Best of 2011: Music Videos

>> Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So, this last weekend I wrote up my list of the best live tracks of 2011. I think it was a good list, and looking back, only really had one glaring omission, A song that rightfully should have been included somewhere in the top ten, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis "Otherside (remix ft. Fences)." I f'd up on that one. Sorry guys.

Anyways, onto the topic of today. While I am scouring the internet for those chillbump inducing live clips, I often stumble upon actual music videos. You know, the shit MTV used to play. And sometimes, they really don't suck. The videos below range from self-produced to label-made. From cheesy awesome to beautifully poignant and artfully crafted. I hope you enjoy this hard and fast proof that video has not killed the radio star.

1. "Elephants and Little Girls" by Loch Lomond

This video is basically one of the most skillfully made videos I can remember in a long time. It is basically a once shot of choreographed angst with moments of joy. If you watch one video on this list, pick this one.

2. "We Are Young" by fun. (ft. Janelle Monae)

I am not sure this is a real music video. Considering the band doesn't appear once in the thing. I think it was just a promotional thing to get the audio out there. But the clip is so entrancing, and f'd up that you can't help but watch, and then watch again. The girl sits there, peeling an apple, going through every emotion possible. It's of acting prowess that is hard to match in a music video.

3. "The Greeks" by Is Tropical
Clearly, this video is not for everyone. But, its pretty bad ass.

4. "Up All Night" by French Horn rebellion

This is that awesome cheese I mentioned above.

5. "When I'm Alone" by Lissie

My love of 2011. One of the very few "true" music videos on this list. Actually seeing the band play the music is not always entertaining. Unless you own the screen like Lissie does.

6. "Big Jet Plane" by Angus and Julia Stone

Just watch, its longing set to music.

7. "Wings" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This video was a project that we mentioned way back when. Such an epic song deserved an epic video. Well done boys. The best song about shoes, ever.

8. "Belongings" by Clock Opera

Understated beauty.

9. "Comes In Waves" by Psychologist

This video is f'd up awesome. If you just watch the video, and not take in details, its maybe not the most entertaining thing in the world. But, if you watch closely, throughout the whole thing, you will not be able to turn away, although you may want too.

10. "Cats and Dogs" by the Head and the Heart

I love when a band can have a sense of humor about themselves. And THATH prove in this shot just how much fun they would be to hang out with.

11. "Heartbreak Heartbreak" by The BGP

This song and video make me happy. I have since tried to sit inside of my own shopping cart, I do not recommend it. Getting in is easy, getting out a bitch.

12. "Simple Math" by Manchester Orchestra

Leave it up to Andy Hull to actually take you on a journey like this through a song. It is strikingly beautiful.

13. "Colours" by Grouplove

Talk about an epic music video. And a hell of an introduction.

14. "Honey Bunny" by Girls

The video fits the vibe of this track to a tee. When I first heard the song, this is the imagery that generated in my skull.

15. "Two Cousins" by Slow Club

Another video where the band does not make an appearance. Shows a lot of confidence in the song to allow two nondescript dancers take over the whole video. And I love it.

16 "If Truth Be Told" by MNEK

Its another dose of awesome cheese, with eighties sprinkles.

17 "White Nights" by Oh Land

This video tosses everything to see what sticks. And lucky for us. most of it does. It is a mind beding video that you want to watch over and over.

18. "The Shrine/ An Arguement" by Fleet Foxes

This one, you just have to watch.

 19. "Muscle Relaxants" by The Rural Alberta Advantage

If you know the frenetic energy of this band, this video will give you even more appreciation for their music. Just beautifully shot.

20. "Open Air" by Lemolo

Do it yourself has never looked better. And I'm not just saying that because the ladies are hot, well, not only that, but because it is just so starkly gorgeous that the video makes the song just about leap off the screen.

21. "My Machines" by Battles

It's funny how you can dislike a song until you watch the video.


Stevie November 22, 2011 at 3:45 PM  

Great pics Ad! It took me 2 hours to get through all of them and there's only a few I abandoned... The ones I already loved: RAA, BGP, Loch Lomond, THATH, Grouplove (love love love that Grouplove vid!!!)
The ones that surprised me that I really liked: Slow Club (who would have thought? Me!?), Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Totally shocked me- I watched the whole freaking thing and rewound parts), fun, Psychologists (interesting, I watched the whole thing)
Didn't love: Is Tropical (seriously the worst video for me ever), French Horn Rebellion- I wanted to love this since it's set in Williamsburg but it needed more Williamsburgness, Oh Land, MNEK.
Other thoughts: I love Angus and Julia Stone as you know but I always want her to trash that damn dollar store, Fleet Foxes always make their songs 5 minutes too long, and I like the Battles vid but not the song. I would have included: Adele "Someone like You" (I know she's just walking around but it fits), Toby Keith "Red Solo Cup", Cage the Elephant "Shake Me Down", The Kooks "Junk of the Heart" (I kind of dig the retro vid look), and for sure Lana Del Rey "Video Games"

Addi November 22, 2011 at 3:55 PM  

Ok. I have not watched the Kooks video, but that is one of my least favorite songs off one of my least favorite albums of the year.
The Adele video is good. I forgot about her. Toby Keith? Really? Ok, I'll go watch it. And I really love the Lana Del Rey song, but the video didn't do it for me.
So, are you a"Elephants and Little Girls" as the best of the year?

Stevie November 22, 2011 at 4:02 PM  

The vid for Lana Del Rey? Really? It's half of why I love her- I love the vintage feel of all her vids- watch Blue Jeans or Kinda Out of Luck. Now know that I have to kind of like the song to also like the vid so its kind of a combo for me. My top 5 would be:
1) Lana Del Rey "video games"
2) Grouplove "Colours"
3) Loch Lomond "Elephants and Little Girls"
4) Cage the Elephant "Shake Me Down"
5) and I reserve the right to do more research for this spot!

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