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Inventive, smart and flamboyant — Here are some music videos from 2020 with a distinctive visual style

From Dua Lipa's 'Physical' to Georgia's '24 hours', some music videos that made it to our list

Arindam Chatterjee Published 08.04.20, 02:46 PM
A still from Dua Lipa's Physical music video

A still from Dua Lipa's Physical music video YouTube/Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa— Physical

This one takes you on a visual joyride. The video takes off as the throb of the bass intensifies. Dua Lipa and a male dancer stand in the dark. Dua puts a hand on his chest and then suddenly pulls out his heart, holds it in her hand and leans forward to say something in his ear. The lights come on and she sings, “Common love isn’t for us/ We created something phenomenal/ Don’t you agree?” Seconds later a dancing Dua throws away the heart, whose trajectory is captured by the camera from the top. The image turns into anime and the heart splits into many more. It morphs into a diamond (“You got me feeling diamond rich”).


Mixing live action with animation, the fast-paced, adrenaline-fuelled video sees Dua Lipa dancing through various zones, sporting outfits in solid colours like red, blue, green and yellow. Finally, all the dancers, sporting clothes of different colours, come together in the end to form a blast of colour signifying, among other things, unity in diversity!

Alicia Keys— Underdog

Alicia Keys spreads joy and brings smiles into the lives of people as she dances into their lives in this uplifting video. The song tells stories of underdogs trying to keep it together. People travel for better opportunities, families bond and connect. Fun fact: Bob Dylan spoke about Alicia in his song, Thunder On The Mountain — “I was thinkin’ ’bout Alicia Keys, couldn’t keep from crying/ When she was born in Hell’s Kitchen, I was living down the line/ I’m wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be/ I’ve been looking for her even clear through Tennessee!”

A still from Tame Impala's Lost in Yesterday music video

A still from Tame Impala's Lost in Yesterday music video YouTube/Tame Impala

Tame Impala— Lost in Yesterday

A constantly moving camera captures the moments of a private wedding gig. With each rotation around the room, the camera reveals new stories of characters before circling back to the band and moving on to the people. In the beginning a woman stubs out her cigarette in a drink offered by a man. Once the camera circles back and comes to her again it goes back to a scene in the past where the woman now takes the drink.

Soon we get to know more deets from the past as the camera goes round again! Quite a spin here!

Lime Cordiale— Addicted to the Sunshine

This one takes you back to the 1980s with its visual style, quirky characters and the desert setting. Images are sometimes placed one after the other to develop a theme... like the image of the sea merging with a scene of water gushing out from a dam. It is obvious that the director of the video is building it up for something bigger. Soon the flow of water coming out of a hosepipe turns to a dribble as lightning strikes. By the end of the video, terrifying scenes play out, like images of wildfire ripping through, floods submerging towns and bridges falling down. Effects of climate change? The boys sing, “We wait for the sunset, for the day to die/ And beauty is leaving with a bloody sky/ So there you have it, the past/ Was good while it lasts/ If you love her in that way/ You’ll listen to what your mother says/ Give a little bit, if you’re gonna take.”

A still from Georgia's 24 hours music video

A still from Georgia's 24 hours music video YouTube/GEoRGiA

Georgia— 24 Hours

This one goes on the split-screen mode from the beginning, showing people getting ready to go out for the evening. Night scenes get the fast-forward treatment. As scenes dissolve into each other, neon lights create a sense of motion and adventure.

Soccer Mommy— Circle The Drain

This is a throwback unlike any other and transports you back to the 1990s. The video looks splotchy while the colours bleed into one another, seen in VHS tapes. It has a DIY feel to it. The song — in its sound, tone and arrangement — reminds you of bands like The Breeders, and artistes like Lisa Loeb and Natalie Imbruglia. Anyone growing up on MTV in the 1990s will connect with this one. The video pays homage to a very 1990s thing — kids going around skating. Incidentally, Sophia Regina Allison, better known by her stage name Soccer Mommy, was born on May 27, 1997. In the video, she is seen playing guitar. Soon she walks to the playground frequented by the skaters, strikes up a friendship with them and tries out the skates.

Ozzy Osbourne — Ordinary Man, featuring Elton John

It’s not often that we get to see Ozzy Osbourne in a sentimental mood. This video serves as a snapshot of his life as Ozzy fondly looks at images from his past sitting alone in a theatre. From photographs, videos to concerts, it is Ozzy’s coming-of-age tale. The song finds the rocker in a confessional mode : I was unprepared for fame/ Then everybody knew my name/No more lonely nights, it’s all for you...Yes, I’ve been a bad guy/ Been higher than the blue sky/ And the truth is I don’t wanna die an ordinary man.” The video traces moments like Ozzy growing up in his home town Birmingham, England and becoming famous with the band Black Sabbath. Crowds cheer him on, call out his name as Ozzy soaks it all in from the stage. Of course, there are the other ones as well — pictures of him partying, drinking champagne in a bathtub. At times Ozzy seems amused at his own past antics! Emotional scenes of family life will make you go aww.

A still from Blossoms' If You Think This is Life music video

A still from Blossoms' If You Think This is Life music video YouTube/BlossomsBand

Blossoms — If You Think This Is Real Life

This video perfectly captures the vibe of the band and the song. It’s done in a simple way and frames the band members in profile and close-ups, playing their instruments or singing. But the lyrics are witty (You said that we should get help/ You thought we’d talk it out/ F**k what the therapist said/ It’s just something he read/ I said my summer was fine/ You said, ‘Well that’s a change!’/ ‘See I slept with one of your friends’/ I think you’d call this the end) and the designing of the images is fun too! For example, for one sequence the camera slowly closes in on the band from one side and when the scene cuts to a different angle of the band, we see the camera gradually zooming out again.

San Cisco — Flaws

The band San Cisco wears its retro influences on its sleeve. Their latest video carries forward the warm vibe from their Reasons video and this one also establishes the sense of camaraderie between the members. Footage from tours are joined with images of the members performing, in concerts and indoors. Flaws also has that warm home video feel to it. At times the camera is shaky, zooms in abruptly and goes out of focus. The first image of the video is extremely soothing to the eyes... a lingering shot (the camera holds for a few seconds) of a vast expanse of green while rain falls gently, as if someone is looking at it longingly and reminiscing about the good old days, which then gradually spread out during the course of the video. The sky clears and the rhythm kicks in.

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