Though they only last a few minutes, music videos can be cinematic works of art. This week’s best clips are mini masterpieces of perspective, both mentally, and in terms of cinematography. Using some fancy film work, The New Pornographers give us a new outlook on the mundane, North Highlands get fit while getting up close and personal, and Bomba Estereo use the lens to let us peek inside an intimate vacation. On the more conceptual side, Broken Bells ask what happens when a vacation actually costs an arm and a leg, and Stars bend time and space as the past is literally projected across their bodies. After the jump, watch our picks for the best music videos of the week and let us know if they’ve helped you gain some new perspective.
1. Broken Bells- “Ghost Inside”
In their buzzy video, James Mercer and Brian Burton feature Mad Men beauty Christina Hendricks aboard a spaceship wishing she could be a California girl. Hendricks steals most of the screen time as a human/robot hybrid who relinquishes her body parts to escape to a simulated poolside vacation. However, Mercer and Burton do make a quick cameo at the last minute (literally), just in time to save their starlet in distress.
2. Stars- “Fixed”
The first single off Star’s new album The Five Ghosts, this bouncy, keyboard-heavy track comes with a rather melancholy video. Footage of the band performing is warped and obscured by filters and overlays that make the images look damaged and aged. Meant to evoke the ghosts mentioned in their album title, the video’s effects combined with singer Amy Millan’s ethereal voice succeed in conjuring up elements of an ever-present past.
3. The New Pornographers- “Crash Years”
The video opens on an everyday street scene, but the camera quickly shifts overhead to give us a bird’s eye view of this seemingly quiet city street. Looking down from above, we discover that there is beauty in the everyday randomness of life, as a rainbow of umbrellas, choreographed skateboarders, pedestrians, and bicycles dance below us.
4. North Highlands- “Sugar Lips”
The beauty of Brooklyn band North Highland’s new video is all in the details. Thanks to slow motion, close-up shots of people weightlifting in time to the dreamy melody, the strenuous act of working out becomes an art. Yet despite all the heavy lifting, things never get too intense between scenes of the band dancing in an open field. Watch all the way through, because the video ends with a bang.
5. Bomba Estereo- “Aguasala”
Shot on what looks like an old handheld camera, this video from the Colombian drum and bass band has us longing for a day at the beach. The grainy, shaky footage jumps between images of seagulls, rolling clouds, and lead singer Li Saumet walking in white along the sand. With a homemade feel, these relaxed jams will have you swaying in time to the rise and swell of the waves.