What is the first music video you can remember watching? The first I remember watching was “Wrong Way” from Sublime. I remember the video being super goofy and weird, however, what else can one expect from a music video made in the 90’s?
The 2015 YouTube music awards took place last week, so in light of that, I have compiled a list of the top 10 videos from 2012-2015 having particular visual, artistic, and narrative interest. Each video has unique qualities either from how they were filmed, edited, and performed. On especially important quality to acknowledge is the visual narrative each song delivers.
Just like films, novels and music albums, great music videos impact and bring awareness to the viewer. Some say an artist’s potential lies in their ability to write, perform, create and sell music. This is accurate, however, an artist’s ability to synthesize multiple art mediums separates performers from artists. In America, modern pop culture is the societal collective of our beliefs, values, interest, and traditions. Hence, when a valued and largely followed artist has a music video, in essence they’re demonstrating the visual narrative of our pop culture. The music videos that comprise this list demonstrate significant artifacts in pop culture trends.
1. Alvvays-Next of kin. The effects and artfulness, enhances the mood and vibe of this melodic gem.
2. TV on the Radio- Happy Idiot, Paul Reuben (Pee-wee- Herman) and Karen Gillian (Doctor Who, and Guardians of the Galaxy) star in the video.
4. Young the Giant- Apartment, the narrative and plot uniquely integrates the story of a man having an adventurous birthday and the lead singer dreaming about the events that took place.
5. Phantogram-Fall in love, the use of special effects and performance displayed by the group that shows the intensity and emotion of the song.
6. Childish Gambino –Sober, the 80’s R&B pop vibe the song has, also the dance moves that Donald Glover throws down, and the various technical changes in the video.
7. Foster the People- Best Friend, the intense and trippy effects of this dark twisted narrative depicting how the idea of beauty can be an addiction and lead to one’s downfall.
8. Vampire Weekend- Diane Young, the cameos of indie/pop artist such as Sky Ferreira, Santigold, Chromeo, Despot, Dave Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors, and Hamilton Leithauser from The Walkmen and their all having a party.
10. Joey Bad$$- Like me, the emotional content and story of the main characters struggles of being a black minority facing street life, police, love affairs and grudges. Near the end of the video Joey Bada$$ pays respect to fallen minorities, as they’re being resurrected from the after life.