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musicforants.com’s Best Music Videos of 2011

Date November 29, 2011

With twotime best video of the year winner, Andreas Nilsson taking 2011 off to focus on adapting Ingmar Bergman’s horror classic Hour of the Wolf for the stage, the field was wide open for a new batch of directors to step in and create some really amazing work. Two all-caps video-making collectives – CANADA and DANIELS – dominated the year with their visually spectacular and incredibly innovative clips, while a number of old faves like Garth Jennings, Patrick Daughters, Megaforce and Keith Schofield did some spectacular work, and plenty of new directing talent contributed to another wonderful year in music videos.

It was so hard to narrow the list down to 25 this year that I decided to expand the list to 30 (which still left room for plenty of Honorable Mentions). These are the music videos that I felt pushed the envelope of the medium with fantastic visuals, superb editing, gorgeous cinematography, and inventive concepts. Basically, these are the videos that are worth spending your valuable time watching. The videos are embedded below and as always, If you have any favorites videos from the year that you think I missed, make sure to leave it in the comments. Enjoy!

30. Memory Tapes – Yes I Know (dir. Eric Epstein)

MP3 Memory Tapes – Yes I Know

29. St. Vincent – Cruel (dir. Terri Timely)

MP3 St. Vincent – Cruel

28. Mint Julep – Aviary (dir. A Nice Idea Every Day)

27. Mister Heavenly – Bronx Sniper (dir. Corey Adams)

26. Jamie Woon – Lady Luck (dir. Vincent Haycock)

MP3 Jamie Woon – Lady Luck

25. Fulton Lights – Staring Out The Window (dir. Ninian Doff)

24. Young Dreams – Young Dreams (dir. Kristoffer Borgli)

MP3 Young Dreams – Young Dreams

23. Radiohead – Lotus Flower (dir. Garth Jennings)

22. Metronomy – She Wants (dir. Jul & Mat)

21. No Age – Fever Dreaming (dir. Patrick Daughters)

MP3 No Age – Fever Dreaming

20. New Pornographers – Moves (dir. Tom Scharpling)

19. Small Black – Photojournalist (dir. Yoonha Park)

18. M83 – Midnight City (dir. Fleur & Manu)

MP3 M83 – Midnight City

17. Hooray For Earth – True Loves (dir. Young Replicant)

16. TV on the Radio – You (dir. Barney Clay)

15. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Body (dir. Phillip Van)

MP3 The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – The Body

14. Eskmo – We Got More (dir. Cyriak Harris)

13. Cut Copy – Need You Now (dir. Keith Schofield)

MP3 Cut Copy – Need You Now

12. Rihanna – We Found Love (dir. Merina)

11. Cage The Elephant – Aberdeen (dir. Isaac Rentz)

10. Destroyer – Kaputt (dir. Dawn Garcia)

9. Woodkid – Iron (dir. Yoann Lemoine)

8. Youth Lagoon – Montana (dir. Tyler T Williams)

7. Hudson – Against The Grain (dir. Dropbear)

MP3 Hudson – Against The Grain

6. Parenthetical Girls – Doughnut (dir. Moopie + Cãoceito + Burdman)

5. Battles – My Machines (dir. DANIELS)

4. Young Galaxy – Blown Minded (dir. Carine Khalifé)

MP3 Young Galaxy – Blown Minded

3. Is Tropical – The Greeks (dir. Megaforce)

MP3 Is Tropical – The Greeks

2. Battles – Ice Cream (dir. CANADA):

MP3 Battles – Ice Cream

1. Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math (dir. DANIELS)

MP3 Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math


Cults – Go Outside (dir. Isaiah Secret)
Noah & The Whale – Life Is Life (dir. Autumn de Wilde)
Beyonce – Countdown (dir. Adria Petty)
Eatliz – Lose This Child (dir. Yuval and Merav Nathan)
Star Slinger – Mornin’ (dir. Alan Jensen)
Oh Land – White Nights (dir. CANADA)
Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend (dir. Max Vitali)
Corduroi – All Ways (dir. Color Chart)
Architecture in Helsinki – Escapee (dir. Marcus Soderlund)
Friendly Fires – Hurting (dir. David Lewandowski)

7 Responses to “musicforants.com’s Best Music Videos of 2011”

  1. Hendrick said:

    Great cuts in there.

    (via twitter)

  2. MissLori said:

    This is such an f**ing rad blog. Is there really 30 hand-picked videos right here for us to peruse through – my lucky night!

  3. alberto said:

    other great videos:
    Ernest ellis & the panamas great sky
    DJ Fresh Gold dust

  4. Kassidy said:

    There are definitely a lot of children/kid motifs in most of these videos. I don’t know what it is about bands and their affinity with children…I know it’s nothing really new, many artists have made references to children. Nirvana’s album art, or Lou Reed’s oddly compelling track “The Kids” (which features an almost uncomfortable amount of samples of crying children) come to mind. It seems as though after the scandalous MGMT “kids” video surfaced, the concept is used WAY more as some sort of pathological/ethical tool for videos or concept albums (ahem ahem M83’s “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming). Not saying it’s a bad thing, or that it’s over-used, just kind of interesting.

  5. Taylor said:

    Very perceptive point, Kassidy. I definitely agree that children was a reoccurring theme in videos this year and it’s interesting how children are used to represent nostalgia, loneliness, violence, the supernatural and more in the various clips.

  6. Bella said:

    “The Greeks” video is awesome and all children are rocking in this video. All the best to them.

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