This week’s most visually striking music videos were heavy on satire–of Internet culture, product placement, and phone addiction. Rainbow color schemes and kaleidoscoping mandalas were the design tricks of the week (they show up in “Cookie Jar,” “Multi-Love,” “Glass and Patron,” and “Wait for a Minute”).
QT’s new video for “Hey QT” shows the rising pop star/android princess concocting the DrinkQT energy drink in her sci-fi laboratory. The bubbly pink video is filled with imaginary Black Mirror-esque technology, and satirizes product placement by posing as an energy drink ad.
Directed by Bay Area artist SNEAL, the new video for Tune-Yards’ “Wait for a Minute” is four minutes of glitchy Net-art maximalism composed of random video clips (flames, babies, Merrill Garbus’ painted face) overlaid with bubbly platitudes in cheesy typography (“There is nothing to fear”).
Directed by Chip Yamada and N.A.S.A.’s Sam Spiegel, the video for “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” is composed of footage from recent police brutality protests around the country. Montaged together, the clips convey the power of the “hands up” gesture as a symbol and a way of branding the movement.
FKA Twigs stepped behind the camera to direct the video for “Glass and Patron” as part of the promo for the YouTube Music Awards. It begins with her giving birth to a rainbow shawl, after which she heads to a runway in the middle of the forest to partake in what a press release describes as “the most epic vogue battle of all time.” It’s worth watching for the costumes alone: a mix of iridescent kimonos, metallic trench coats, and Gaultier-inspired corset contraptions.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s video for “Multi-Love,” accompanied by an interactive video app, features a montage of infinitely regressing holographic objects (the eye of Horus, palm fronds, floating palaces) whose movements are influenced by video game animation. Or, as director Lionel Williams explained in a statement:
It is meant to represent the vacuum of space by impressing upon inter-dimensional unfolding, immaterial objects, and time-driven reverberation of events. The virtual space allows for most 3D objects to trail in time–based on the directions one moves. You can construct & paint the objects in space to stretch them in any direction, to create infinitely vast compositional spaces.
While we don’t support anyone tattooing the word entropy across their stomach, we can’t deny the visual appeal of this video for “Cookie Jar,” chock-full of rainbow-cookie mandalas. If not for the cookie-headed dancers, all the glitter and patterned pastel leotards could be straight out of an ’80s workout video. It’s what would happen if Cookie Monster got really into ecstasy and then directed a music video.
Charli XCX attacks the self-obsession Internet culture spawns in this video for “Famous.” A cutesy teenybopper’s selfie and phone addiction leads to a spiral into zombie-filled Internet hell.