1. Caribou-itsnicethat-list

    When a song is so moving and beautiful and spot-on, making a video for it can’t be an easy task. Something too saccharine would cheapen it, something too literal would feel a bit lame, and something too abstract could seem a lazy solution. Lorenzo Fonda, who has directed the video for Caribou’s I Can’t Do Without You, has deftly avoided all these pitfalls, creating a piece of film that’s beautiful, strange, colourful and gorgeously cinematic. The narrative-driven piece shows a sweet little boy running about trying to catch an enormous, carnivalesque fish; its glorious tones and textures glistening in the sunlight adding a colour and somehow heightening the pathos of the track it illustrates. We won’t tell you what happens, but it’s as heartbreaking as it is joyful; following our unlikely stars through the countryside. The video does exactly what music videos should do – adding a new depth and meaning to a song while letting the listener drift off and form their own, personal narratives while enjoying the one we’re shown.

  2. Ezra-jurman-itsnicethat-list

    One man who evidently has patience in truckloads is Joseph Brett, the filmmaker and animator based in London who is responsible for creating this music video for Ezra Furman’s new song Restless Years, which might be the single most ambitious stop motion music video I’ve ever seen. In it, Ezra explores the San Francisco Bay Area in thousands of still frames. He walks down streets, through tunnels and around a vintage clothes shop donning more and more women’s clothes at every step, not to mention pausing at intervals to dance with friends or to wander curiously around a library. It must have taken weeks to make, let alone to edit together, and the sheer amount of effort which has gone into it makes it completely irresistible. Joe, we salute you.

  3. Hiro-murai-int-list

    If his music videos for the likes of Flying Lotus, St Vincent and Childish Gambino hadn’t already marked him out as one to keep an eye on, Hiro Murai’s latest directorial offering, the music video for Earl Sweatshirt’s new single Grief, should do it. Filmed on a thermal camera and played out in black and white, it’s in the same league as Never Catch Me which stunned us with its simple but incredibly original storyline. In this instance Hiro has taken the level of restraint one step further with a slowed down, monochrome approach – it’s brave, effective and perfectly matched to the pace of the emotive song. Somebody pin him down for a short film, sharpish.

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    One of the many benefits of being a meagre 19 years old and making music so nice that thousands of people want to hear it is that you can play a teenage fangirl in your music video and nobody will bat so much as an eyelid. Greta Kline, aka Frankie Cosmos, can anyway; her new video for Art School sees her play a sweet, lovesick Justin Bieber fan happily hanging out in her own private Bieber-palace surrounded by posters, pencil cases and other paraphernalia.

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    Is there anything better than when pair of cool, creative individuals who also happen to be romantically involved collaborate to make something glorious together? No, I answer myself, there is not, which is why this new offering from super-couple Lena Dunham and her musician boyfriend Jack Antonoff, lead singer of Bleachers, is so fantastic.

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    Now I’m not in any kind of musical ensemble and I don’t intend to make a music video anytime soon, but if I did, Mimi Cave is undoubtedly the woman I’d go to. She’s a pro in all things light-dappled and sweetly haunting, and she’s been involved with so many excellent audio-visual offerings of late that it would be criminal of us not to acknowledge her brilliant work.

  7. Main

    There are music videos, and then there music videos made to take the form of a slowed-down and then sped-up mysterious event, which is quickly followed by a pop quiz for the viewer. Complicated? Yes, but also absolutely brilliant.

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    “Peng” isn’t a word everyone knows. I didn’t know the definition until about three minutes ago when I visited truth-sayers Urban Dictionary where they informed me it means “Sexy Girl. Adjective. ’There’s some proper PENG over there!’” Interesting. I don’t know what it’s like to leer after a sexy girl, but I do know what it’s like to stand in a kebab shop, dribbling, praying for them to call out my order so I can bury my face into its greasy, greasy loins.

  9. Ia

    This video won’t mean much to people who haven’t seen Clueless, unless you’re really into Iggy’s music. I am not, so I turned the volume down and put on Kids in America by The Muffs to really get into the tartan, 90s vibes of my salad days. As a big Clueless fan I’ll admit that I was wary of this homage to the 90s teen film to rule all 90s teen films, but it’s amazing! It’s like Director X has actually raided the costume cupboard from that era (surely they did, you cannot just go and replicate that big plastic hat that Dionne wears).

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    Three cheers for directorial duo Stephen Ledger-Lomas and Phoebe Arnstein for their work on Jamie Isaac’s new song, She Dried. Together they take us to a stark, monochromatic room where we are third wheel to a curious dinner date between Jamie and a fascinatingly beautiful older woman. This peculiar little love story is spliced with shots that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end – a lightbulb in a vice, white thread (or hair?) dragged between rusty nails, dark liquid dripping on to a calloused hand – the stuff of short, sharp nightmares or the more bloodcurdling scenes in Twin Peaks. What’s so refreshing about this video is the simplicity of it, as it serves as a reminder that for a great video all you really need is a few props and two very, very talented filmmakers.

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    Have all the high-budget music videos you want, I’ll argue to the grave that the lo-fi ones are always better. This one is a prime example of perfect song-to-video ratio, with the incredible Chastity Belt wailing out a terrific track companied by a video that totally represents what they’re about. Of course it may be something to do with the band having a helping hand in the making-of, but if that’s the case then even better! Bands and directors should work together in perfect harmony, that’s where the real corkers come from. I love the bit where they’re all kind of floating in the night sky, it reminds me of that much-loved E-17 video. I thoroughly advise you to stop what you’re doing and go and buy the new Chastity Belt record while you still can.

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    Boy are you in for a treat this morning! Who gives a shit about getting Valentine’s cards this week when you’ve got loveable, legendary French rogue Michel Gondry presenting you with a brand new music video for Metronomy’s Love Letters? Just when you thought he’d hung up his music-video hat for a lifetime and moved on to bigger projects, Michel is back in our lives with a brand new classic.

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    This week’s music video gush is from director David Wilson. He’s made unforgettable videos from this saucy banger for the Arctic Monkeys, to this even saucier one for Tame Impala. His knack for taking a good idea and injecting some sexy weirdness and alluring visuals into it is making him in very high-demand at the moment. Who better to tell us about his favourite ever music video? Here he is…

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    Remember how fantastic camcorders were in the 90s? Mayer Hawthorne was evidently a fan; the video for his song Crime is a super stripped-back remembrance of that golden era. It all seems like an uninterrupted nostalgia fest, actually, until the singing starts, when line by line the lyrics pop up in the analogue text in the borders like the coolest karaoke video ever made. And in case that isn’t enough, the video footage used is taken from the cameras used on the dashboards of police cars, so they’re filming actual criminals, too. Simple, but very effective. Now who wants to talk about Tamagotchis?

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    We’ve all been there; two Hollywood superstars lounging around on set waiting for the next shot. It’s hot, you’re bored. Lunch isn’t for another hour. Talk idly turns to the new Kanye West/Kim Kardashian video directed by Nick Knight (below); an idea takes shape. What recreate the whole thing? Shot for shot? We couldn’t James… could we? They only ruddy did…

  16. Travis-list

    Travis are back, and they’ve brought a lovely music video directed by Wriggles and Robins along with them! This one seems to make a heavy reference to everybody’s favourite moment in Pocahontas, when the wise old medicine man makes a running hare appear in the smoke over a log fire (no? Just me?) but Travis’ version is a brilliantly animated tiny man who condenses in the exhaled breath of the band members.

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    There’s nothing like brilliant animation to stir up the music video scene every once in a whole, and the new Arctic Monkeys song, Do I Wanna Know? hits the mark and then some. Directed by David Wilson with animation agency Blinkink, the video begins with a straight white line which vibrates which each thick chord that ripples through it, and grows to a full colour animation complete with racing cars, booty-shaking flag-wielding ladies and and a fish or two. In short, this is the whole shebang. Don’t believe me? Watch it above and find out for yourself!