Music videos are themselves an opportunity for an artist’s expression. Increasingly, the quality mirrors that of movies and TV shows. Stories are told and themes explored, musicians attaching images to their work directly. Find our selection of the best music videos out now below!
Arctic Monkeys – There’d Better Be A Mirrorball – NEW
The Arctic Monkeys are back in typically effortless, languid style. This is a gentle new tune with a video that seems to aesthetically match their impending album – based on the artwork for The Car at least. The video for ‘There’d Better Be A Mirrorball’ features Alex Turner and co. sauntering around predominantly on film, dipping in and out of singing/making music, with dashes of colour thrown into the mix. It’s all just very nice.
Headie One x Abra Cadabra x Bandokay – Can’t Be Us – NEW
A brilliantly executed video to mark Headie One’s linking up with Abra Cadabra and Bandokay. The three take centre stage from the outset, but they’re far from the only people in this video. Red is the colour in what almost seems the UK’s visual equivalent of YG’s ‘Blood Walk’ from a couple of years ago.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Tippa My Tongue – NEW
This is about as trippy as it sounds. A tunnel of Anthony Kiedis-led hallucinations is a fun place to walk down and the video for ‘Tippa My Tongue’ has the hypnoticism to suck you right in.
Fireboy DML & Asake – Bandana – NEW
The massively succesful Nigeria native Fireboy DML released his third album earlier this month, with the video of ‘Bandana’ also dropping. It’s quite a spectacle, well worth a watch. Varying between night and day, and some sort of demonstration in an urban dystopia and a peaceful little church in the middle of nowhere, it’s big budet and impressive.
Cardi B ft. Kanye West & Lil Durk – Hot Shit
Set amongst a futuristic city, a desert and whatever it is Ye spits his bars on (all delivered through CGI of course), this music video lives up to the name of the track. It’s pure hot shit. The graphics aren’t perfect, they’re likely not meant to be. In fact, there’s something quite satisfying about the superimposed, powerful bodies of Cardi B, Lil Durk and Ye – even if we can’t see his face.
Harry Styles – Late Night Talking
Not only is Mr. Styles an immensely talented pop star, he’s also a budding film star with credits in the likes of Dunkirk and My Policeman, set for release later this year. Admittedly, there’s not much by the way of acting in this video, but it still embodies his wholesome affability as we descend through his bed into a world of cinemas, eating spaghetti and a trip to the opera. You’ve got to love him.
Steve Lacy ft Fousheé – Sunshine
The lead single from Steve Lacy’s latest album, Gemini Rights, this track ‘Sunshine’ has a glorious music video to boot. Yes, it’s simple, as he performs alongside his band and feature Fousheé before being crane-lifted up high. But sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best. And with the clear blue sky in the background, it’s a brilliant match for the tune.
Ellie Goulding ft Big Sean – Easy Lover
Ellie Goulding might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this video is quite nifty, as she performs from a glass container, even thrusting a guitar in parts. It’s quite a thoughtful creation, perhaps denoting how we box people in, especially when they’re pop stars. That’s my impression anyway. Over to you to watch and see what you think.
Pinty – Flex/On My Own
Peckham-based Pinty has put out a joint video for two of his recent releases, ‘Flex’ and ‘On My Own’. Brilliantly edited, the video not only includes a visual reference to Trainspotting but none other than Francis Bourgeois. Yes, the train-loving viral Tik Tok star.
Sinead O’Brien – Like Culture
Taken from her debut album, Time Bend and Break the Bower, this video is a perfect embodiment of her simultaneously moody and danceable brand of Sprechgesang (a style of dramatic vocalization that lies somewhere between speech and song). Put simply, too, she looks cool as fuck.
Chance the Rapper ft. Joey Bada$$ – ‘The Highs & The Lows’
How can you not love Chance the Rapper? The famously independent Chicago rapper has cast himself as one of the most wholesome voices in rap without being anodyne. The video for Child of God, although simple, sees him in a typically uplifting light as he circles an aspiring artist. The lyric captions over the top give us a reinforced reminder of his lyricism throughout.
Kendrick Lamar – ‘The Heart Part 5’
What can be said about Kendrick that hasn’t already been uttered? ‘The Heart Part 5’ was released in the run-up to his latest, highly acclaimed album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. This video was noteworthy for its use of deepfake technology, which transforms Kendrick’s face into those of five others: O.J. Simpson, Will Smith, Jussie Smollett, Kobe Bryant, Kanye West, and Nipsey Hussle. The result is a powerful video which not only touches on themes present in Kendrick’s latest album, including so-called ‘cancel culture’, but also demonstrates the potentially creative, and even damaging, use of the AI technology.
Everything Everything – ‘I Want A Love Like This’
Another example of the intersection between technology and music, this time involving an AI called Kevin that helped write Everything Everything’s latest album, Raw Data Feel. The machine was ‘fed’ a diet of Beowulf, 400,000 4Chan comments, Confucius quotes and LinkedIn’s terms and conditions. I kid you not – read more about it here. The video for ‘I Want A Love Like This’ is a similarly high-end technological achievement.
Florence + the Machine – ‘Free’
Florence + the Machine also returned this month with an eagerly awaited album, Dance Fever. Starring legendary actor Bill Nighy, who plays a representation of her anxiety, it’s nigh(y) on impossible not to love them both in this track, which as the title suggests, is about being released from your inner shackles. It’s a liberating watch, to see Florence dance in a billowing dress that matches her signature redheaded locks.
Just Mustard – ‘Mirrors’
Shot as though it were underwater, the ripple effect of this camerawork is a brilliant pairing with the hushed vocals of Just Mustard’s Katie Ball. Much has been made so far this year of Fontaines D.C. as being the post-punk voice of Ireland, following their dazzling third album, Skinty Fia. Just Mustard, hailing from Dundalk, however, are not too far behind them – especially when captured in videos such as this.
PinkPantheress feat. WILLOW – ‘Where you are’
This video gets a shoutout for managing to do a lot visually without the need for a massive production – kudos should be paid to Himia for the visual effects. It is ultimately just a party, but the visuals are so strong they add a mood to the whole thing. (WILLOW’s ‘Female Energy’, which has never been released on Spotify, still remains one of the most calming music videos out there).
Black Country, New Road – ‘Concorde’
Beautiful song, beautiful video, released in the first week of 2022. The single ‘Concorde’, off the London band Black Country, New Road’s sophomore album, Ants From Up There, has a video focusing on one of the titular ants, imprisoned by Nerf-gun wielding humans upon his arrival on earth. A quiet farm in the countryside becomes the setting for intergalactic conflict.
Idles – ‘Crawl’
This is quite unpleasant to watch, in a good way. Points for originality – a clay-model, easy-riding biker shredding his skin through the American southwest is something I can safely say I’ve never seen before. That all the blood and shedding flesh are made from clay just about makes it bearable.
Denzel Curry – ‘Walkin’
When Denzel Curry released the Walkin video, ahead of his All Eyez On Me Album, you just knew the following record was going to be good. This comic book, sci-fi, Tarantino-esque, western shows Curry traversing a world somewhere between the old wild west and a Dune-like world of the future. “Bullshit fly my way I keep walkin.”
Joy Crookes – ‘19th Floor’
The latest video off the sublime 2021 album, Skin. The ‘19th Floor’ video didn’t arrive until February this year, but boy is it worth the wait. Moving, thought-provoking, beautifully shot, Crookes incorporates both sides of her ancestry – Irish dancing and traditional Bangladeshi clothing – while a young man tumbles in slow motion. Each one of her videos seems to just get better and better.
Fontaines D.C – 'Jackie Down the Line’
Fontaines D.C.’s latest album, Skinty Fia, is a wonderful blend of the old with the new. Both topically and sonically, it incorporates so much that seems familiar, with a freshness and consistency that continues to justify the Fontaines D.C. hype. The Jackie Down The Line video incorporates so many of the band’s qualities in just a little over four minutes.
Jockstrap – ‘Concrete Over Water’
Another slightly confusing little journey, but a beautiful video about space and time and probably a whole host of other stuff. Jockstrap push boundaries with their music, and show their willingness to do the same visually in this, their latest effort, ‘Concrete Over Water’.