Still at home? Good. Well, whether you are just at home chilling, recuperating or using this time to go on a few psychic trips, we have some more excellent content for you to feast your socially-isolated eyeballs on. Tunes? Check. Trippy visuals? Check. Music videos are of course the perfect vehicle for the more imaginative musician to get their vibe across. Here we list some of our favourite fun, freaky and sometimes frightening clips for your viewing pleasure!
(This is just a small selection of classics, let us know your pick in the comments below!)
Where’s Your Head At? : Basement Jaxx
Released in 2001 by the British duo Basement Jaxx, the video features a man attending a meeting to learn of “the latest thing in pop music”. But! We soon realise all is not what it seems—he has been lured into an experiment in which they put musician’s brains into monkeys. Cue human-faced monkey carnage! Just don’t let the lyrics get to you while you’re isolating…
‘Don’t let the walls cave in on you
We can live on, live on without you’
Human Behavior: Bjork
From her 1993 debut album ‘Debut’, everybody’s favourite Icelandic pixie was strange from the start. The video for Human Behavior is loosely based on the fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We see little Bjork, tussling with a giant teddy-bear, running through a forest and falling from the moon, all in a surreal semi-animated style. Directed by music video master Michel Gondry (Check him out!), Bjork explains “’Human Behaviour’ is an animal’s point of view on humans. And the animals are definitely supposed to win in the end.”
Weapon of Choice: Fat Boy Slim
Directed by Spike Jonze in 2001, this sample heavy tune boasts A-list credentials. Starred in, and choreographed by Christopher Walken, we see the gangster-movie regular tapdance, spin and eventually fly around the LA Marriott Hotel. All to the sultry tones of Bootsy Collins. Why not try the choreography at home? (Perhaps minus the floating…)
Welcome to The Machine: Pink Floyd
Now to pay tribute to psychedelic grandaddies, Pink Floyd. Gerald Scarfe created this clip, made to accompany the 1975 track Welcome to The Machine, and it is an example of dystopian psych at its best. Inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, this animation features among others things, a giant robot axolotl, an ocean of blood and rats— lots of rats.
Rattlesnake: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
Surely the rightful heirs of the Psychedelic Rock Crown, King Gizzard are an Australian psych band with almost too many inspired music videos to choose from. A good one to start with (and follow Welcome to the Machine), is 2016’s Rattlesnake. The band play over an apocalyptic CGI background, hopping over snakes, until at the climax they begin to morph into reptiles themselves…
Hey Girl, Hey Boy: Chemical Brothers
On the cusp of the millenium The Chemical Brothers gave us another morph-tastic video that terrified the school children who happened to catch it on TV. A little girl on a school trip to the Natural History Museum London, falls and breaks her wrist. Later after an X-ray, she contemplates her bones within. Fast forward to adulthood, and the dancers at the nightclub our heroine attends flicker between skeleton and human, like a 90s danse macabre. (Shout out to the skeletons getting busy in the club toilet)
Gimme Some More: Busta Rhymes
Directed in 1998 by Hype Williams and Rhymes himself, this video features the fish-eye lense camera seen in many of Busta’s videos, but that’s where the similarities end. Featuring a sample of the theme from Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’, the video takes this vibe and runs with it. A child transforms into a blue gremlin, eyes become spirals, Busta is a cartoon cowboy and then an inflated wrestler. It’s like an episode of Tom and Jerry on— you guessed it— shrooms!
When You Die: MGMT
Featuring actor Alex Karpovsky (one of the many grumpy blokes in ‘Girls’), this 2017 MGMT video really captures the visuals of a trip, and not always a good one. Using the AI technique ‘style transfer’, we see Karpovsky as a hapless magician who dies and dies again, floral surgeons working on his spaghetti insides, and the cosmos inhabit the surface of his skin. Watch out for the fleshy face-melting finale!
Groove Is In The Heart: Deee-Lite
Always filling dance floors, even 30 years after its release, Deee-Lite’s 1990 hit has a funkadelic video to match its groove. The clip shows the band in 60s inspired daisy-power outfits, layered over a swirling psychedelic backdrop, and throwing some shapes that really deserve a comeback. Kudos to Bootsy Collins for also featuring on this track (the guy has the magic touch!) and Lady Miss Kier for being an underrated style icon.
Frontier Psychiatrist: The Avalanches
Clearly a peak of music video zaniness, 2001 also gifted us with the oddball video for ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’. From an album crafted almost entirely of samples, this video is a collage of sketches on a simple theatre set, acting out the audio clips that create a nightmarish symphony.