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.
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!
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.
What do you think? Leave a comment or an email; and we’ll see you next week!
But wait! There’s more!
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!
“Live your life, VHS cassette, fast forward, back to the future…”
I remember meeting Alison Wonderland at the fourth birthday party of Sosueme, perhaps one of my only tolerated club nights in Sydney. She was polite and sweet; and I actually didn’t find out she was actually a DJ until later in the conversation. “Oh, right, cool,” I responded. “That sounds like fun.” Little was I to know exactly how much fun – her set with the rest of the Sosueme crew just as the clock hit midnight was a world of high-energy excitement and bombast. It was unpretentious and entertaining, which is more than I can say about a slew of other deck-spinning douches in the city.
Anyway, this year Ms. Wonderland has made the move into original music, and her debut single features a collaboration with my boys in Fishing busting out their rap dude personas. Now, I’ll be honest – as much as I dug the song, I wasn’t sure the video would be much chop. Nothing personal, it’s just that DJs… well… they’re not great with the music videos, are they. Let’s not forget the first-ever negative review we gave of a clip on this blog was a David Guetta video. And have you seen the Pauly D video for Night of My Life lately? Don’t. Of course, this isn’t to compare Alison to either of those guys – like I said, she’s different. One might even say, One of Us. So with equal amounts of relief and pleasure, the video for Get Ready ended up fucking ruling.
Like, seriously – Alison, Doug and Russell have gone above and beyond the call of duty here. Watching a crew of delinquent teenage zombies busting mad rhymes into a fisheye lens already screams “fucking awesome” on paper. The word ‘awesome’ being underlined several times. Watching the whole thing executed, however, leaves one at a loss for words at points. It’s just so much fun to watch – the lip-syncing is seamless, the little breakdancing dude left my jaw on the floor and the varying hijinks that unfurl throughout the second half cemented the shit-eating grin on my face. They couldn’t have made a better clip for this track, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. For Alison, for the rap dudes of Fishing, for the breakdancing zombies… the whole shebang. They’ve started something beautiful here, friends.
“I promise I can grow tall, while making love is free…”
In the near-fortnight since its release, FKA twigs‘ new video has been one of the most talked about and most shared videos on my feed. I wasn’t familiar with the name – not even by her prior stage name of Twigs – so it quickly dropped to the bottom of the pile. Much like the David Bridie scenario, I fucked up big time leaving it this long. Sure, less than two weeks isn’t that great a deal of time, but I still need to be quicker to the chase. And if any video is going to wake you from that sort of slumber, it’s Water Me. Holy shit.
You’ve seen the head-on, one-take video before. Plenty of times. From classics like Nothing Compares 2 U and No Surprises to Janelle Monae‘s Cold War, which took its rightful spot as one of the best videos of 2010. With that said, you’ve probably never seen the concept tackled quite like this. One more or less can’t take their eyes off her – at one stage, that becomes quite literal, but you’ll know that when it comes to it. It’s a relatively bare-bones presentation of the woman and her music at first, before it delves into the surreal and the jarring. Never breaking eye contact. Always focused. Always engaged. This is definitely a must-see clip. If you haven’t seen it a million times already thanks to your feed, that is. Maybe it’s just me. All I can say is that this is one worth talking about.
“I never really thought of Heaven much, ’til we put him in the ground…”
I first discovered the music of Bright Eyes around the age of 14, which is statistically the best time to discover Bright Eyes pretty much ever. His words and music connected with me the exact way they’re supposed to hit a confused, weird little kid like myself. Of all of the material that came out around this time, however – namely, the I’m Wide Awake and Digital Ash records – I remember this video the most vividly.
Yes, of course, First Day of My Life is the best-known track from this era. With that said, I always have such fond memories of this song – the last song on Digital Ash – and its simple yet incredibly fascinating video. In it, Conor Oberst enters a room, writes the words “DID IT ALL GET REAL?” on the wall – seemingly doing mirror writing so that we, the audience, can see it – before detailing the entire song’s lyrics in a very creative and clever way.
I’m not much of an artist, but this affected what art I was creating at the time substantially – I’d be doing visual interpretations of songs and their lyrics for years and years after this clip came out. Hell, if I’m bored on a train and have a notebook handy, I’ll probably even do one now. I often don’t rememeber doing them, but the sentiment and the idea still remains. Easy/Lucky/Free definitely takes the concept of a lyric video to the next level. I’ll always love this clip for what it did to my brain.
“Every time we kissed, I felt something that couldn’t exist…”
Yesterday, we discussed the 10-year anniversary of De-Loused in the Comatorium. We also happened to discuss the new March of the Real Fly video, which included some time at the good ol’ laundromat. Today, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of The Postal Service‘s only studio album, Give Up. Any self-respecting Death Cab or Dntel or electro-pop or good-taste fan has spent many, many moons with this record – so imagine the surprise and joy when the band reunited to re-release the record and head out on the road once again.
We also got to hear a song left on the cutting room floor from the original Give Up sessions, and said track has been given visual life thanks to the crew at AB/CD/CD. So, we mentioned the humble laundromat being the centre of focus here… and you’d better believe that we meant it! As soon as the load of clothes goes in, a serious lesson in perspective is given: What would happen if everything outside of the washing machine spun instead of the machine itself? Its surrealism reminds me a lot of various Flaming Lips videos, and even a little of the Battles video from last year for My Machines. Above all else, though, it makes me wish that there was more “new” Postal Service to give this kind of treatment to! A guy can dream. This will definitely suffice for now, of course. Just don’t get too dizzy.
“Through this hell, we found our heaven…”
Here’s one of the better Aussie clips I’ve seen recently, courtesy of Sydney duo The Presets. These guys have made some absolute winners in the past – my personal favourite being 2007’s iconic My People clip – so it’s great to see them back in action in promotion of their third studio album, Pacifica. The record was one of my favourite LPs of 2012, but I can’t say I was all too excited about any of the videos the band have released from it, which is a shame. That was, of course, until now.
Inventively enough, for a song called Fall, the band decided to do a video of skydiving. Both Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes, wearing creepy plastic masks of their own faces, simply dive out of the plane and let the wind take them where it may. Literally, that’s the entire video. And yet, you never get a sense of ‘that’s IT?’ dissatisfaction. There doesn’t need to be anything more to this video. It works so remarkably on its own. The cinematography is to die for, the location is perfect and the boys handle such an intense experience so cleverly and uniquely. I guess, sometimes, less really is more. Bliss.
“Spiraling down, biting words like a wolf howls…”
I’ve come to discover this clip from UK up-and-comer trio Daughter at somewhat of an interesting crossroads. This comes just under a month since the video was put online, as well as just under a month until their debut album, If You Leave. Noticing my timing makes me feel as though I am fashionably late, as well as quite possibly on the verge of something massive. Really, it’s a great feeling to have.
It’s not just the gorgeous song that’s gotten me all excited, which feels like Ladytron blending in with Explosions in the Sky. No, of course, the video is a wonder unto itself. Yesterday, we featured a video from Adelaide band Paper Arms which documented intensity taking its place in the spaces between, caused by a lack of intimacy between estranged lovers. The video for Still explores this further, going into extensive and intimate detail as a couple prepare to go to bed. They sleep in the same one, but go to bed at different times. That alone might not seem like much, but it’s beyond clear given their facial expressions that there is something well and truly wrong. This is beautifully shot and masterfully acted – especially impressive given the lack of dialogue. Fantastic stuff. Just between us, I think we’ve got something pretty huge on our hands here. So watch this, but don’t tell anyone… yet.
“We used to be closer than this, is it something you miss?”
How have we not talked about The xx before? As cliched as all the hype has been around their follow-up to 2010’s xx record, I have to say that I have been mightily impressed with Coexist, the band’s second album that dropped earlier this year. It’s a perfect late-night listen, a perfect bliss-out listen and a perfect record to fall asleep to. Not that it’s boring, of course – it just happens to have a certain mystique and quietness to it that lures me into dream.
Okay, let’s get the hyperbole out of the way, and move on to the business at hand. The trio have just teamed up with a creative endeavour inventively titled The Creatives Project, which has brought the first official video from Coexist for the track Chained. The track seems to be documenting the demise of a relationship and a lack of intimacy with the perspectives of both people involved. Exactly what having all three band members jumping into water in super-slow-motion has to do with the song is anyone’s guess, but the two themes manage to merge together quite impressively. The locations are breathtaking, and that sense of being lost in the water alone (for the most part, at least) gives a great resonance to refrains like “we used to be closer than this.” One for the lovers.