Attention music-loving Jetsetters. When the 58th Grammy Awards were just around the corner, we reflected back on the videos that made us want to ditch our real lives and go see the world. We may not be rockstars, but we know what a life-changing trip looks like.
Justin Bieber can now add ‘Tourism Ambassador’ to his list of professional accolades. Ever since the music video for his hit single “I’ll Show You” went viral, the pop star has been credited with boosting traffic to its dreamy Icelandic setting. From the clip’s swoon-worthy shots of lichen-encrusted rock paths to the now famous gif of a tighty-whitie clad Bieber emerging from the Jökulsárlón lagoon, there's more than enough, er, scenery, to send you packing.
Seven costume changes. Two shoot locations. Three steamy make out sesh’s. No, this isn’t a romantic epic—it’s Taylor Swift’s music video for her 1989 hit single, “Wildest Dreams.” Evocative of the golden-era film, The African Queen, the video tells the story of an actress (Swift) who falls in love with her smoldering co-star (Scott Eastwood) while on the set of a period film crew in Africa circa 1950. It’s all fiery sunsets, aerial landscape shots of the Kalahari Desert, and the gorgeous, colonial-style interiors of Botswana’s San Camp.
Forget shuffleboard and conga lines. The entertainment on board the cruise ship in Will Butler’s highly stylized music video “Anna” is the kind that hearkens back to the retro glamour of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” (think jazz hands, high kicks, and the Can-Can.) Filmed on the famed RMS Queen Mary docked at Long Beach, California, the music video stars Emma Stone as a manic 1950s housewife who grooves out to the song's funky beat alongside a troupe of dancing sailors.
In the opening scene of Chverches “Empty Threat” music video, a teenage girl applies heavy Goth makeup inside her family’s suburban Floridian home. 80s’-style pop-synths kick in, and in the following shot, she’s buying booze from a strip mall liquor store while her kohl-rimmed-eyed friends wait outside in a flashy red car. Their destination? (Hint: It’s not an alternative music festival or tattoo shop.) A local waterpark. Decked out in chokers and black fishnets, the group spends the sun-soaked day riding watersides and jumping waves, stopping only to laze out in the sun and drink booze from brown paper bags. The birth of a new teenage anthem? We think so.
A 2016 Grammy nominee for "Best Music Video," Pharrell Williams' powerful, toe-tapping track “Freedom” features such globe-spanning images as a work camp in Brazil, an astronaut on the streets of New York and a sewing factory in India. It’s a blend of sad, beautiful and hopeful images that director Paul Hunter chose to raise awareness of human rights violations and humanitarian crises around the world. Months after the video was released, Pharrell took the stage during October’s MTV EMAs and dedicated the song to the European refugee crisis.
We’ve all heard rappers talking about running a city—that is, laying claim to its streets and the hearts and minds of its people. But to show it? Compton-born Kendrick Lamar does just that in his slick, black-and-white music video for “Alright,” off his latest album To Pimp a Butterfly. Shot between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the video shows Lamar levitating above city streets, sitting atop a streetlight near the Staples Center, and throwing money bo$$-style out of the window of a muscle car.
The next time you watch “Hello,” resist the waterworks, and keep your eyes peeled for fleeting glimpses of the clip’s gorgeous eastern Canadian landscape. With scenes spanning Montreal and on a farm in Dunham, Quebec, the video beautifully captures the highs-and-lows of a past relationship against a dusty, sepia-toned setting.