Best Music Videos of 2016: All-Girls Edition

Don’t Touch My Hair - Solange

The two music videos that Solange has released following A Seat at the Table are everything. Every time I watch it, I notice something new about the flawless art direction and shot composition of “Don’t Touch My Hair.” Solange uses dancers as props and costumes as characters. Mesmerising sequences are dispersed throughout featuring beautiful and meticulously choreographed human movement. She’s heavily involved behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera, which contributes the perfectly assembled world she creates in this video. If nothing else, be sure to note the dance break from 3:15-3:35. Bonus: Check this digital book for stills and visuals + read up on Zoe's thoughts here

 

Warts - Hinds

Reminiscent of last year’s “Garden” (and also directed by Pedro Martín-Calero), “Warts” ditches the vignette for a wider screen, showcasing fantastical sets, costumes, and staging.  Martín-Calero utilizes really weird and interesting diegetic sound throughout, which grounds the otherwise vacant and impersonal performances of the members of Spanish girl gang Hinds. Big one for colors and shapes. Why are they wearing kimonos ?  

 

Conceptual Romance - Jenny Hval

What even ! “Conceptual Romance” is a real trip of fluid camera movement, saturated greens, and primal action. It’s also a how-to on drone footage done right. Director Zia Anger has a tendency to incorporate jarring imagery in soft colors into her work with Hval, which I highly recommend checking out if you dig this. Let’s just say when Hval sings, “I’m high on madness” around the 3 minute mark, you definitely feel it.

 

Sorry - Beyoncé

When Beyoncés visual album was released, my roommate and I watched the entire thing - lights off, commentary kept to a minimum. “Sorry” is not one of my favorite tracks off of Lemonade, but it’s definitely the most captivating video off of the album. Co-director Khalil Joseph has collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on a 2015 MOCA installation combining the rapper’s good kid, m.A.A.d city with striking images of South Los Angeles. I spent an hour watching Khalil Johnson: Double Conscience on loop, and I’ve probably exceeded that time in replays of “Sorry,” which also features signatures of Joseph’s style, which finds the intersection where stark realism and bold eccentricity clash. Check Ken's thoughts on Lemonade here

 

Shut Up Kiss Me - Angel Olsen

I can always get behind retro girl-power vibes, and Angel Olsen serves up a ton of those in “Shut Up Kiss Me.” Tons of dramatic cuts, very rad colored lighting, jazz hands, etc. I really like how she breaks the fourth wall the entire time; it adds a lot of aggression to a clichéd concept. Very big fan !

 

Kill V. Maim - Grimes

I wrote my final paper for a comm class about this music video. My thesis was about the way in which the “Kill V. Maim” music video, directed by and starring Grimes, is an example of how a female artist can defy societal standards and expectations to an extent that normalizes the radical. Grimes’ refusal to allow others to define her, along with the effort she makes to control and dominate her own artistic output, is evident in the “Kill V. Maim” music video, which makes the work a prime example of unapologetic female expression in contemporary society. Grimes and her brother, Mac Boucher, have done a ton of cool collabs throughout her career, and this video is definitely the high point of their joint creative output thus far.

 

Tártaro - Buscabulla

I love the world that this music video creates - the band’s previous visual work also has trancelike qualities, but this one gets more personal with the primary focus being Raquel Berríos, one half of the duo that makes up Buscabulla. I was first introduced to this band by my Peruvian roommate this summer, who described their Kitsuné EP as the soundtrack to stoned summer drives through his country with his childhood friends. I can totally get behind that relaxed vibe.

 

Eliza Moley, Head of Content

 

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