Every week, a slew of new music videos hits the web. Watching them at your desk is not time theft because you deserve it; think of it as a nice reward for surviving another work week. But what if you don’t have time to watch every video — maybe you have a deadline, a hungry pet, or other grown-up concerns. In consideration of your schedule, Lizzie and Kaitlyn bring you a series called One Video. Each week we’ll tell you “one video” you need to watch, why, and for how long.
This week’s video: “Wolves” by Selena Gomez and Marshmello
Kaitlyn: Just to be clear, we would never tell you to watch Taylor Swift write and rewrite the medium-dumb song “Gorgeous” for 10 and a half minutes in a bowler hat. We also wouldn’t tell you not to! You can make your own choices. Except for when it comes to picking out your weekly allotted music video viewing, in which case we have actually made a choice for you.
It’s Selena Gomez’s “Wolves (Vertical Video),” which is a vertical music video she posted to YouTube, which has a horizontal video player. The video is vertical because it takes place in iMessage and FaceTime. How novel! How appropriate for the day of a massive new iPhone review, wouldn’t you agree?
Lizzie: According to the internet, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are back together again. According to US Weekly, Bieber has been “texting her nonstop.” I think then we can assume that this video was recorded prior to the reemergence of Seltin, because Selena is seen video chatting for a full three minutes and 41 seconds with the DJ Marshmello, seemingly unconcerned about checking her texts.
Who are Selena Gomez and Marshmello?
Kaitlyn: Selena Gomez is a former Disney Channel star and a current reluctant Instagram icon. She’s also a pop star, and has been making some interesting choices lately. She kicked off her summer with a Talking Heads bass line and followed it up by putting her tongue in an eyelash curler. She released an elaborate, impressive music video in which she played several different 1970s archetypes, and then she released another in which she was just a mouth. Her latest choice is a watery collaboration with Marshmello, which was advertised with what appears to be a T-shirt she brought back from a motorcycle rally in South Dakota:
Lizzie: Marshmello is an anonymous DJ who wears an X-eyed marshmallow mask to conceal his identity. Marshmello has yet to officially reveal his face, but the current prevailing theory is that he’s Christian Comstock, who also performs as the DJ Dotcom. The evidence so far is this: Skrillex referred to Marshmello as “Chris” in a recorded interview with Katie Couric; Skrillex posted a Facebook video on May 20th celebrating Marshmello’s birthday (Dotcom’s birthday is apparently on May 19th); and there is a grainy image floating around that appears to show Marshmello and Dotcom with matching thigh tattoos.
What’s special about “Wolves” by Selena Gomez and Marshmello:
Lizzie: It’s a vertical video, made for watching on your phone. You can watch it either stationary or on the go, which is considerate of Selena’s jet-setting fans (like maybe Justin Bieber). You can also pretend that Selena is FaceTiming you, her good friend, as she dances around her immaculate mansion with hair that’s meant to look post-shower casual, but was probably styled for hours.
The best part about this video is that it’s probably supposed to look spontaneous and intimate, like Beyonce’s “7/11” video, but it feels forced. Why would Selena put on a silk pink robe and dance on a picnic table while the anonymous DJ Marshmello watches? It’s for us. We’re the anonymous DJ Marshmello.
Kaitlyn: What’s special about “Wolves” is that it cements Selena Gomez’s status as a true innovator and visionary when it comes to music video format. She was also the first pop star to release a vertical video that was specifically designed for Spotify’s mobile app. She is whole-heartedly embracing the trend of releasing high-production lyric videos in advance of traditional music videos, which is a nice little trick that lets her double down on streams. She’s willing to try anything, it seems, and she’s willing to come find you on any app and any device.
How long everyone should watch “Wolves” by Selena Gomez and Marshmello:
Lizzie: At least until 1:19, when you get a shot of the skylight and floor-to-ceiling windows in the kitchen. It’s like House Hunters, except the potential buyer is actually super rich.
Kaitlyn: I vote for the first four seconds, where there are iMessage typing bubbles. I love watching those things go! Then you can pretty much skip to 2:26, at which point Selena finds a picnic table. She dances on it and then jumps off and almost hits her face on the camera. Whoops! We all make mistakes.