Even though many think that the 1980s and 1990s represented the golden age of music videos,
we are living in a time where music videos continue to make waves in popular culture. From
Taylor Swift consistently generating hundreds of millions (or even billions) of views per music
video to newcomers like Lil Nas X hitting the map, the music video continues to be a unique
medium where artists can display their creativity.
Combing across YouTube, it is easy to come across music videos of all shapes and sizes. Some
are sleek and professionally produced while others simply capture an artist’s performance with
an iPhone. The beauty of the music video—especially more so in 2019—is that there are
virtually no limits. Artists are only limited by their imagination.
With all of that said, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite music videos based on
cinematic entertainment value. The music, yes, is one thing. However, there are some stellar
music videos that combine a catchy track with outstanding visuals and a compelling story. Below
are three music videos that will stop you in your tracks and admire their pure, cinematic
Three Stellar, Cinematic Music Videos
“You Should See Me In a Crown” (Billie Eilish)
We are going to start this list by discussing Billie Eilish’s music video for “You Should See Me
In a Crown.” Upon first watching the video, you will immediately notice that it is entirely
animated. By choosing the animated medium, Billie Eilish takes the viewer on a colorful journey. The
female protagonist starts the video by dancing in a neon-colored environment, but then she
transforms into a creepy creature that destroys a miniature city. The creature eats miniature
people and spreads a slime-like substance that consumes the remaining people, trippy
sunflowers, and the remaining buildings.
The music video is extremely colorful—even after this jarring transition occurs. It is
mesmerizing to see the female protagonist’s journey throughout the entire video. The video’s
director is Takashi Murakami, who is a renowned Japanese contemporary artist. Billie Eilish has
taken the world by storm with her unique style and creative genius. The video certainly plays to
its audience, as it currently has nearly 30 million views.
While “You Should See Me In a Crown” made a great conversation piece for this article, it’s the
artists latest release “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” that is on fire going #1 in the
US, UK, AUS, BEL, DEN, NLD, NOR, NZ, and SWE.
“One More Time” (Josh Pfeiffer)
The music video for Josh Pfeiffer’s “One More Time” tells a beautiful story of love and loss. Set
to the backdrop of the San Francisco Bay and the hillsides of Northern California, the
cinematography really shines in this sentimental music video. The journey provides twists and
turns as it brings forth a visual representation of the song’s powerful lyrics.
The video, directed by Emmy Award winner Alejandro, Guimoye is beautiful. From stunning
shots of San Francisco Bay to more intimate shots of the two main characters played by Josh and
his wife Tara Pfeiffer, Guimoye captures the hope, despair, and rebirth that is captured by the
song. The dramatic and cinematic nature of the music video is something to be seen. As for
Pfeiffer himself, the singer and songwriter is enjoying his most successful single to date with
‘One More Time’ reaching various iTunes charts internationally at #1 UK, #96 in the US and #2
in CAN and NL. From his jazz roots to the country nature of “One More Time,” Pfeiffer doesn’t
appear to be afraid to push the boundaries of his music.
Still Feel (half•alive)
Finally, “still feel” is an extremely fun, and creative music video that just makes you want to get
up and dance. The video is compelling for a number of reasons, but its dance choreography is at
the top of the list. It follows half•alive lead singer Josh Taylor, drummer Brett Kramer, and
bassist J Tyler Johnson as the perform an elaborate dance routine in a neon-colored room. While
the dance routine appears to have been difficult to execute in and of itself, the video was shot in
one single take.
half•alive was formed in 2016. Their first EP, titled 3, was released in 2017 and included tracks
like “The Fall,” “Aawake at Night,” and “Tip Toes.” “Still Feel” though, is the song that has
launched the band to new heights peaking at #11 on the U.S. Alternative chart and #26 on the
U.S Rock chart. The single is scheduled to appear on a future album.
Immersive Cinematic Experiences
All three music videos listed above provide excellent cinematic experiences. They are unique in
their own way, yet they contain dramatic, beautiful shots. Going forward, all three of these music
videos are excellent models for both up-and-coming and established recording artists.
As for these three artists? We can’t wait to see what is in their future.