An overview of the ten best videos of May: the most original, the most impressive, the most seductive, from 10 to 1. It's been a good month.
We present you with the best videos of May, according to PlayGround’s staff. It's been a good month, so here goes, from 10 to 1.
10. Paradis: “Hémisphère”
We've all had nights that were more complicated than others, but we sincerely hope you'll never have to experience what the star of the short film “ Hémisphère”, directed by Sacha Barbin, is going through. French band Paradis, who released the first Beats In Space reference a few months ago, the 12” “ Parfait Tirage/La Ballade de Jim”, return to Tim Sweeney's label with this disco-pop fantasy which, though it may sound like a cliché, oozes class and elegance with a distinctly French flavour. The single will be out on 22nd May.
9. Hot Chip: “Night & Day”
Did you think, after that teaser, that the new Hot Chip video would be about old mansions haunted by friendly ghosts? Well, that's only one of the many and very different elements that make up the delirious video of “Night & Day”. A spaceship comes from outer space to threaten an odd group of monks who seem to worship a deity represented by a giant porcelain (?) egg. It ends with an explosion, and we don't mean of our brains. The video is the work of Peter Serafinowicz, he who directed “I Feel Better”.
8. Los Punsetes: “Alferez Provisional”
We're already used to the bile in the lyrics and some of the videos by Spanish band Los Punsetes, but this time they've gone a bit further still in the exploitation of their black humour: tripping, snags, angry faces, voodoo, and even fistfights, it's all there. Far from making it just a funny story, the people of Canada, who made the clip, opted for a sober aesthetic, clean, with an eye for detail, and they focus on the band members' faces, who hold their own and put on a more than decent performance.
7. Blood Orange: “Champagne Coast”
Even though a transvestite is on the cover of “Coastal Grooves ” (Domino, 2011), and all the lyrics on the new Blood Orange album are written from a female viewpoint, Devonté Hynes is passionate about women. On “Champagne Coast” he invites them into his bedroom, in a 2-dimensional audiovisual fantasy reminiscent of the videogames of a decade ago.
6. Sigur Rós: “Ég Anda”
Two men are calmly eating, sitting at different tables, without exchanging a word. Everything seems normal, until a third man appears carrying a sign that says: “Choking hazard”. From that point on, the video becomes a kind of comical tutorial explaining what to do to help somebody who's choking on their food. According to the press release distributed by Sigur Rós, the piece, directed by Ragnar Kjartansson, is the first in a series of 12 videos directed by a different director each time, for a “mystery film experiment ”.
5. Bonde do Rolê: “Kilo”
Bonde Do Rolê have just released the delicious video of “ Kilo”, the first advance track off of their upcoming album, “ Tropicalbacanal”, due out on 26th June on Mad Decent. It depicts a bar where fruit replaces all kinds of objects, such as billiard balls and vinyl records. There are also girls wearing bras made of watermelon rinds and papaya knickers drenched in pineapple juice, not to mention banana guns, fringes and earrings, and a cameo by Diplo, who produced the album.
4. M83: “Reunion”
The teaser made us green with envy, we're not going to deny it. Fleur & Manu made it clear there would be a sequel to that fantastic short film that served as the video for “Midnight City” , and that's what happened. The story of the group of kids with psychokinetic powers escaping from the laboratory-mansion continues to unfold in the video of “ Reunion”. The kids seemed to be responding to a call from somebody or something. They're looking for a specific spot, a church, in a city we don't recognise. They seem to know where they're going, but some people are set on keeping them from reaching their destination. Along the way, they have to face, for instance, the powers of a little girl who's able to possess people's minds and wills, and to blow up cars without getting up from her seat. The power of the mind, people.
3. Kindness: “House”
In Kindness' new video of “ House”, the song only plays sporadically. Even so, the clip is one of the most magnetic ones of this year so far. It features Adam Bainbridge initially dissecting his fascination with the pop phenomenon, only to teach little Ramon, a smart kid not older than 10, how to make a song. It’s an open door to the soul, that of Bainbridge and pop music.
2. Woodkid: “Run Boy Run”
She's done it again. Last year, Yoann Lemoine set aside her photo and video cameras to make her debut in the field of epic made music, with “Iron”, under the moniker of Woodkid. The video was among the best of 2011, and it looks like she'll be on this year's hit lists again, with this visual gem (much indebted to “Where The Wild Things Are”) called “Run Boy Run”. You can get the original and several remixes by SebastiAn and Tepr, on the digital EP with the same title.
1. Jay-Z & Kanye West: “No Church In The Wild”
It was only a matter of time before the paths of Kanye West and Romain Gavras crossed. They both have a taste for provocation and a refined sense of aesthetics. Which is exactly what we find in the video of “ No Church In The Wild”. The impact of the violence in the clip is softened, not because it's contained (far from it), but because of the beauty with which it is filmed. We'll leave the discussion about the cynicism implied by the fact that a couple of established multimillionaires, proudly part of the notorious “1%”, are tipping their hats to the anti-establishment violence and citizen protest movements that are sprouting up worldwide, for another time.