Stunning cinematography from Solange, DIY short films from Grimes and a tracksuit-wearing Val Kilmer feature in our picks of October’s best videos
This month’s best music videos include The Rhythm Method’s tour of London by day, Obongjayar’s tour of London by night, and Grimes actually on tour in London. Elsewhere, Val Kilmer turns up looking super fly in a red Nike tracksuit (why not?). Check out our picks for October below.
GRIMES – “WORLD PRINCESS PART II”
Earlier this month Grimes casually dropped seven new music videos – four of them for songs taken from Art Angels, three by her friend HANA – which together make up the extended film The AC!D Reign Chronicles. Having each been shot on iPhone while the two were touring together, they aren’t high budget, glossy videos – but they do look stunning considering they were essentially made to fill the dead time between gigs. “World Princess Part II” takes place in the Tower of London, a ruined abbey, and a private jet; it’s simple proof that you can make something great by just doing it yourself.
OBONGJAYAR – “CREEPING”
Obongjayar was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK when he was 17. Currently based in London, his trip hop-y debut single “Creeping” is an outsider’s look at the city by night. Its video captures that pensive, after hours vibe, literally shining a spotlight on Obongjayar as he takes a nocturnal stroll around the capital. It’s beautifully shot, with a dark, grainy picture quality – hardly a surprise given director Frank Lebon comes from a photographic family (his father is acclaimed photographer Mark Lebon, while his brother Tyrone recently shot Frank Ocean’s “Nikes” video).
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER – “ANIMALS”
Val Kilmer stars in the new video from experimental electronic musician Oneohtrix Point Never. Directed by Rick Alverson (The Comedy, Entertainment), the video was shot in Los Angeles and depicts Kilmer slowly dropping in and out of consciousness while sat on a hotel bed. It seems serene, but there’s an eerie undercurrent that contributes to an overall sense of dislocation: the footage is interrupted by strobing effects (created by removing frames during editing), the aspect ratio gives it a boxed-in feeling, and the hotel feels trapped in time with a TV/VCR combo that’s about 20 years old.
THE RHYTHM METHOD – “HOME SWEET HOME”
The Rhythm Method write bittersweet pop songs about a lot of topics, but there’s one preoccupation they often return to: London. “Home Sweet Home” is probably the duo’s most direct attempt to grapple with the changing nature of their city, and their relationship with what London is and what it’s becoming. (Released immediately after the decision to suspend Fabric’s license, lyrics like “With every closing bar / There’s hollows in my heart” felt particularly resonant.) Its video isn’t the most visually exciting thing – you suspect the only cost in making it was the cab fare – but it nevertheless acts as a valuable document of the city in a particular moment in time, capturing ephemeral moments (Battersea Power Station under construction, land earmarked for property development, etc.) in locations that will look very different in even five years time.
SOLANGE – “CRANES IN THE SKY”
Solange’s “Cranes In The Sky” video, directed by Solange with her husband Alan Ferguson, doesn’t have much in the way of a conventional narrative. Instead, it’s a series of mostly still shots across a series of sparse but stunning locations. As Solange’s Saint Heron blog put it, the videos depict women and men of colour “liberating” themselves “through costumes and choreography, as well as moods conveyed via flawless scenery and set design”. The contrasting colours and subtle movements imbue the visuals with an almost spiritual quality.