In a previous life before Syn, I spent six years in a touring band (releasing a couple of albums during that time) and used to find the subject of music videos incredibly daunting. Why? Because they are not easy things to make, and they're even harder to make well. The videos I've selected below are - in my opinion - exceptional examples of this craft and all bring an added layer to the music they accompany. I like them, and I hope you do too!
Sansara feat Felix Bondarev - 'We Will Become Better'
Production: Daddy’s Film x Spot
Director: Andzej Gavriss
Sound Design: Grand Central Recording Studios
I came across this incredible piece of work at Ciclope 2021 in Berlin and had the pleasure of getting to know the director, Andzej Gavriss. Something of a PSA-meets-music-video, this stunning work for Russia’s LGBTNET tells the story of two lovers dancing together in two different locations, separated by place and time, but nonetheless intertwined and in love. It achieves something rare in the music video space, which is simultaneously complimenting the music whilst also achieving singularly poignant work in itself. Released one-year-on from Russia’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, this video challenges the infamous Gay Propaganda Law of 2013 in Russia and supports LGBTNET’s important work advocating for the gay community in Russia.
AIGEL - 'Aigel, You’re Born'
Production: TakeShot films
Director: Andzej Gavriss
To include the same director twice in such quick succession feels necessary here, because I simply can’t ignore a second piece of work from Andzej Gavriss titled, 'Aigel, You’re Born'. Filmed in Russia, and making use of a former soviet airbase among other locations, I’ve been showing this powerful music video to almost everyone I know since I first saw it a few weeks back. It’s deservedly picked up awards at Ciclope, Shots and Clio, and I passionately urge you to watch it - words will not do it justice.
Salvatore Ganacci - 'Step-Grandma'
Director: Vedran Rupic
There’s something so unnerving about this music video; it feels to me equal parts comedy, horror and surrealism. Part of me wishes I’d never seen it, because I now find myself compelled to watch it over and over again as some form of self-torture. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic music video. Something I particularly enjoy about this video is the way it paces itself across the arch of the song. Its energy changes so definitively at 1.51 without feeling too forced or laboured.
Little Simz ft. Cleo Sol - 'Woman'
Production: PRETTYBIRD UK
Directors: Little Simz and Jeremy Ngatho Cole
Firstly, I adore this song - and the fact that it’s directed by the artist themselves makes me love it all the more. Featuring fellow artist Joy Crookes, as well as model Jourdan Dunn, the video is beautiful, slick and seriously powerful, whilst feeling very true to the artist and charmingly homegrown.
Duran Duran - 'Invisible'
Creator: Huxley Artificial Intelligence
As the opening titles tell you, this music video was created by Artificial Intelligence; ‘a unique dreamer whose ‘mind’ has been modelled after the cognitive and emotional response of humans’. It’s chilling and compellingly creepy, with images like Francis Bacon paintings and dark-eyed images of Duran Duran band members singing the lyrics. It’s very beautiful, and very un-human - and totally unlike any of the above music videos I’ve mentioned, which is interesting for a band on their 15th studio album making something so cutting edge...