Music videos of the month

Le1f goes off-grid, Sean Nicolas Savage swoons and White Lung tear our faces off in May's essentials

Music Top Ten
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SEAN NICHOLAS SAVAGE – “THE RAT”

Montreal director Angus Borsos further illuminates Sean Nicholas Savage’s movie star charisma in this gloriously simple black and white performance video. Here, the graceful crooner is as magnetic on film as in IRL at his hypnotizing shows. For more on his forthcoming eleventh album Bermuda Waterfall, revisit our longread with Savage here.

WHITE LUNG – “FACE DOWN”

The multi-talented Pierce McGarry (he’s also the drummer for Mac De Marco) directs this riotous, colour-bleeding haze of VHS for Vancouver punks White Lung, having taken inspiration from singer Mish Way’s love of the video for L7’s “Stuck Here Again”. The film matches the intensity of “Face Down”, as the band maraud suburbs, highways, parks and beaches accompanied by blazing scarecrow effigies.

TOM VEK – “SHERMAN (ANIMALS IN THE JUNGLE)”

Director and editor PAXI ramps up the ominous feel of Tom Vek’s brittle, seductive Luck track in this jump cut-heavy clip filmed at Bethnal Green Town Hall. The quixotic singer looms into the lens in his sharp, self-designed shirt as a tale of human weakness – based on The Bonfire Of The Vanities – unfurls under an amber hue.

FLYING LOTUS – “PHANTASM” (FEAT LAURA DARLINGTON)

The visual for FlyLo’s woozy new single is duly tripped-out. We're lured into the bronzed desert of New Zealand’s North Island, alongside a CGI-hearted, holographic mummy and a crawling ball of fluff. It's a delightfully curious piece of film-making, courtesy of conceptual image-artist Bow (Markus Hofko).

HOW TO DRESS WELL – “REPEAT PLEASURE” 

“Repeat Pleasure” is the first in a trilogy of videos to be released in the lead up to How To Dress Well (Tom Krell)’s forthcoming record, What Is This Heart. Director Johannes Greve Muskat worked alongside noted director and photographer Luke Gilford to create this depiction of the emotional upheaval brought about by a loved one's imminent demise... whilst new romance blossoms amidst the gloom.

LANA DEL REY – “WEST COAST”

Lana Del Rey is always the main draw in her own videos, and this one doesn’t waiver off that course. The monochrome film for Ultraviolence lead single "West Coast" is a slightly more understated affair than epics like "National Anthem" or "Ride", and a slightly rawer take on her noir-ish fantasy world as she flirts beach-side with a rocker dude, cruises with a sinewy older gent, then becomes ignited in CGI flames.

KATE TEMPEST – “THE BEIGENESS”

Lauded London rapper and poet Kate Tempest’s debut LP Everybody Down (Big Dada) traces the story of a masseuse named Becky and a vivid supporting cast of characters. In the charming lead supporting video, a mystery text message pierces a window cleaner’s ennui, leading to a weird, unexpected adventure.

HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR – “I TRY TO TALK TO YOU" (FEAT JOHN GRANT)

A choreographed display of relationship turmoil is an increasingly popular theme in music video world, and the dancers in NYC disco outfit Hercules and Love Affair's new video are captured with more clarity and conviction than most. Director David Wilson lights up warring lovers Danny Dolan and Logan Schyvynck in chiaroscuro, underscoring the longing in John Grant’s featured vocal turn.

LE1F – “SUP”

It’s increasingly rare – and so very refreshing – to watch a video shot in a forest that doesn't involve anyone being abducted or killed. In this straight performance piece directed by Jesse Miller-Gordon, Le1f delivers his Hey EP cut from atop stone arches, in woodsy and stylish attire.

HOCKEYSMITH – “HESITATE”

The stillness of paralysing pauses is depicted beautifully in the guitar duo's new video, shot by Laura Coulson. Shot around the Hockeysmith sisters’ farm-based mobile home in Falmouth, we move from the deadened eerie mid-afternoon to a sun-drenched hilltop rave.

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