The Week’s Best Videos: an R&B Medusa, hyperkinetic voguing, and Baroness’ emotional return

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Welcome to FACT’s weekly video round-up.

As we note at the end of every year, music videos have never been better. But too often, music videos — along with documentaries, live sets and interview clips — get lost in the shuffle of news and new music.

With that in mind, FACT is doing what it does for mixes, mixtapes, vinyl and more: rounding up the internet’s best videos on a weekly basis. And to remove our bias, we won’t be including our own content — you’ll have to stay tuned to FACT TV for all your Against The Clock, FACT Freestyles and Confessions needs.

‘Chlorine & Wine’
Dir: Jimmy Hubbard

“She turns three on this tour. And maybe I’m not the best dad for being on tour when she turns three. But that’s something I just have to deal with.”

Baroness frontman John Baizley said that in a July 2012 interview with Spin when asked about being on tour. Less than a month later he was bleeding out in a ditch in England, his right arm snapped in pieces like a toothpick, following their horrific bus accident. It wasn’t clear whether Baizley, an immensely talented guitarist in addition to his singing duties, would play again or if Baroness was over, but it didn’t matter — most metal fans were just happy no one was dead.

During the delicate build in their video for return single ‘Chlorine & Wine‘ our first clear shot of Baizley is at the guitar once again with his daughter by his side. It’s a quiet, incredibly powerful image and one that sticks with you through the footage of their jaw dropping performance in the studio — visual proof that they’re some of the most talented, ambitious groups working in metal. Baroness have certainly delivered their share of visually imaginative videos, but they knew what fans needed to see most: these people, alive and well, playing and singing like their lives depend on it.

Autre Ne Veut
‘Age Of Transparency’
Dir: Allie Avital

Last week, Arthur Ashin ended up in this column for a video based around this song. This one (for the album version) is almost the complete opposite — flashier, higher budget, more glamour. He was awkwardly bombing auditions last week, here he’s a smooth dancing, R&B Medusa killing people in an office building with the maximum amount of charisma. The concept feels irrelevant though — both videos’ concepts get upstaged by how unbelievably entertaining of a performer he is. This guy could just sing in front of a brick wall and he’d end up in this column.

Rae Sremmurd
‘Come Get Her’
Dir: Motion Family

Dumb, awesome perfection. Posing with the piglet is incredible, but the best part is how everyone just ends up having a good time and getting along by the end.

Major Lazer –
‘Too Original (feat. Elliphant & Jovi Rockwell)’
Dir: Tim Erem

A small restaurant gradually builds into an elaborate drunken party. The outlandish energy of the dining room makes it one of the most entertaining videos of the week easy, but it’s the contrasting shots of Diplo and the Major Lazer crew calmly working the kitchen that makes it.

Denzel + Huhn
‘Repal Forte’
Dir: Erik Huhn

As far as music videos go this is as minimal as they come, but the sound and images pair so well it nearly induces synthesia. The delicate visuals bring to mind Stan Brakhage’s legendary Mothlight while the mesmerizing electronics ripple with each visual vibration.

Julia Holter
‘Betsy On The Roof’
Dir: Federico Urdaneta

Julia Holter is such a powerful performer that it’s not surprising this simple video — simply her singing live at the piano — is one her best. It’s hard to think of visuals that could top the thrill of her piano playing or the joy on her face.

The Dead Weather
‘Be Still’
Dir: Jack White

Jack White’s approach to music video directing here is as blunt and simple as his approach to the early White Stripes’ material. In other words, it works. Really well.

José González –
‘Let It Carry You’
Dir: Malin Johansson

No one was really expecting the gentle singer songwriter José González two be involved in a two part exercise in Cronenberg-style body horror earlier this year, but he did anyway. This new animated video is a bit easier on the eyes (no worm monster here), but carries the same empathy in the face of the grotesque.

Dir: My Midnight Heart

Disco of the highest quality with visuals to match. Explosions, boxer, and hyperkinetic voguing, all glazed in a warm rainbow hue.

Mac Miller
‘Brand Name’
Dir: Rex Arrow

If you’ve seen the Truman Show you have an idea of where this is going from the start, but it still gets surprisingly somber by the end. Mac rides that gradual slide from goofy joke to bleak stillness well and those final blue-lit moments are genuinely haunting.

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