This week our usual, young, British video selector is off on other more pressing duties, so you’ll be under the mercy of a slightly older, much more Canadian fellow. And it just so happens that a couple of pretty great Canadian videos dropped this week, as did clips from the U.S. and Australia. With a mix of cross-dressing, vintage filters and sci-fi-themed videos, we bring you the latest and greatest in music visuals from the past week.
Mac DeMarco – My Kind of Woman (Dir. Alex Lill)
As mentioned, I’m Canadian, so let’s kick off with a local. Presented by LVMH’s NOWNESS, Montreal-based solo artist Mac DeMarco cross-dresses and later undresses in a gritty, dirty clip for “My Kind of Woman,” off his second album, 2. In the video Mac cycles through a variety of scenes in little more than smeared lipstick and a wig. It’s a bit unsettling, but very well done.
Kurt Vile – Never Run Away (Dir. HARRYS)
In an exclusive NPR debut, Kurt Vile’s latest video, “Never Run Away,” off the album Wakin on a Pretty Daze, shows the long-haired rocker strolling through the urban decay of his hometown of Philadelphia in lo-fi haze. Of the video, Kurt says “the whole thing found me in my right element: all dressed up and ready to drift.” Directed by the duo known as HARRYS, the clip is meant to remind the viewer of vintage album covers, such as Neil Young’s On The Beach – and with the slow, 35mm Instagram-like vibe, it definitely does the trick.
Crystal Castles – AFFECTION (Dir. Stephen Agnew)
The second bit of Canadiana is the video for “Affection” off (III) by Toronto’s Crystal Castles. While the production value on this video isn’t as impressive as some of the others featured here, we find the the clip provides an excellent visual compliment to the electronic duo’s signature strobing sound. Dark and brooding, while fun at the same time, the video makes you want to spend a night with Crystal Castles’ Alice and Ethan.
Empire of the Sun – Alive (Dir. Kelvin Optical, Inc.)
One of only a handful of videos featured in our news feed this week, the video for “Alive” from Australian pop-duo Empire of the Sun is an over-the-top, fantastical visual that follows up on the wild sci-fi trailer they released earlier this year. Directed by Kelvin Optical, Inc., a division of the J.J. Abrams-helmed Bad Robot Productions, the clip is stunning. Empire of the Sun’s new album Ice on the Dune is set for a June 14 release.
Janelle Monae – Q.U.E.E.N. (Dir. Alan Ferguson)
“The booty don’t lie.” While the four other music videos featured here all contain great sounds and visuals, “Q.U.E.E.N.” from Janelle Monae’s forthcoming Electric Lady is the overall best of the week. With a black-and-white ’60s sci-fi theme, director Alan Ferguson takes things to another level under the guise of a living museum. Blending graphic design with costume and dance, the futuristic video for the funky Erykah Badu-assisted track does well to make an already great song shine.