Breaking a couple of Monday Short traditions today, but I couldn’t resist. Two films, both of them brand new, both of them music videos (not that there’s anything wrong with music videos, but I see them as a slightly different medium than short film, because the role of sound design is so entirely different). But both of them are spectacular.

First up is the video for Hermit & the Recluse’s Sirens, directed by Alina Popescu. A graduate of RISD currently living in Romania, Popescu’s output seems to mostly be a mix of motion graphics and title design. You can feel the influence of contemporary opening credits on the video — the striking, seemingly disconnected but consistently dramatic images wouldn’t be at all out of place in the opening minutes of a prestige TV series. But that impressionistic style works for this collaboration between Ka & Animoss; like their music, it’s spare and fully realized at the same time.

Childish Gambino’s new video is directed by Donald Glover and Ivan Dixon & Greg Sharp of Australian studio Rubber House (one of the most consistently interesting studios out there right now, imo), and it couldn’t feel more different from Sirens. It uses a VHS filter and washed-out palette for a nostalgic feel, showing Glover walking down a street filled with hip hop and soul icons. There are too many subtle details in the video to even start to go into in this post—it’s every bit as meticulously planned as the video for This is America—but maybe the most interesting part is what the video doesn’t touch on. The lyrics to the track are about a future shaped by runaway technology and global warming, putting an apocalyptic spin on the hazy summer day of the video that isn’t immediately obvious just from watching it.

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