The music video seems to be a dying art as music content based television channels go the way of the dinosaurs and other outdated and outmoded formats. However, as artists continue to try to reach out to increasing fans and demographics there has been an increase in both generic and genre-based music videos present online. The sci-fi concept music video (for lack of a better term) has been one of the increasingly popular video treatments.
Here are some of my favorite sci-fi music video concepts that have come out recently. If only Hollywood would take some cues from these videos and get a bit more creative. I've limited myself to the last four or five years as going back any farther would turn this list into a top 50 list. You can't talk about sci-fi music video concepts without talking about David Bowie's "Space Oddity." I also don't always like the song itself, but this is about the music video concept itself.
Let me know what some of your favorites are in the comments!
"Midnight City" (4:03),"Reunion" (4:42) and "Wait" (5:55) - M83
If you are going to watch any of the videos on this last, make it these three. These videos are part of a trilogy and tell a story. "Midnight City" was pretty ubiquitous in 2012, seen everywhere from car to Victoria's Secret commercials. M83 also scored the 2013 film Oblivion. They are also named after a galaxy, so extra sci-fi nerd points.
"Reload" - Sebastian Ingrosso, Tommy Trash, and John Martin (4:04)
Very cinematic in an action-movie kind of way.
"Lonely's Lunch" - You Say Party (5:35)
Since this video was released the Canadian band has gone on hiatus AND gotten back together.
"Singularity" - Steve Aoki featuring My Name is Kay and Angger Dimas (5:10)
Cameo by Ray Kurzweil! I Think Aoki has seen The Matrix one too many times.
"Q.U.E.E.N." - Janelle Monáe featuring Erykah Badu (6:04)
Janelle Monáe's current album is called The Electric Lady and her last album was called The ArchAndroid. She loves her some sci-fi. And black and white. Monáe's aesthetic is very 1970's Mod and sci-fi fits right in with that. Here's just one of her videos, but an honorable mention goes out to her short film Many Moons. Best referential line from the video: "Will you be Electric Ladies or will you be Electric Sheep?" She also just taped an appearance on Sesame Street. That's when you really know you've made it.
"Mecha" - NGUZUNGUZU (5:05)
Reference overload. See if you can spot the different films in this video filled with "borrowed" clips.
"A Glorious Dawn" - Carl Sagan featuring Stephen Hawking (Symphony of Science) (3:35)
This one is kind of cheating. I am a big Sagan fan. Mixed dialogue of Carl Sagan from Cosmos and dialogue of Stephen Hawking from Universe onto a song by Symphony of Science. It is pretty glorious though. MelodySheep has a whole series of science based music videos and I recommend checking them out.