Welcome to FACT’s weekly video round-up.
As we note at the end of every year, music videos have never been better. But too often, music videos — along with documentaries, live sets and interview clips — get lost in the shuffle of news and new music.
With that in mind, FACT is doing what it does for mixes, mixtapes, vinyl and more: rounding up the internet’s best videos on a weekly basis. And to remove our bias, we won’t be including our own content — you’ll have to stay tuned to FACT TV for all your Against The Clock, FACT Freestyles and Confessions needs.
Dir: FKA twigs
No artist in recent memory has displayed a stronger symbiosis between music and visuals than FKA twigs. M3LL155X might be her most ambitious and personal project yet, soundtracking a 16-minute, self-directed film with four of the EP’s tracks while exploring “the process of feeling pregnant with pain, birthing creativity and liberation.”
The film opens as a gypsy spelunker writhes and laughs to the pneumatic grooves of ‘Figure 8’, before twigs turns into both an inflatable sex doll and a wind-up doll in ‘I’m Your Doll’. After submitting to every average Joe who has objectified her from afar, she is pregnant as she reworks 90s R&B tropes on ‘In Time’. The film climaxes with the previously-premiered ‘Glass & Patron’, as twigs gives birth to a technicolor ball in the woods.
Lana Del Rey
‘High By The Beach’
Dir: Jake Nava
The “Gangster Nancy Sinatra” is back! Lana Del Rey tries to enjoy her windswept, sparsely-appointed beach house, but can neither get high or get by thanks to the watchful eye of the paparazzi (who fill the tabloid she reads with images of herself). She gives them a moneyshot and then a shot from a cartoonish BFG that was hidden in a El Mariachi-styled guitar case. Best annihilation of the male gaze since Nicki Minaj’s ‘Lookin Ass’.
‘Straight Outta Chicago’
Dir: Aaron Perkins Jr
Katie Got Bandz, Sasha Go Hard, Chella H and Lucci Vee unite for the best thing that has resulted from the recent spate of N.W.A./Straight Outta Compton-fueled nostalgia: a bad-bitch anthem that unites four of Chicago finest on what might be the best of this year’s female squad videos.
Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
Joanna Newsom returns with ‘Sapokanikan’, a song named after the pre-colonial village that is now Greenwich Village. In kind, Newsom sings and skips her way through the neighborhood, from Papaya Dog to police activity. Shot with an intimate, handheld style by director Paul Thomas Anderson.
Cherie Lily feat. Vjuan Allure
‘I Like It’
Dir: Jeanne Jo
Self-described “houserobics” artist Cherie Lily combines electro-house, ballroom (a la scene innovator Vjuan Allure) and high-energy workouts (a la husband Andrew WK) on ‘I Like It’, which approaches track-and-field, synchronized swimming and fight clubs with the same fervor.
Atlanta upstart Lil Silk breaks down the recipe for success in a chemistry class that is more Breaking Bad than Mr. Wizard. Bonus points for having a sense of humor (too often missing in rap clips) and that Newport tank-top.
Dir: Unkle Luc
The ex-808 Mafia man delivers a “visual mixtape” that warps and re-scores a key fight scene from Kill Bill, which is appropriate: TM88 is the reason that iconic siren is on all your favorite Atlanta rap tracks.
Dir: Naked Faces
The Haxan Cloak-produced noise-rockers get grotesque in a satire of pristine rock videos and MTV-friendly makeovers, with surgically “enhanced” lips, chins and muscles. There’s even a new look reminiscent of Ron Perlman in Beauty and the Beast.
A$AP Rocky feat. Joe Fox
Dir: A$AP Rocky, Shomi Patwary and AWGE
Rocky follows ‘L$D’ with another psychedelic video. This time, the purple-tinted distortion recalls her early videos, but focused on nostalgia for jukeboxes, beepers and smoke-filled rap parties. Joe Fox busks in the subway but Kanye (who features on the original) is nowhere to be found.
Dir: Michael Green
Michael Green draws inspiration from a year on Second Life in this animated clip that offers a hyperreal vision of basketball that is both fluid and metallic.