8 Meticulously Crafted Music Videos

1. “Runnin’ (Lose It All) (feat. Beyoncé & Arrow Benjamin)” by Naughty Boy
Director: Charlie Robins

It’s not possible to upstage Beyoncé, but Alice Modolo at least came close, starring in the video for Naughty Boy’s “Runnin’ (Lose It All),” his recently unveiled collaboration with Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin. Modolo, a 30-year-old free diver from France, traveled to French Polynesia to shoot the video opposite world champion free diver Guillaume Néry. Modolo is a world champion herself, having placed second in the Apnea world championship in 2012.) Apnea is a discipline of free diving where the competitors descend without fins, using a rope as a guide.)

2. “Cry Like a Ghost” by Passion Pit
Director: Daniels

The new video from Passion Pit’s Gossamer, this time for “Cry Like a Ghost”, is a high-tech dream sequence directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (or Daniels). As the directors explain in a making-of video, “The idea is this girl is dancing through her relationships… we’re trying to show how messy, confusing, funny, and sad and weird that is.” The video was created in partnership with Sony’s Music Unlimited service.

3. “Turn Down For What (feat. Lil Jon)” by DJ Snake
Director: Daniels

You’ve never seen a music video quite as appropriately absurd and absurdly inappropriate as the one below. Directed by the Daniels, who never disappoint, the clip follows an incredibly odd evening in the life of a man who is physically incapable of turning down. He’s so turnt up, in fact, that he’s imbued with superhuman strength, a hypnotic crotch, and the ability to convert others as he goes.

4. “Tongues” by Joywave
Director: Daniels

The Daniels strike again with an oddball, 16mm film-shot visual treatment for “Tongues,” the union between Rochester indie-dance outfits Joywave and KOPPS.

5. “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go
Director: James Frost, OK Go and Syyn Labs

In music, timing is everything. When you’re dancing with an enormous machine, it’s even more important to get the timing correct, down to the microsecond.

Pop band OK Go recruited a gang of very talented engineers to build a huge, elaborate Rube Goldberg machine whose action perfectly meshes with the band’s song, “This Too Shall Pass,” from the band’s album, Of the Blue Color of the Sky.

For nearly four minutes — captured in a single, unbroken camera shot — the machine rolls metal balls down tracks, swings sledgehammers, pours water, unfurls flags and drops a flock of umbrellas from the second story, all perfectly synchronized with the song. A few gasp-inducing, grin-producing moments when the machine’s action lines up so perfectly, you can only shake your head in admiration at the creativity and precision of the builders.

Those builders were Syyn Labs, a Los Angeles-based arts and technology collective that has a history of doing surprising, entertaining science and tech projects that involve crowds of people, at a monthly gathering called Mindshare LA.

OK Go developed a reputation for making catchy, viral videos years ago with the homemade video for “Here It Goes Again,” which features the band members dancing around on treadmills. The company ran afoul of music label EMI’s restrictive licensing rules, which required YouTube to disable embedding, cutting views to 1/10 of their previous level. Now, the new video is up — and it’s embeddable, so the band seems to have won this round with its label.

6. “I Won’t Let You Down” by OK Go
Director: Kazuaki Seki and Damian Kulash, Jr.

Yet another incredible video from OK Go. To promote its new track “I Won’t Let You Down” – a sunny earworm of a tune from the band – the alt-pop quartet came up with another production that falls right in-line with its past video efforts. The new video is tightly choreographed, bursting with color, packed with enough moments that leave the viewer wondering how this thing was pulled off – and it was all shot, as usual, in one take using a drone. The sheer creative brilliance is reason why OK Go’s music videos often surpass 10 million views a piece on the band’s YouTube channel.

7. “Arrows (feat. Macklemore)” by FENCES
Director: Jason Koenig & John Keatley

Although Macklemore has managed to dodge media scrutiny, an arrow gets the best of him in FENCES’ gorgeously shot video.

8. “Almost Famous” by G-Eazy
Director: Bobby Bruderle

On ‘Almost Famous’ we hear young Gerald reflect on the approaching fame in his career and the timeline associated with it. The video follows him as he stars in cover shoots from popular magazines such as Rolling Stone to GQ and underground publications like Vice, Hypebeast, The Fader and many more.