In this new monthly feature at OTM, we invite you to stop watching the re-runs and run-of-the-mill offerings on cable and watch music videos that pack a powerful aesthetic.
“My Song 5” – HAIM featuring A$AP Ferg
Love or hate the rap verse* inserted into perhaps one of the best songs this trio of sisters has written, the video for HAIM’s scathing kiss-off track “My Song 5” is hilariously appropriate. Spinning a parody tale of the likes of Maury Povich or Jerry Springer, comedian Vanessa Bayer portrays talk show host Dallas Murphy, whose guests include a cat-loving Ke$ha, audience members Big Sean and the parentals HAIM, and an adorable Grimes in the waiting room backstage.
(* I personally don’t like the verse at all — it doesn’t jive with the female empowerment of the original track and seems awkwardly forced into place — but the video is still great fun.)
“Runaways” – Illitry
Hamilton, Ontario’s Illitry recently released their latest single, the sparse yet lush “Runaways” and with it, a gorgeous video. Shot entirely in black and white and described as “Tarantino-inspired”, “Runaways” is a haunting tale of longing, of running from land to shore in search of freedom. Capturing the disorientation and dysthymia of those lost between Gen X and Gen Y, it is perhaps Illitry‘s finest effort to date.
“Lake” – Spender
Sometimes, less is far more. Such is the case for the stark and haunting imagery in this video for “Lake”. Melbourne’s Spender crafts a heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, woven between indie folk lines that gently roll over his lyrics in waves. The shoreline itself comes alive in the visual, a collaborator with the precocious and seemingly world-worn eyes of Spender’s son. As one son witnessed emotional destruction, another testifies to past truths.
“Kingfisher” – PHOX
Taken from PHOX‘s forthcoming album, “Kingfisher” is an ethereal clashing of reality and dreams via verse and chorus. Drawing from the imagery of a bed’s metaphorical and literal roles in life, the result is a whimsical world of Wonderland-esque nonsense crashing head-first into the cold isolation of daylight. “So brief in entirety/Reverie is my goddamn right.”
“Sunday Night” – MAY
Australian singer-songwriter MAY may draw lazy comparisons to Adele with her confessional love tales and astonishing vocals, but I hear something edgier beneath, akin to Tidal-era Fiona Apple. Similarly edgy, the video for “Sunday Night” is a tale of two against a broken world. Shot with an incredible eye for cinematography, MAY and her fictional lover (Glee’s Samuel Larsen) wander through derelict buildings and lonely streets, stealing kisses and crafting beauty from the ruins. It’s a perfect fit for the pained tale of fleeting passion.