Hold on to your butts: here are our favourite music videos of this annum….
Ermahgerd, is it really almost Christmas? The only redeeming thing about that fact it that we can begin compiling our year’s end lists of the best, the acclaimed and the questionable musical contributions that 2018 has had to offer.
10. Father John Misty – ‘Date Night’
Josh Tillman’s music is often characterised by its introspective nature and his witty, but often sombre lyrics. Thankfully, Date Night provides some respite from this and this is mirrored within its raucous animated video. Its hard to know what to say to truly do it justice. The video is a chaotic mess of psychedelic and nonsensical imagery. If you like winged boots, singing planets and leeches then this is the video for you. It also ends with an animation of a cat licking its behind while wired up to a plant, so err… there’s that too. Kieran Rogers.
9. Fever 333 – ‘Made An America’
From the ashes of critically acclaimed post-hardcore mob letlive. Jason Aalon Butler has returned to front rapcore supergroup Fever 333. Their debut EP Made An America spawned a vehemently aggressive politically charged title track coupled with a similarly incendiary video. As Butler spits charged rhetoric surrounding themes of racism, corruption and injustice in his home country, the visuals tell an equally harrowing story built from this foundation. It is a thought-provoking and often uncomfortable piece of art from a collective that aspire not only to capture your ears, but provide a spark to create positive change. KR
8. IDLES – ‘Danny Nedelko’
“My blood brother is an immigrant; a beautiful immigrant.” Danny Nedelko; Ukrainian immigrant, friend of Idles and frontman of the brilliant Heavy Lungs stars in the video for one of the visceral standout tracks from Idles brilliant new album. The album takes on nationalism, inequality, toxic masculinity, and with Danny starring in his own song and video; the ridiculousness of racism too.
“My blood brother’s Freddie Mercury; a Nigerian mother of three”. As a pro-immigration, free movement anthem, it spreads positivity, absurdity, inclusivity, solidarity and joy, as the album title suggests, as an act of resistance. Subverting the white supremacist hand signal, parodying Bob Dylan, declaring ‘NO ONE IS AN ISLAND’ and even doing the worm at one point, Danny Nedelko, (the song, the video, the human and the message) is one of the best music moments this year. Tobias Pugh
7. Christine and the Queens – ‘Girlfriend’
Héloïse Letissier – better known as Christine and the Queens, or since 2017, simply Chris – has never been one to shy away from the theatricality of music and art, you need only catch the visuals for her 2014 debut album Chaleur Humaine to see that. However, with the advent of “Chris” and the eponymous album Letissier’s music is imbued with an undeniable masculine edge and sexual energy that coincides with her continued self-exploration of sexuality and gender. Suitably merging the two, the video for comeback single ‘Girlfriend’ is a West Side Story dalliance, all abs, muscle and bravdo (and tbh, who doesn’t love a good dance routine when it’s as slick as this?) Kayleigh Watson
6. Janelle Monae – ‘PYNK’
Our favourite cyborg Cyndi Mayweather got political this year, with the awe-inspiring album Dirty Computer that picked apart every aspect of modern-day America. In between bisexuality bops and Brian Wilson, we were blessed with the visual for PYNK, that embraced femininity so tightly it featured a dance number with labia trousers. Yep. Iconic. Molly Forsyth
5. Kali Uchis ft. Tyler the Creator – ‘After the Storm’
From probably the most underrated album this year, ‘After The Storm’’s visuals are the perfect accompaniment for Kali and Tyler. Bursting with colour, symbolism, Michel Gondry-like special effects and Bootsy Collins branded condiments, the video follows Kali buying a grow-your-own Tyler plant, growing through snow, rain and shine to become the “love” on her shopping list. With its combination of melancholy and hopeful undertones, its commentary on love and the playful creativity of the two combined, the video is a wonderful journey which sees Kali promise herself; “after the storm, the flowers bloom”. TP
4. Superorganism – ‘Everybody Wants to be Famous’
The origin story of Superorganism is very much at the heart of their music – trippy indie pop for the internet era that makes you confront the realities of living your life virtually. The video for their breakout single ‘Everybody Wants to Be Famous’ demonstrates just that, a hypnotic piece that take you across the internet highway to witness the death of the ego on Youtube. MF
3. Indoor Pets – ‘Being Strange’
Ahh, what can we say about these lovely lads? Taking the abnormal and strange and celebrating it in the most… abnormal and strange way. Not only is this video a whole lot of weird and wonderful, but we’ve gotta take our hats off to whoever had the pin-icky job of editing this one. Samantha Daly
2. Vince Staples – ‘FUN.’
Whether it’s through lyrics, interviews or videos, Vince Staples is one of the most innovative story tellers in hip hop. In ‘Fun’, Vince takes the viewer around his beloved Long Beach via Google Earth, in a dynamic journey through drama, police, music and dance. Following a string of brilliant albums and EPs, including this year’s ‘FM’, he’s done more than prove himself to be one of the most inventive creatives in music today, and this video cements that.
On a purely visual level, it’s one of the most stunning this year, but the final moments shift the video’s context to a funny yet poignant commentary of how fans look through an online lens at his life, art, hometown, culture and at hip hop as a whole, with a tongue in cheek ‘Free Kodack’ poster for good measure. TP
1. Childish Gambino – ‘This Is America’
Though it has been a spectacular year for music videos, there was always going to be one winner for music video of the year. In a year where he starred in a Star Wars film, released the second series of his outstanding TV show Atalanta and is currently completing a colossal arena tour, Donald Glover’s 2018 really hit it’s peak with ‘This Is America’.
Under his music moniker Childish Gambino, ‘This Is America’ is, for a lack of a better descriptor, a modern art piece. Invading the world’s consciousness in the hours after it’s release, the music video for Glover’s seminal single is in many ways mesmerising, shocking and beautiful all at the same time. Without going into a deep dive into the many cultural and religious references that are contained in the video, ‘This Is America’ is a music video that will go down in history as a cornerstone in American music and film. Special mention must be made to Hiro Murai, director of ‘This Is America’ (and frequent collaborator with Glover), and choreographer Sherrie Silver, two people who managed to turn the music video into a beautiful tapestry of motion.
Donald Glover is surely the renaissance man of the modern age, and 2018 was definitely his year. Charlie Leach
Honorary Mention: Ariana Grandé – ‘thank u, next’
This came in a little too late for our main list, but how could we not mention it?! It’s got everything, from pop culture references, amazing film scene remakes, not to mention the Kris Jenner cameo. There are almost no words to describe the joy that it’s been sharing with the world and firmly deserves its place in this list.