New Music Tuesday: Adele, Mykki Blanco, !!! + More
Sometimes Apollo, the God of music, descends from the heavens to bless you with a sick new music video and then there are days like today when he comes down to chill and is like, “Hey, here are five new music videos. Enjoy. You deserve it.” We’re so overwhelmed with great new music videos today that we couldn’t pick just one, so take some time to sit back, laugh, cry, and emote all of the emotions to some new music from Adele, Mykki Blanco, !!!, Justin Bieber, and NAO.
‘When We Were Young’ – Adele
If you don’t have a box of tissues ready and are not sitting down, please do both before you watch this. The world is days away from Adele’s new 25 album but she decided to grace us all with a new song today. It’s called “When We Were Young“ and it’s surprisingly happy, given the emotional wreckage she usually reigns down on us. Although indie darling Xavier Dolan didn’t direct this, the new video is performed live, giving us heart palpitations over Adele’s natural vocal talents. Draped in shades of black and flanked by her backing band and some seriously svelte wooden speakers, she takes us to church—literally. The video was filmed in London’s Church Studio.
The Vibe: It’s the kind of song that would play while you lay in bed with Ryan Gosling at age 50 and think about the good ole’ days of being young, wild, and in love.
‘Coke White, Starlight’ – Mykki Blanco
After Adele makes you cry until you can’t spare any more moisture, it’s time to feel the intense energy from Blanco’s dark new short film and music video for her single ‘Coke White, Starlight.’ The groundbreaking queer rapper, activist, and performance artist’s new video tackles the dark side of “gay life.” An opening shot of drug use descends into a series of scenes of Blanco applying makeup and having spiritual awakenings in forests, streams, and lakes. The imagery pairs well with a series of visceral verses over a beat that made our coworkers look over in concern. Behind it all is the message that, according to Blanco, “The LGBTQ (community) can also eat itself alive sometimes rather than unifying.”
The Vibe: This is a song you’d listen to on a vision quest with a drag king version of Bear Grylls while hiking over an active volcano in a dress.
‘Ooo’ – !!!
When your vision quest towards spiritual awakening ends, jump in a rocket ship and blast off into space with the new track from the grammatically excited band !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk). The single is called ‘Ooo,’ which also happens to be the sound you make when your Seamless order arrives at your front door and when your Tinder date actually looks like their photo.
The ‘Ooo’ video was directed by Casper Kelly, who previously destroyed your sanity with the existential absurdist Adult Swim short Too Many Cooks. Kelly described the ’70s space age video as “combining the feeling of the Star Wars cantina bar with a college mixer,” but without all off the sloppy freshman and Sharpie penis art on people who fell asleep too early. Until we start to get more funding for NASA, you’ll have to settle for seeing !!! perform in this galaxy. They are starting a tour across the US today as a Stereolab cover band called Stereolad.
The Vibe: You’ll be listening to this when you wander drunk into an underground Bushwick bar that’s hosting the afterparty for a Star Trek v. Star Wars Trivia Debate.
‘Purpose’ – Justin Bieber
If you’ve been mildly interested in the Justin Bieber Redemption Tour, you may want to sit this one out. The Biebz video for ‘Purpose’ pairs a really good song with a video that’ll make you think you crashed in !!!’s spaceship and landed on a desert planet called Sexism. While Bieber slow jams about a lover, he looks deeply at the rocky landscape like some omnipotent god figure while six dusty loincloth-clad women claw and clutch at him to try and get his attention. All the while, he sings about asking others to forgive him. At one point, one of the women hugs his knees because in Beiber’s world, women are props for his redemption story.
It’s a strange end to a surprise Beyoncé-drop of music videos for each song on his album. The other videos focus more on dancing and less on Beiber—he only appears in one other video—but why watch dancers move to the music when you can furrow your brow like Bieber as you watch him pour sand on his white shirt in what’s probably supposed to be a metaphor for something but just ends up looking like the start of a laundry detergent ad.
The Vibe: Sitting on your windowsill thinking about the hottie you made eye contact with twice on the subway this morning while a single tear slides delicately down your cheek.
‘Bad Blood’ – NAO
If Bieber’s desert planet ladies represent the trend of casting women as props, London R&B goddess NAO’s black-and-white video for her single ‘Bad Blood’ is the cure. A nude woman glides through post-apocalyptic ruins that look like equal parts Chernobyl and District 12. Religious symbolism abounds as she goes on a revenge mission, using a Medusa-like gaze to make tree branches sprout out of every orifice of anyone who look into her eyes. It’s the most badass moment of the week, and Ian Pons Jewell, who previously shot the video for Vince Staple’s ‘Señorita,’ shoots it with an elegant grace.
The Vibe: Stomping down the streets of Manhattan in your sexiest outfit while you push tourists into the street and stomp on the hearts of your enemies.
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