Some days you just feel like surrendering yourself to visual eye-candy, removing those pesky blinders like “realism” and “believability” and “sobriety” in favor of some awesome rocket ships, life-size board games, pastel knife-fights, and Bruce Willis. This week’s crop of the best music videos includes some stunning design elements, from the animation/live-action combination in Gorillaz “Stylo” to the trippy apartment complex of Owen Pallet. After the jump, watch Flavorpill’s choices for best music videos of the week to remind yourself that slavish lyrical literalism can be way overrated. Let us know if you ever feel like returning to the real world.
Gorillaz – “Stylo”
Black-tar smog swallows the sky and donut-craving cops alike in this video that sets up the storyline for the rest of the newly-released Plastic Beach. Murdoc and gang are on the way to somewhere fast, but not if a scenery-chewing Bruce Willis has anything to do with it. The video contains at least two internal references to other Plastic Beach songs and sets up the characters arrival at the titular trash landscape. Extra points for making “Stylo” seem less roller-rink and more car-chase noir, as well as the bonus possibilities of Bruce Willis becoming a recurring character in the Gorillaz video universe.
Goldfrapp – “Rocket”
It looks like Alison Goldfrapp is in her Bowie, “The Man Who Fell To Earth” visual phase. The burbly sound evokes Kylie Minogue and Abba, with hints of Queen grandiosity, sure to destroy dance floors (and if not destroy, at least gloss in a sweaty, glittery sheen). It’s a break-up song for the space romantics and Cosmonaut Barbie set who ever dreamed of sending an ex on an intergalactic journey.
Darwin Deez – “Radar Detector”
Weird Al facial hair meets Napoleon Dynamite dancing. This consciously twee but pleasantly catchy bit of pastel-pop also includes jangly guitar and a transporter cap composed entirely of Kodak cameras.
Owen Pallett – “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt”
The video is frantically excessive, including romanticized images of Balloon Boy, a highly sexualized knife fight, the quaffing of various fruit drinks, and a balletic Alison Pill. Even if you have no idea what Owen Pallett is getting at, by the end you’ll want some of whatever he’s having.
The Golden Filter – “Voluspa”
The music strips disco sensibilities down to bare nerve synth clusters, lots of knob-twiddling and creepily whispered repetitions juxtaposing the unclear “end” and “beginning.” The clip itself starts of glacially, slowly preparing you for the otherwordly abduction clearly on the horizon. Shapeless and vague, yes, but still aesthetically formidable.