STATION REWIND: COOLEST MUSIC VIDEO

Music videos add something special, and a layer of depth to the songs we already love, and sometimes, the videos push the limits and do something completely out of the box. Whether that be features, animation, or just a stunning performance, there are some music videos that are arguably cooler than others. The MD’s and I share what we think the coolest music videos are, and why.


AUSTIN: CACTUS COUNTRY BY COOL SOUNDS

Cool Sounds has the cool sounds. In this discussion they have the cool video. The song carries the video as it slaps, my guy. This video is low budget but is a joy to watch. I appreciate the care and time these folks took to make it themselves. Traveling through various places with guitar in tow in the video, the lead singer/guitarist of Cool Sounds, Dainis Lacey explores with his “axe” through beautiful, coastal, orchard. and woodland landscapes.

In the first chorus, the lead singer experiences a vision of an ominous character holding an actual axe. In the second, the two battle. In the third chorus, the two characters reconcile and watch the sunset together. This was edited well with psychedelic effects and a stop motion montage for the battle and reconciliation sequence.

It is a joy to watch and is cut well with the music. I especially appreciate the footage of a crow backed by the produced song’s cawing included as instrumental. This effect was also done with footage of a dog later in the song.

I empathized with the message in the video. This video showed a theme of shadow boxing and healing. It also provided a personal viewing experience since it appeared to be made with passion, fun, and beauty in each frame.

Stay present. Reconcile with those dark things. Stop to see the sunset sometime.

ZEKE: SHINIGAMI EYES BY GRIMES

I don’t listen to much Grimes, but I won’t deny she’s been one of the more prolific pop artists to emerge from the 2010s. Even among all her controversies (living in a crack den for fun, marrying a billionaire, the list goes on), Grimes has continued to produce groundbreaking, A-list pop and be widely regarded as an internet icon. Shinigami Eyes was one of the first songs I heard from her, and has been a regular listen since it came out. The video is a great example of what makes Grimes so famous, with its ridiculous makeup and outfits along with a barrage of nonstop flashing visuals and high-budget CGI. I especially love this video because of how closely it matches the mood of the song: pulsing, visceral, and disorienting. Borrowing words from Pitchfork, it is like a perversely infectious sugar high that fundamentally recalibrates the brain’s reward centers. It must’ve cost a fortune to render, too. I don’t even want to know the amount of money Grimes‘ label had to spend to make the 3D animation that intricate and dynamic. The result was a fun and massively underrated music video that would be a VFX artist’s worst nightmare.

JUSTIN: I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE BY THE DARKNESS

What’s better than a one-hit wonder making a music video that features a spaceship, an aggressively British gyrating lead singer with a sky high falsetto, and a face-melting guitar solo that kills a giant squid alien? I’ll give you the answer: Absolutely nothing.

ASHLYN: THY MISSION BY THE GARDEN

The Garden is comprised of twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, and have been absolutely ruling alternative music since they started making music together at 17. This is one of their few songs with a feature, and its Mac Demarco himself, an absolute legend of a man. Talented artists in their own right, but together, it’s an absolute masterpiece. This video is supposed to be imitating the Maury Show, and god it’s entertaining. Mac Demarco as the host/devil, Wyatt and Fletcher as guests, its a fever dream.

Their music doesn’t hold back, and neither do their music videos: there’s always something to keep your eyes busy. They recently started doing a lot of jester makeup, if that’s any draw to watching more of their stuff.

ABEL: WE’LL TAKE IT BY ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER

I love cool music videos so much that I have a whole YouTube playlist for them so I can keep track of them. However, probably my favorite is the video for We’ll Take It by Oneohtrix Point Never. It’s completely animated, and looks like a cursed or corrupted bowling alley animation, which totally matches the energy that the song exudes. Eventually it gets to a part where the 3D models of the people and maybe even a rat (?) are clipping into each other and lights are flashing random images that you can’t make sense of. It almost seems like an evil vaporwave aesthetic, which makes sense coming from the arguable inventor of vaporwave. The song is infinitely interesting and the music video exponentially multiplies the concept. He also has a few other videos that are worth watching, including Lost But Never Alone, The Station, and Long Road Home.

ISAK: NEEDING/GETTING BY OK GO

I picked this video because it is one of the most creative music video ideas ever. They play their entire song inside a car and driving it though an obstacle course. It is impressive to watch and this is an example of a band that takes advantage of the music video format. OK Go is responsible for a lot of other great music video ideas and I encourage you all to visit their YouTube channel. You will not be disappointed.

RYAN: MEDICINE BY MOMMA

I’m a big fan of Nirvana, and this band reminds me a lot of them. There’s a 90s grunge feel to them, mixed with their own unique sound that keeps drawing me back. I’m not entirely sure why I think this video is cool, but I like it and I like their music, so I think you should check it out.

ANGELA: EYES CLOSED (STRIPPED) BY HALSEY

I like this video for a couple of reasons. Though the scene is super visually appealing, it doesn’t take away from the song at all. It’s set in what looks like to be an abandoned warehouse, but there are tables everywhere that resemble altars you would find in a cathedral. The whole time the camera is focused on one thing; Halsey with her guitar. The song is confessional, which plays into the religious settings around her. It’s not very intricate, and that’s why I like it so much. The whole thing is just really beautiful and holds a lot of meaning while remaining simple and stripped back.

GARY: SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT BY NIRVANA

In an era where rock stars lived in the lap of luxury, and where the musical icons of the age were showered with glitz and glamour, Smells Like Teen Spirit offered a stark contrast. The music video, set a dark, dingy, highschool gym, paralleled the grimy nature of the song, which represented and ushered in a new era of music, one which no longer craved the limelight and commercialism offered to past pop sensations, but rather resented it. The grunge movement represented a fundamental, earth-shattering change in music that entirely altered the course of modern music, and this video is a perfect encapsulation of all that the movement stood for.

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