Each month, we run down the most memorable clips and celebrate artists who are breaking ground with their visuals.
6. Monaleo: “Suck It Up”
Director: Cash Jundi
The latest single from Monaleo is a clinic in delightful arrogance in which the burgeoning Houston rapper dishes out head-knocking barbs aimed at “fake bitches” everywhere (see: “Busting at your noodle, tryna boil your linguine”). In the video, she wears heart-shaped sunglasses and a peach velour tracksuit with the hood pulled up as she spends some quality time with a friend in a massive white Bentley. Monaleo lavishly treats herself, whether riding on the highway while hanging out of the sunroof, indulging in a shopping spree with bags on bags of designer wares, or dancing rowdily in the front seat. That she does all of it while verbally laying waste to haters with surgical precision is further proof of her unfuckwithability.
5. Peggy Gou: “I Go”
Director: Inji Seo
Electronic artist Peggy Gou tapped Seoul-based illustrator Inji Seo, known for her neon-streaked, body-positive characters, to craft this technicolor journey from sea to space. A cartoon version of Gou, sporting a Sailor Moon costume, commandeers a ship that doubles as the nightclub for her pom pom-waving crew. But just as she and her squadron are ready to toast with glasses of champagne, a fleet of dastardly pirate rabbits arrive. Even as the two sides shoot off rockets in an attempt to destroy each other, the clip’s Lisa Frank-style aesthetic makes it all look downright cheerful. The twist ending (involving a giant giraffe) just makes me want Adult Swim to order a full series version of Seo and Gou’s fantasia all the more.
4. Circuit Des Yeux: “Dogma”
Director: Haley Fohr
The credits for this self-directed clip from Circuit Des Yeux, aka Chicago art rocker Haley Fohr, hint at its strangeness: Both kite wranglers and drone operators were required for this surreal trip into the subconscious. Wearing a cape and a smear of red paint over her eyes, Fohr wanders through a field where two oracles in red veils usher her into a tent with a mystical vanity table inside. As she slips into headier reveries, the camera lingers on images of a boat at sea, red fabric floating through the air, and mysterious rockets blasting in the distance. Its impressionistic fervor will likely inspire some daydreams—or maybe nightmares—of your own.
3. Magdalena Bay: “Secrets (Your Fire)”
Directors: Magdalena Bay
Pop duo Magdalena Bay turned to vintage online resources like GIFCities and r/ForgottenWebsites as inspiration for their forthcoming debut album, and their Web 1.0 obsession continues in this video, where both members are plunged into a dated digital otherworld. They perform “Secrets (Your Fire)” in front of the unforgettable Windows XP green hill wallpaper before entering exponentially weirder scenarios that include frenzied infomercials, World of Warcraft cosplay, and a saxophone that spouts fire. This is a Y2K lark that actually feels like being on the early internet, glitchy pop-up ads and all.
2. Baby Keem / Kendrick Lamar: “family ties”
Director: Dave Free
Here is a non-stop blitz of captivating, disconnected scenes all jockeying for your attention. Whether it’s Baby Keem dancing in silhouette through a paint swatch; Kendrick stomping in front of a flag for his creative company pgLang as the camera watches in awe from below; or a surprise cameo from Normani, each scene lattices over each other into an eye-popping collage. The frenetic pace keeps up with the song’s quick-witted bars. “I been duckin’ the pandemic/I been duckin’ the overnight activists/I’m not a trending topic,” Lamar coolly reminds us.
1. Caribou: “You Can Do It”
Director: Richard Kenworthy
It’s hard to find fault with a music video entirely made up of adorable dogs frolicking and leaping in exquisite slow motion. The latest hypnotic track from Canadian experimental pop vet Caribou is an unabashed tribute to canines of all stripes: small dogs, large dogs, puppies, hounds with a total lack of paw-eye coordination—everyone gets some shine. And then, as the song ascends via synths and a looping vocal sample, the frisbees come out. Yes, they can do it!