10 Best Indian Videos of 2017
Artists experimented with animations, concepts and palettes to raise their visual voice
1. Run Pussy Run: “Roaches”
Pune freak funk group fronted by musician Gowri Jayakumar couldn’t get any more quirky for the video of their single “Roaches.” It features an abundance of cockroaches crawling across the screen while the band performs the song. The peculiar visuals were the product of a collaboration between the band and Pune-based LMB Productions, led by animator and director Anurag Ramgopal. If you are deathly scared of this particular insect, it would be wise to skip this video.
2. Blushing Satellite:Â “Who Am I?”
Bengaluru alt rock and R&B group Blushing Satellite’s video for “Who Am I?” is a sort of
visual ode to identity crisis. The depiction of a masked individual finding his groove in the chaos of busy public spaces is a reminder of the existential dilemma city dwellers are bound to experience. Overall, it is a gripping film that complements the mood of the composition beautifully.
3. The Local Train:Â “Khudi”
Hindi rock band The Local Train are known for their creative, emotional and high-quality visuals and often state it’s the primary reason they have gained so much popularity on YouTube. The music video for their single “Khudi” released earlier this year is particularly heartwarming, portraying the daily struggles of an ordinary delivery-man who sets out on a journey to find himself and some happiness in the process. Directed by filmmaker Vijesh Rajan, the video won ”˜Platinum Film of the Year 2017’ in the music video category at the India FilmÂ Project Awards.
4.Â Parekh & Singh: “Ghost”
The dream pop duo have found a place on our list yet again thanks to the consistency in the outstanding quality of music videos they deliver. Retaining the Wes Anderson-esque imagery from “I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll,” the video for “Ghost” contrasts bright primary colors with lush green tropical landscapes. The video takes a heartbreaking turn towards the end when you realize it is possibly telling the story of a little girl trying to cope with the loss of her pet dog.
5.Â Pakshee:Â “Raah Piya”
This six-piece fusion outfit from New Delhi stepped into our radar thanks to the vibrant music video for their 2017 single “Raah Piya.” While the clip mostly consists of shots of the band in various landscapes, each frame is crisp, well-composed and beautifully lit. The video also includes montages of of sweeping mountains, rose-gold sunsets and sparkling bonfires that complement the music. The true visual crown is towards the end of the video where eachÂ member is subtly highlighted viaÂ a fiery silhouette.
6.Â Sandunes: “Does Bombay DreamÂ of NOLA”
Mumbai-based producer SanayaÂ Ardeshir aka Sandunes’ musicÂ video for her single “Does BombayÂ Dream of NOLA” is a perfectÂ match to her artistry: serene,Â complex and tremendously mysterious.Â Designed and illustratedÂ by Studio Moebius, the videoÂ is a four-chapter animation thatÂ shows a woman crossing multipleÂ dimensions to explore theÂ mysticism of New Orleans, Louisiana.Â The film features a simpleÂ black and-white palette and isÂ filled with symbolism, cats andÂ intricately drawn doors.
7.Â ThaikkudamÂ Bridge: “Inside My Head”
For the first single off their upcomingÂ album Namah, KochiÂ fusion rockers ThaikkudamÂ Bridge surprised us with theÂ fact that they turned to EnglishÂ lyrics (with mixed results) butÂ they stayed consistent to theirÂ strong visual component. DirectedÂ by Bengaluru filmmakerÂ Vivek Thomas (Miramar Films),Â the video follows a man caughtÂ in a story revolving around trustÂ and violence and how it all getsÂ mixed up. When you portrayÂ human instincts in the midst ofÂ jungle fever, the twists and turnsÂ just appear on their own accord,Â much like Thaikkudam’s ownÂ prog/fusion flourishes.
8.Â Black Letters: “Falter”
Fish in the sea? Casting your net?Â Separating at shore? There areÂ fairly clear visual metaphors inÂ Bengaluru alt rock band BlackÂ Letters’ music video for “Falter,”Â a stand-alone single that is drivenÂ by their electronic side. ButÂ Mumbai filmmakers Pranav BhasinÂ and Ankur Vyas chop andÂ change the footage, inter-playingÂ several scenes to match the lyricalÂ lessons about love, lust andÂ taking a chance. Shown more orÂ less in slow-mo and slickly focusedÂ frames, the video is just asÂ engrossing as the song.
9.Â When Chai MetÂ Toast: “Fight”
When you’ve got music as bright-eyedÂ and vibrant as Kerala’s indieÂ indie/acoustic band When ChaiÂ Met Toast, the hues have to beÂ just right. Thankfully for them,Â they had two Malayalam film industryÂ biggies on their side””directorÂ Ganesh Raj (Aanandam)Â and cinematographer Anend CÂ Chandran (Premam). With a bitÂ of playful animation, the colorÂ palette alone is enough to keepÂ your eyes glued, as is the band’sÂ spirited music. The video tellsÂ the story of fighting wars, not onÂ borders, but for yourself, sometimesÂ against oneself, and meetingÂ triumph.
10.Â Chaos: “All Against All”
On the bludgeoning thrashÂ offering that was a fuck-you to allÂ of humanity (for, you know, theÂ mess we’re in), ThiruvananthapuramÂ metallers Chaos calledÂ on Bengaluru-based MithunÂ Raj aka Munz (also the frontmanÂ of folk/groove metallersÂ The Down Troddence) to giveÂ their title track a music video.Â The band and the director’s teamÂ rounded up about a 100 metalheadsÂ at an empty farm plotÂ in Kannur, mucking about forÂ brutal fight scenes, capturing anÂ intensity like few other metalÂ videos.
(Releases are listed in no particular order)
Compiled by Anurag Tagat, Riddhi Chakraborty and David Britto