Future Islands poach viral sign-language interpreter Jonathan Lamberton, a group of upstart Italian rappers dish out credit-rolling thug life at the gas station pump, Kevin Morby lets the bygone television b-roll fly on a claustrophobic new single and more in Week 12 of the year’s Best Lyric Vids.

Kevin Morby – ‘Come to Me Now

On the press release for Morby’s LP4, City Musicthe former Woods’ bassist turned freewheelin’ rocker waxes poetic about the new record’s m.o.: “A fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.” He’s always been one for surreal imagery, but the lead single ditches his usual Velvet Underground vibes for a brooding, organ lulled meditation on shaking off despair. Backed by a never-ending b-roll montage of bygone NYC and channel-flipping fade-in-and-outs on random access American television moments, it’s like throwing another log on the fever dream fire, necessary for healing:

Come to me Now

Incubus – ‘Glitterbomb

The last time we saw the lyric video treatment from the Cali alt-wailers they were playing around with spirographs. Nowadays the art-direction is getting a more basic approach with this selfie-vid take on the studio-room floor from a periscope kind of screen fill, Brandon Boyd going on about losing a friend to victim-hood, while the lyrics spread out across the screen in handwritten letters. It’s all pretty, well, basic, but so the saying goes about the lifetime necessary to learn something simple:


Future Islands – ‘Cave

Pushing their fifth LP, The Far Field, Samuel T. Herring’s calmed down with the guttural freak outs that made him famous, cross-breeding some amazing soul struts with those epic throat growls and the feeling like any room is Madison Square Garden, this new joint rides a more subtle dispatch. Poaching New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s viral sign-language interpreter, Jonathan Lamberton, the entire video is Lamberton in black and white doing what he does best — in this case accentuating the bleakness of a harrowing song about losing faith; a beautiful new take on what a ‘lyric video’ can be:


Slava – ‘Skit

The translation is lost on the google translate machine, but let’s take this at English-speaking face value and talk about how ridiculous these dudes are, roaming across affluent suburbs of Italy in their Beamer, rolling up to gas stations, hangin’ at the local vending machine, and my personal favorite, a locker room, laying down bars over canned beats. The kind of so-ridiculous it’s brilliant. The camera never moves, only the lurchest of them all raps, the others are props, while the narratives roll out like post-film credits. We know the chorus means “zero thirty,” though, whatever the hell that is code for:


Brett Domino – ‘Magic Cane

Alter-ego of British comedian Rob J. Madin, apparently the dude’s racked up close to 30 million YouTube views slinging period jams like this Def Leppard meets Janet Jackson wubby 80s banger about being addicted to another human. A Kickstarter campaign dictated the naming of this particular song, one backer choosing ‘magic cane’, so says the video prologue. All said, it’s a rudimentary neon laser freak out shit show from here on out, cut with Domino’s floating noggin’ from time to time that’s got strut for days:

magic cane