Hyperreal house-hunting with Carly Rae Jepsen and spiral staircase-building with Frank Ocean feature in this month’s best visuals
This month’s best music videos range from a bizarre real estate promo from Danny L Harle and Carly Rae Jepsen to a calming 45-minute video art piece by Frank Ocean. Elsewhere there’s helicopters, champagne, and Lamborghinis in the latest clip from YG and a steamy new visual from the mind of Kanye West. Here are our picks of August’s must-watch videos.
DANNY L HARLE – “SUPER NATURAL” (FEAT. CARLY RAE JEPSEN)
Carly Rae Jepsen dons a wig and goes house-hunting in Los Angeles in Danny L Harle’s new video. Directed by Bradley & Pablo, the video depicts PC Music member Harle as a suited estate agent who shows Jepsen her dream home – or maybe we should say ‘dreams her a showhome’, given the somewhat hyperreal feel of the video and the clinical sheen of the house. Whereas flat-hunting in the UK usually means revising your expectations of what you consider to be an acceptable level of black mold, in the Hollywood Hills it ends with Harle and Jepsen having a cookout in the back garden and throwing a pool party.
FRANK OCEAN – ENDLESS
Although Frank Ocean’s video for “Nikes” was the ‘proper’ music video for his latest album Blonde, there’s something more enticing about the 45-minute clip for visual album Endless that dropped the day before on Apple Music. Created as a video art project by Francico Soriano, the zen-like video shows Ocean practising woodwork to build a spiral staircase. Watching Ocean do skilled labour is oddly satisfying to watch, made doubly so by the fact that Ocean never gave a reason as to why he wanted to build it: he just did. It’s just a shame the big reveal was ruined by some guy at a bar beforehand.
KANYE WEST – “FADE”
Like his recent video for “Famous”, Kanye West’s latest clip blurs reality and fiction in an opulent fashion. Debuted at the MTV Video Music Awards over the weekend, where Kanye was given six minutes to himself to do whatever he wanted, the video stars the underrated Teyana Taylor (a frequent Kanye collaborator and signee to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint) and her IRL husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert. It’s strange and steamy (not to mention NSFW), featuring Flashdance-esque choreography, a waxy look, and some downright surreal imagery including a flock of actual sheep and Taylor transforming into a cat.
SOFT HAIR – “LYING HAS TO STOP”
If you give two people with a deeply idiosyncratic sense of humour a camera and let them run wild, you get something like Soft Hair’s debut video. Soft Hair is a new collaboration between New Zealander Connan Mockasin and the UK’s Sam Dust (aka LA PRIEST), and the video for “Lying Has To Stop” shows Mockasin looking like Klaus Kinski in an ill-fitting top and flares while Dust gyrates in a shimmering open shirt. Then they start filming each other in the bath. “It’s kind of us trying to look good, but not really looking that good,” Dust told us about the video, “We only look good because they booked us a really expensive camera. It’s like a cinema quality camera, and then some really shit further details. It kind of looks like a hip hop video.”
YG – “WHY YOU ALWAYS HATIN?” (FEAT. DRAKE & KAMAIYAH)
Going from a DIY interpretation of a hip hop video to an actual hip hop video, we have Compton rapper YG’s new clip for “Why You Always Hatin?”. While it doesn’t necessarily reach Hype Williams levels of excessiveness, the Joe Weil-directed video is still pretty decadent. It opens with an expensive-looking shot of YG landing a helicopter in the middle of the road in LA, and it basically keeps going from there. There’s some complex car choreography involving Drake perched atop a Lamborghini, Oakland rapper Kamaiyah gets some foot massages from beautiful people, champagne pops and a banquet is served in a mansion.