From stark black-and-white shots to Sega-like Technicolor animation, this week’s best music videos represent a delectable spectrum of styles for your viewing pleasure. On the shadowy side of things, The National’s Matt Berninger gets some solo screen time staring pensively off camera, while the Pains of Being Pure at Heart chronicle a young girl’s journey to a party, where she finds characters as colorful as those in the land of Oz. Meanwhile, Mark Ronson gets animated in his own brightly-colored video game and Macy Gray celebrates the beauty in the world with some color-coded choreography. Enjoy your trip over and through the rainbow and be sure to let us know what you think of the videos in the comments.
The National — “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
Shaky camera movements and stop-motion photography characterize The National’s video for the first single from High Violet. Dressed in a simple suit and tie, frontman Matt Berninger croons in his chocolate-syrup voice and, martini in hand, shows off some swinging dance moves. We follow Berninger on solitary walks in the woods and into vacant bars, sharing some introspective moments intensified by the black-and-white video composition. Plus, check out a cameo by filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker as a bartender.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart — “Higher Than The Stars”
Like Dorothy in Kansas, the unnamed party girl in this video appears in black and white until she rides her own tornado (which sure looks a lot like the L Train) to the magical land of Brooklyn, where bike-lined streets and garage parties abound. Inside the seemingly innocuous garage, she finds a vibrant land of dancing party animals with brightly-colored drinks and flashbulb cameras. With appearances by the band and a foxy fox, this is one party you don’t want to miss!
Mark Ronson — “Circuit Breaker”
In graphics that might have been lifted from your 1995 Sega Genesis system, a tiny, green-outfitted Mark Ronson runs through a boom-box maze filled with snakes, skeletons and other ghouls. In a burst of video-game violence, Mario Ronson slays his enemies with pixelated swords in time to an electronic beat. In a final showdown, our hero defeats an evil dragon on the wheels of steel to save the day and win the girl.
Macy Gray — “Beauty in the World”
Macy Gray celebrates blue skies and butterflies with the help of a circle of cheerleaders and dancing rollerbladers. Though Gray’s three-cornered, Queen Amidala hairstyle may give you pause for a second, this jangly summer tune and feel-good video are sure to make you “shake your booty, boys and girls.”
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros — “Home”
We didn’t think there was anything that could make us like this song even more… until we saw the video. A series of sun-bleached home movies and clips of the band jamming together on the beach make us yearn for a road trip. Sharpe and the free-spirited Zeros twirl together on grassy hill tops, pop out from behind motor scooters, and ride atop their tour bus in the desert. Be sure to watch to the very end of this five-minute video to see how this mood translate on stage, in clips from their live performances.