Ok…Did the two day wait effectively build enough anticipation for the Top 5?! If you missed numbers 6-10, you can see them here. One last word on why music videos are relevant and such an important part of an artist’s output: It allows for an additional opportunity to affect another one of your senses; the visual side as well as what you hear in a song. A music video allows us to relate and attach to the music even more. It’s like how I feel like I’m spinning every time I hear Hot Chip’s “Flutes” because of that video. As MTV shifted away from a music video platform to one that favors bubblegum programming instead, the internet has become the landing spot for artists’s videos and it’s totally worked. No commercials, no more “VJ’s” (I still love you Kennedy and Bill Bellamy), just the video. I encourage you to experience an artist’s music in this medium and allow yourself to connect even more with the music.
Ok, enough babble, here’s the Top 5 Music Videos of 2014:
5. SBTRKT ft. Ezra Koenig- “New Dorp, New York”
The thing that gets me with this video is how ties together the visual theme of one of my favorite albums of the year. We didn’t know much about this mammal on the cover of SBTRKT’s Wonder Where We Land, but this animated music video tells the story of it and other predatory creatures of the night. The shadows are dark & spooky and there’s sweet subtle details like a SBTRKT bobblehead on the dashboard of a car as the mammal runs through the night, Later the mammal approaches the camera for us to see how similarly his face resembles the mask. In the end, he makes his way through the dark cesspool (looks like Bushwick), that’s just one of the worlds created on the brilliant album, only to perch above the clouds with a birds eye view of it all.
4. Cathedrals – “Unbound”
Fuck, I love this video. Had an opportunity to meet and write about Cathedrals off a chance encounter soon after moving back to SF and this video was one of my first interactions with their music. Suffice it to say, I couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s an artistic achievement to say the least and getting to know all of the nuances that went into the production and the roles of it’s many collaborators opened it up for me. It’s a passionate display of visual arts, dance and raw emotions, marvelously produced and set to music from an up and coming band that belongs on your radar. One love to Cathedrals.
3. Tove Lo – “Stay High” (Hippie Sabotage Remix)
I feel like I’m gonna open all of these remaining entries with “Fuck, I love this video.” The first time I heard this song (and this mix in particular), I was grabbed by how perfectly programmed the drums were. I hadn’t heard electronic drums this perfect since Disclosure’s “Latch.” I delved into Tove Lo and uncovered a video that was like the reverse structure of my favorite video of all-time, Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up”. Instead of the bulky 35mm POV camera from Prodigy’s vid, “Habits” rocks a GoPro and it’s a product of the simple technology that has re-defined visual consumption.
What affects me so much with this vid is how it portrays the sentiments of a deeply personal and emotional song just as they went down in the lyrics. And it’s real as fuck. Tove Lo’s emotional fluctuations in the video make us think about how we deal with staying balanced when we’re getting over someone. And most of us go out and drink and forget…Whether you make that conscious decision to “drink to forget,” or you just do it and then realize that you’re not thinking about that person. Inevitably, it all comes crashing down on us and the video covers that aspect too…and we exhale and feel.
2. Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me”
Flying Lotus has always focused heavily on the visual interpretations of his music. on 2012’s Until The Quiet Comes (our #3 Album of 2012), FlyLo dropped three compelling videos, one of which was a “short film” for the title track, directed by Khalil Joseph. Similarly, on “Never Catch Me”, director Hiro Murai takes us deep into a story of innocent children that were killed in the ghetto. But they arise from the dead, if only for a moment, to dance and frolic to the beat of one of the best songs of the year. How their dancing shifts with the track’s movements is incredible and Kendrick Lamar, who’s told a story or two like this before, is lyrically perfect. Straight up, this is the song of the year from where I’m standing and it’s largely because of this video’s existence and how Flying Lotus is never done with his art when it’s coming out of the speakers…You have to see it too for it to be complete. Respect.
1. Kiesza – “Hideaway”
Duh. This video is a fucking cultural meme. It’s been parodied a bagillion times, it’s been re-created for Kiesza’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel and in the end, it was one of the most successful low budget masterpieces ever. It’s a testament to how the infectious dancing really does the talking on this callback to the 90’s single, which is now a global hit. Peep our post from earlier this year for more in depth info on just what makes this video so amazing, but know that it’s a cultural phenomenon that manages to loop in New Yorkers form all ethnic backgrounds via music and dance. It’s a simply wonderful experience that’s garnered over 150 million views. Shit is addicting. You just wanna click play after ends over and over again
That concludes our Best Music Videos of The Year programming, but stay tuned as Everything Ecstatic’s Best Albums of 2014 will be begin dropping next week. Same format as in previous years with one album being announced every day for 3 weeks!
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