The 14 Most Visionary Sound Pictures of 2017

Set your pitchforks and delight in some of the finest 2017 had to offer you.

Since  I wash off so lots of people in sharing my preferred music videos of 2016, I have decided to go a slightly different route with this year’s version. We’re all conscious of it. The whole issue with each one of these end-of-the-year lists that ranks songs, film, TV shows, etc. is that–guess what? –art is subjective and everyone has different preferences. Nobody is wrong in their opinions!  

As somebody who has a very unique set of preferences, I am really conscious that what I enjoy isn’t for everybody (just ask my father). With that   disclaimer in place, I’m discussing what I believe to be among the most visionary music movies of this year. Instead of rank them, the songs movies are listed in a manner that, when played with in sequence, should mash up into its own story.

When it’s their budget, theme, or moderate, these selections push boundaries in every sense of this term. Most of all, all of them highlight precisely how fascinating the music video kind could be. It’s been a difficult year for a great deal of individuals, but one positive is an extraordinary urgency apparent in art, an outpouring of voices from every portion of the world.    

You may either sit back and let it ride or you can take a look at the highlights from 2017 in almost any order you would like.

Kendrick Lamar – Element.

Manager –  Jonas Lindstroem & The Little Homies

This isn’t the only time you’ll visit Kendrick Lamar on this list.   King Kendrick put three amazing music movies this season at  Element. DNA, and HUMBLE. , and every was fueled by gorgeous vision, Don Cheadle, or powerful social messages.   Element.  Introduces us with the artist at his strongest.  

The juxtaposition between beauty and violence combines perfectly with Lamar’s lyrical content. In actuality, after several watches, it is difficult to separate the songs in the movie. If you think about one, you immediately think about the other, and that’s what makes this movie great. A number of these images are direct   recreations of this work of Gordon Parks, the photojournalist who captured much of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

As Cassie da Costa wrote at The New Yorker back in June, “In Element. , blackness, or the dynamic existence of black bodies and the lifestyles that inhabit them, is reimagined not just lyrically and narratively but also visually. The movie’s aesthetics are not additional but, instead, essential to this activity within and significance of every scene.”  

Kamasi Washington – Truth

Manager – AG Rojas

Yep, this is a lengthy one. That is no real surprise considering Kamasi Washington’s last record The Epic clocked in at almost a three hours long. This year’s launch, Harmony of a Difference, is a far simpler record to digest because of several reasons.   Washington debuted his suite earlier this season at the Whitney Biennial, and because  Truth  acts as the record’s culmination and climax, it is only fitting that part of this installment  contains  this short film from celebrated music video director AG Rojas.  

At just 37 minutes in length, it won’t require an eighth-of-a-day to listen to, and also its memorable theme weaves in and out through every track, directing the listener together. The exact same could be said about the above video which goes back and forth through space, time, and topic, constantly returning to a picture on which you can grasp while still keeping a sense of cosmic mystery. Kinda like Terrence Malick, wouldn’t you say?

Björk: The Gate

Manager – Andrew Thomas Huang

Just Björk being   Björk.

Un Lock – Drowned Beast

Manager – Dr. D Foothead

Very few people can inform an epic work of science fiction in just under 5 minutes. Dr. D Foothead, whose function is featured on Adult Swim, is the rare exception. Having made a name for himself along with his brand of comedic, music movie psychedelia, you might dismiss his art as “trippy,” however the apt way to describe it is “characterized by hypnotic detail, hyper-saturated color and lively, flowing kind. The characters in his work navigate outer and inner worlds, experiencing conditions of mental abstraction, mystical sin, and transformation.”   The pen and paperwork is, very  simply, some next level shit.

In addition, this is a sterling example of how a visual artist can create a story entirely of his own from just a grain of sonic inspiration. As un Lock frontman John Dwyer stated of this animator/director, “I wrote this song largely from the studio and it had been, in my head, about the insatiable appetite of mankind, but kind of bent in this weird fantastical way.” Once Foothead got control of it, however, it appeared to change into something else completely. ” I enjoy working with Dr. Foothead,” Dwyer continuing. “Due to his take is always coming from another planet.”  

Pipe-Eye – Sweets & Gamble

Manager – Alex McLaren along with Sean McAnulty

Jumping from pen and ink to stop-motion cartoon, Sweets & Treats   is something along the lines of which you have probably never seen (or heard) before.   Clay and candy aren’t the key tools you would usually encounter when seeing a multimedia job, but I will be damned if the mix doesn’t work perfectly for this sweet yet nightmarish clip.  

St. Vincent – New York

Manager – Alex Da Corte

This one definitely takes the cake for best use of color palettes and art management. Da Corte also led St. Vincent’s music video for Los Ageless which acts as a companion piece to New York.   Being a lover of Da Corte’s visual art, St. Vincent seemingly reached him out using a pitch along the lines of “do whatever it is you do this well.”

In an interview with Pitchfork, Da Corte pointed out one of the best benefits of this moderate, saying, “Moving images and moving movies, set to songs or not, are all artworks in themselves. What is really special about creating a music video is all the fact that it may be shared so quickly and so widely. Everybody can gain access to it. It is actually free.”

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Over Everything

Manager – Danny Cohen

Whereas New York shows us the possibility of vibrant color, Over Everything  proves how its lack can prove just as successful. For people unfamiliar with this particular international supergroup, Kurt Vile, an American rock staple, and Courtney Barnett, an up and coming Australian celebrity, found their music preferences aligned so closely that they needed to come from across the world to collaborate on a record together.  

In Over Everything, we get a glimpse of just how similar these two  are as they swap verses. The actual stars of this movie, but are the artists’ respective backdrops.     Danny Cohen took the movie in Philadelphia and Melbourne, sourcing a new team from every city. His excruciatingly close attention to detail has been observed with every mirroring background. No matter how stark the contrast is between our two society’s cultures, the settings show how music is able to bridge the gap. Particular kudos to the place scout, a hat that I can only envision Cohen wore as well.  

Manchester Orchestra – The Sunshine

Manager – DANIELS

The DANIELS are always a divisive directing duo, but I am firmly on the side of “I’ll like these men put out since they truly don’t give a f***.” Both are no stranger to the art of audio movie, catching their biggest breakl using the legendary clip for Lil Jon’s Switch Down For Everything back in 2014. However, with the success of their debut feature Korean Army Man this past year, some were bound to wonder whether they had outgrown the moderate.

It appears they are at least ready to do it one more time to the man who scored their feature. Manchester Orchestra given the sonic vibes for Korean Army Man, therefore it was only reasonable to refund with a visual favor. The result is this movie for The Sunshine, which comprises a few of DANIELS’ trademark out-there humor and capacity to blend CGI oddness into seemingly normal conditions.  

The Babe Rainbow – Peace Blossom Boogie

Manager – Kristofski

The Babe Rainbow is probably the closest thing to a group of traveling hippies that we have in today’s music landscape. Together with Peace Blossom Boogie, manager  Kristofski masterfully captures the spirit of this group through what appears to be a Super 8 film straight out of 1964.   The YouTube page also has what I believe are the most precise comment of 2017 using “I can not believe these folks exist.” Everybody in Australia is seemingly beautiful, forcing double-decker buses to bright areas where they could frolic the afternoon off. Seems like an alright life.

Jay-Z – Moonlight

Manager – Alan Yang

JAY-Z came out with his new record 4:44 this season and with the launch came the opportunity to bend some TIDAL muscle. Many of the music movies he dropped were initially only available to see on TIDAL for a lengthy window following their premiere. This, obviously, was utilized as an incentive for people to sign up for the streaming support. If that money has been used to fuel the creation of movies like   Moonlight,   then I’m all for it.

The hype around this audio video was certainly real. A reboot of Friends starring some of the freshest African-American confronts in Hollywood and led by Master of None co-creator Alan Yang? Who wouldn’t wish to see what that looks like? The result is an allegory that’s more melancholy than funny, more short film than audio video. It has to’ve generated a great deal of new subscribers for HOV.  

Young Thug – Wyclef Jean

Manager – Pomp&Clout

You do the best with what you got, and this movie illustrates that.

Tyler, The Creator – Who’s Dat Boy

Manager – Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, The Creator is one of those rare few who can do it all. At just twenty-six years old, he’s been, well, producing, because the beginning of the Odd Future move back in 2008/2009. That includes everything from several albums to multiple TV shows, his own clothing line, and music festivals.

This year’s release   Flower Boy was clearly a significant step forward for this artist. Previously criticized for leaning too heavily on sophomoric humor, Tyler, The Creator’s movie for Who’s Dat Boy is the consequence of many years of satisfying his irreverent, damaging style. He’s unleashed his private struggles with identity out to the world, and when it is too dreadful for some to witness, then so be it.

Ty Segall – Split a Guitar

Manager – Matt Yoka

Many guitars were hurt in the making of the film. The great Matt Yoka strikes using his kaleidoscopic music movie for Ty Segall’s Split a Guitar. If you’re a lover of this rock-and-roll, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching guitars being obliterated to smithereens, particularly if Jack Black, Henry Rollins and Fred Armisen would be those accountable for their own destruction.  

The thing to note here is that none of all these explosions were set together in post with VFX. They are all the practical work of the   pyrotechnicians at Court Wizard, and also this movie simply wouldn’t be the same if the  consequences were not completed on set.   Do not worry, there has been a set medic in place to ensure nobody got hurt. Cronenberg fans will also be Delighted to find an almost frame for frame Scanners tribute at the end.      

Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.

Manager – Dave Meyers & The Little Homies

As I said initially, this is Kendrick’s entire year, therefore it is only fitting we feature at least 2 of the movies on this list. While Element. May be the more powerful of both, HUMBLE will wind up being the one that we most remember. It could just be the most iconic movie of 2017.