6 Music Videos Showcasing Zia Anger's Cinematic Genius

6 Music Videos Showcasing Zia Anger's Cinematic Genius

Fresh off a tour with Lorde, Mitski, the indie-rock queen of vulnerability and thick emotion has just announced a new album. Titled Be The Cowboy, her LP will come out on August 17 via Dead Oceans. Along with the album announcement, Mitski also shared a new video for a song called, "Geyser," directed by Zia Anger, who also made the video for "Your Best American Girl." In honor of the new video release, we rounded up some of Anger's best music videos, below.

Related | Chatting with Filmmaker Zia Anger

"Geyser" by Mitski

The newly released video feels at once gloomy and invigorating like taking a walk on a rainy spring morning. Mitski sings about finding and reveling in romantic love, but her voice is still marked by yearning and melancholy. Her running and squirming and clawing at sand over churning instrumentals is a perfect visual representation of the surging desire, dependency, and fear of loss that all complement the warm comfort of finding love. Her outpouring of wild emotion feels like a gulp of fresh air, a celebration of the complicated, at times conflicting feelings that women are usually expected to hide in the name of perfect poise and decorum.

"Alaska" by Maggie Rogers

The first of a trio of videos Anger made for Rogers, the video for "Alaska" elevates the viral song's soaring optimism. Anger has said the field filmed in this video is one she walks through many mornings, and the familiarity shows in this video. In the long opening take, Anger knows how to perfectly use the trees and grass to frame Maggie Rogers and her posse of friends as they throw a glimmering, confetti-filled party. The song is about growing into a new person as a way to forget an old flame, and Anger shows that there's no better way to speed up the process than with a group of friends by your side.

"The Battle Is Over" by Jenny Hval

This video is both visually stunning and theoretically dense, using beautiful sartorial styling, wandering camerawork, and dark, eerie lighting to capture the pressures to be beautiful and domestic that confine women throughout their lives. As Jenny Haval wanders through a house, the women who occupy it transform from calm to frenzied. One woman applies lipstick all over her face, while another throws flour in the air as she bakes a cake. As with the "Geyser" video, Anger perfectly captures the messy amalgamation of anxieties women feel but are often expected to hide lest they be called crazy.

"Dark Spring" by Beach House

The glossy black and white video for "Dark Spring" is a bit of a departure from much of Anger's usual bright, colorful imagery, but is nonetheless entrancing. Rather than telling a specific story, the video feels like a mood board of phantasmagorical images.The quick cuts of flowers unfurling, dark night streets, and swimming pools paired with the winding camerawork imbue the video with the sensuality and thrilling rush of a cologne advertisement without the underlying agenda of trying to sell you something.

"Hi-Five" by Angel Olsen

This vintage Anger offering is a little surreal and very colorful. Confetti and glitter abound, but Angel Olsen's unwavering gaze and Anger's characteristic choreographed hand gestures really steal the show.

"Your Best American Girl" by Mitski

Within the confines of a video set and three-and-a-half minutes, Mitski experiences a full range of emotions — longing, disappointment, self-reliance, and, ultimately, joy as she decides to play music instead of yearning for a white boy who doesn't want her. This video is especially important for Asian American girls like myself who have spent far too long pining over whiteness and, despite our best efforts, still need reminders that though whiteness will never truly be accessible to us, we will always have the music and emotions and love we create for ourselves.

Photo via YouTube


The Saintly Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' 9

Story by Andrew Nguyen / Photography by Devin Kasparian