2014 has so far given us a lot of video evidence that the music world is doing a pretty good job, as well as some that aren’t quite hitting the mark.
2014 has so far given us a lot of video evidence that the music world is doing a pretty good job, as well as some that aren’t quite hitting the mark. Here’s five examples of the good and the ugly.
The Top Four…
Kaiser Chiefs: Meanwhile Up in Heaven
A song recently dedicated to all those who have lost someone starts with a slightly battered looking groom – lead Chief Ricky Wilson – opening a front door to a Victorian funfair. While looking for his bride, he encounters a number of ghostly folk from time gone by – astronauts, infantry soldiers, nurses – likes he’s trapped in a purgatory pleasure ground.
MUIH is fantastically melancholic and a complete change of tack from Chiefs videos of old. No gimmicks or silliness; it’s simply a tale told to the wonderfully put together track and Wilson is a great performer of playing a damaged and troubled soul looking for something precious lost to him.
What makes it not just a sad story told well is the constant cycle of merry-go-rounds, waltzers and swings, the gently subtle reminder that the life cycle we’re all busy keeping a grip on is terrifyingly short. Reflective huh?
Dance music tracks are littered with the classic boy-meets-girl love story, but Route 94’s My Love adds quite a dash of colour and sauce to their video.
Our boy makes his way into a club and prowls the bar area, witnessing narcotic enthusiasts getting down to business. The club itself is a Technicolor heat map of all the beautiful people busting moves and then, he spots her. Alone. Watching him. The inevitable pursuit takes place – a sloppy snog and it’s back to hers where it becomes – ahem – a bit more hot and physical (you can fill in the gaps). The deed done and his lady love in the shower, Romeo leaves with a quick glance chucked her way.
Quick, dirty and the facelessness of all involved makes the track’s subtle warmth turn a little dark and sleazy. No gentle touch, no romance. Just get in and get out. And all in under four minutes.
George Ezra: Budapest
You could take all sorts of deep and meaningful directions from Budapest. Ezra and his guitar in a crowd of lads, hipsters and deflated-looking commuters, telling that special someone he’d give up everything for them. Sweet.
Bu what about the lonely looking people he’s surrounded by? Is it that, despite being in a crowd, you can still be alone? Possibly. What I think is that we’re all individuals by default, but friendship, love and interaction, although fragile, is what binds us to one another all along the journey called life.
Budapest is a wonderfully confident and simple concept – people need people and the video arrangement is a beautifully brutal reminder for us all.
Want to witness the work of an intelligent lyricist, journey through the Smoke and come out the other side far more musically educated? Ghostpoet is the artist for you.
The early March release of the Dial Tones video is pure Ghostpoet; perfectly structured, dream like snap shots of everything told in time to the sleepy lo-fi beats. The darkness of the video’s setting could be easily taken as gloomy, but Ghostpoet’s understated expertise in keeping his audience just away from the precipice of heavy thinking makes him a genius.
Dial Tones is about that awkward can’t-take-it-back state of falling out with a loved one. It’s full of ‘if only’s’ that is a gentle nudge towards the sensitivity of others and getting your cranium in gear to keep relationships happily bobbing along.
Maybe I’m biased, but give me a simplified, scaled back and stripped out video by the G-man any day of the week.
…And The Worst
Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX: Fancy
I can’t imagine what the entire thought process was from the two ‘artists’ that pout and grind their way through this, but it scores low on the creative scale. The fake high school/cheerleader/house party skits are some weird tribute to Mean Girls (complete with tacky, sickly sweet coloured outfits) and the whole ‘bad gal’ act is horrendous to the point of not being anything remotely ironic – it’s just awful.
You can guess that I’m not a fan and that I don’t really get the point or purpose of either of them here. The video is lazy, uneducated and pretty tasteless. It’s in line with a cast of thousands from over the years and I could bang on about poor role models for the future generation, but I won’t.
I will say his though: find something more constructive to do with that 3.5 minutes – there’s nowt fancy about it.
What are your top videos of the year so far? Let us know in the comments below!