The Best Music Videos of the First Half of 2014

Plastic InfiniteIt’s been months since our last music video feature, but with more videos to choose from, the quality of the new batch is particularly high.

For the first time, we’re venturing outside our comfort zone.  Some of these videos include the sort of music we’d never cover on our site.  We’re confident that all will be forgiven when you see the images.  These are the videos that prompt likes, shares and repeat views.  Call them eyeworms; we can’t get them out of our heads.  Our brains are mesmerized, and yours will be too.

The Essence of Sound
Director:  Susi Sie
Sound Design:  Clemens Haas

Susi Sie has shared some amazing work over the last few years, in particular the videos “Ampersand”, “Emergence” and “Cymatics”, all of which can be seen on her Vimeo page.  Her experiments in motion are hypnotically alluring, and always backed by intriguing sound design.  But “The Essence of Sound” is her greatest work yet, exposing a brand new use for lycopodium powder.

The Tempest
Director:  Rick Robin
Music:  Throwing Snow feat. Adda Kaleh, “The Tempest”

Remember Portishead’s video for “Only You”?  Multiply Beth Gibbons by a million, and you have the video’s descendant, “The Tempest”.  This video would look stunning on an IMAX screen.  Exemplary work that brings the mysterious nature of the song to the fore without sacrificing any of its integrity.

Walking Contest
Director:  Vania Heymann
Music and Writing:  Daniel Koren

This is hands-down my favorite video of the year to date.  The voiceover tells a great story, and the music fits the narrative perfectly.  Editor’s Wish:  Please make this track available on iTunes!

Sculpture ~ Plastic Infinite
Director:  Reuben Sutherland (Sculpture)
Music:  Dan Hayhurst (Sculpture)

Sculpture only makes good music videos.  The question is, which to pick?  The video that looks like an animated picture disc or the video that is an animated picture disc?  There was no way to make up my mind, so I chose both.  I’ve got two copies of “Plastic Infinite” at home and no matter what I do, I can’t make the record look like the video.  But that’s okay, because I can watch the video whenever I want: I can have my cake and eat it too.

Sculpture ~ Hackle Scam Populator
Direction and Sound:  Reuben Sutherland & Dan Hayhurst/Sculpture

Here’s that second video, taken from Membrane Pop:  a swirling kaleidoscope of sight and sound.  If you like this video as well, check out “Polymorphic Operator”.  We could have included three videos, but we didn’t want others to be jealous!

Carly Paradis ~ The Hope of a Favorable Outcome
Director:  The Brothers Lynch

Music:  Carly Paradis, “The Hope of a Favorable Outcome”

We’re familiar with zoetropes, kaleidoscopes and animated discs, but this is our first encounter with a phenekistoscope: a Victorian invention put to great use in this compelling zoom video.  It’s enough to make one want to start a new collection!

Shugo Tokumaru ~ Poker
Director:  Mirae Mizue

Music:  Shugo Tokumaru, “Poker”

We’re huge fans of Mirae Mizue, whose reputation continues to grow.  As his fame increases, so does his budget.  Long gone are those marker-and-paper graphics.  Now his monsters are shiny and bright, but we love them just the same.

Chella Ride ~ Dog Blood
Director:  Golden Wolf

Music:  Chella Ride, “Dog Blood”

Has ACL gone mainstream?  Chella Ride is Skrillex and Boys Noize, and the former DJ has won a few Grammies.  Before that, he was an underground presence.  This video demonstrates that fame hasn’t dulled his creative edge.

Richard Allen

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