The dying art of music videos

Despite a recent decrease in popularity for the art form, here’s a few music videos to enjoy

Yung+Lean%2C+photo+courtesy+of+IMDb

Yung Lean, photo courtesy of IMDb

By Jackson Walker, Collegian Staff

The importance of music videos has diminished since the years of MTV. It used to be the primary way of debuting a song to the world for the first time. But with the advent of streaming platforms, this is no longer possible. Music videos have became an afterthought. However, this year artists have still released beautiful productions to complement their songs.

“ManiqMansManoir” by Harto Falión

Brooklyn’s own Harto Falión has found a unique voice and image in the crowded music scene. Mixing drum and bass on this this drill-tinged beat, Falión contrasts the rhythm with his monotone, yet melodic voice.

Falión’s visuals and lyrics often draw upon early 2000s pop culture, with fast flash images and anime references. They also integrate hand-drawn imagery across the screen. Falión often includes the entirety of the song’s lyrics on the screen in one way or another. On “ManiqMansManoir,” Falión displays each verse with the full lyrics in Snell Roundhand, a personal favorite font.

Bliss” by Yung Lean & FKA Twigs

As of late, Yung Lean’s videos have become as fresh as his music. His last album “Starz” gave us videos for four separate songs, each of them distinctly different. Lean has expressed interest in directing a film in the future, and one can’t help but think that these videos are practice.

With his latest album “Stardust,” Lean has provided a three additional videos, among them, “Bliss”. Calling upon FKA Twigs, this video follows the pair’s supposed wedding day. The video spans a single day, starting in the morning with Lean picking up FKA Twigs and ending with their vows.

“Trailblaze ☆” by Cowgirl Clue

Ashley Clue, known as Cowgirl Clue, established her voice under a genre she calls “y’allternative,” a mix of country and alternative. Combining calm folk melodies with abrasive drum bass, synths and hi-hats, this video encapsulates the mix of genres.

Beginning with simple footage of Clue riding and grooming horses, the video transitions to eclectically edited collages of the artist producing music. The visuals are transposed over the previously viewed horse imagery. Cowgirl Clue combines genres effortlessly and successfully.

“Shed theory music video lurch theory” by Shed Theory

With over 20 videos released this year, picking just one for Shed Theory was a challenge. Departing from their typically sedated take on trap music, this ambient track is accompanied by a video of the group scouting a location for a later video. The minimalistic production is interspersed with sounds of waves crashing, along with commentary from the original video.

“bePresent” by Bootleg Baby

Australian artist Bootleg Baby, also known as Rapallo when producing, brings his distinctive high pitched vocals and trap beats to an equally unique video. Rapallo masterfully uses gradient effects on lines of text. The gradient is consistent, but as the song rises and dips, Rapallo adjusts the text to follow the sound of his voice. All of this is overlayed with stylized lens flares and hand-drawn linework, making for a visual feast.

“DRAIN STORY” by Bladee

This is one of those music videos I desperately need to see footage from behind-the-scenes. For the sole single of his newest release “SPIDERR,” Bladee uses the lyrics of this song for a tangible visualization.

The song references something Bladee explores often in his lyrics – the act of spinning around. In the video itself, Bladee stands still for the most part. Most of the time, he’s in large open spaces such as a park or a city street. However, the camera spins around him at a consistent pace, zooming in and out as Bladee changes outfits.

“2020)” by Yabujin

This year, Lithuanian artist Yabujin has slowly made his return to both music and videos. He is a unique addition to the music game. His videos mix eclectic imagery, representative of a largely online upbringing in early 2000s Russia. This video also brings back a style of dance called jumping. Yabujin can be seen participating in this style in the video’s handheld footage, resembling something out of a horror film. 

Jackson Walker can be reached at [email protected]