Name: Luke Shields
Music Video: ‘Ready, Able’ – Grizzly Bear
The Noughties for me was a frustrating period in musical history. In the wake of the tempestuous political unrest that plagued the dawn of the new century, it seemed the vast majority of audiences were petrified of newness and eschewed truly original bands in favour of comfortable historical pastiche. There were, however, a few shining examples of sheer uniqueness and brilliance that broke through with some inimitable moments of lucidity amongst the din. Grizzly Bear was a band that did this and continues to do this for me to this day, and my journey with them started with the song ‘Ready, Able’.
I was introduced to this song and its film clip in the heaving belly of a house party. It was one of those Garden State style ‘hey, listen to this!’ moments that I was definitely ill prepared for. Nonetheless, I halfheartedly watched the unfurling, Claymation video and as distracted as I was, something about it stuck with me. The contradictory nature of the part pastel, part strikingly vivid colour palette; the unsettling, amorphous yet undeniably welcoming and familiar humanoid protagonist; the crush that I had on the girl who showed it to me, all of these elements combined to stick this piece firmly to the front wall of my mind and there it stayed. The song itself is singular enough, but accompanied by this clip it becomes narcotic and entrancing, a truly unforgettable instance of unfettered originality.
Name: Nicholas Simonsen
Music Video: ‘The Ghost Of You’ – My Chemical Romance
This video must’ve cost an absolute fortune to make. It’s basically a war movie starring your favourite emo band whittled down to three and a half minutes. It’s a very compelling watch, and the beachfront shots of the troops getting gunned down are harrowing and emotional. Usually band members fall short when it comes to acting in music videos, but vocalist Gerard Way does an incredible job of captivating the viewer with his performance.
Music Video: ‘Minerva’ – Deftones
Ok, so let’s set the band up in the middle of the desert with a heap of gear and lights around them. It’s a simple idea that would’ve taken so much to actually make it happen. The end result is such a beautifully shot and entrancing video to perfectly accompany the eerie, melodic sound of the song.
Music Video: ‘Movies’ – Alien Ant Farm
Remember in the early 2000s when every second movie to come out was some high school teen comedy? Well this is basically the music video version of that. Throw in references to Ghostbusters, Willy Wonka, Edward Scissorhands and The Karate Kid, and you have a music video that is bound to make you smile.
Name: Eddy Lim
Music Video: ‘Alright’ – Kendrick Lamar
I remember re-watching this video again and again when it hit the internet. From start to finish, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a music video more impactful than this one. It’s a visual masterpiece. Almost every scene hides a message and theme in varying levels of subtlety for the viewer to decrypt – you could probably write a bloody PHD on this video alone. The video plays true to the very roots of hip hop; it’s a brutal reality check of what African Americans are still experiencing even today. The most prevalent motif throughout the video is presented to the viewer in various stages; striking home Kendrick’s “war based on apartheid and discrimination”. At its core, the video is an undeniable protest towards police brutality in America. It was filmed in Oakland, known for its high statistics of violence and poverty; however, it’s also known for resistance against oppression – the Black Panther Party was founded there by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in 1966. There’s a very good reason why this track spearheaded the Black Lives Matter movement – KDot knows that things are bad, horribly bad, and probably will be for a while. But things will change; we’re gonna be alright in the end.
Name: Will Brewster
Music Video: ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ – The Avalanches
When I heard ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ for the first time, I definitely thought it was the weirdest thing I’d ever experienced – that is, until I saw the music video. The song itself is an absolute masterclass in the art of sampling, and the video perfectly reflects this; honestly, it still amazes me this song was released as a single, because it legitimately sounds like a lobotomy – absolutely nothing makes sense and it’s just so awesome. It’s hard to single out one key moment from the video, but you really can’t go wrong with the part at the end where they DJ-scratch the parrot noises while the monkey runs around. Boy oh boy, it sure is good to have The Avalanches and their music videos back. Bring on album three.
Name: Jessica Over
Music Video: ‘The Scientist’ – Coldplay
This video should probably come with a warning that it’s about to give you a false sense of security, and then shatter it to pieces. You’re so busy trying to figure out how they filmed the whole story in reverse, watching Chris Martin closely to work out if he’s actually singing backwards (for the record, he is), and wondering just how long it took to film when the beginning of the narrative finally arrives and you see the tragic events that set the story in the first place. It’s a clever depiction of the sentiment of the song, and a unique way of visualising the line, “I’m going back to the start.”