Music videos of the month

Tinashe sees double, Drake makes his return and Rihanna channels the 00s in Sean John denim

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Tinashe – Aquarius

RIHANNA – “FOUR FIVE SECONDS (FEAT KANYE WEST AND PAUL MCCARTNEY)”

It’s not often we get to see Rihanna without a shower of dollar bills or a throne to twerk against – but it works. Shot on an all-white soundstage, the Bajan singer is joined by Kanye West and Paul McCartney for this stylishly minimal, black and white visual to accompany the stripped-back, acoustic collaboration. In it, she wears a 00s-style Sean John denim because, in her words, “Denim never goes out of style. It's classic, it's iconic… just like the fucking Beatles.”

CLARENCE CLARITY – “MEADOW HOPPING, TRAFFIC STOPPING, DEATH SPLASH”

Ever wondered what your eyes would look like if they were lips? Now you can find out in this freaky digitalised nightmare from noise-pop producer Clarence Clarity, who has never shied away from creating videos that make you go WTF. The track itself is hooked around the camped-up, treacle-dipped line “I was in Hollywood, at the Witch House, with the reptiles, and the Catholics,” over a smattering of acidic, funk mangled synth lines and clattering beats.

A$AP ROCKY – “LORD PRETTY FLACKO JOYDE 2”

Rocky's video for his spacey, hook-popping track “Lord Pretty Flacko Joyde 2” shows he can party anywhere, including a laundrette, and outside a grocery store. The murkily colourful, hologram-like visual was made using projectors because he “wanted to make a fun lo-fi video, showcasing that fun energy.” It’s a stylish creation as always, but we still can’t get some of those fan Q&A answers from earlier this month out of our head... (shudders).

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE – “WHAT KIND OF MAN”

Last week, we went behind the scenes of Florence Welch's tumultuous new video to discover that her year away was both “transformative and catastrophic” as she transformed a turbulent relationship breakdown into her formidable third album. This video is the first from that record, and it’s a wildly courageous, unguarded creation where she transforms her experiences (with guidance from choreographer Ryan Heffington) into a visceral, soul-bearing dance routine. Anyone who’s gone through any kind of personal heartbreak will relate. 

ALLIE X – “CATCH”

Allie X's latest visual for her glistening pop gem “Catch” exudes a surreal, vaguely fetishistic, Tumblr-like aesthetic, combing jerky GIF-style techniques with pleasing, and occasionally uncomfortable, digital compositions (including the image of her being suspended from the ceiling by spears, spewing a milk-like liquid substance and releasing a folded-up butterfly from her glittering, silver tongue.) Speaking about the video to Dazed, she said “(We) agreed on some common themes and feelings brought forth by these images we wanted to “xplore” – death, existence, sedation, anatomic study, and sexuality… My artistic quest is to raise questions and grapple the answers in a public sphere.”

TINASHE – “AQUARIUS” 

Tinashe gets personal in this lo-fi, self-directed visual for sultry, R&B jam “Aquarius”, in which she bumps ‘n’ grinds in a variety of outfits, flitting between roles like a one woman play. The video, which she released on her 22nd birthday, harks back to the DIY bedroom aesthetics of her teen mixtape days, the result being a dreamily intimate portrait of her multi-faceted self.

KASPER BJØRKE – “APART”

Director Karim Huu Do explores the multifaceted experience of womanhood in this powerful and vibrant video for Kasper Bjørke's melancholic, synth-soaked track “Apart”. “I have always been fascinated by the rhythms of the female body”, Huu Do told Dazed earlier this month. “There's something really unique about the different stages and changes that a woman's body goes through.” The filmic clip culminates in a young woman beside an old woman – the former naked, with hands covered in blood. It’s both beautifully affecting and slightly uncomfortable. 

SHLOHMO – “BURIED”

Combining the 1980’s electric-aquatic aesthetic of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive with the unsettling, neo-noir edge of a David Lynch horror, the video for LA beatmaker Shlohmo's “Buried” is a darkly cinematic affair. The buzzing synths and spidery beats of the track start to crash and screech as the pregnant protagonist stumbles to an exorcistic ‘labour’. It’s probably not as scary as the real thing, mind.

SOKO – “OCEAN OF TEARS”

There’s something about Soko's latest video that plays like a recaptured memory, long forgotten in a summer haze. “I wanted to lose control, lose a sense of self, and just have fun,” she told Dazed about the clip, where snorkelling gear, bunny heads and glazed donuts collide in a grainy, VHS-filmed ode to getting stoned and having aimless lols in the Hollywood hills. A hazy multitude of colours intertwine with grungy, fuzzed-out guitar and slacker-style vocals, and the result is truly infectious (and also quite sexy). 

DRAKE – “JUNGLE”

A day before Drake pulled a Beyoncé and dropped his surprise new mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, he released this mysterious 14-minute short film, which intertwined a contemplative monologue over archival footage and electric blue shots of the city. Beneath the moody cinematography are echoes of darkly expansive, flavoursome new beats and trickling piano. It’s a creation that finds the Toronto rapper inhabiting a brooding new space.

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