In this 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.
“Scarred” – Breakfast
Los Angeles band Breakfast describe themselves simply as “A group of friends that tell yummy stories through sound & lyrics, living happily together in Los Feliz, Los Angeles“, preferring to let the music speak to itself. And really, with powerhouse pipes at their helm from Andrea Adolph, they can do just that. The video for their latest, “Scarred”, is an unnerving, sci-fi depiction of a toxic relationship’s aftermath. Multiplying heads and bodies, dark figures and orbs and the stark shock of Adolph’s painted white face will haunt you long after it ends. Bonus: incredible song.
“Run Like A Rabbit” – Hillary Hand and the Roseliers
Colorado’s Hillary Hand and the Roseliers linger in the indie-synthpop realm between St Vincent and Metric, but their video for “Run Like A Rabbit” evokes darker themes than their deceptively sunny veneer. Taking rabbits back to the creepy of Donnie Darko, the pulsing melody drives a tale of a woman masked and trapped — in her head; in her home; in the suddenly disturbing white picket fences. It’s little wonder they’re earning “one to watch” accolades; we can’t look away (or stop pressing play).
“Covered In Chrome” – Violent Soho
Australian rockers Violent Soho have drawn comparisons from The Pixies to grunge icons Nirvana, likely stemming from their gritty, raw sound. Just as they cleverly employ sonic juxtapositions of softer rock and explosive choruses, the video for “Covered In Chrome” stalks frontman Luke Boerdam through working class suburbia, reflecting on the life that we’re programmed to want and ultimately shredding it room by room. The cinematography perfectly echoes the song, which makes this video a fun watch.
“OMG” – Radclyffe Hall
Praised by the likes of Meshell Ndegeocello, Radclyffe Hall dwells in that delicious space between 80’s electro and Lorde’s brand of exploratory indiepop. “OMG” deal with that sense of loss and breakdown that occurs when a connection has been severed so completely, you’re alone despite being with that person. Its noir-esque black and white video is raw and unpolished in all of the right places, evoking that sense of isolation.
“History” – Holy Holy
Australian alt-country breakouts Holy Holy have been capturing hearts and minds with their piercing lyrical insights and carefully layered compositions. “History” is the band at their best: gut-wrenchingly honest, soaked with honeyed harmonies and building to a tidal wave’s swell by its end. The video, filmed through robotic ‘motion-control’ camera rig, swings in and out of the nooks of an apartment that could belong to anyone, lending a sense to a passing of hours and growing urgency — a need to live a life with meaning. It’s a clever device, one that jars the senses and fuels a foreboding feeling that time is running out.