Top 5 Music Videos of the Week: OBB, Jay Pray + more
Every week your boy with one F goes digging for music video gold. Let’s see what I found this time around.
5. Lauren Hoffman and the Secret Storm — “Broken”
I’m putting a trigger warning on this one for intimate partner violence, so please watch at your own discretion. It’s hard for me to say whether I really liked “Broken,” directed by Aaron Farrington and Abel Okugawa. It’s more how like after I watched Requiem for a Dream. I was glad I saw it, and never had any desire to see it ever again. “Broken” is an allegory for a destructive relationship told through the themes of MMA fighting, and parts of it are very hard to watch. It does manage significant, if damaged, beauty, though, and Hoffman is quite gifted as an actress throughout the run time. Brutal is the best compliment and harshest criticism I can come up with.
4. Stolen Jars — “Eliot”
Here’s something much lighter and playful. “Eliot,” animated by Evelyn Jane Ross, is a simple but elegant cartoon experience of shifting, chalk-like images that pair perfectly with the idyllic music of Stolen Jars. It’s not an overly-deep video, but it does offer a soft comfort for the eyes and ears. More things should be this genuinely good.
3. Jay Pray — “I’d Go Anywhere (Do Anything)”
This is a great example of how in deft hands a minimalist narrative can be woven into something compelling, and directors Evan Chapman and Kevin Eikenberg have those hands. The video is a Jay Pray’s lament that a girl he loves maybe doesn’t love him back as much, and most of the video is taken up with him staring forlornly at her while she is oblivious. Sounds boring, but the clash of light and sound, the expert use of editing and framing in the shots, all of it makes “I’d Do Anything” positively addictive.
2. OBB — “Sweater”
Not going to lie, I almost quit watching this video 30 seconds in because I thought to myself, “do I really need two dopey white guy love stories in a single week?” I’m so glad I didn’t. Videos like “Sweater” are the reason I do this column, and a big part of why I love music videos as an art form. First, I am simply in awe that anyone managed to craft an expert-level level interpretative dance routine centered around sharing an old grey sweater, and even though the concept and song itself are cheeseball as all get out, the dancers and the band play it with such sincerity that I couldn’t help but smile. Second, when one couple puts the sweater in a washing machine and an adorable little girl pops up out of it wearing it, I just lost it. I clapped at my screen and made corny dad noises. It was just perfect. The world is a better place because this exists.
1. Keys — “Worth It”
I hate to end y’all on a down note, but you have no idea how rare it is for me to find good rap videos these days. Too many artists phone it in rapping in front of a place they like and never bothering to pull an on-screen narrative together. “Worth It,” directed by Kirx, can certainly not be accused of that. It’s a gripping little tale of drug crime drama that is hopelessly tragic, but also majestic in a way. A young couple is caught up in the game, but it’s a lack of trust that ultimately lays one of them low. This is one of the music videos that makes me wish the idea would be expanded into a full-length musical film. Where is the rap version of Hard Day’s Night? That’s what I want to know.
by Jef Rouner