Listening to music can already be such a transcendent experience on its own, but the right visual that matches the song’s energy and message can enhance that experience so much. Even though we’re not in the golden era of MTV or Total Request Live anymore, you can still bring some of that magic into your life and listening with a little music video marathon! We’re rounding up three of our favorite recent music videos that really take the viewer on a journey through topics like mental health and self-image.
Sleepy Hallow – “A N X I E T Y” feat. Doechii
Whenever we hear new music from Sleepy Hallow, we know we’re in for a treat that will wake us right up while also making us feel like we’re dreaming. “A N X I E T Y” is a hard-hitting exploration of mental health and how intense feelings like anxiety or self-doubt can overtake us, intertwining a gorgeous hook by Doechii with a sample of Gotye’s pensive “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Sleepy has a gift for making any listener feel less alone in what they’re dealing with when they listen to his music, and “A N X I E T Y” stuns as an example of his lyrical talent and storytelling abilities.
The music video shows him recording the song in front of a window overlooking a nature scene, seemingly representing how anxiety and similar mental health struggles can make us feel closed off from the rest of the world, battling the voices in our heads alone. But with artists like Sleepy Hallow, you’ll never feel truly alone. Meanwhile, scenes shot through a mirror complement the reflection in the lyrics and in Sleepy’s music in general, and how so many fans are able to see themselves in his work. If you connect with the song, be sure to connect with him on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, and check out the rest of his Boy Meets World album!
I heard the original Doechii sample in the song and I was like, “this sh*t fire, she’s talking about anxiety and I go through that.” My fanbase, they tell me like, “you help me with anxiety, you help me with this…” So I felt like I had to do that.Sleepy Hallow to Genius
Kitty Coen – “unfollow me”
Bringing a distinct voice and unapologetically unique attitude to everything she works on, Kitty Coen is a shimmery alt force to be reckoned with. Her latest single, “unfollow me,” is a middle finger to social expectations, online toxicity, and seeking validation from others, seeing Kitty stand her ground in knowing who she is while refusing to let other people’s comments define her life or how she feels about herself. It’s just as gripping as it is cathartic, making it the perfect anthem for shedding skepticism and transmuting it into motivation.
The “unfollow me” music video cleverly plays with nostalgia for the times when our lives weren’t broadcast online, while also still showcasing a judgemental energy that’s followed us into the digital age. Kitty poses at school picture day as her peers talk among themselves and laugh at her, only to wow them with a rockstar makeover at the school dance in the same location. It calls to mind class superlatives and the days when you thought it was the end of the world if you didn’t get as many signatures at the back of your yearbook as your friends got in theirs. There’s always going to be some sort of popularity contest or negativity if you focus on others’ opinions, so take “unfollow me” as your reminder to focus on what you love and how you feel about yourself! If you like what you hear, follow Kitty on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and Twitter.
[I wrote this song] when I felt like I was equating my success to how people saw me online. Basically I’m saying: if you don’t like me and the way I express myself, unfollow me! […] I wanted to make a video for the haters, the lovers, and really anyone who has ever felt like their worth has been defined by how others view them. The truth is, you’re never going to please them all so be who YOU are and do what makes YOU happy.Kitty Coen
Kate Klein – “In my mind we’re all insane”
One of our favorite rising pop-rock trailblazers, Kate Klein is creating a movement of honesty and unity one song at a time. “In my mind we’re all insane” tackles the highs and lows of mental health with a no-BS approach, directly calling out the listener and reminding them that they’re not only not alone in their darkness, but also that they’ll push through it and find the light no matter how dismal it may seem at the moment. Everyone has their bad days and rainstorms, but what matters is that you push through and recognize your worth in those moments, refusing to be tied down forever.
The “In my mind we’re all insane” video flickers between warm scenes of Kate sitting alone on a mattress on the floor, magnifying glass shots that narrow in on different parts of her face (seemingly as a nod to how we can often feel like people are picking up on every flaw we have or move we make), and overstimulating parties with strobe lights and dancing crowds (seemingly representing how overwhelmed mental health struggles can make people feel). It’s a multi-faceted exploration of those messy headspaces that feel insurmountable until we face them, and it will empower you to face a tough situation or two of your own today. Get more inspiration from Kate on Instagram!
There are days where I wake up feeling low, like nothing matters and I’m questioning my entire existence. And then there are days I wake up feeling so powerful. There’s this expectation we all have to have the perfect life: success, popularity, lots of friends, the perfect career, and perfect relationships. We live in a sort of glass house where we avoid life’s ups and downs. But I don’t think it’s possible to learn anything from stillness and perfection. We all feel low sometimes and it’s okay to have bad days. Life is not perfect.Kate Klein
By Madison Murray
Featured Image: Sleepy Hallow, Courtesy of RCA Records