First Beyoncé, then Frank Ocean, now Grimes and HANA. Strings of music videos are apparently all the rage these days; yesterday, the two electro-pop singers dropped a seven song-long short film of their own, The AC!D Reign Chronicles: The War of Art.
Not that the experiment was entirely planned. Grimes apparently just intended to shoot a video for “World Princess Part II” from her latest album Art Angels. She brought her brother on her “AC!D Reign” European tour last spring to be the videographer and also enlisted her tour opener and best friend, HANA, and two backup dancers.
But they finished the “World Princess Part II” video quickly and couldn’t get enough—so they made six more. They filmed three additional videos each for Grimes and HANA, the latter of whom has been making her own waves in the electro-pop world after her five-song debut EP HANA was released earlier this year. They were even able to get Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes to join them for “Scream,” her featured track on Art Angels.
Europe turns out to be an ideal place to shoot, as it gave Grimes and HANA plenty of beautiful backdrops to choose from (though the Colosseum shots are a bit gratuitous). They make their way around a bridge, castle, forest, mountain and more. They even throw in a few shots from their live performances.
The videos were shot low-tech, using just a phone camera. Most of the time, it’s hard to tell. The phone does justice to most of the landscapes, and the crew takes advantage of simple, tasteful special effects. The costumes are the real highlight: creative and bold, they provide a visual contrast that enhances the already-exquisite settings. Plus there’s the film’s featured guest star: long hair. You’ll see.
The AC!D Reign Chronicles’ videos can be watched separately, though they’re meant to be seen in order. The film includes bonus content at the beginning, end and in between songs. Grimes’ videos are understandably strongest, as she outstrips HANA in performance experience. But HANA’s are also good, especially her first, “Underwater.”
Watch the full Chronicles above—here’s the tracklist.
The AC!D Reign Chronicles Tracklist:
1) Butterfly – Grimes
2) Underwater – HANA
3) World Princess Part II – Grimes
4) Chimera – HANA
5) Scream – Grimes ft. Aristophanes
6) Avalanche – HANA
7) Belly of the Beat – Grimes
And here are Grimes’ four videos: