From snorkelling with Soko to snapping belfies with Miley Cyrus, these are the homemade vids that had us pressing rewind
Despite the fact that music video channels are basically defunct, the past few years have seen the biggest golden era in music vids since Michael and Janet Jackson’s insane, 4.4 million dollar masterpiece “Scream”. With agenda-setting artists like Bjork, Azealia Banks and Death Grips bringing interactivity to the fore, Sia bringing performance art to the masses and Rihanna channelling all her cult film knowledge into one explosive creation, music videos have never been bigger, better or more relevant. However, as music videos evolve into huge, polished productions, the appeal of a lo-fi, DIY creation has never been more apparent. With more and more artists are ditching the dollar for a shaky, handheld home movie, music videos are throwing back to the 80s and 90s with beautiful results. With that in mind, here are just a few VHS creations that channel that DIY spirit and have us longing for a simpler time.
SOKO – "OCEAN OF TEARS"
Soko’s sludgy summer ode to being a slacker reignited our obsession with the grunge-pop singer last year, and we still can’t get this beautifully grainy, lo-fi video out of our head. “My friends were making fun of me for being such a square, so I started writing music while smoking every now and then,” she told us when it was released. “I wrote ‘Ocean Of Tears’ completely stoned out of my mind.” Nah, you don’t say.
LUCKI ECK$ & FKA TWIGS – "OUCH OUCH"
This bizarre (and brilliant) video from Chicago rapper Lucki Eck$ and Dazed cover star FKA twigs throws up so many questions – where did they get that snake? Does twigs actually swallow a ring? Where can we get a wedding dress like that? What the hell is going on? It’s hard not to get completely drawn in by the woozy, half-baked beats of Eck$ and the image of twigs being her usual weird self, and it'll have you pressing rewind more than once.
WHITE LUNG – "FACE DOWN"
We love a filthy punk head-banger, and in "Face Down" Vancouver three-piece White Lung truly deliver. From setting fire to scarecrows on the beach like some kind of satanic ritual, to speeding through the sun-splashed streets of Hollywood, this glitch-y creation is fast-paced and fearless from start to finish.
A comprehensive list of homemade music vids would not be complete without grime’s powerhouse brothers Skepta and JME, who teamed up last year for “That’s Not Me”. With it’s eskibeat-style production, rippling synth lines and thudding beats, the track harks back to grime’s Golden Era, with a DIY DVD-style clip to match.
TINASHE – "AQUARIUS SEASON"
Tinashe has always been the queen of DIY, whether through her slew of cult mix tapes and sultry, self-made R&B jams or through her homemade music vids, from “Boss” to the more recent “Cold Sweat”. This fun and freeing self-directed visual for “Aquarius Season" happens to be our personal fave, and it was released on her 22nd birthday (which falls on Aquarius season, obvs).
JUCE – "CALL YOU OUT"
We love this nostalgia-coated video from London girl group JUCE – so much so that we included it in last year’s “Top 20 music videos of 2014”. From the gel pens, puffer jackets and copies of iconic mag The Face, this VHS-filmed creation makes our teenage years seem so much cooler than they actually were. The ESG-style choreography is on point too.
LOLAWOLF – "BITCH"
We’re not entirely sure what Zoe Kravtiz AKA Lolawolf and Miley Cyrus are getting up to in this video, but it looks like fun. From shooting plastic cowboys to taking jewel-covered belfies and drinking champagne in their pants, the pair of pop provocateurs look as if they are in the midst of the best sleepover ever.
MAC DEMARCO – "ODE TO VISCEROY"
Grainy, pink-tinged images of seasides, cigarettes and car parks are stitched together over dreamy melodies and rolling drumbeats in this starry-eyed visual scrapbook from Mac DeMarco, the world’s most romantic slacker. Who else could craft a love song about discount ciggies and make it sound like a beautiful dream?
UZI – "PPL NEVER CHANGE"
Thought Taylor Swift was the only person who collected random cameos? Think again. This multi-coloured creation from pop-rap collective Uzi features clips from Paris Hilton, Amanda Lepore, 2Chainz, Miley Cyrus and Whoopi Goldberg. Having directed videos for Kreayshawn, Grimes and Wiz Khalifa, as well as countless of their own, the Tumblr-fied duo have shown a predication for the aesthetic charm of old skool technology, often choosing to shoot videos on JVC Super VHS-S and Canon T2i.
TY DOLLAR $IGN – "BLASE (FT. RAE SREMMURD & FUTURE)"
This vid from Cali rapper Ty Dolla $ign only came out last month, but we’re already hooked. The blurry, smoke-filled clip plays as if an old camera has been stuck to somebody’s chest during a night out, filming into the twilight hours as the drama unfolds. Dazed favourites Tinashe and Dej Loaf also make blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearances.