Sia recruits Shia and Maddie for an emotional take on her own psyche, FKA twigs is a little tied up and Woman’s Hour see double
FKA TWIGS – “PENDULUM”
FKA twigs’ music videos have become a fierce creative force to contend with – second only to her music – and the visuals for Pendulum are no different. Like an 80s Jean-Paul Goude-styled Grace Jones crossed with Hype Williams-directed Busta and Janet, FKA twigs cuts a striking figure as a prisoner of her own hair, dangling from the ceiling Japanese bondage-style. "Using my own hair represents me at one time being suspended and held back by my own fears," she has explained, making her rise from the slimy, metallic CGI surface an ardent interpretation of personal freedom.
JAM CITY – “UNHAPPY”
Burned-out, riotous clips and hazy, sun-flecked images are stitched together against heavy-lidded vocals and woozy, cloud-rap beats in this romantic plea for peace. The flickering, politically charged collage comes ahead of London producer Jam City’s upcoming album, which is “rooted in the bleakness in the present: everyday life under the regime of high capitalism.”
OCEAÁN – “VERTAS”
Two dancers bring their greying, urban surroundings to life in this beautifully liberating, body-popping visual creation from London-based filmmaker Ozzie Pullin. Set to the sweet, submerged synths and soulful, layered vocal jams of Oceaán, the clip recalls an earlier video for his track “Need U”, which also included two young dancers making shapes in Peckham. “I wanted to explore the duality between lyrical context and conceptual production,” said Oceaán in a press release. “Taking influences from many facets of electronic music, my main aim was to investigate the effectiveness of songwriting within the electronic plane… creating and displaying a disparity between them.”
POND – “SITTING UP ON OUR CRANE”
Never before has a crane been imbued with such emotional anxiety via the medium of a digitalized psychedelic vortex. Directed by Alejandro Miguel Justino Crawford, the colour-flushed, pixelated animation resembles a warped in-flight safety video for an imagined future. The lustrous, textural track is taken from the Australian psych-outsiders forthcoming album Man It Feels Like Space Again.
BUNKI – “SKTCH”
London electronic producer Bunki blends shapes and textures in a collage-like layering of objects for his debut EP SKTCH. Fusing static, disparate images of shells, statues, plants and latex gloves, the art-influenced visual for the title track takes everyday objects and transforms them into something altogether more hypnotic and bizarre. Combined with the spidery beats, eerie chimes and shadowy electronics of the tracks, the video unfurls as a fully immersive experience.
FLYING LOTUS – “CORONUS, THE TERMINATOR”
Another starkly cinematic, deathly video – for a track taken from Flying Lotus’ phenomenal fifth album You’re Dead! – which here explores the experience of death with dusty, dislocated imagery including ghostly characters swarming the hallucination of a dying man. “For me, Coronus is one of the most important moments on You’re Dead! and holds ideas I’m planning to explore in my future work,” FlyLo has explained. “I’m happy that the visual encapsulates the meaning of the record and this ambition.”
SHURA – “INDECISION”
It was RuPaul who said, “You’re born naked, and the rest is drag” and it was Shura that took this idea to 80s pop-tinged heights in her stylish, gender-fluid clip for Indecision. “This was the first treatment that really gently alluded to (the song's themes) but was in and of itself a moving story about a journey and change,” Shura explained to Dazed. “Obviously you can ask all sorts of questions about the video – is he gay? Does he just like dressing up? – but it's open to interpretation. It's done in a really subtle way I think.”
SIA – “ELASTIC HEART”
Whilst this video garnered some attention for its triggering potential, the clip was intended as a moving interpretation of “two warring ‘Sia’ self states” and sees dancer Maddie Zeigler and actor Shia Labouf in a strikingly intense Ryan Heffington-choreographed dance-off amidst the bars of a domed cage. Looking equally dishevelled and dirt-smudged, the two figures offer visual representations of Sia’s psychological battles to a backdrop of her soaring, pop track.
TROXUM – “LUCKY SUN”
Combining jittering, 90s Nintendo samples over chaotic electronic glitches and glittering melodies, maximalist Pittsburgh producer Troxum is no stranger to taking a simple element and crafting it into something warped and beautiful. He enlists the same approach in this video, constructing an enormously ornate, psychedelic creation by using a filtering process called ‘pixel sorting’. The result is an eerie, yet immersive piece of digital art.
WOMAN’S HOUR – “DEVOTION”
In a minimalistic, monochrome exploration of sibling intimacy, the latest video from indie four-piece Woman’s Hour is subtle and stylish visualisation of two people being completely in sync, using identical twins to translate the idea. “We used minimal props and staging to make the focus on the subjects, almost as still life portraits,” Woman’s Hour’s vocalist Fiona Burgess told Dazed. “As well as looking identical, they have a constant lifetime loyalty to each other that’s unlike any other relationship.”