DAM AWARDS 2018: Best Music Video

What’s better than a catchy song? A music video that brings a whole new meaning to the lyrics, shows who the band members are as individuals, and just has a damn good time with the music. The five bands nominated for Best Music Video have taken some of their greatest songs from this year and turned them into another form of art through these videos.

Ditch Prince - Nosedive

Ditch Prince’s video plays with symbolic, weird imagery, providing a relatively mellow accompaniment to the heavy vocals and instrumentation. The band describes it as a theater school dropout’s “general ennui…into a post-millennial social nightmare of peer pressure, egos, and drugs.” It’s Donnie Darko combined with a house party full of like-minded and socially awkward friends, cocaine and mirrors, with colorful low-light and a little darkness.

Masa Lopez ft. LVL 9 - Platinum and Gold

“Platinum and Gold” is set at Black Tie Liquors in town, and LVL 9 rolls up on a skateboard, greeted by a crew of friends and fellow local hip hop artists, notably Masa Lopez. The two then rap through the aisles of the store and outside the building, talking about loyalty to the Cash & Respect label and their music, and the success that they’ve found.

Pearl Earl - Meet Your Maker

This video is a colorful trip through the first song on Pearl Earl’s self-titled album. Incorporating glitzy holographic animation, shiny body suits, and a helluva song, the ladies bring their psychedelic indie tune to listeners in the most visually complementary way. It’s a fun song, with one of my favorite lyrics being “How can they even/vote for a man/Who spent a million/on his tan.” This is Pearl Earl at its core, and “Meet Your Maker” is a truly in-your-face and timely video that is still a ton of fun.

Sad Cops - It's Eating at Me

This video is a minimalistic visual treat from the get-go. Each of the band members performs the song in their own room of the house, colorful spaces that their outfits match, before catching up as a five-piece in the garage at the end of the song. Lead singer and guitarist Grayson Harris performs his part in the shower, and as the water starts to rain down on him halfway through, it gives the heavy, powerful instrumentation that much more of an impact on listeners.

Thin Skin - My Song Ate/ Tits

Thin Skin is loud, weird, energetic, and unbelievably cool. The video for the mash-up of “My Song Ate/ Tits” is all that and more; a visualization of their angry punk sound that goes beyond, incorporating an infantile spin into their vocals and imagery that pushes the envelope of comfort. Maybe hearing these songs, you might not be able to turn that into a video in your own head. But Thin Skin shows a clear mastery of their sound and their identity in this joint video.

Header image courtesy of HalfpintFilmz, from AV the Great's music video Bunkin
Header image design courtesy of Holden Foster

Linda Smith