Top 30 Videos of 2013: 15-11

Nearly there! We skipped a week, so the top 10 will be up on Friday. An announcement is coming on Monday, as well. So watch out for that. In the meantime: Some more of the year’s best videos!

15. Alison Wonderland featuring Fishing – Get Ready
Directed by Aidan Keogh

Never work with children or animals. It’s a golden rule. Unless, of course, we’re talking corpse-painted children with outstanding rap skills. And party animals. In those instances, the green light is flashing very, very brightly. Alison made a hell of an impression with her first-ever video and single, matching the two together perfectly. One of the year’s best efforts, nation or genre regardless. It’s a celebration, bitches!

Read my original post on Get Ready here.

14. The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle
Directed by Pete Lee and Ben Fee

Few acts showed as unwavering a love of music videos in 2013 as The Uncluded – aka Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock – managed to. Releasing videos for a solid chunk of their debut album, Hokey Fright, they went from fish psychiatrists to animated Frankenstein monsters. Their best, however, came in the form of an exultantly joyful, mutli-storyline video that celebrated the weirdness that comes with every day life. For fans of two-legged dogs, one-legged lunch ladies and big-hearted music.

Read my original post on Delicate Cycle here.

13. Action Bronson – Strictly 4 My Jeeps
Directed by Jason Goldwatch

Action Bronson is the coolest uncool kid in the hip-hop world. He’s the size of a fridge and raps mostly about food and wrestling. Naturally, his relative outsider’s stance has drawn a lot of people to him. Watching the Strictly 4 My Jeeps video will show you exactly why: He laughs in the face of what is trendy, fashionable or even conventionally attractive. He does things his way, whether it’s getting a dance from an obese woman in a gold bikini or messing around with the enigma that is Riff Raff. It’s refreshing, it’s silly and it’s entertaining as fuck. Shrimp money, bitch!

12. Kirin J Callinan – Victoria M
Directed by Kirin J Callinan and Scott Kiernan

Ignoring Way II War at the time of its release was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in the history of Y,WGAV! I’ve gone on record by saying I fucked up, so I made sure to keep an eye on Kirin J Callinan from there on out. I – and everyone else, of course – was rewarded by this delightful homage to classic soap operas; where even the most minute of characters had to express who they were in a matter of seconds for the opening credits. Callinan takes on all of them with his typical campness and eccentricity, and it’s nothing short of  delightful. This guy matters.

Read my original post on Victoria M here.

11. Super Best Friends – Round and Round
Directed by Matt Roberts

2013 was the year that Australian politics became the laughing stock of the world, thanks in no small part to The Daily Show throwing attention down our way. The in-fighting, the backwards policies, the homophobia, the fuck-up that was our election… it was a rough fucking year, let’s call a spade a spade. Even so, for a couple of glorious minutes in the second half that just didn’t matter. Politicians from both sides of the fence took a few seconds to appear in a music video – a funny, clever one; too. For that brief, glimmering moment, it felt like maybe music was the language of us all. Maybe we should worry less about boat-stopping and shark-culling; and start worrying more about Super Best Friends. It’s just a thought.

Read my original post on Round and Round here.

Top 30 Videos of 2013: 20 – 16

Happy happy joy joy! We finally got around to getting up this week’s part. Parts one and two are here for your viewing pleasure. Now, onwards!

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20. The Tongue – Australian Dreaming
Directed by Caroline Tresise

Xannon Shirley – aka The Tongue – isn’t the kind of dude to be untoward about his ambitions. He puts a lot of heart and soul into what he does, and I love him for it. Here, he’s made one of the best Australian videos of 2013 – and there’s a strong emphasis on Australian; given the issues that he is tackling both musically and visually. Each character portrayed has a purpose – no-one is vilified or humiliated, simply shown on their own particular walk of life. It’s excellent viewing – really makes you wish there were more Aussie hip-hop videos like it.

Read my original post on Australian Dreaming here.

19. Dune Rats! – Red Light, Green Light (Green Version)
Directed by Pilerats

What can you say about this utterly ridiculous video that hasn’t already been said? The lovable burnouts of Dune Rats paid homage to their friends in DZ Deathrays the only way they knew how – getting unceremoniously stoned in a very short amount of time. There is nothing more to this video, and there absolutely does not need to be. It’s just stupid fun that requires little more than a shaka and a “yewwww” in celebration of its existence.

Read my original post on Red Light, Green Light here.

18. Laura Imbruglia – Awoooh!
Directed by Karl Siemon and Stephen Nicolazzo

Some weird shit tends to go down when there’s a full moon – especially if you have as outlandish an imagination as your mate and mine Laura Imbruglia. For this comically spooky and proudly low-budget affair, Laura seeks the attention of the hottest guy in the club; while a dorky basketball player vies for her attention. Of course, the night is young – what happens next is anyone’s guess. Camp, cartoony and wickedly funny. Howling forever.

Read my original post on Awoooh! here.

17. Just Blaze & Baauer featuring Jay Z – Higher
Directed by Nabil

Holy shit. Nabil, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite directors, goes all grandiose on us here; opting for a “short film” over a music video. It carries a similar intensity to Hey Jane, my #1 video of 2012 – as the tension builds, you are drawn in further to the lives of the characters and the balance it strikes between pure fantasy and harsh reality. The whole thing looks fantastic, and although it’s cracked a million views it feels like it deserves so much more.

16. Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band – Bad Dancer
Directed by Ben Dickinson

The oldest person in the entire list by some margin is also probably the coolest – Yoko Ono has made a career out of not giving a fuck, and rarely has that been more prevalent than in this fantastic video. Enlisting the help of some similarly cool non-fuck-givers – Ira Glass?uestloveReggie Watts and the surviving Beastie Boys – Ono brings her simple, effective style of weirdness to the forefront. Bad Dancer pretty much does what it says on the tin. War is over – let’s dance like nobody’s watching.

Top 30 Videos of 2013: 25 – 21

What’s up, friends? Thanks for coming back yet again and checking out our little dealio here, as we look back at the best visual counterparts to the songs of 2013. If you missed part one, you can check up on that here. If not, let’s get right back to it!

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25. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)
Directed by Becky and Joe

This groovy tune from the part-Kiwi, part-Portlandian’s second album was certainly one of the more talked-about clips in the indie world this year. It’s safe to say that there was nothing out there quite like it – the imaginative team of Becky Sloan and Joe James (with the clever moniker of Becky and Joe) lured us into the life of a perverted puppet whose life manages to get weirder and weirder by the second. His surrounds and the people in it tend to raise more questions than get answered, but perhaps that’s why it’s such a strangely alluring clip.

24. iwrestledabearonce – Boat Paddle
Directed by Justin Beasley

It’s morphin’ time! In order to save the universe from a giant butt-faced monster – and that’s quite literally what it is, by the way – the guys and girl of IWABO suit up and use the almighty powers of rock & roll. You may have guessed that we’ve gotten to a silly section of the countdown, and you’d be absolutely right. Everything here is as cheesy and hammed-up as you’d expect; very much a reflection on how rare it is that the gang actually take things seriously. They’re just an outrageously fun band – if anyone deserves to be saving the world, it’s gotta be them.

Read my original post on Boat Paddle here.

23. Batpiss – Loose Screws
Directed by Chris Matthews

We all know how this one goes: Boy gets job, boy gets abused at job, boy decides to go on bloody massacre rampage. It’s the oldest trick in the book! Melbourne trio Batpiss pricked up eyebrows across the country with their cartoonishly graphic video, complete with a nod to one of the best videos of 2012 and a finale that no-one could have possibly seen coming. Major kudos to the make-up department, as well as the slab of extras whose campish overacting sell the video even more than it was already being sold. Yet another world-class video from Australia’s relatively-underground scene.

22. Cloud Control – Dojo Rising
Directed by Ian Pons Jewell

A truly international affair if ever there was one: Australian band based in the U.K. enlist London director for a video shot in Bolivia. Yeah, that just about checks out. While we’re at it, why don’t we throw in a dodgy, down-on-his-luck clown and a seemingly-sweet little girl who seeks revenge on said clown ruining her birthday party? Hell, why not? In for a penny, in for a pound. Gorgeously shot and splendidly strange, Dojo Rising proved to be one of the year’s biggest curveballs from a video perspective. It wasn’t what anyone was expecting, but it was sure as hell what we got.

Read my original post on Dojo Rising here.

21. Psy – Gentleman
Directed by Choo Soo-hyun

If 1,877,401,067 YouTube hits can’t be wrong, can 623,110,248? That’s the billion-dollar question, and the answer was a resounding yes. Sure, following up literally the biggest music video of all time was a big ask – but the K-pop superstar took it in his stride and kept things just as outlandish, as extravagant and as hilarious. Not an instant classic, but certainly one guaranteed to raise a smile everytime you see it.

Read my original post on Gentleman here.

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What do you think? Leave a comment or an email; and we’ll see you next week!

Top 30 Videos of 2013: 30 – 26

It’s about that time! We’re back, people. That’s right, YWGAV is not dead – although we were on life support for awhile. It was pretty much a matter of life getting in the way; among all the various other dealios. I’ve got some great plans for 2014, though; and if you’re reading this, I’m really glad that you’ve either come back or just started reading.

So, here’s the deal. We’re going to take a look at the 30 best videos of the year for the fourth year in a row. You can find the starts of the previous lists here, here and here. Once you’re up to speed, we’ll get straight to it! Here, friends, are the top 30 videos of 2013.

WITH APOLOGIES TO: Every other Uncluded video (spoiler alert!), every other Lonely Island video, Beach House, Drake, Haim, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Tyler, the Creator, Lily Allen, Janelle Monae, Yo La Tengo, Violent Soho and Nick van Breda…

30. Arctic Monkeys – Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
Directed by Nabil

After a boozy night out with the boys, Alex Turner decides to wander over to the house of a girl he fancies. What follows is a brilliantly OTT look at the tricks that play on one’s mind when they are under the influence – or, in Alex’s case, a metric shit-tonne of influences. The direction and cinematography is sharp, the editing is brilliantly shambolic and it’s the best video they’ve made in years. Let’s just ignore the grammatical mess that is the song title and focus in on the video itself.

Read my original post on Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? here.

29. Major Lazer feat. Peaches & Timberlee – Scare Me
Directed by Brandon Dermer

For all of his action move macho madness, it’s easy to forget sometimes that Terry Crews is the exact kind of crazy and hilarious you’d want out of someone who thrives in such a gravely serious market. For every Expendables, there’s a role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine or teaming up with Tim & Eric on Old Spice ads. So it was a perfect choice to make Crews the live-action Major Lazer as the major is brought into a wild action-packed mission with cameos from The League‘s Nick KrollWorkaholics‘ Blake Anderson and The Game‘s Lauren London. Kind of wish that this was a TV series – as if you wouldn’t follow the Major anywhere!

28. Darwin Deez – You Can’t Be My Girl
Directed by Keith Schofield

Genuine question: Did we all just completely forget that Darwin Deez existed? I could not tell you the last time I had heard his name before this clip came out. Whatever the case, he certainly made sure we didn’t forget about this brilliant little video. Inserting yourself into footage is nothing new – take the classic Gnarls Barkley video for Smiley Faces as the best possible example of how it’s done – but it’s safe to say that it’s never been done in quite the way that Deez and director Keith Schofield (Duck SauceLadyhawkeSupergrass) took it on. Delving into a myriad of stock footage, it tells the story of a sociopathic onlooker venting his frustrations to anyone that will listen – or, in this case, completely ignore him. It’s about as strange and as remarkable as you’d expect.

27. The Lonely Island – Spring Break Anthem
Directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone

A Lonely Island comeback year always means one thing: Shit-loads of videos. Andy, Jorm and Kiv were no strangers to Y,WGAV! readers in 2013, from the nightclub insanity of Go Kindergarten to the strange bragging rights of Diaper Money. The pick of the lot, however, was easily the original version of Spring Break Anthem. Starting off with a smashing Between Two Ferns highlight reel between host Zach Galifianakis and his guest James Franco, the two somehow end up in the fantasy realm of a Cancun spring break party hosted by TLI. If you know what’s coming next, then… well, you know. For those that didn’t see this the first time around, however… you’re in for a hell of a time.

Read my original post on Spring Break Anthem here.

26. Bloc Party – Ratchet
Directed by Cyriak

It seems like Bloc Party always wait until after they’ve released an album to drop a complete curveball on us. We got it with Flux and One More Chance for the last two albums, and then the hip-hop-flavoured Ratchet dropped in the wake of 2012’s Four album. With the band on break, it was time to dig into the archives – animator extraordinaire Cyriak took apart the videos for Octopus, Two More Years and Helicopter and literally created a monster out of them. Perhaps the single greatest re-use of a videography ever? I would wager so.

Read my original post on Ratchet here.

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What do you think so far? Enjoying the videos? See you next week!

Watch This Now: The Beards – “The Beard Accessory Store”

“He said that beard accessories were no longer necessities…”

It’s a rough time to be a bearded traveller. For whatever reason, the collective performing visas  of The Beards were recently denied by US immigration; forcing the band to cancel their run of North American dates. Heartbreaking stuff – bloody shutdown! What’s going on over there? Apparently a few other bands have had similar issues recently. Regardless, it seems as fitting a time as ever to share with you guys the most sombre tale ever told by the band – which looks to be their last little bit of promo for the Having a Beard is the New Not Having a Beard album.

The band’s fearless frontman, who also works as their keytarist and saxophonist on the side (busy guy!), Johann Beardraven, begins to tell the tale of The Beard Accessory Store in three separate places – the local pub, around the fireplace with the fellow members of the band; and (perhaps most frighteningly of all) in a child’s bedroom. Although they are fairly different circumstances for one to tell a story, he doesn’t change his intensity levels for any of them – he grabs collars, smashes randomly-placed acoustic guitars and pours Jack Daniels into his beer. It’s a pretty full-on story, so probably avoid watching this if you’re beardless or easily frightened. If you’re up for a punishing gut-wrencher of a laugh, though, have we got a surprise for you.

Watch This Now: Panic! At the Disco – “Girls/Girls/Boys”

“But if you change your mind, you know where to find me…”

I’ve officially been caught out. Every bit of detail about a music video’s plot, special effects, audience engagement, cinematography, choreography etc. etc. etc. can officially be disregarded. Why? Because I have a new favourite video of the year, and it’s for Girls/Girls/Boys; the third single from Panic! At the Disco‘s outstanding new album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! 

So what was it about this video that astounded, arrested and captivated me? Was it the fast-pacing and cultural highjacking, a la my #1 video of 2010, Telephone? How about the striking contrasts and raw emotions, a la my #1 video of 2011, Somebody That I Used to Know? Maybe some deep, shocking moments and devastating plotline, ala my #1 video of 2012, Hey Jane?

Nah. Brendon Urie‘s abs.

Yep, this is a purely indulgent eye-candy fest as P!ATD’s fearless leader does a shot-for-shot remake of D’Angelo‘s classic slow-jam video for Untitled (How Does it Feel). Sexy times clearly call for sexy measures – and things get pretty sexy here, people. Watch out for those lower torso shots, the hair flick and those eyes. If Brendon wasn’t one of your major crushes circa 2005/6, then he’s sure as shit going to make up for lost time here. Let’s call it a guilty pleasure. Guilty as sin.

Watch This Now: The Stuff We May Have Missed… Part Two

But  wait! There’s more!

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Oliver Clark – Atomic Thrust

He’s the man with the sexiest voice in comedy and suits that could make Paul F. Tompkins look like a hobo. Yes indeed, the housewives’ choice Oliver Clark is one for the ages. For the title track of his new album, he decided to put his pelvis to the test; subsequently delivering one of the flat-out funniest videos of the year.

Blood Orange – Chamakay

In which Devonte Hynes goes home. Well, in a traditional sense, anyway. Visiting Guyana for the first time ever, Dev makes his way around the beautiful area and connects with the townsfolk. Parallels can easily be drawn with frequent collaborator Solange‘s wonderful video for Losing You, but not even that can match the tender beauty of seeing Hynes meet and speak with his grandfather for the first time ever. Stunning.

They Might Be Giants – You’re on Fire

They’ve been getting weird since before you were born and they show absolutely zero signs of slowing their roll. Here, they give a spin to the opening track on their sixteenth(!) album, allowing some mince meat to take lead vocals while the gorgeous Lauren Lapkus from Orange is the New Black dances around the kitchen preparing to send it to its impending doom. Because of COURSE that’s what they would come up with.

Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball

A lot of people have asked me about this one. Where do I stand? What do I make of it? Now, I’ll be the first to admit it needed an editor, and maybe some restraint on the more… shall we say… ‘out there’ moments. When she’s staring straight down the barrel of the camera, though? I simply cannot deny it. It’s gripping, and it’s honest, and it’s the most real that we’ve ever seen the girl born Destiny Hope Cyrus.

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

What an exciting time to be an AF fan. As the band bravely venture into what may be their weirdest album to date, we’re treated to what may be their weirdest video to date for the album’s title track. Late-night roadtrippin’, mirror suits, giant paper-mache heads, tricked-out caskets… I mean, I’ll be damned if I know what it all means at this point. It looks pretty amazing, though; don’t you agree? What a thrilling video.

Fall Out Boy feat. Big Sean – The Mighty Fall

The saga continues. This year, Fall Out Boy have been releasing music videos for every song from their Save Rock & Roll LP; following a conceptual story about the four members and a secret briefcase which has contents only they (and the villains of the series) know about. There’s been aspects of Stockholm syndrome and Clockwork Orange-esque ultra-violence thus far, and the madness continues here with some all-new characters. Kudos for keeping them guessing, boys.

The Polyphonic Spree – Let Them Be

Following on from the parallel universe of the You Don’t Know Me video, the Spree get animated on the second video from their excellent Yes, It’s True. album. Director Ben Rowe takes the song into a lush dreamscape, enlisting the help of dozens of creepy-crawlies, frogs, aliens and what appears to be an avocado. No, really, it’ll all make sense once you’ve seen it. Well, okay, I won’t make any promises…

Moby feat. Wayne Coyne – The Perfect Life

Oh, come on! It’s Moby and Wayne Coyne in mariachi suits. What joy! What pure, unadulterated awesome have we found ourselves with? If you don’t get a smile out of this one, your heart is dead as dead can be. That’s all that can be said!

Watch This Now: The Stuff We Might Have Missed… Part One

Hiya, folks! So, you may have notice we’ve been a little lax on the updates. I’ve been ridiculously busy with other projects that I’ve barely had time for Y,WGAV! Don’t worry, honey, it’s not you – it’s me! Thankfully, we’re back as of tomorrow. But, before we tell you THOSE stories, we have to tell you THESE stories. Here are some of the best videos that have dropped in our absence. And there might be a few more yet to come!

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Major Lazer feat. Peaches & Timberlee – Scare Me

Awaken the Major! Following on from their fantastic Eric Wareheim-helmed video for Bubble Butt, the futurista warriors bring their mascot to life in potentially the most awesome way possible – that’s right, kids, this is not a drill. That’s Terry Crews as the Major himself! Hell yeah! Throw in the wonderful Blake Anderson and Nick Kroll to round out an already-awesome cast; matching the high-speed romp to an already-bounding track. 

Anika – In the City

Okay, so I know absolutely nothing about this band; where they’ve come from, what they’re doing or even if this is from an album or an EP. Truth be told, I can’t even remember how I was linked to this. All I know is that this is one of the most ridiculously watchable videos of the year. Couldn’t tell you what was going on for the life of me – essentially, I’m like Donkey after watching the DuLoc tourism puppet show in the first Shrek movie. “Wow… let’s do that again!”

Just Blaze and Baauer feat. Jay-Z – Higher

Here’s one out of left-field – an absolute banger from the power trio of Just Blaze, Jay-Z and the one-shake wonder himself, Baauer; set to one of the year’s darkest and most confronting videos. Described as a “short film,” we’re taken into the jungle and into a dangerous, sinister underbelly in which children begin playing with fire; not realising how burnt they will soon become. Pristine cinematography and some genuinely chilling moments. Stellar.

Josh Pyke – Warm in Winter

The reliably-lovely Pykey has given us some very sweet videos over the years, particularly from his second studio album Chimney’s Afire which sported the distant dreaming of The Summer and the motherfuckin’ guitar boat of Make You Happy. Here, JP soundtracks a blossoming friendship between a homeless girl and a homeless… wolfman? It’s got a human body and a cartoon wolf head. You do the maths on that one. They don’t say a word between them, but the way it plays out says it all.

Avril Lavigne – Rock & Roll

Damn you to Hell, Chris Marrs Piliero! This guys has to be the best pop video director around – he’s managed to not only elevate average songs into flat-out awesome ones with his clips (see: Britney Spears‘ I Wanna Go); but he also manages to make clips that make allies out of former Y,WGAV! enemies (see: Ke$ha‘s brilliant video for Blow). This time around, he’s giving the treatment to longtime frenemy of the blog Avril Lavigne, throwing her into a Tank Girl-esque action parody that borrows from MCR, GnR and plenty of other three-letter acronyms. Like RnR! Heh? See what I did there?

TV on the Radio – Million Miles

Here’s a blissful and serene clip from one of my all-time favourite bands, getting back to nature in the most endorphin-releasing sort of way. A gardening show filming goes awry, leaving one of the hosts to go Kanye on the whole thing as they go off-script and head to the soapbox. When the host is removed, she decides to bring the entire crew along with her for the ride. Weird and wonderful, the exact kind of concoction that has made this band one of my most beloved over the past few years or so.

Crayon Pop – Bar Bar Bar

This. Shit. RULES.

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More later today!

Watch This Now: Brendan Maclean – “Winner”

“You haven’t got my awkward silence, or my three ways of acting…”

I believe in Brendan Maclean. The same way Cher believes in life after love, or the way Harvey Dent believes in Harvey Dent. I’m sure I’ve explained our history far more eloquently and in far greater detail in one of the several other times he’s appeared here. All you need to know is that he’s back, on the attack, with a fellow Mac – Paul Mac, that is; who was also behind February’s Stupid. The guys behind that video have returned as well, namely directors Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston. To top it all off, this too is a single-shot video… yep, just like Stupid.

You might think I’m being back-handed here, but I’m actually quite excited that B-Mac has started properly carving his niche into this grandiose style of buzzing pop; with some truly awesome visuals to accompany it. As soon as you realise that we’re in the midst of a “backwards” video, more and more questions begin to arise – namely, how did Brendan end up in his underwear? What is he doing on a race track? Why is there glitter all over the field? Patience, young grasshopper. All will be revealed once we retrace our steps… well, most will be revealed, at least. Given this video focuses squarely on Maclean, it’s up to him and him alone to keep you entertained and intrigued for the entire runtime. In that regard: Sir, you’re a winner in our books.

Watch This Now: Elton John – “Home Again”

“In the old part of Valencia, on the coast of Spain…”

Here’s a lovely one I’ve been meaning to get around to. The inimitable Sir Elton John has just put out what I think may be his best solo album in years, a concept album of sorts entitled The Diving BoardIt’s a stark, intimate and very honest album, one that I didn’t think I’d ever hear out of Sir Elton these days. I mean, the guy can basically live off royalties from his countless hits. He doesn’t have to work another day of his life. And yet he’s still got such a creative streak into his sixties, which is something that really has to be respected.

This is a video from August that I’ve been meaning to share with you guys for quite some time, and I figured now was as good a time as ever to share it given that Reginald played this song at the Emmys on Sunday in tribute to Liberace. As the song delves into a well-travelled character longing for what once was, a middle-aged man sits alone. The decision is made in his mind, and we follow him all the way back to the very beginning. This not only happens mentally, but physically as well. It will make sense once it all properly unfurls. The locations used are quite stunning, and the narrative is so involving and stirring – I think EJ knew exactly what to do with this song when it came to a video treatment. A perfect reflection of one of this album’s true standouts.

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