I was on social media the other day, thinking about ideas for terrible posts to subject my followers to (as you do) and I had this sudden idea to talk about some of my favorite music videos. When done well, music videos are an art form, and I need you all to check these out immediately!
12. Mary Lambert, Know Your Name
In which Mary Lambert and her very queer squad have a gaming rivalry with a very butch Sara Ramirez. This video is absolutely iconic. The storyline is actually so sweet, and adorable, and I just kinda love how much romantic it makes the romantic whiles of a fat lesbian? Also, Mary Lambert is very very pretty.
11. Taylor Swift, Blank Space
Taylor Swift’s music video game is decent, but barely any of them felt like they belonged on my absolute faves list…. with the exception of this one (and one other). Her sardonic smiles and I-don’t-give-a-fuck aesthetic makes for one of the most entertaining four minutes of my life. Also, I just think she’s really pretty.
10. Hayley Kiyoko feat. Kehlani, What I Need
The first video of my favorite music video creator has appeared! Hayley’s aesthetic game is always so strong; this one plays with the side of the road shitty road trip, and also the aesthetic of a red-lit bar, and the sets are just so clever. And Hayley and Kehlani at the end, and the specific buildup to where they kiss……… god, I’m crying.
9. Sabrina Carpenter, Almost Love
This video does not go the direction I expected. I honestly just love Sabrina’s voice on this song and this MV is how I really discovered her. This video plays with different coloring so well (so so well) and is also an iconic masterpiece of gay subtext. She turns men to stone, all on this beautiful green background. A legend.
8. Janelle Monae, Make Me Feel
(part of Dirty Computer)
This music video is so gorgeous, and its use of Bisexual Lighting is so fantastic, and the song is such a complete bop. The best part of this entire thing, though, is that there’s a whole cinematic universe attached!! Want a 45-minute movie about polyamory, featuring several different bops? Go watch it! Janelle, can you come fuck me up please?
7. Ariana Grande, God is a woman
This video itself suffers a bit from not having a clear direction, but the concept of connecting female desire with religious imagery is still brilliant, and I genuinely think Ariana’s use of different sets and color schemes here is incredible.
6. Florence + the Machine, Big God
I do not tend to like Florence’s music videos very much, but this one changed my mind! This is literally one of the prettiest music videos of all time. I don’t know what’s happening in this video, but the way her dance moves synchronize with the beats is so deeply satisfying and amazing. I think this video is so strangely eerie and ethereal and so fitting for the song.
5. Ariana Grande, no tears left to cry
This is genuinely one of the prettiest music videos I’ve ever seen and I think about it quite a lot. The sideways city imagery is so so stunning; the contrasts between light and dark, and the constant scenes with both, work perfectly emotionally. Her outfits are on point, and the ending is beautiful.
4. Hayley Kiyoko, Feelings
This! Video! Following two girls having a lot of sexual tension and dancing around a parking lot, the muted pink, purple, and black shades make for the most atmospheric video. Emotional gay repression stars here. Also, I’ve said this about like, every pick on this list, but Hayley is just so so beautiful.
3. Taylor Swift, Delicate
Finding connection in a world where you think you don’t deserve it really is hard, and I think this pick conveys that perfectly. The balance struck here between brazen confidence and quiet self-doubt, the idea of finding love in a quiet room rather than in the spotlight; I just find this whole video so beautifully shot and so emotionally raw. I’ve always thought it was kind of weird that it’s set specifically in her Red area, complete with that hairstyle, but I feel like it works.
2. Dua Lipa, New Rules
This is SUCH a good music video, it literally made me tear up multiple times. The idea of girls supporting girls and calling out their terrible exes is so quality and amazing, and the musical build matches up perfectly with the build of the storyline.
1. Hayley Kiyoko, Gravel to Tempo
A video and song about internalized homophobia. I don’t think this gif properly conveys the degree to which this……. is the most gorgeous music video ever made. This is a story about being a sapphic in high school, and internalized homophobia, and the alienation that comes with being a young lesbian who doesn’t present feminine. I just absolutely love Hayley’s work and I can’t wait for more.