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5 Standout Music Videos From 2015

We can’t overstate the importance of the music video in the current cultural climate.

In a 2014 interview with filmmaker Sachin Pillai, a prolific figure in the (largely) indie arena, we spoke about its relevance and how, when executed correctly, a good video can work in harmony with sound, helping to enhance rather than hinder.

Despite the onslaught of formulaic music videos with flashy imagery and gyrating bottoms (Arca wins that round) - the unfortunate products of an age dictated by clickbait marketing and diminishing attention spans - the international music community has managed to produce some really excellent, creative videos in the last year (Sia, FlyLo, Perfume Genius – we could go on).

2014 was also the year the floodgates opened for Indian filmmakers to show off their talent. The latter half of the year saw some excellent output by the likes of Monica Dogra, Sandunes, Nicholson (whose final video for the ‘For What’ trilogy should be out…soon-ish) and Your Chin.

The pace has only picked up this year. With June almost over and the second half of 2015 looming ahead, we rounded up some of our favourite, sometimes underrated videos that fall under various categories of filmmaking.

Political

The Ska Vengers - Badda

Never ones to shy away from speaking their minds, Delhi based institution -The Ska Vengers - released a politically charged video for ‘Badda’ earlier this year, produced by Babble Fish Productions and directed by Anna Joseph. The band lampoons the (more than deserving) manipulative Indian media, consumerism and censorship with pomp, colour and flamboyance.

DIY

Begum – Marry Me

Ah, Begum. There’s a reason the Delhi band, comprised of Kartik Pillai, Karan Singh and Kshitij Dhyani feature in virtually every list we write. We’ve spoken at length about what we think of their sound but what really stands out with Begum is the charming identity they’ve (quite unassumingly) built around themselves. Their dizzying, technicolour video for ‘Marry Me’ fits in with their lo-fi, DIY aesthetic and was shot by band member Karan Singh and Suryakant Sawhney (of Lifafa and pcrc fame) who also managed the editing and FX.

Animated

Sandunes – Exit Strategy

Conceptualised and created by Nikunj Patel and released via Thump, Sandunes’ bittersweet animated interpretation of ‘Exit Strategy’ from her 2014 EP ‘Slybounce’, is a great example of crowdfunding done right. Somehow animation fits in well with Sandunes’ sound and Patel’s enchanting rendering only lifts it higher.

Documentary

Donn Bhat – Suburban King / Top girl.

Despite making its way all the way to SXSW in Austin, Texas, story-tellers.in’s short documentary film ‘Suburban King/Top Girl’ hasn’t gotten close the amount of attention it deserves. Directed by Aakash Bhatia, the ambitious short doc film (which isn’t strictly a music video) employs Donn Bhat’s ‘Disco Disco’ as the background score to the story of three protagonists taking part in the ancient Mumbai festival of Dahi Handi.

Collaboration

Frame/Frame – Hard Boiled Wonderland

This is collaboration of the cross continental variety. Amsterdam based Haider Hussain Beig got in touch with Delhi native Frame/Frame aka Nikhil Kaul for a Murakami-esque treat for the escapist in us all, creating a music video for ‘Hard Boiled Wonderland' from the EP of the same name. Hopefully this will set the ball rolling for more collaborations between filmmakers and musicians in the coming months.

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19 June 2015

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