamikaze” with anything, it’s that MØ is one of the few who really does dance like no one’s watching. Respect.
9. ATLiens & Woolymammoth “SIGIL”
Perfectly timed with the onset of the creepiest month of the year, ATLiens & Woolymammoth transform their trap heavy “Sigil” into the creepfest we deserve. Being able to legitimately freak out a viewer in a little over two-minutes is a pretty impressive feat, and after watching “Sigil,” this viewer is clutching her teddy bear while trying to picture kittens and rainbows instead of the freakiness just seen. “Sigil” leaves no spooky archetype uncovered. From minotaurs, to upside down crosses, to an eerie forest, “Sigil” brings to life some of our more primal fears with relatively simple tools. Utilizing cross cuts, flashing images, black and white filters, some great makeup, and confounding body distortions, ATLiens & Woolymammoth’s visual combined with that nightmare worthy chanting sample used in the song, leaves us almost as scarred as the first time we saw The Exorcist with the lights turned off. You’ve been warned.
8. Young Juvenile Youth “Animation”
When it comes to Young Juvenile Youth’s “Animation,” we were having a tough enough time adjusting our brain to the tracks seamless transitions between English and Japanese. Then there was the music video. Playing up the single’s title, director Kosai Sekine, commands not only our ears, but also our imagination, with his visual interpretation of the single. The video’s hypnotic progression takes us on a journey through advanced computer generated effects that stunt all over our minimal Photoshop Skills. From morphing faces to eerily robotic movements, “Animation” doesn’t seem to be created for any true rhyme or reason, besides existing as an abstract masterpiece of CGI effects.
7. Grimes “Flesh Without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream”
For the highly anticipated return of Canadian producer, visual artist, singer, songwriter Grimes, the one woman show is trying her hand at directing with an epic six-minute feature for new single “Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream.” Showcasing Grimes’ skills both on and off the screen, we watch as the singer acts out a morbid and zany tale of love lost. Aside from catching our eye with her bizarre behavior, we’re also transfixed by the other the top aesthetic angle of the video that includes everything from Victorian apparel to purple wigs to fake (we hope) blood. Told in two parts like a proper stage production, “Flesh without Blood” is the grand spectacle we’d expect for the lauded return of Grimes, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
6. Pixelord “Rescue Cyber Party”
Last spring, thanks to Squarepusher, we were thrown into a full-fledged virtual reality whose eye-popping experience made us consider leaving reality behind and signing our lives away to virtual everything. Just when we thought we had found our way back to earth, we stumbled across Pixelord’s video for “Rescue Cyber Party.” As one commenter calls it, “Rescue Cyber Party” is the “robot party” we’ve been waiting for. Equipped with a bubble-pipe smoking gnome, cyber aliens, and flying saucer aerial crafts, animator Alexandre Louvenaz has created a video that feels like the psychedelic love child of the Sea-Punk movement and Adventure Time. We’re not quite certain what’s going on throughout the feature, but the one thing we do know, is that we’re quite bummed we didn’t get an invite to this inter-galactic soiree.
5. Dillon Francis ft. Twista, The Rej3ctz “All That”
Anyone familiar with Dillon Francis’ video backlog knows the producer has a penchant for exploring different approaches to the traditional music video. Taking a quick look back at his video for “Not Butter,” the funny man showed as a behind the scenes look on how to sex up your music video, no matter what ridiculous measures might be taken. For his latest visual get down, Francis again takes the behind the scenes route, but this time, things are a little more..fleshy..than usual. Setting the scene in a strip club with a zombie-fied Francis, we get a sneak peek into what kind of diva behavior goes on off camera when you’re dealing with an undead super star DJ. As the plot quickly descends into Night Of The Living Dead meets Showgirls, Francis’ Halloween inspired “All That” makes us realize that working with zombies might require a hefty insurance policy and a little extra patience for our pulse-less comrades. Not saying we’re hating on zombie Dillon’s behavior because we might be down to get bitten if it means we get to hop in on those undead selfies.
4. Dillon Francis & Skrillex “Bun Up the Dance”
Since our introduction to Skrillex’s Dennis Rodman led music video for “Burial,” we can’t help but associate the producer’s raucous beats with cringe-worthy body distortions and mind-blowing flexibility. Reinforcing this notion comes a music video for his team up with Dillon Francis on “Bun Up The Dance.” Jam packed with a double jointed dance crew, “Bun Up The Dance” takes on an almost demonic feel with it’s use of flashing red lights, dark shadows, a ritual-esque fire dance, and zombie like characters. If that’s not enough to make your skin crawl, maybe the Mothra cameo towards the end will do the trick. You might want to keep the lights on for this one.
3. Floating Points “Nespole”
A master of dreamy ambient music whose simplistic facade masks a much more complex composition, UK producer Floating Points has returned with full-length LP Elaneia. Before we delve deep into Floating Points’ hazy state, he is offering up a visual counterpart to album cut “Nespole” for us to feast our eyes and ears on. Realizing Points’ vision, director Sander Houtkruijer recruited dancer and choreographer Kiani Del Valle to reinterpret the songs punctuations and breaks through the medium of the human body. For each glitch and jerk of the track, Del Valle created a movement to correspond with each musical inflection. Playing on the “simple” theme associated with Floating Points, Del Valle showcases the body without any makeup or special effects, and reveals the beauty and complexity that can be achieved with our own hands and feet.
2. Emancipator ft. Madelyn Grant “Seven Seas”
For fans of Emancipator, the producer’s fusion of classical melodies with electronic music creates a hypnotic force of lush soundscapes and daydream inducing rhythms. For the official music video for “Seven Seas,” a harmonious masterpiece featuring vocalist Madelyn Grant, Emancipator tells a tale with far more depth than the imaginary scenarios triggered by his tunes. Written and directed by Erin Galey, “Seven Seas” takes place in the helm of mother nature’s rustic beauty. It may not occur to the viewer upon first watch, but Galey has loaded this feature with symbolic props and actions that are only realized during the final scenes when our protagonist transforms into the Hindu goddess Kali. Revisiting “Seven Seas,” we realize that the protagonist, who begins dressed in black, embarks on a path of destruction, only to shed her darkness in nature and transform into the light-filled multi-armed messiah. Galey’s imagery is used as a metaphor for the birth story of Kali, and encourages us to self-reflect on how our darker natures can lead to destruction. Talk about taking things “one deeper.”
1. Nosaj Thing ft. Chance The Rapper + The O’My’s “Cold Stares”
Day in and day out we as music lovers are bombarded with Top 40 monotony, “festie bangers,” and tunes that simply lack substance. When artists like Nosaj Thing step into frame, we’re granted a fresh reminder of the artistry with which some creators approach their craft. For his next act of wonder, the LA producer has teamed up with Chance The Rapper and THe O’Mys on “Cold Stares.” For the single, Nosaj enlisted programming, CGI whiz kid, and frequent collaborator, Daito Manabe, to bring his rhythmic tale to life. Before even checking out the video, peeping the comments on the video that range from “awestruck” to “next level shit,” are a good indicator of what’s to come. For 85-seconds, the viewer is taken on an audio-visual thrill ride, full of trippy editing, mind boggling effects, and an overwhelming feeling that no matter how creative and cool we think we are, we could have never come up with something THIS advanced. Whether able to wrap your mind around this work or not, after watching “Cold Stares,” it will not soon be forgotten.