If I've learned one lesson this year as Baeble has put together our collection of end of the year superlatives, it's that I need to keep a spreadsheet of all of these lists going in 2016 so that I don't forget anything. It's crazy how much music you consume in a year when you do it for a living. And as many great singles as there were this year, there were nearly as many great music videos (and how many "eh" songs have been elevated by great videos). And to cap off our run of the best things in music this year, we give you our top 10 music videos of 2015.
10. "Love Me" by The 1975
When the 1975 dropped the single for "Love Me," the only thing anybody could talk about was how much these Brit pop-rockers were sounding like INXS. And clearly that was an intentional inspiration as evidenced by the song's video which finds the 1975's Matthew Healy drunkenly prowling around a stage dressed like Michael Hutchence. And you know what? He pulls it off.
9. "Young & Unafraid" by The Moth & the Flame
We actually had the chance to interview the Moth & the Flame
about this video when it was first released. Featuring underground skating legend Neal Unger shredding pipe as a bad ass old man, it left some of the most indelible music video images of the year.
8. "The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment" by Father John Misty
Father John Misty answers the age old question "would you sleep with yourself if you had a clone" in his surrealist video for "The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment." And although he was accused of ripping off a James Franco idea, we're pretty sure J. Tillman brought enough original ideas to the table to justify his video's existence.
7. "Pedestrian At Best" by Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett as a sad clown wandering around a fair and finding that things get progressively more and more miserable. What else needs to be said?
6. "Lover Come Back" by City and Colour
City & Colour's If I Should Go Before You
is one of the most under-discussed records of the year
. And "Lover Come Back" was one of the record's highlights. Dallas Green released the song's video late in the year but with its gorgeous interpretive dance, it sprung right towards the top of our lists.
5. "Let It Happen" by Tame Impala
Tame Impala had a damn good year for music videos. There are two videos for "Cause I'm A Man" (we prefer the Muppet version); the monkey business in "The Less I Know The Better" is delightfully surreal. And then there was "Let It Happen" which is a nightmarish fever dream of anxiety. We only wish they could have made the video as long as the album cut of the track.
4. "I Really Like You" by Carly Rae Jepsen
This is how big of a deal Carly Rae Jepsen. She managed to get two time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks to star in the video for her big comeback single after the mega success of "Call Me Maybe" in 2012. And after this video, there was no doubt how much the world really liked her.
3. "Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)" by Run the Jewels
The video for "Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)" is political hip-hop and filmmaking at its most visceral and unfiltered. El-P and Killer Mike pair one of last year's most fiery tracks with that killer Zach De La Rocha vocal run and marry that all to a story of police brutality and inner city violence. It's not realistic (that cop would have just shot the kid cause...police brutality) but it's impossible to forget what you saw in this video.
2. "Flesh Without Blood"/"Life in the Vivid Dream" by Grimes
It's only appropriate that the artist who released arguably the greatest music video of the 2010s so far ("Oblivion") should land so high on this list with her triumphant return this year. "Flesh Without Blood"/"Life in the Vivid Dreams" immediately squashed anyone's concerns that Art Angels
wasn't going to be as deliberately weird as Visions
because Claire Boucher came roaring back as triumphantly strange as she's ever been. And, boy, we'd missed it.
1. "Alright" by Kendrick Lamar
Potentially the best track off of unequivocally the best record of the year
, Kendrick Lamar managed to make "Alright' not only the undisputed protest track of the 2010s. He helped to craft a music video overflowing in striking political imagery that captured the national conversation on police brutality that has come roaring back into the mainstream in the last couple years. But there's more to the video than that. It's as much a short film as it is a music video. It's triumphant black nationalism (in the way the whole record is). It's about community. It's defiant in the face of oppression. In a year where Kendrick Lamar was king, "Alright" was his coronation.