Is there even a point to say that the music video is alive and well any more? Did it ever die? Let’s say NO and end the discussion.
While the modes of consumption have changed, today’s musical artists still use visual storytelling as the ultimate accessory for their music. Here are the top 10 music videos of 2015 as voted by the video production staff at Indie88.
#1 – Tame Impala – “The Less I Know the Better”
NSFW! Tame Impala released several insanely good videos this year. This one follows a young basketball player whose heart is broken by his cheerleader crush who falls for the team’s gorilla mascot, Trevor.
#2 – Grimes – “Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream”
Grimes new album Art Angels has been blowing audience’s minds since it came out last month, and the first video from the album aims to do the same. It’s a serious treat for the eyeballs, with every shot being meticulously designed from the sets to the ornate costumes. Grimes wrote, directed, edited, colored, and art-directed the whole project with her brother Mac Boucher as the cinematographer.
#3 – Run The Jewels feat. Zack de la Rocha – “Close Your Eyes and Count to Fuck”
The unrest in Ferguson during the summer of 2014 was a reminder to anyone who needed it that our society still suffers from some very deep wounds, not yet healed. Leave it to RTJ to make a succinct, powerful, yet unresolved artistic statement. Oh, and the song is a complete banger featuring the ultimate anti-establishment frontman, Rage Against The Machine’s Zach de la Rocha.
#4 – Kalle Matteson – “Avalanche”
2015 was Kalle Matteson’s coming out party. He didn’t just cover Drake, he also made a great record that included the super-catchy single “Avalanche”. The single included a unique video that uses incredible camera direction and set design to pay homage to the album artwork of his favourite records.
#5 – PUP – “Dark Days”
The highs and lows touring life is on full animated display in this incredible video. Our heroes
Pup face almost every challenge you can imagine including sickness, poor attendance, angry bouncers, car accidents, and more. It’s all contrasted by the incredible energy of their shows and music, which is infectious. Peppered with moments of total glory this inspirational video shows a band transitioning towards big, big things.
#6 – Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
It’s virtually impossible to be in a bad mood after watching this. This hopeful track, critically acclaimed and nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammys, features Kendrick flying around as a Superman-like figure and hoping for the best despite the dark times we might find ourselves in.
#7 – M.I.A. – “Borders”
Never afraid to make a political statement, Maya Arulpragasam’s (aka M.I.A.) video for Borders is her response to the current refugee crisis. Arulpragasam directed the video, which beautifully represents the experiences of displaced migrants around the world, and is surely influenced by her childhood experience of fleeing her home country of Sri Lanka as a refugee.
#8 – The Tallest Man on Earth – Darkness of the Dream
If you’ve ever wanted to watch Kristian Matsson dancing topless, then you’ll love this one. Scenes of Matsson dancing (actually quite well) with two women are intercut with beautiful shots of him walking through a stark Mars-like landscape with a small dog.
#9 – Lana Del Ray – High By The Beach
Lana Del Ray is the artist you love to hate. She’s beautiful, mysterious, and equal parts glamour and debauch. Her singing has been called into question but she’s proved the critics wrong with stellar performances at major music festivals. But the fact of the matter is only Lana Del Ray could make a forlorn, sexy, beach video that ends with her wielding a giant rocket launcher.
#10 – The Elwins – Show Me How to Move
The most fun-loving indie band in Toronto put’s their wacky sense of humour on full display in this video inspired by Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job! The video includes a group of dancing dads (yes, dancing dads) and one very special dad who steals the show.
FIDLAR – “40oz. On Repeat”
Operators – “True”
Dan Deacon – “When I Was Done Dying”
Iron & Wine – “Everyone’s Summer of ‘95”
Kurt Vile – “Life Like This”
El VY – “Silent Ivy Motel”
Kendrick Lamar – “These Walls”
Majical Cloudz – “Silver Car Crash”
Squarepusher – “Stor Eiglass”
Viet Cong – “Bunker Buster”
Rural Alberta Advantage – “Not Love or Death”
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Panda Bear – “Boys Latin”