Here are the ten best videos of April according to PlayGround staff. Ready?
OK, let's go, from 10 to 1.
10. Paul McCartney: “My Valentine”
Simple and sober, but extremely elegant and beautiful is McCartney's video for “My Valentine”, the first single off of his 15th album, “Kisses On The Bottom”. The main character is none other than Natalie Portman, in a fixed shot signing the lyrics to the song. There are also different versions featuring Johnny Depp solo, and Depp and Portman together.
9. Lyonnais: “A Sign From On High / Modern Calvary” (HOSS Records)
Atlanta foursome Lyonnais debut their video of two of the tracks from their new album, “Want For Wish For Nowhere”, “A Sign From On High” and “Modern Calvary”. They filmed it in several spots in the Sahara desert, London and their home town. The piece is their tribute to the clips of Sisters Of Mercy's “Domination” and Soviet Western's “The White Sun Of The Desert”.
8. Beeple: “IV.10”
Rather than a regular video, the new clip from the Brainfeeder factory is an audiovisual experience in itself. Directed by Mike Winkelmann, alias Beeple (who has already made videos for Flying Lotus), the piece takes us to a colourful, Super Mario Brothers-like world where every note, rhythm and sound comes to life. It's hard to imagine the song without the images. Furthermore, all the 3D files used can be downloaded so you can play with them as you please.
7. Sébastien Tellier: “Cochon Ville” (Record Makers)
Don't look for it on YouTube, because it's been banned. Because bon vivant Sébastien Tellier's video for the first single off of his new album “My God Is Blue” is, well, rather frisky. What seems to be a regular Tellier gig at first, amidst a group of young boys and girls, ends up in a delicious and somewhat extravagant sexy party. We could go into detail, but it's best if you just check it out for yourself. Directed by Alex Courtes.
6. David Lynch: “Crazy Clown Time” (Sunday Best)
Nothing like a video directed by one of the most prestigious directors in the world to bring a record to life. And, as this particular record was made by David Lynch, who better than himself to make the video? The creator of “Blue Velvet”, “Twin Peaks” and “Mulholland Drive” puts images to the title track of his album “Crazy Clown Time”. The result is seven minutes of “intense psychotic backyard craziness, fuelled by beer” (says Lynch).
5. Kwes: “Bashful” (Warp)
You'll probably have heard “Bashful”, one of the four inventive, frayed electronic pop slices from Kwes' Warp-released EP “Meantime”. Director Ian Pons Jewell made a video for it, telling the story of a group of people stuck in a hotel elevator and how they deal with the situation, singing, snapping their fingers, flirting or eyeballing each other.
4. The Shins: “The Rifle’s Spiral” (Columbia)
The Shins are on our monthly video chart for the second time in a row. This time with “The Rifle’s Spiral”, the opening track from their recent “ Port Of Morrow”. Award-winning director Jamie Caliri uses stop-motion techniques to bring to life an animated world where surrealism and fantasy go hand in hand, with young magicians, dark lords and giant rabbits. According to Caliri, watching “Hugo” three times in a row was a huge influence on this exquisite piece.
3. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins: “Third Swan” (Double Six-Domino)
The collaboration between King Creosote and Jon Hopkins isn't only good news in the musical sense. The video of “Bubble” was already among the best clips we've seen in 2011, and they maintain that high visual quality on “Third Swan”, a previously unreleased track included on the special edition of their joint album, “Diamond Mine Jubilee Edition”. Director Elliot Dear takes us to an imaginary world ruled by the great white swan the title refers to.
2. Liars: “No.1 Against The Rush” (Mute)
The video of “No.1 Against the Rush”, the surprising first single off of “WIXIW”, the much-anticipated new album by Liars, due out in June on Mute, is directed by Todd Cole and recorded in Los Angeles. It features a disturbing, middle-aged man who takes advantage of nightfall to pick his victims, in this case none other than Aaron Hemphill, Julian Gross and Angus Andrew.
1. Clark: “Black Stone” (Warp)
An icy landscape, closer to the forest than to an urban park. A young man with a red beard and a corduroy coat walks through it. Our character seems to be looking for something, as if he wasn’t just wandering, but rather searching for something. A big black stone draws his attention, and he walks towards it. The stone is hiding something. Sometimes the magic of creating music is all a man needs to keep sane, still functioning in a world full of worms. The Vikings (Xander Smith and Bjoern Ruehmann) direct this video for Warp.