As MTV, Cameron Crowe, and Wes Anderson have proven time and time again, film and music go together really well. And in this digital age where multimedia is almost necessary, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that bands and artists are beginning to utilize film in place of press releases. All different kinds of artists -- from Muse
to Frank Ocean
-- have been making movie-like trailers for their upcoming albums. And while music does function on a visual level, albums are not movies. You can't just use the properties of a different medium and expect the same results. Is a music trailer really more effective than just releasing a full new single? I don't think so. Now that veteran backlash-starter Lana Del Rey
has released a four-minute trailer for a music video
, I'm ready to put my foot down. I'm calling out and categorizing the offenders. And for good measure, I'm also pointing out a few bands who made album trailers the right way.
In the Studio Trailers
With these type of album trailers, you get to hear 30 seconds to two minutes worth of a new song along with some behind-the-scenes footage. As we see in the Green Day trailer, the band's working on new songs, doing funny stuff, and just overall being really cool. After all is said and done though, are you actually more excited for the new album?
- Band of Horses - Dumpster World
- Minus the Bear - Infinity Overhead
- Wilco - The Whole Love
The Concept Trailer
In concept album trailers, you hardly even see the band. Instead you just see random images projected over a snippet of a new song. The result is more often confusion than anticipation. Like, is that a Mercedes station wagon in the Frank Ocean
trailer? Why is there a Mercedes station wagon in the Frank Ocean trailer? More importantly, why am I supposed to care? At least The Killers'
trailer for Battle Born
(linked below) spells out the title of the new album.
- The Killers - Battle Born
- Antlers - Undersea
- Muse - The 2nd Law
- Tame Impala - Lonerism
The So Bad It Might Be Intentional Trailer
Here's A$AP Rocky
on the "National Anthem" video: "People are going to get it in three years, and that's the purpose of it." I don't think I need to say anything else.
Trailers That Work
The point of a movie trailer is to give you a good idea of the movie while also withholding enough that you'll actually want to see the whole thing. That's what this Bloc Party
trailer does for their upcoming album Four
. At three and half minutes long, you get to see and hear multiple snippets of new songs; you actually get a good idea of what the new album is going to sound like. It has an impact on you and leaves you wanting more, instead of just asking questions. If you're going to make an album trailer, this is the way to do it.
Other guys who got it right:
- Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon