8 Botanical Videos That Are Rocking the Music Industry
Perhaps it has something to do with the enduring appeal of Nature in the Information Age– or maybe it all stems (ha!) from the fact that DJ Khaled is probably the most visible plant-lover on Snapchat. Either way, when it comes to making music videos in 2017 and beyond, plants, gardens, nature, and flowers seem to be a recurrent motif. Herewith, we’ve cobbled together a list of our favorite botanical music videos in the modern era. Many of these videos– like DJ Khaled’s “I’m The One” and Angel Olsen’s “Sister”– take place in gardens or at Farmers Markets, while others– like Miley Cyrus’ “Malibu” simply take their inspiration from the idea of Nature and the nostalgic comfort it offers. Check out the videos, below.
“I’m The One” by DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, and Lil’ Wayne
If any of today’s greatest Hip Hop moguls were to film a music video in a bougie garden filled with opulent hedgerows, it would be DJ Khaled. (Remember the crazy garden on the cover of Major Key?) Khaled’s video for “I’m The One” features a squad of Justin Bieber, Chance The Rapper, Lil’ Wayne, and Quavo all goofing off in between the topiary at one of Michael Jackson’s former oceanfront mansions. (The song itself was recorded at a former MJ studio.) If you can ignore the egregious slow-pan footage of various female body parts, you’ll notice that the landscaping is actually pretty on point. Khaled is so fancy!
“Sister” by Angel Olsen
Angel Olsen’s contemplative yet courageous ballads have earned her a reputation amongst hardcore music fans as the “real deal”. Olsen’s work is celebrated by feminists and indie rock snobs alike for its sonic virtuosity and expert capacity for emotional persuasion. Olsen can make her listeners want to laugh, cry, scream, or “shut up, kiss me, hold me tight” at her whim. In the video for “Sister,” a lush, plant-filled trip to the Farmers Market takes on a serene Polaroid quality that makes us want to dive headfirst into the bushel of delphiniums and sunflowers that Olsen stops to smell. (There’s also some beautiful, slow-pan footage of Joshua Tree and what looks like a walk through the neighborhood surrounding Runyon Canyon.)
“Malibu” by Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has gone from lascivious party girl to down-home beach babe in the course of one year, and her new video for “Malibu” is a testament to her desire to distance herself from the frenetic, attention-grabbing stunts of the past. Opting for low-fi footage of herself in an oceanfront meadow, Cyrus’ latest single focuses on the simplicity of living in coastal California– a great spot for reflection and contemplation in the wake of a heavy breakup. “I never came to the beach or stood by the ocean/ I never sat by the shore under the sun with my feet in the sand,” she sings in the song’s opening verse, ushering in her newfound “good girl” aesthetic, “But you brought me here and I’m happy that you did/ ‘Cause now I’m as free as birds catching the wind.”
“Get Low (Infrared)” by Zedd, Liam Payne
Liam Payne has come a long way since his days with One Direction. The former 1D singer launched into a career of hyper-sexual, RnB-inspired pop with his first solo single, “Strip That Down (feat. Quavo)” which was followed with the decidedly less interesting (but much more botanical!) music video for “Get Low,” his new collaboration with Zedd. For those of you wondering where the (Infrared) in the song title comes from, check out this video’s red palm tree #aesthetic.
“New Rules” by Dua Lipa
In addition to the crickets that open the video and the legions of flamingos and palm trees that adorn its cinematography, the Wes Anderson cabana vibes of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” video make for a particularly enjoyable watch. The only thing we love more than Lipa’s tropical bomber jacket? Her sage dating advice.
“How Far I’ll Go” From Disney’s Moana, As Performed by Alessia Cara
Disney’s Moana is the latest progressive Disney princess movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Auliʻi Cravalho, who plays a young girl named Moana who answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the Demigod who has cursed her family’s island in Ancient Polynesia. Equal parts beautiful coming-of-age narrative and a moving depiction of the struggle to relocate away from family, the film is set against the dramatic backdrop of South Pacific Island forests filled with coconuts, ferns, and enchanting hibiscus (Editor’s Note: From experience, it looks a lot like Fiji). The film’s main song is a beautiful number called “How Far I’ll Go,” which seems to be a metaphor for the glass ceilings that women frequently face in matters of career and ambition. In DisneyVevo’s official music video for the song, Alessia Cara sings amid the real-life backdrop that the Disney animators brought to life in the film. Island flora and drool-worthy coastlines abound.
“Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller
Rihanna, Rihanna, Rihanna. Girl can work a high-waisted pant like it’s nobody’s business– and we especially love the tropico-chic leaf-printed capris and botanical bandana that she wears in this video. Invoking come-hither latin leisure and matching DJ Khaled’s own botanical varsity jacket in equal measure, both the fashion and decor in “Wild Thoughts” has us dreaming of dancing under the island vines. Wild thoughts, indeed.
“Ni Tú Ni Yo” ft. Gente de Zona by Jennifer Lopez
From the elephant ear fern that J-Lo uses to cover her body at 2:06 to the chic botanical kimono she dons throughout the music video, the botanical motifs throughout “Ni Tú Ni Yo” are subtle but pack a powerful punch. We’re all for video shoots that take place in the jungle, but J-Lo latest (it’s in Spanish, we know!) is slightly meta in its perspective on making videos about making videos. While Lopez’ rope corset might be the most intriguing aspect of this video, those fan palms are pretty impressive– if you can take your eyes off of J-Lo’s perfect skin.