In our Video Surveillance series, we comb through hours of footage to gather the most eye-catching visuals and unique storylines and bring you the best music videos of the month. Happy watching.
10. Purple Disco Machine “Where We Belong”
German funk producer Purple Disco Machine is no stranger to fusing classic and modern sound techniques in his music. The “Where We Belong” video builds on this idea through the use of animation. The creators set the scene with a psychedelic theme that is the result of neon color splashes, infrared filters, and trippy visuals that enhance the old-school feel of the track. What is really remarkable about this video is the use of different aesthetic media to create the final product. For example, the animators employ special techniques, such as using archaic video footage spliced with their own animation to create the video’s retroactive motif.
9. Liar “Pygmalion”
Animator Radu C. Pop channels the dreamy element of Liar’s “Pygmalion” via a striking set of visuals showcasing a pair of animated lovers getting down and dirty. The stunning animation illustrates a woman being brought to life by a man’s touch and, adversely, her ultimately killing his soul with hers. Hopefully, this doesn’t like your past relationships.
8. Flight Facilities ft. Sam Rockwell “Down to Earth”
Directed by Rhett Wade-Ferrell and starring actor Sam Rockwell (Moon), Flight Facilities’ “Down to Earth” is the boogie-down fantasy we’ve all dreamt of. The video builds off a dream sequence that shows a Hawaiian shirt-clad guy transform into a dapper businessman who can really bust a move. The beauty of this video is that it pays homage to some of the most iconic dance sequences of the last century, including everything from Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, Fred Astaire’s “Puttin on the Ritz,” Saturday Night Fever, and even Fatboy Slim’s legendary Christopher Walken-starring music video for “Weapon of Choice.”
7. Alison Wonderland ft. Wayne Coyne “U Don’t Know”
One word: McLovin. The masterminds behind the “U Don’t Know” video—a production company called the OTTO Empire—recruited none other than Christopher Mintz-Plasse to bring Alison Wonderland’s song to life. The typically funny guy flexes his acting chops as a creepy psychopath who abducts a girl in his station wagon… or so we think. By the end of the video, we discover this alarming scenario is no more than a couple fetishizing abduction for a little role-playing “fun.” 50 Shades of McLovin, anyone?
6. Skrillex “Doompy Poomp”
Set in a Groundhog Day from hell, the official music video for “Doompy Poomp” explores the track’s repetitive formula. Concocted by French auteurs Fleur & Manu, who are also responsible for Gesaffelstein’s “Pursuit” and M83’s “Midnight City” videos, bring to life an eerie tale where one man is trapped in a never-ending cycle of bank loan rejections. It may be repetitive, but Fleur & Manu keep things interesting with everything from allusions to The Matrix to kung fu brawls and choreographed group dance-offs. What makes this video even better is the ability to the take the monotonous tale into your own hands; you can customize the video by reordering the shot sequence via GIFs. Try it out here.
5. Axwell / Ingrosso “Something New”
The appropriately titled second single from Axwell / Ingrosso, “Something New,” represents a new beginning for the duo. The video’s concept is quite simple: two motorcyclists weaving through a backed-up highway until they reach the car accident ahead. However, the video may have a much deeper meaning pertaining to Axwell and Ingrosso’s departure from Swedish House Mafia and beginning again as “something new.” As they drive through the highway closer to the crash, chaos continues to escalate until they reach the accident and drive through a fog of smoke, ultimately breaking onto an open road before them. We can’t say for sure if this is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the demise of SHM, but we’ll leave that up to you to decide.
4. The Prodigy “Wild Frontier”
Matching the brutally aggressive sound that has become synonymous with the Prodigy, “Wild Frontier” takes us on a dark journey where the hunter becomes the hunted. The incredible animation created by Mascha Halberstad and Elmer Kaan creates a world where hunted animals take things into their own hands—or hooves and paws—and hunt humans. Did we really expect anything less twisted from the Prodigy?
3. Alesso ft. Roy English “Cool”
When we think of Alesso, we usually envision bustling crowds manned by an uber cool DJ commanding the masses behind the DJ booth. In his “Cool” visual, Alesso takes a break from his too-cool-for-school demeanor and literally goes back to high school and transforms himself into the quintessential, sweater vest-rocking nerd. He unleashes his inner badass for a solo dance-a-thon that sees the producer break out moves that should probably never be seen in public. Alesso putting his most embarrassing moves on display for the world is not only incredibly endearing, but may have ultimately made him 10 times cooler. Here’s hoping he breaks out those moves behind the DJ booth from now on.
2. Nicky Romero & Vicetone ft. When We Are Wild “Let Me Feel”
Violence is never the answer, but for Nicky Romero and Vicetone’s official “Let Me Feel” music video, we can make an exception. While the upbeat festival anthem typically brings on thoughts of PLUR and shuffling kandi kids, we see the track lyrics applied to a much more heart-wrenching scenario. Directed by Peter Huang, “Let Me Feel” tells a harrowing tale of a father and his sick daughter. Fast food delivery isn’t quite panning out when it comes to covering his daughter’s medical bills, so he turns to a much more unorthodox method of making that paper: an underground fighting ring. Cinematically, the tale unfolds with clever crosscut shots between old home videos, a young girl hooked up to IVs, and a man getting his behind whooped, all in the name of love. Together, the scenes combine for a powerful emotional trigger that will forever transform the meaning of “Let Me Feel.”
1. Brodinski “Us”
Brodinski is no stranger to working with the world’s most reputable artists to complete his projects (Kanye, anyone?). In typical Brodinski fashion, he recruited one of the brightest stars in filmmaking, Jérémie Rozan, for the music video to “Us,” off his new album Brava. Rozan is the cofounder of the 360-degree design firm Surface to Air, which is responsible for iconic work for everyone from Louis Vuitton and Givenchy to Justice and Chromeo. For this video, Rozan puts his visual mastery to use as he shows Brodinski indulging in Shanghai’s unsavory pleasures. Rozan mimics Bro’s altered state by using a number of visual techniques, such as blue lighting in every shot, dizzying camera angles, mystifying props (is that a Pikachu kitten, and how do we get one?), and wide-angle shots to show off just how elaborate and visually stimulating the set is. If there was ever a music video we wish were a feature-length film, this is it.