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: “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: “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 Film Project Awards.
4. 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. Pakshee: “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 each member is subtly highlighted via a fiery silhouette.
6. Sandunes: “Does Bombay Dream of NOLA”
Mumbai-based producer Sanaya Ardeshir aka Sandunes’ music video for her single “Does Bombay Dream of NOLA” is a perfect match to her artistry: serene, complex and tremendously mysterious. Designed and illustrated by Studio Moebius, the video is a four-chapter animation that shows a woman crossing multiple dimensions to explore the mysticism of New Orleans, Louisiana. The film features a simple black and-white palette and is filled with symbolism, cats and intricately drawn doors.
7. Thaikkudam Bridge: “Inside My Head”
For the first single off their upcoming album Namah, Kochi fusion rockers Thaikkudam Bridge surprised us with the fact that they turned to English lyrics (with mixed results) but they stayed consistent to their strong visual component. Directed by Bengaluru filmmaker Vivek Thomas (Miramar Films), the video follows a man caught in a story revolving around trust and violence and how it all gets mixed up. When you portray human instincts in the midst of jungle fever, the twists and turns just appear on their own accord, much like Thaikkudam’s own prog/fusion flourishes.
8. Black Letters: “Falter”
Fish in the sea? Casting your net? Separating at shore? There are fairly clear visual metaphors in Bengaluru alt rock band Black Letters’ music video for “Falter,” a stand-alone single that is driven by their electronic side. But Mumbai filmmakers Pranav Bhasin and Ankur Vyas chop and change the footage, inter-playing several scenes to match the lyrical lessons about love, lust and taking a chance. Shown more or less in slow-mo and slickly focused frames, the video is just as engrossing as the song.
9. When Chai Met Toast: “Fight”
When you’ve got music as bright-eyed and vibrant as Kerala’s indie indie/acoustic band When Chai Met Toast, the hues have to be just right. Thankfully for them, they had two Malayalam film industry biggies on their side—director Ganesh Raj (Aanandam) and cinematographer Anend C Chandran (Premam). With a bit of playful animation, the color palette alone is enough to keep your eyes glued, as is the band’s spirited music. The video tells the story of fighting wars, not on borders, but for yourself, sometimes against oneself, and meeting triumph.
10. Chaos: “All Against All”
On the bludgeoning thrash offering that was a fuck-you to all of humanity (for, you know, the mess we’re in), Thiruvananthapuram metallers Chaos called on Bengaluru-based Mithun Raj aka Munz (also the frontman of folk/groove metallers The Down Troddence) to give their title track a music video. The band and the director’s team rounded up about a 100 metalheads at an empty farm plot in Kannur, mucking about for brutal fight scenes, capturing an intensity like few other metal videos.
(Releases are listed in no particular order)
Compiled by Anurag Tagat, Riddhi Chakraborty and David Britto