A&R Factory’s Round-Up of the Most Creative Music Videos
The rise of creative music videos
Some artists have been questioning the relevance of music videos ever since MTV started to play back-to-back episodes of Teen Mom and Ex on the Beach. Yet, plenty still ardently take hold of the opportunity for multi-faceted expression and give the likes of David Lynch a run for their money while doing so.
2020 saw the rise of the homemade lockdown video, proving that a £10,000 budget and Blockbuster-style effects aren’t a necessity when it comes to creating unforgettable, artful, powerful and endearing visual accompaniments. Some music videos simply, enamouringly exhibited artistic resilience in the face of adversity and ‘unprecedented times’, such as The Suicide Notes’ homemade video for their sleazily enticing Trashy Rock n Roll hit On the Rocks.
A&R Factory has pretty much seen it all in 2020, here’s a rundown of what we won’t quickly forget.
Arab Strap – Turning of Our Bones
The Scottish Alt-Indie Rock outfit, Arab Strap, made a phenomenal return in 2020, re-sparking the passion which many found for them during the 90s. The comeback came in the form of their single ‘Turning of Our Bones’ which was accompanied by the darkly romantic B-movie celebration of passion and gore. The subtitles switch from transcriptions of the poetry in the lyricism to narrations of the instrumental interludes, ‘ominous guitar music builds, with disco beats’. It was nothing short of genius for the way it pulls the beauty out of horror and decay while simultaneously allowing you to appreciate the artist’s playful-in-spite-of-nihilism tongue-in-cheek attitude.
Nekrogoblikon – Chop Suey
Symphonic Death Metal Band, Nekrogoblikon have always been subversively hilarious in their quest to create the ultimate gimmick within the realms of Death Metal, as seen by their music video to ‘We Need a Gimmick’. In 2020, they truly made System of a Down’s iconic track, ‘Chop Suey’, their own. The video, of course, starred their haplessly lovable goblin mascot, John Goblikon. The shot of him joining the lead singer in a Chop Suey bath while the powerhouse band lay down their mind-melting riffs, blast beats and entrancing keys offered the humour and escapism which people sorely needed at the time of release.
Mr Bungle – Eracist
While you probably wouldn’t want to hit play on Mr Bungle’s Eracist music video while eating, there’s no denying the video’s perception-shifting artistic impact. In the ultimate antithesis to Hollywood, Derrick Scocchera showcased the putridity of existence by stripping back the glamorous façade which the mainstream media forces upon on the world as Mr Bungle’s nuanced take on Thrash Metal blazoned behind the grimy retro imagery. It certainly makes you think twice about idealising 1950’s America by confronting the viewer with clips of destruction and death and parodying our obsession with beauty and vanity.
Arca – Nonbinary
If any music video could be heralded as an artful sign of the times, it’s Arca’s darkly Avant-Garde contribution with ‘Nonbinary’. Dystopic futurism and the work of 19th-century Italian artist Botticelli combine, serving as the ultimate testament to the progression of social change. Arca took hold of our increasingly complicated relationship with creepy AI while powerfully, unashamedly blurring gender boundaries in their mesmerising cybernetic form.
Nero Kane – Lord Won’t Come
Italian Dark Folk artist, Nero Kane, always carefully curate each component of their visual and aural art to offer consumingly immersive cinematic videos. With Lord Won’t Come, you take a monochromatic exploration of faith, spirituality and passion. A harrowing depiction of the emptiness of a faithless world unravels as shots of a quiescent Californian desert fade in and out of focus around religious iconography.