Hello, dear reader! Thanks for checking out our list of 2016’s best music videos. We had three main goals in mind when we went to formulate this list: first and foremost we limited scope and tried to pick videos from artists and bands you might hear on 99.9 instead of just the best videos in general, we tried to sneak a few picks in that we haven’t seen featured on lists elsewhere along with those few that are simply undeniable (like our #1), and we also tried to pick a mixture of videos that aimed to make a significant statement or were artfully done along with a few that are just plain lighthearted and fun (and a few that are somewhere in-between!). We think we nailed it. Let us know what you think!
10. Kaytranada – Lite Spots
Why is this one on the list?! Two words: DANCING ROBOT
9. The Avalanches – Because I’m Me
With a throwback look, jubilant dancing, and an adorable kid performing his heart out this charming video and song are sure to put a smile on your face.
8. Polica – Wedding
This poignant video speaks to the issue of police violence by depicting a dark, chilling reimagining of a typical children’s television show.
7. Radiohead – Daydreaming
This beautifully eerie and surreal video for A Moon Shaped Pool track “Daydreaming” was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice, There Will Be Blood, The Master) and features Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke wandering through a series of doorways and locales until finally escaping to find rest at video’s end.
6. DJ Shadow Feat. Run The Jewels – Nobody Speak
In a year where the partisan divide between political sides both here in the US and abroad has never seemed more tense or vitriolic, this video and the scenario it depicts feels uncomfortably relevant and all too believable. The video opens with a number of politician types sitting in a conference room where tensions between one another continue to rise. It doesn’t take long for it all to boil over, and then? …chaos ensues!
5. Pup – Sleep in the Heat
Be forewarned: this video from Toronto punkers PUP (that features a familiar face for all you “Stranger Things” fans!) will make you cry.
4. Mitski – Your Best American Girl
This video manages to be both pretty funny and full of heartache at the same time, dealing with the relatable discomforts of awkwardness, unrequited attraction, not fitting in…and Coachella Brand Hipsterdom™.
3. Francis & The Lights – Friends ft Bon Iver and Kanye West
A simple yet incredibly fun video that was probably destined to make our “Best Of” list due to a goofy choreographed dance featuring EC’s patron saint of indie rock himself, Mr. Justin Vernon.
2. Mick Jenkins Feat. BADBADNOTGOOD – Drowning
This video is a testament to what talented filmmakers can do with just over 6 minutes; it’s more of a harrowing short film than it is your typical music video. It is set in the antebellum south and delves into violence, oppression, innocence and forgiveness. It’s beautifully shot and a truly powerful work.
1. David Bowie – Lazarus
This video is sure to make most “Best Of” lists. It’s a creepy, powerful, and prescient depiction of inspiration and creation in the face of frailty and death. It’s a fitting tribute to the song and album it was made for, and quite the goodbye from the irreplaceable and remarkable artist that was David Bowie…a man whose work–like this song title implies–will continue to live on.
…alright, so there’s our top 10. However, we’d be remiss to talk about the best videos of 2016 without at least mentioning Beyonce. Sure, as stated in the intro for this list we were aiming to represent videos from artists you might hear pretty regularly in rotation on our little indie rock station and admittedly Beyonce doesn’t quite fit that bill (though we’re huge fans!) but Lemonade is such a dynamic and undeniable work we have to take a moment to give credit where credit is due and recommend that you check it out if you haven’t already. Here’s “Formation” off of Lemonade to get you started:
…alright, now that we’ve given kudos to Beyonce it’s time to show some love to two really terrific videos produced by local bands We’re Wolves and Waldemar.
Well there you have it! There’s our list. Did we overlook your favorite? Let us know in the comments. But like…in a nice way, yeah?! Cool.