In the last 10 years we have seen musicians step away from high profile and complex music videos to focus on chart toppers and singles. But recently the music video trend has made a comeback with the artistic visions of Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar catching millions of views on YouTube and Tidal. As the music video is making its comeback, Denver locals are using their creative juices and artistry to create videos you won’t want to miss.
Elephant Revival — “Petals”
Elephant Revival is known for their eclectic folk music, and their video for the song “Petals” shows their quirky and unique style. This video explores the themes of rebirth and transition through its use of stop-go production and camera transitions. We start with a very minimal shot of the world, which snowballs into more and more detail, much like a seed turning into a blossoming flower with layers and layers of new parts.
Wheelchair Sports Camp — “Dance Off”
If you’re having a party that you want to get going, play this video on your big screen, lower the lights and turn it all the way up. The bright, neon and glittery colors will grab your attention, while whatever is happening in the background during the three-minute song will make you do a double-take. There are disco balls, quick choreography in glittered Uggs, trippy visuals of traffic and some dancing old people — what more do you need for a dance party?
Trev Rich — “Flex Sumn”
Any rap video that opens up with Birdman is sure to not disappoint, and Trev Rich absolutely brings the party in this one. In true Cash Money style the rapper shows he can definitely “Flex Sumn” with pool tables full of money, countless bottles, iced out chains, numerous beautiful women and big booties at every corner.
Eldren — “Sunny Rain DayMoon”
Do you ever find yourself in a YouTube hole where you don’t know how you got to whatever you’re watching but are totally content with it? “Sunny Rain DayMoon” is one of those videos where you don’t understand what’s going on or why, and you just go with it for the four minutes. If you’ve ever imagined how a stoner would tribute Lord of the Rings then it’s probably something similar to this, and you won’t be disappointed when you check it out.
Pries — “So Hiiigh”
“So Hiiigh” by Denver rapper, Pries, is song about being above the nonsense and negativity that accompanies success, which Pries shows us in his video for the song. He’s showing off the success of his talent by flexing around in different jets and airplanes, but he shows us that he doesn’t take himself too seriously with playful dancing and smirks throughout the video.
The Velveteers — “This Love Lasted”
If you ever thought that old school porcelain dolls were creepy when you were younger then you’ll definitely get the same kind of vibes from this The Velveteers video. The video is a mix of fairy tale and horror movie in a three minute time span. You get hauntingly beautiful shots of the band’s duo and then solemn bits of the two casually lounging around a cemetery or in dead, wooded areas. The combination makes for a mesmerizing and uncomfortable experience that you should watch to understand.
Kayla Marque — “Body Talks Electric”
To accompany Kayla Marque’s haunting and sultry voice, “Body Talks Electric” is filled with stunning visuals. Throughout the video, dancers reinforce her words by vividly moving, leaping and swaying as she sings of electric and intimate connections between two souls.
Sur Ellz — ’90s R&B mashup
Sur Ellz is known for the experimentation and production that goes into his live sets. And this video gives you an inside look into the creativity and artistry of his musical process as he produces a beautiful R&B loop. The lighting, angles and sound quality beautifully set the mood for the ’90s mashup he creates.
888 — “Critical Mistakes”
This video will tug at your heartstrings as it highlights the consequences of life changing mistakes and choices. As the band performs in the background, people whose decisions affected not only their lives but the lives of others are confronted head on with their mistakes and the negative effects. Even when the song and video seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, from a drive-by shooting, a partner framing her ex and scamming people out of their life savings, the video shows the power of forgiveness and how it can trump negativity and tragedy for the greater good.
Instant Empire — “Spotlight”
Instant Empire is a Denver-based indie rock band that just finished up their second record and released a video for their song, “Spotlight.” The bright lighting combined with masked figures and distorted edits explains the discomfort of being in the spotlight or center of attention.
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake — “The Breath and the Glow”
“The Breath and the Glow” is a very conceptual and creative video to accompany a dark and deep song. Intense colors accompany the harder instrumentals, and the eerie keyboards and synths are amplified with horror movie-esque visuals reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead. Creep yourself out with the high-quality editing and moody song of this video.
Ray Reed — “Weight”
Ray Reed dropped an album earlier this summer that’s full of catchy beats and tough bars, and his video for “Weight” embodies both. The video shows the glitz and glamour of rising to fame and cutting people off who try to profit off of the success of others. Throughout the video you’ll see flashy cars, iced out jewelry, fresh threads and stacks of cash which all perfectly make up any good hip-hop video.
Kazami — “Depressed Deity II”
If you’ve listened to Kazami’s song “Depressed Deity II” then you’ll understand that the song is coming from a dark and heavy place for the rapper. To accompany the depressed and down mood of the song, the music video takes on the vibe of an old school horror movie. Throughout the video there is distorted editing and ominous imagery which complement the deep and dark lyrics of the song.