There are a multitude of reasons for artists to release lyric videos. There’s the fact that if your fans are anything like me, they’ll be looking up the lyrics to your songs as soon as they get their hands (or ears) on the album, and a lyric video can help them get the words straight from you rather than some lyric site that gets most of the words wrong. It also provides you with an opportunity to get a visually compelling video released and spread across the web quicker than an official music video can be produced.
Naturally there are some videos that really stand out, and others that totally flop. Here are a few of the goodies to give you some inspiration.
Say Anything, “Say Anything”
Say Anything’s lyric video landed its spot on this list because of its fun use of typography and graphic design. The fonts are stylized and fit together with the graphics seamlessly. They also humorously make note of guitar solos when there aren’t any lyrics to show.
Boys Like Girls, “Be Your Everything”
This lyric video is commendable due to its simplicity – the whole video was made using a single composition notebook! However, that simple notebook doesn’t make the video look cheap. The paper is used to its full potential; it’s not just words written out in a notebook. The words are written in a cootie catcher, on paper airplanes, and crumpled up.
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Christina Perry, “Penguin”
Christina Perry’s video goes beyond graphic design and typography. The lyrics in her lvideo are presented through creative stitching, cut out letters, and etchings that really break the mold and take advantage of a wide variety of materials.
Architects, “These Colors Don’t Run”
The Architects really nailed the whole package with their lyric video for “These Colors Don’t Run.” They’ve got a smart use of typography that works well with the graphics in the video, and both the fonts and the graphics work together to convey the overall message of the song.
What you can learn from all of these videos is that the key is to create a lyric video that's still interactive enough to keep your fan’s attention, and the only way to do so is to be creative.
Guest Post: Jenna Markowski is a member of the content team at Quality Logo Products, a top-notch promotional products company specializing in all kinds of logo merchandise. She loves music and frequently writes about social media tips on their marketing blog.
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I personally LOVE lyric music videos. One, because 90% of the time you can’t understand what the artist is actually SAYING in a song these days.
It seems more often than not the formula for music is come up with a catchy beat, then add lyrics later.
I mean… how often do you ACTUALLY listen to the words in a song? Most of us just zone out. We might not mean to, but we do.
The difference between an OK song and a really GOOD song in my opinion is that GOOD songs have a catchy beat AND the lyrics make sense. Lyrical music videos make it that much easier to identify a good song!
Love your selection here of music videos, Jenna! I haven’t heard the songs before and being able to actually visually see the lyrics made them infinitely more powerful. Wow!!
The one video that comes to mind is Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” which follows this same format as well.
Excellent post! Looks like I’ve got an afternoon of checking out new songs 🙂
I had no idea that lyric videos were making such a resurgence. I like all of those videos for different reasons, and it just goes to show that you’re not limited even if you’re just sticking to lyrics. And hey, anything with creative typography is right up my alley.
Great post, Jenna!
Thanks for commenting, guys!
Bret, I agree that a good song has to have both a catchy beat and thoughtful lyrics. These videos definitely make it easier to understand what the artist is saying and can also help capture the overall mood and tone of the song.
Amy, I almost included that video in here! I opted for others that people may not have seen yet instead, though. But good suggestion! I’m glad you liked the videos!
Mandy, I only really noticed they were becoming popular because I saw a lot of bands posting “Official lyric videos” on Facebook. It makes a lot of sense, because being in control of your own lyric video is a better way to market your band and looks better than just a random fan uploading your song to Youtube with the (sometimes inaccurate) lyrics written in Comic Sans over a purple background or something. You’re absolutely right that just being creative with typography is enough to make a video interesting!
Great post, Jenna! I also like lyric videos, especially with artists who tend to mumble or use distortion effects. I wish more bands and musicians would make their songs’ lyrics easily accessible to listeners, either on their websites or directly on their YouTube channels. One of my favorite Weird Al Yankovic songs uses cool typography in the music video and it fascinates me whenever I watch it. It’s called Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me. 🙂