Every music video an artist releases is a labor of love. Whether it’s a DIY home video or highly produced with costumes and epic themes, musicians get to add a visual element to their lyrics and melodies that come from a deep place.
A lot of times, music videos will reflect the abstractness of dreams. With clips of different scenes, psychedelic visuals and sometimes unexpected twists, a music video can look like the visual representation of an amazing dream or a horrible nightmare.
Often, those videos tend to be abstract, drenched in symbolism and imagery for fans to pick apart.
We decided to find 10 videos from some of our favorite alt artists that make you feel like you’re in a dream. You can check those out below.
Waterparks – “You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You)”
Waterparks have been getting more experimental with their videos by the track, especially when Awsten Knight is involved in the directing. In the latest video for “You’d Be Paranoid Too,” there are several eye-catching moments, such as Knight going backward on a bicycle that he isn’t even peddling, which makes you do a double-take. Or the moment when Knight is lifting weights, singing dark lyrics about his mental health and wearing rings that contain moving human eyeballs. It’s a video that throws you for a loop and one that needs to be watched twice to really understand.
Owl City – “Vanilla Twilight”
Throwing it back to the Owl City days, the video for “Vanilla Twilight” is pretty crazy. The entire visual shows a suburban town, where every person stops in their tracks to look at a miraculous sky. It has an apocalyptic feel, and to throw you off even more, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal is there, too.
Weezer – “Pork And Beans”
Weezer‘s video for “Pork And Beans” is like a bad dream you’ve had after watching too many videos on YouTube in the 2000s. First of all, the band are all wearing lab coats and performing under a nonstop stream of exploding soda. And to make it even weirder, clips of old YouTube videos are thrown in, sometimes with characters superimposed onto the band’s stage. It truly makes you just say, “What the hell?”
Simple Creatures – “Thanks, I Hate It”
When Simple Creatures released the video for “Thanks, I Hate It,” they referred to it as “nightmare fuel.” And you really don’t know what you’re in for until you press play. The video follows Mark Hoppus and Alex Gaskarth starring in various infomercials to promote As Seen On TV products such as the Snuggie or the Shake Weight. Their faces are superimposed on a variety of different people’s bodies, transforming them into men, women and children of all ages in the ridiculous video.
Billie Eilish – “you should see me in a crown”
Nearly every video Billie Eilish releases is straight out of a nightmare, whether she’s a human bat in “all the good girls go to hell” or a monster under her bed in “bury a friend.” But the video for “you should see me in a crown” is truly terrifying because Eilish is so nonchalant about a tarantula climbing all over her body and face. It seems like one of those dreams where you’re screaming at her about the arachnid, but she just can’t hear you.
Fall Out Boy – “I Don’t Care”
Every Fall Out Boy video is a sight to behold, but “I Don’t Care” is by far the strangest. It features a few cameos, particularly when the band members take off their disguises Scooby-Doo-style to reveal they are actually Mark Hoppus, Gabe Saporta, Spencer Pratt and Pharrell Williams. It truly will never be replicated, and that’s probably a good thing.
Phoebe Bridgers – “I Know The End”
Phoebe Bridgers‘ apocalyptic video for “I Know The End” has twists at every corner. We see Bridgers, her band and an entire locker room sport her signature skeleton onesie. She goes from calm to panicked before playing a show for a sold-out crowd. And in the strangest ending of all time, Bridgers kisses what looks to be the older version of herself after screaming in her face. And honestly, it’s a work of art.
The Smashing Pumpkins – “Tonight, Tonight”
If you’ve ever had one of those nightmares where you’re abducted by aliens, travel to the moon and feel like you’re in the Wizard Of Oz, you basically dreamt the video for the Smashing Pumpkins track “Tonight, Tonight.” It’s in the style of a silent film, which just makes every encounter seem even more bizarre.
5 Seconds Of Summer – “Wildflower”
5SOS went psychedelic with their video for “Wildflower,” using plenty of colors, animations and special effects to radiate optimism. It’s basically the visual representation of a ’70s-inspired drug trip, just with a modern-day pop-rock band.
Paramore – “Hard Times”
Speaking of throwbacks, Paramore recreated the ’80s with their video for “Hard Times.” It’s dreamy because the band are actually playing in the clouds. And as the song continues, animations accompanying their movements make it look like they are real-life video game characters.