You might have seen Flavorwire’s coverage of Badu’s JFK assassination-inspired video for “Window Seat,” which also featured a public strip-down. While she undoubtedly won the week in terms of buzz, there are still plenty of other unofficial awards to be claimed: Best Defense Of Dancing In A Police State (Janelle Monae), Most Beautiful Nature Imagery That Will Give You The Spins (Band of Horses), and Most Obvious Exploitation Of Canine Love For Peanut Butter (Signals). Click through to watch them all.
Band of Horses – “Compliments”
Have you ever, like, thought about how cool nature is, and stuff? Band of Horses apparently has, and decided to make it even more cool. The lyrics about “splitting apart at the seams” are especially descriptive of how your eyeballs react when they wander and strain through the shape-shifting clip. It’s almost like an endurance test, seeing how long you can watch the scenery morph.
Janelle Monae – “Tightrope”
Janelle Monae moves like liquid, dresses like an insane asylum admittee who never made it to the grand ballroom, and sings like some amalgamation of Beyonce’s brassiness and Badu’s bellow. Ominous mirror-faced men man hallway patrol as enforcers of an apparent police society that bans dancing, and Monae goes above and beyond in her defiance of the law. She even channels some James Brown fancy footwork over hot horns and background dancers who seem to be under similar incarceration for their noncompliance. Big Boi makes a guest spot as a professorial preacher and a cliffhanger ending leaves you wondering just how she plans to escape from the Palace of the Dogs.
Dan Black ft. Kid Cudi – “Symphonies”
Kid Cudi and Dan Black insert themselves into near-recognizable movie-credit sequences, a complicated game of name-that-credit-theme created with visual ingenuity. You get Star Wars light speed travel and Catch Me If You Can homages, all traveling over ethereal choirs and an “Umbrella”-aping drumbeat. Kid Cudi would be an interesting guy to get lost in a video game and/or abandoned hopelessly in space with.
Signals – “What Dreams”
Former members of the Mae Shi look bored as dogs lick peanut butter off of various (PG) body parts. To their credit, the dogs look ecstatic, becoming more and more enthusiastic and transferring bubbly energy to the extreme facial hair follicle close-ups. At one point a tennis ball makes an appearance and you expect a new dog situation, but no, they just keep on licking. Lesson: dogs will lick anything smeared with peanut butter, including grass and musical instruments.
The Duke Spirit – “If The Kids Are United”
Torn tights, heavy rain, microphone cords like S & M restraints, all-together-now dancing of people previously looking into the camera earnest and isolated, emphasis placed on shitkicker boots and destroying the drum set and other instruments with an unholy vengeance = arty.