Videos of the Year 2015
Welcome to our first ever annual rundown of music videos
The internet rages on. It consumes every aspect of the very reality we have come to know and understand. We used to have Virgin Megastore now we have Amazon. We used to have memories now we have Facebook. We used to have MTV and now we have VEVO. But guess what Grandad? Things change.
That’s right we’re embracing the future of the music video and here we’ve compiled 20 of the best we’ve seen all year. There’s brutal revenge, powerful hip-hop and sweaty wrestling to get your peepers round.
Watch, listen and learn.
Hey QTQT Directed by Bradley Bell & Pablo Jones-Soler
You’ve got to wonder what all these PC Music stars are going to do when all this blows over. You can’t just start back at Co-op when you’ve been an uncanny valley plastic popstar for the past year, can you? How the fuck are you going to explain that away?
Anyway, this video just about sums it all up – a perfect, hyper clean princess miming and tripping out in a synthetic box, making a ‘connection’ with an artificial nothingness in return for a can of pop. This was 2015, this was PC Music.
Way Too MuchWavves Directed by Jack Wagner
Wavves snuck into 2015 with their latest album V – another collection of decent pop punk that all but passed us by. The video for Way Too Much, on the other hand, gave us a hit of much needed optimism. The clip features some genuinely dangerous looking wrestling involving barbed wire, billy clubs and buckets of sweat. Radical.
InsomniacPowell Directed by Guy Featherstone
Back in September of this year Powell got in a bit of trouble with uber producer Steve Albini over the use of a sample in one of his songs. The track in question Insomniac featured a snippet of Albini’s voice and what ensued was one of the most bizarre feuds we saw all year.
After the pair exchanged a few messages via email Powell decided to use Albini’s vitriolic comments about dance music in a billboard advert for his most recent EP and as the basis for the track’s video. The rest, as they say, is history.
Pedestrian At BestCourtney Barnett Directed by Charlie Ford
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, 2015 has been Courtney Barnett’s year. The Melbourne singer-songwriter’s big moment came when her single Pedestrian At Best became a part of the very fabric of our existence.
The video sees Courtney playing the sad clown as she spends her day wandering around a theme park looking pretty darned disillusioned. A slick metaphor for millennial anxiety and the dissatisfaction of being twenty-something in this day and age.
Make Me Wanna DieWhite Reaper Directed by Matt Fulks
White Reaper’s clip for Make Me Wanna Die sees a giant-skelton headed figure causing all kinds of chaos in a suburban mall and shopping precinct before everything turns into a seriously psychedelic, Adventure Time-worthy trip.
There’s something about this video that reminds me of Avril Lavigne’s clip for Complicated. But let’s face it, that video is an all time classic.
Pretty Pimpin’Kurt Vile Directed by Daniel Henry
What’s better than Kurt Vile? How about two Kurt Viles? Better yet, what about a whole army of Kurt Viles taking over Kurt Vile’s life and spreading confusion? Blissful slacker weirdness.
High By The BeachLana Del Rey Directed by Jake Nava
Here’s a rare moment of excellent agency from the enigmatic Del Rey. Here, more than ever before, she played away from her typical desire to be adored by an invisible man of status – and she’s the one with the power now.
“The truth is I never bought into your bullshit when you would pay tribute to me” she sighs, her voice almost pitying. AND she brings down a motherfucking helicopter with a motherfucking rocket launcher in the video. It’s almost too cool. Very much recommended.
Feeling MyselfNicki Minaj ft. Beyonce
As if it wasn’t enough that these two global megaforces collaborated on a flawless jam about female empowerment – they also dropped the surprise video on the very same night that Taylor Swift’s mercilessly PR’d and comparatively embarrassing Bad Blood video was released. And it’s one of the best things you’ve ever seen in your life. Lesson learned: don’t cross Nicki. World, stop. Carry on.
Flesh Without BloodGrimes Directed by Grimes
After a stop-start couple of years of scrapped albums and one-off singles, Grimes staged the greatest comeback of the year in 2015 with Art Angels (our bets are on Craig David taking 2016’s title).
This was the video that started it all over again – and the exuberant costumes, bedroom dance moves and technicolour landscapes served as an instant reminder of why we loved Boucher and her singular vision so much in the first place.
BlackstarDavid Bowie Directed by Johan Renck
The storyline to the ten-minute video for Blackstar feels like an allegory, but we’re not sure what for: a woman with a tail steals a bejewelled skull from an astronaut and carries it back to her dusty village while elsewhere, a blinded Bowie chants as raggedly-dressed dancers fit in the background. We cut back to a circle of women, also twitching overtaken by the power of the skulll. In a cornfield, another, triumphant Bowie holds up the book of Blackstar to the sky.
As the song switches, yet another version of Bowie pleads to the ceiling of a dusty attic, taking on the persona of an exaggerated showman. Cosmic scarecrows watch on in a nearby field. As a parting shot, we’re left with the flickering images of the circle of women bewitched by that bejewelled skull; a rattling, dreadlocked monster attacking the scarecrows; and the same blinded Bowie roaring into the nothingness.
Typically boring stuff from David Bowie, then.