Björk as a moth, SZA meeting Drew Barrymore, Mr. Mitch exploring fatherhood and Rihanna being Rihanna feature in our pick of the month’s best visuals
This month we’ve seen Mogwai defy gravity, Mac DeMarco chill with the grim reaper, Radiohead feel unsettled, and Yves Tumor get buried alive. All are worthy of your time, even if they haven’t quite made the top cut of our month’s picks. Here, we’ve selected five of the month’s best for our round-up, with a mixture of glossy, high-concept visuals and inventive ideas executed on zero budgets.
BJÖRK – “NOTGET” (VERSION 2)
Björk is a moth in the seven-minute video for “Notget” – the second time the Vulnicura song has been given a video. Directed by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thorton Jones, it depicts the Icelandic icon emerging from a breathing cocoon before the black-and-white imagery bursts into colour and Björk transforms into a new lifeform. Du Preez described the video as “bruised, dark, ominous, and mysterious”, and that they “made the decision to submerge it into almost what we almost call an inner earth or into a place that could house that decay and bruising.”
BROCKHAMPTON – “LAMB”
Kevin Abstract is probably the most recognisable name of the Texas-based Brockhampton collective, a group of rappers, producers, musicians, and visual artists who are challenging representations of masculinity with their music. Last year Abstract released his debut solo album American Boyfriend and now he has both featured on and directed the video for crew cut “Lamb”, from their upcoming Saturation II. The video looks at male friendships, its one-take shot conveying probably the purest and most wholesome expression of joy you’ll see this year. As one YouTube comment puts it: “Yall remember when Brockhampton invented friendship?”
DJ KHALED – “WILD THOUGHTS” (FEAT. RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER)
Human meme and restless product hawker DJ Khaled dropped “Wild Thoughts” earlier this month. It’s a summer anthem in the making, sampling Carlos Santana’s 1999 song “Maria Maria” and boasting a top notch guest spot from Rihanna. Its Collin Tilley-helmed video is essentially just an excuse to show off a bunch of different looks from Rihanna as she swaggers through the streets and alleys of Miami, gold on her wrists and dangling on her ears.
MR. MITCH – “PRIORITY” (FEAT. P MONEY)
Like Brockhampton, south London producer Mr. Mitch’s “Priority” video is a that puts a wholesome depiction of masculinity at its heart. The monochrome, Luke Carlisle-directed visual extends the themes of fatherhood in Mitch’s recent album Devout into the visual realm, depicting a group of dads (all friends and contemporaries of Mitch’s) in a down-to-earth way. “It’s a representation of dads doing their day-to-day thing,” the musician told us recently. “I’m grateful to have them all showing their day-to-day lives, just as a representation of dads and the normalisation of fatherhood.”
SZA – “DREW BARRYMORE”
SZA’s simple and artistically-shot video for “Drew Barrymore” is a lush and dreamy jaunt across New York City set to the changing seasons of the year. It’s gorgeous, but that’s not the only reason it’s been turning heads: the clip, directed by Dave Meyers (who most recently shot Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”), boasts a very brief cameo from the actual Drew Barrymore, SZA’s favourite actress. The wheels for this collaboration may have started back in January, when SZA shared a video of Barrymore watching her perform the song on Jimmy Kimmel.