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.
Read more: The 20 best music videos of 2015
Massive Attack & Young Fathers
‘Voodoo In My Blood’
Dir: Ringan Ledwidge
Rosamund Pike is paranoid and deranged when she comes into contact with a spherical probe droid with plans of its own. She’s stabbed, telekinetically-controlled, toyed with and tortured, delivering a striking performance – considering she was acting and dancing without a real partner.
Rihanna feat. Drake
Dir: Director X / Tim Erem
‘Work’ gets the double-sized video it deserves. Director X delivers a sweltering dance party in Toronto institution The Real Jerk with the West Indian vibes of his early-00s videos for Sean Paul. After the rewind, Tim Erem’s offering is more intimate as Rihanna and Drake flirt under ‘Hotline Bling’ neons while we’re left to wonder why Drake always looks afraid to dance with women in his video appearances.
Dir: Justin Gradin
Amber Tamblyn stars in this surreal clip that seems to tackle celebrity culture, consumerism and self-image that turns Lady in the Water into pop culture horror.
Lafawndah (who handled nearly every task on this video) looks out into the desert from her solitary altar and embarks on a daily ritual (or prepares for battle, depending on your perspective) that features autodentistry, wrapping herself with rope and hypnotic dance break. Kudos for the Spike Lee dolly cam shots.
Dir: Champ Ensminger
Dancer Lindsey Jones journeys to the center of the Earth, performs a dance ritual and is atomized by fire – but her story doesn’t end there. Director Champ Ensminger has compared the video to sand paintings, ephemeral art marked by impermanence and transformation. “Like a rock that turns into sand, she’s not gone. She’s just everywhere,” he says.
‘In The Morning’
Dir: Elliott Sellers
After a visceral intro reminiscent of Requiem for a Dream, ‘In The Morning’ launches into full-on sci-fi fantasy. Waves crash on an otherworldly beach, and reality-warping spheres, immolation and “childbirth” are shown under 3D-glass-hues. Amping up the unease, it’s unclear if close-ups are of the human body, fruiting flowers or something else entirely.
Welsh newcomer Betsy belts out a brokenhearted ballad in this simple, lo-fi video. As she breaks down, she loses it with lipstick, drawing inspiration from a similar scene in David Lynch’s Wild At Heart.
Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign
Dir: Director X
This week’s second offering from Director X is a light-hearted clip for girl group Fifth Harmony’s latest single. It’s essentially the sum of Channing Tatum in Magic Mike XXL and his wife Jenna Dewan’s Lip Sync Battle.
Dir: John Minton
Kat Day and Nick Wood purify themselves in the waters of… Berlin? ‘In Deep’ features the muted colors and ice cold feel that you’d expect from that city in January. “It’s about longing,” says director John Minton. “We wanted to make intimate images with a cold tone which rolled with the tune.”
Katy B, Craig David & Major Lazer
‘Who Am I’
Dir: Jeremy Rall
Katy B and Craig David duet in this supercharged throwback video with the type of sped-up tracking shots, green screens, backlighting and sports cars on smoky sets you’d expect from a video during CD’s hey-day.