2011 has been an amazing year for the music video. Artists continue to push the boundaries of the medium, using it to challenge social norms, experiment with new technology, express beauty, comedy, and tragedy, sometimes all at once. There have been so many videos that caught my eye this year, but I’ve narrowed it down to the top 11 of 2011.
#11: “It’s Real” by Real Estate
On top of being one of my favorite breakout bands of the year, these fellows tug on my heartstrings, complimenting this sunny song with an entire video dedicated to our canine friends. I want one!
#10: “You” by TV On The Radio
TV On The Radio take a look into a future that finds them broken up and exploring new and unique facets of life including Live Action Role Playing, the Bush Administration on Ice, Dojos, and, Jheri Curls. Let’s just hope they never break up, for Tunde’s sake.
#9: “Bizness” by tUnE-yArDs
This colorful creation plays off of all the best parts of this song. It’s playful, colorful, strange, and beautiful.
#8: “Our Deal” by Best Coast
Drew Barrymore directed this tragic and oh so stylish tale of two star-crossed lovers. Great video, however I feel like the random break-dancer at 2:38 kind of takes away from the severity of the situation. Just sayin’…
#7: “Tog” by Colourmusic
They say when it comes to horror films, the less you see, the more chilling Colourmusic wisely leaves this one up to the imagination. I think it was a pie-eating contest. Call me an optimist.
#6: “My Machines” by Battles
It was tough deciding between this video, or the sensual overload video that is “Ice Cream.” In the end, I went with this one I love the concept. It might be a social statement attacking our materialistic nature, or maybe it’s just someone’s Black Friday nightmare brought to life. I’ll let you decide.
#5: “Sprawl II” by Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire went with another interactive video for “Sprawl II.” I can’t listen to this song without thinking of the Hood Internet’s Arcade Fire/Blondie mash-up. Anyway, check out the video below, and then get interactive HERE.
#4: “Cruel” by St. Vincent
St. Vincent’s Strange Mercy is most definitely my favorite album this year. That delicate voice floats along edgy distortion and dark subject matter, much like her video for “Cruel.”
#3: “Iron” by Woodkid
Prior to his music career Yoanne Lemoine (aka Woodkid) was a successful director working with artists like Yelle, Moby and Katy Perry. Lucky for us, he decided to dedicate himself to music as well, creating the epic and gorgeous “Iron.” In a word – breathtaking.
#2: “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra
When you attach such a stunning and artful video to a song that is already so special, what you get is viral. It’s no wonder this video has over 25 million views. It simply never gets old.
#1: “Make Some Noise” by Beastie Boys
Beastie Boys are back with a vengeance this year, and this video says it all. They’ve combined pretty much all of my favorite actors in an epic video of alcohol and drug infused mayhem that ends in a dance-off gone sour. Check out the abbreviated video below, or enjoy the thirty-minute masterpiece HERE.
There were so many videos I wasn’t able to include. Alas, that’s what happens when you are limited to a list. Feel free to comment and share any other videos that caught your eye this year.
Happy New Year! May 2012 bring you music, laughter, creativity and peace of mind.
Like what you heard? Visit Sierra’s blog, Inland Sounds, for more musical offerings.