Episode 6: Sadly, I'm in Love With Maluma

Hi all we got A LOT of videos to get through this week and I know you’re all still obsessing over the new Mitski/Ariana albums so here we go. As always, you can find the playlist for this week’s videos here, along with past weeks’ playlists and a playlist of classics.

This Week’s Best Videos

We’ve got prawns, ships, stabbings, swing parties, and more in this collection of videos for this week.

Tyler the Creator, “SEE YOU AGAIN” (dir. Wolf Haley)

The latest self-directed video from Tyler/Wolf Haley, an adventure at sea guest-starring A$AP Rocky and Kali Uchis.

Black Honey, “Midnight” (dir. Shaun James Grant)

This is a sequel to “Dig,” the band’s previous video with Grant, and this one has it all: ‘70s/‘80s pastiche, a dance number, a guy getting stabbed in the bathroom, a Kurt Cobain (???) impersonator, and NEON, SO MUCH NEON.

Jorja Smith, “Where Did I Go? (Live)” (dir. Shaun James Grant)

I normally don’t share live videos here, but Grant also directed this one for Vevo and it’s gorgeous.

Maluma, “Malia Mía” (dir. Jessy Terrero)

Okay okay, I know this video is ostensibly about Colombian singer Maluma’s peerless ability to score dozens (even hundreds!) of hot women at a time. HOWEVER…however…when all is said and done, I feel like the camera in this video is lingering waayyyy more on Maluma himself and his bare chest, or at least in equal amounts to all the T&A that’s typical for such a vid. I’m also sad to report that Maluma is exactly my type. So here we are.

Superorganism, “The Prawn Song” (dir. Rob Strange)

Multinational indie-pop music collective Superorganism have taken seapunk aesthetics to their most outlandish conclusion. I need to calmly and quietly lie down after watching this.

Dram, “Best Hugs” (dir. Sam Hibbard)

“I LOVE DRAM’S SWINGING PARTY VIDEO!!” I scream into the void.

Blossom Caldarone, “Life Again” (dir. Lily Rose Thomas)

Very sweet and cute and Kate Nash-y. Love a video that has great visual storytelling.

Bas & A$AP Ferg, “Boca Raton” (dir. Scott Lazer & The Fiends)

This is 2018’s “Margaritaville.” Do not @ me.

Elle King, “Shame” (dir. Dano Cerny)

I’m getting a little sick of all these retro cult-themed videos with a bunch of extras in ‘em. But man, Elle King fucking sells it here. Her outfits! The tracksuits! That snarl! All good, very good.

Stefflon Don, “Lil Bitch (Intro)” (dir. Silent Tapes)

Short and sweet and TO THE POINT.

Slick Don, “Dat Boi” (dir. Broken Antenna)

Love a good grime vid. This one includes the camera settings that helped make it happen. Give this editor a raise.

Maggie Rogers, “Give a Little” (dir. Maggie Rogers & Alan Del Rio Ortiz)

[Autostraddle voice] This video is the gayest thing I’ve ever seen. Oh, and Camila Mendes from Riverdale is here!

Circles Around the Sun, “One for Chuck” (dir. Steven Mertens)

I guess if “Seven Nation Army” counts as a video then this does too.

Local H, “Innocents” (dir. Felix Piñeiro)

Here’s Michael Shannon, having a fun time at the gig.

Tiwa Savage, “Lova Lova (ft. Duncan Mighty)” (dir. Talisto)

This video, for Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage, could’ve been made 15 years ago. The Impact-esque title font, the self-referencial shots of televisions, the close-ups in side profile, the claustrophobic dance party – all of this screams late-era MTV to me. (Here are some others.) Personally, I love it.

Ciara, “Freek Me (ft. Tekno)” (dir. west2eastempire)

I do not think this is a good video. But I wanted to put it side-by-side with “Level Up” so y’all can see what it looks like when a dance video is edited well vs. when it isn’t. “Level Up” was directed by its choreographer, who also oversaw the editing, and while I don’t think that’s a necessity to making a good dance video, I do think deciding how to best sync up the choreography and camera movements with the song’s beats is crucial to engaging the viewer. “Freek Me” doesn’t even try, and it’s especially obvious when you compare the two videos together. No offense to Ciara, though, because she goes off in both of them.

This week’s video throwback: Michael Jackson, “In the Closet” (dir. Herb Ritts)

Besides his fashion photography inspiring my favorite video of all time, Herb Ritts directed a few icons himself. “In the Closet” is a highly underrated MJ song, imo, and this dance in the California desert with Naomi Campbell doesn’t get talked about enough.

…and Aretha Franklin’s “Think” scene from Blues Brothers

All hail the Queen.

Please direct all feedback, questions, comments, tips, etc. to ClaireShafferVevo at gmail dot com. And feel free to forward this email, share on social media, and encourage your friends to subscribe. We’ll be back next week with more vids. •