Each week we’ll be scouring the web for the best new indie and mainstream music videos.
5. Tim Qualls — “Say You Love Me”
Let’s start with a local boy. Tim Qualls bringing us some more of his excellent bro-pop to lighten a darkened time. “Say You Love Me” juxtaposes Qualls in front of an ever shifting colored wall with ballet dancer Katy Thoroughman moving in time to the music. It’s no “I Saw You Dancing” from Featherface (pretty much nothing is), but the mixture is an engaging and memorable music video from director Justin Betancourt that starts Houston off right on the music video scene.
4. Ian Sweet — “Slime Time Live”
They just don’t seem to make music videos like this anymore. Back in the ‘90s you had stuff like Green Day’s “Geek Stink Breath” and Sponges “Wax Ecstatic” that sort of reveled in a sensual grossness. “Slime Time Live” captures that aesthetic in spades. Directed by Ryan Baxley, it follows singer Jilian Medford as she lives a slime-obsessed life, serving her mother food craved from what looks like a cross between a tumor and Cthulhu’s tentacles, while daydreaming of being on a television show where she is hit continuously in the face with cream pies while wearing an expression of weird, orgasmic joy. It’s an unsettling little film that is oddly erotic and ends with a terrifying twist. If you’ve got a strong stomach and a taste for the unconventional, this one is for you.
3. Marshmello — “Summer”
Believe it or not, “people in masks do ordinary things” is actually its own little sub-genre of music videos. They vary in quality, but “Summer” is impossible not to like. The plot is simple, with Marshmello working at a skating rink and falling in love with a girl on the last day of the job while his killjoy boss keeps hassling him. Nothing original, I allow, but director Daniel Burke has a rare grasp of light and angles that takes a pedestrian little love affair and makes it something epic and triumphant. You just feel better after watching “Summer.”
2. Auditorium — “Fire Fire Ocean Liner”
Okay, I’m slightly cheating on this one because it’s just shy of a month old, but you have got to see this. It’s another one the squeamish will want to skip. A young girl (Rebecca Noble) is taken by her family to a small country doctor. There, it’s reveal that her right leg is infected with moths, and the doctors scramble to try and save her. She stares helplessly out a window where an old man (Christopher Myles), who may or may not be Father Christmas, holds her gaze as he chops down a tree. Director Ben Barnes crafts an intoxicating mixture between Auditorium’s beautiful song and the strange, frightening body horror short film, and it’s something that you simply can’t look away from.
1. Univz — “Stardust”
Best video of the week is definitely this animated outing from Univz. Vaguely reminiscent of Niki and The Dove’s “The Fox,” it has a more lo-fi animated style as it tells shows the journey of Univz as she falls through space and time. Nothing makes me happier for music videos in the 21st century like the amount of animation that has become more readily available. “Stardust” uses it perfectly to ensnare the ears and eyes, even giving us a nice bit of narrative in the end to tie the whole experience together. In fact, it’s well-crafted enough that you could watch the whole thing on a loop seamlessly. Beautiful, engaging, and nothing less than what you’d expect from one of Earth’s premier space cadets.