One of my favorite ways to overcome a creative rut is to embark through a Youtube vortex of music videos. There are plenty of fantastic compilations on the web of revolutionary music videos such as “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, “Take On Me” by a-ha, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, etc. So I scoured YouTube for more obscure masterpieces to stoke your artistic spirit and help you discover new music!
1. Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
This music video was directed by artists Becky and Joe. It was created using over 1000 separate plasticine collages crafted entirely by hand! I love the vibrant hybrid of 2D animation with mixed media, with colors reminiscent of the pop art movement of the late 1950s.
“Feels like I only go backwards baby,
Every part of me says “go ahead”.
I got my hopes up again, oh no… not again.
Feels like we only go backwards darling.”
2. Fleet Foxes – “White Winter Hymnal”
A cappella group Pentatonix delivered a captivating cover of “White Winter Hymnal” that has earned more views than the original, so I wanted to take a moment to appreciate the original. This video stirs a sense of melancholy within me. Cherish each season before they whirl by!
“And, Michael, you would fall
And turn the white snow red as strawberries
In the summertime”
3. Blockhead – “The Music Scene”
Feast your eyes on this outlandish marvel if you dare. One of the top comments is “How does anyone even storyboard this?” Excellent question.
4. Yeasayer – “Silly Me”
While Yeasayer is one of my all time favorite bands, I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with their music videos. Another top comment gem that sums this up beautifully, “Very pleased that they’re still going with the creepy nauseous 3d Claymation morphing art thing”.
“And with my knees down on the floor
I am a dog of roguish war
I have favor with you no more”
5. Fujika & Miyagi – “Ankle Injuries”
Load the dice. Load lots and lots of dice. Director Wade Shotter used dice and stop motion animation to create a video with vintage video game vibes.
“Like pixelated scraps of jazz mags in your head”
6. Oren Lavie – “Her Morning Elegance”
Simple, lighthearted, and whimsical. This video demonstrates the creativity you can achieve with limited resources.
“She pours a daydream in a cup
A spoon of sugar sweetens up”
7. Husbands – “Dream”
As a hopeless typography addict, I adore this video. It was created by the graphic design firm Cauboyz. They mounted a typographic elements on black backdrops encasing light bulbs, controlling the ensemble with a huge panel of labeled light switches. Check out the “making of” video here!
“I learned from fire, I believed I was alone
Had a dream it wasn’t new, had a dream it wasn’t new”
8. BTS – “Blood Sweat & Tears”
This may seem like an odd choice, but allow me to explain. This video from wildly popular Korean pop group BTS is bursting with breathtaking visuals and catchy choreography. One of my favorite elements is the clever attention to how the costumes contrast and compliment scenes.
9. The Avalanches – ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’
You may need a psychiatrist after watching this video, but it is sure to jolt you out of any creative rut you are in.
“You’re a nut! You’re crazy in the coconut!
What does that mean? That boy needs therapy”
10. Woodkid – “Run Boy Run”
Woodkid is another one of my absolute favorites. He has such a unique, striking sound. This song gained well-deserved recognition through 13 Reasons Why, Assassin’s Creed, Dying Light, a GoPro 4k commercial, and others. I urge you to go beyond this song and check out Woodkid’s other work!
“Run boy run! The sun will be guiding you
Run boy run! They’re dying to stop you
Run boy run! This race is a prophecy
Run boy run! Break out from society”
Rone – “Bye Bye Macadam”
I happened to find this while putting this blog post together. Wow! Not only is the song insanely catchy, the animation style is a breath of fresh air in an cyberspace witch kind of way. Here’s a Youtube comment that sums it up, “This video makes black and white seem colourful”.