Sophia Elias
May 24, 2014 9:32 am

For better or worse, videos can alter the way you experience music. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself what type of visuals came to mind whenever you heard Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” on the radio. Since the death of music television and the subsequent takeover of YouTube, music videos have been re-birthed and thrust onto a new, competitive platform. From comedic short films and stunning visual journeys to gratuitous booty shaking extravaganzas, the endless possibilities for music videos are sort of exciting. I’ve included eight of my all-time favorites [in no particular order] for your consideration. Feel free to share some of your own!

1. FKA Twigs – How’s That 

Director: Jesse Kanda

This is the perfect example of how breathtaking audio and visuals can exist in a complimentary relationship. Rather than featuring the artist, the visual star of this video is the faceless, human form. Made from CGI, the mangled and manipulated bodies of this video transfigure into different states, proving to be both beautiful and disturbing.

P.S. If you’re a ’90s video lover like I am, some of these visuals may bring you back to Bjork’s All is Full of Love and Janet Jackson’s What’s It Gonna Be. Watch and listen to both!

2. RÜFÜS – Desert Night 

Director: Katzki

What starts out as a sloppy, emotional karaoke session unexpectedly turns into an admiring dance off. I’ll leave any metaphorical speculation to you.

3. Seekae – Another

Director: Ian Pons Jewell

Aside from this being one of my all-time favorite songs, this is probably one of the most unique story lines for a video that I’ve ever seen. After you’re done watching it, click here for an explanation. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I’ll have you know it’s pretty dark.

4. Spooky Black – Without U (Explicit)

Director: Gabe Broderick

If this video doesn’t bring out the cyber stalker in you, I don’t know what will. Spooky Black has been a person of speculation since “Without U” started picking up steam in April, and understandably so. According to unofficial research, he’s a 16-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota named Corbin Smidzik. Whether or not he’s dressed in a dorag and turtleneck for irony’s sake is anyone’s guess. The director, Gabe Broderick, also appears to be a teenager from St. Paul. Whether this music video was intended to be avant-garde art or a 10th grade satire project, I don’t care – I’m fully intrigued. Not to mention, Spooky is a talented guy.

5. Kodaline – All I Want

Director: Stevie Russell

This touching narrative follows the struggles and setbacks of a disfigured hero in his workplace. Aside from being bullied by his heartless co-workers, he also has to deal with the rejection of a prospective love interest. Once our hero reaches his boiling point, he turns things around for the better, leaving us inspired rather than heartbroken.

6. Radiohead – Just

Director: Jamie Thraves

Why does he decide to lie down in the middle of the sidewalk? Why won’t he agree to tell anyone? Why can’t he just get up? When he finally tells us why, everyone seems to…sympathize (for lack of a better word). This video really kills me at the end. As you can see, there are more questions than answers when it comes to this particular piece – and that’s why it’s great. Again, I’ll leave the speculation to you.

7. Metronomy – A Thing For Me

Director: Megaforce

Who doesn’t love a sing-along video where the bouncing ball comes to life and starts knocking people in the head?

8. They Might Be Giants – Am I Asleep?

Director: Paul and Mike Swiatek

This was actually a submission for a music video contest for They Might Be Giants. It’s simple, funny and something you could probably relate to (at one time or another). I thought I’d end this with something kinda fun that you can share with your friends.

Enjoy! Feel free to share any of your favorite music videos in the comments.

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