ACL 2015: The Year’s 10 Best Music Videos

vintage-tv-adThe music video landscape has changed.  We are less likely to view new videos on our televisions than on our phones; and YouTube and Vimeo have become the new industry leaders.  The best videos are only a click away, and can be shared in an instant.

And yet, there are so many music videos, from artist and label productions to short licensed films to fan tributes.  There’s no way of knowing where the next great video will come from: a studio or a bedroom, a camera or an iPhone.  One thing is sure: the best music videos will continue to rise to the top.  And now, in alphabetical order, A Closer Listen presents the Ten Best Music Videos of 2015!

ABADDON
Director: Rogerio Silva
Music: Alaskan Tapes
The choreography is sublime, the theme bittersweet, as lovers share a final dance before one of them dissolves into sadness and smoke.  The images remain in the head long after the visuals have faded.

Alfonso Muskedunder
Directors: Bendik Kaltenborn and Espen Friberg
Music: Todd Terje
With cartoon design reminiscent of classic jazz covers, this vibrant video inspires a wave of nostalgia along with toe-tapping glee, providing a blast of pure exuberance!

Covers
Director: Henning M. Lederer

Music:  Jörg Stierle
The first of two videos on this chart that are brand new to our site, “Covers” brings 55 vintage book covers to life.  It’s the first video of this type that we’ve seen, and we love the pleasant memories of reading that it inspires!

Lilium
Director: kynd
Music: Yaporigami
The colors pulse along with the music, which sounds like a train traveling through a thunderstorm. When the background goes black, the contrast grows even sharper. Every big beat is matched by a scene or color shift; this is a perfect example of sight and sound in synch.

Megalizer II
Director: 16 artists share in the credits!
Music: edIT
An elephant, a duck, a baseball mascot and other assorted characters crunk to a massive tune. Every fifteen seconds, another director gets a turn. It’s like watching an entire festival in only four minutes!

New Topia
Director: Lilfuchs
Music: This Will Destroy You
The crescendoes of post-rock are brought to life here in gorgeous fashion.  If traveling into a post-rock song were like traveling into a multi-colored tunnel, this video would be the perfect representation.

Periscopes
Director: James Sampson
Music: Jilk and Haiku Salut
When I first saw this video, I knew that it would likely be my favorite video of the year.  Now that the year is over, my initial impressions have been confirmed.  “Periscopes” features some of the happiest children ever caught on video, and the song is wonderful as well!

Quack Fat
Director: Dropbear
Music: Opiuo
The description is self-explanatory: “240 audio cassettes, 5,600 feet of video tape, 108 floppy discs and 1 retro walkman”. “Quack Fat” is a lovely visual ode to cassette culture and other “forgotten” formats.

Slowly Rising
Director: Hideki Inaba

Music: Beetsofreen
This beautifully flowing, intricate work is the second of two videos new to this site.  Inaba’s animation must have taken ages to create, but the end result is absolutely worth it.

solo scum
Director: Mukai Jumpei
Music: Yuki Matsumura
First one notices the shape of the frame: an elongated, HD rectangle. Then one notices the supple flow of the people.  Slow motion meets hyperspeed; space and time warp into pliable shapes.

Richard Allen

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