Each month, we run down the most memorable clips and celebrate artists who are breaking ground with their visuals.
6. LSDXOXO: “Sick Bitch”
Directors: Pe Ferreira and Enantios Dromos Limitrofetelevision
The video for LSDXOXO’s “Sick Bitch” runs like a lost VHS promo for an underground sex club. The Berlin-based DJ starts off in the backseat of a car, cruising through a decayed city street and sizing up leather-clad misfits for a night of debauchery. The party soon moves to a crimson cabaret, where LSDXOXO sports a sky-high ponytail and holds court over a pair of agile strippers. He brings the song’s bass-rattling filth to life in a fetishy ending where everyone’s pressed together in an orgiastic swarm, an image of decadence that lasts long after the clip ends.
5. Crumb: “BNR”
Director: Joe Mischo
“BNR” is Crumb’s fuzzy ode to the colors black and red, and the Brooklyn psych-rock group brings the theme to life with a Lynchian video that slowly lulls you into its sinister point of view. Lead singer and guitarist Lila Ramani wanders down a palm tree-lined street, all while a trail of dark water crawls behind her. The imagery gets slippery from there: flares of red filter through into the black and white; Ramani sits for a lobster dinner while two waiters literally spin impatiently around her; and, in a surprise conclusion atop a hillside, the tone switches from surreal to gruesome in a shocking split second.
4. Japanese Breakfast: “Posing in Bondage”
Director: Michelle Zauner
Following her X-Files homage last month, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner returns with a horror-tinged visual for the slow-burn ballad “Posing in Bondage.” Zauner floats into an empty supermarket on a hoverboard, wearing a striking black outfit with winged shoulder pads and dried blood on her face, plus a scarily vacant gaze (the question of where, or who, the blood came from is tantalizingly left to the imagination). She takes advantage of the desolate store by chugging orange juice straight from the jug in the frozen food aisle before eventually striking up an unlikely friendship with the store’s lone cashier. Images of the pair careening around in shopping carts and sharing cups of noodles offer a wry take on intimacy that’s in line with the song’s yearning for closeness. It also completely makes you want to make friends with someone who may or may not be a vampire.
3. Jayda G: “All I Need”
Director: David Ehrenreich
For Jayda G’s delightfully retro house song “All I Need,” she crafted a video that relishes in grainy, rare footage from an old Canadian outdoor rave. She updates the scenes with clips of herself dancing as though she were there right alongside the ravers, creating a magic trick that transcends time. Cars list on the side of the road as partygoers trek into the forest, where a sprawling field has been cleared for the strobe-lit night to come. And it’s a fun game to pick out the era’s baggy denim and flannel outfits, which are already circling back in style today. “Nothing has changed,” she reassures us in the hypnotic chorus.
2. Faye Webster: “Cheers”
Director: Matt Swinsky
No one else in indie pop is as amusingly unbothered as Faye Webster. In her latest visual, the Atlanta singer-songwriter hangs out in a vast underpass with a gang of roving motorbikers. She doesn’t seem all that out-of-place, even when she fusses with a yo-yo while the crew pop wheelies behind her. She eventually goes on to lead the pack on a cherry-red bike, hair blowing in the wind. But the video’s climactic scene is its best, with Webster in the passenger seat of a neon-lit desert buggy complete with Scrooge McDuck and the Monopoly Man painted on the side. As she speeds around in donuts and whips up a cloud of dust, her expression still looks like she’s just killing time.
1. Tierra Whack: “Link”
Director: Cat Solen
Yes, the garish LEGO spon-con on display in “Link” is a little weird, but is there any better brand to underwrite another inventive video from Tierra Whack? In this pastel sci-fi fantasia, Whack lives in a peaceful land with some strange characters: a pink and orange Brillo pad monster, someone suited up in a blue umbrella suit, someone else in a banana-yellow mask. They all come together to build an animal-shaped spacecraft especially for Whack, who plans on departing into the skies forever. But being cast into space can be lonely, especially once the papier-mâché planets start to resemble your loved ones back home. Sure, the video probably appeals to the same elementary school audience that watches Yo Gabba Gabba!, but its simple story of everlasting friendship never gets old.