The music industry has been forced to adapt to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the restrictions implemented as a result, changing the way music videos are recorded. Gone are the hundreds of people helping to direct and film a video.
Nowadays, social distancing and teams of less than 10 people have become commonplace. While this increases the manpower that each individual person has to do, it shows how artists are forced to adapt to the lack of touring and revenue as the pandemic drags on.
Some songwriters and singers have been recording music videos in their homes, which brings a sense of do-it-yourself (DIY) to artists who usually don't have that aesthetic. So here are a few artists with the best music videos during the age of quarantine:
Misch, a 25-year-old guitarist and producer from England, has been releasing videos of him performing covers of famous songs with nothing more than a looping pedal and a guitar from the safety of his home.
These “Quarantine Sessions” include him playing songs by Nirvana and Thundercat, and they offer a new perspective on a well-established musician with a sizable fanbase. Seeing the interior of his room reminds people that he is a person like everyone else, which adds a layer of humanity to his work.
Wolf is an artist who has always maintained a wacky internet presence with her highly animated musical delivery and music videos. Her blend of saturated, cartoon-style imagery and mostly painted cover art constantly makes her seem larger-than-life — especially her fashion sense that consists of primary colors and vibrant emotions.
The music video for Wolf’s song, “Photo ID,” was released in April and is a capsule of how insanely creative she is with limited resources. The video revolves around three animated versions of her dancing in time with the music as her environment and surroundings change. The settings become more psychedelic and otherworldly, and the video culminates in thousands of her dancing in what looks like a large hotel room.
This amount of creative freedom during a pandemic is proof that artists can still make beautiful and captivating music videos without a large budget or space.
Wolf even wrote her own description for the music video, instead of having one generated by her label. This amount of thoughtfulness sets Wolf apart from other artists. The music video also ended up on YouTube’s trending page during October, which gave her lots of free promotion and press.
Tame Impala recently released an updated cover of his song “Why Won’t They Talk To Me?” from his 2012 album, "Lonerism." The video consists of Kevin Parker, the man behind the project, singing and performing every instrument, and each version of him is wearing different clothes. The video and production value is incredible, but he still lets you know that he alone controls all aspects of his music.
Parker is one of the most successful musicians of the 2010s. Tame Impala's 2015 album, “Currents,” is considered a cult classic, and his live shows frequently incorporate lasers with incredible lighting and sound direction.
His music videos are highly psychedelic inspired, and the video usually complements Impala’s woozy, reverberated vocals and guitar riffs. A simple video like this is a stark contrast to both his live concerts and his usual content, and it again highlights the person behind the music as much as the music itself.
While COVID-19 has ravaged the touring industry and disrupted the lives of everyone around the world, musicians have continually found a way to be creative and refreshing during this time.
An overarching pattern between all three videos is the changing of the artist’s original style to fit the current time period. This shows the importance of creativity in a world that attempts to push people away from originality and uniqueness.
Musicians have always had to adapt to their situation. These music videos best illustrate how artists have changed their style to highlight the importance of togetherness during this quarantine time.