After a bit of a Cannes-related break, it's time for the return of Videodrome, our semi-regular showcase for the best music videos around. Since the form has given the world game-changing helmers in both the blockbuster and arthouse realms, it's always important to keep an eye on promos, and indeed, one could argue that there's more invention to be found in the short-form than there is in features. So, without further ado, the five best music videos we've seen in the last few weeks. As ever, any tips and suggestions are more than welcome.
"House" - Kindness
Thanks to "Moonrise Kingdom," Leonard Bernstein's exploration of music is back in the zeitgeist (that's his deconstruction of Britten, from "The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra" that opens the film), and coincidentally, director Daniel Brereton (who's worked with the likes of Django Django, Metronomy and Egyptian Hip-Hop) has taken a similar approach for his video for British dance act Kindness's track "House." Inspired by Bernstein's TV special "Inside Pop: the Rock Revolution" (watch it in full here) it sees Lou Taylor Pucci-lookalike Adam Bainbridge, the man behind Kindness, deconstructing one of his own tracks with the help of a very cute kid. Thoroughly charming.
"Reunion" - M83
M83 are another band who benefited from a coincidental tie-in with a movie: the French act brought out their last record Hurry Up, We're Dreaming just as super-cool electro had been put back on the cultural map by Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive." For the video for M83's latest single "Reunion," helmers Fleur & Mantel are using a similar neon cityscape, but for a John Carpenter-ish tale of creepy kids with psychic powers. There's some impressive effects work at play, plenty of eerie imagery, and the general feel that we're watching the trailer for some kind of movie franchise that doesn't yet exist. If anyone ever makes a movie of Warren Ellis' "FreakAngels," they should consider these guys.
"Heaven" - The Walkmen
On an entirely different tip to the sweeping sci-fi of M83, veterans The Walkmen (whose new record is their best ever) have dug into the past for a photo and video collage of their history, from their earliest days picking up musical instruments as kids to festival stardom. It might feel a little bit like flicking through all of someone's Facebook pictures in four minutes, but it's beautifully cut, and the melancholy yet curiously joyful sense of time moving on is a perfect match for the band's muscular lump-in-the-throat sound. Alex Southam, who's directed videos for Fanfarlo and I Break Horses, is the man responsible.
"Money Makin'" - A-Trak & Dillon Francis
Much sillier is the clip for a team-up from dance supremo A-Trak and fast rising producer Dillon Francis, which features vocals from Greg Nice. Directed by documentarians Ben Solomon and Daniel B. Levin (in a pretty major departure from their more serious work), it owes a little something to some of Hammer & Tongs' promos, with two magical repairmen (our two producers) turning a grocery-store ATM into a walking, dancing, hard-partying, living creature. It's a lot of fun, and a good one to play spot-the-cameo in too.
"Glitters Like Gold" - The Cribs
As you might have spotted, we're big fans of when video directors embrace the potential for interactivity in the medium, given that most people watch promos online rather than on MTV. For "Glitters Like Gold," the new single off the latest album by Leeds indie vets The Cribs, directors Andy Knowles and Stephen Agnew have come up with a '90s nostalgia fest (paying homage to a bunch of other classic videos in the process) clearly meant to have aired on some 1990s music video show. But the genius of the clip comes in the videos; when a pop-up fact about the band comes up, you can click, and it'll lead on to a video related to the fact starring a member of the band, including a 20 minute ramble with Gary Jarman, two hours of Ryan Jarman bowling, and eight minutes of the group in a row-boat. It's a clever use of the medium, and it's pretty easy to lose half an hour exploring the various link-outs.