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Review of the Year: 2013's best music videos according to US!

Posted by Liv Siddall,

What a year for music videos! And before you think we’ve just put all of Beyonce’s 14 music videos in one list, think again. We didn’t even include Pharrell’s 24 hour masterpiece (we did put in the Kanye parody though, sorry). This list is a pick of the most graceful, interesting, intricate, watchable moving image pieces that have accompanied songs this year. This’ll kill a good half an hour while you’re bored to tears at home this Christmas. Enjoy!

10 – Dirty Projectors: Impregnable Question

Who in their right mind makes a music video about boring old running? Adam Newport Berra, that’s who. Now I’m no runner, but if I lived in the bit by the mountains in HEAVEN I’d probably fall out of bed for a quick jog. This video is impeccably timed, visually outstanding, and features a man photogenic enough to rival this guy.
www.itsnicethat.com/music-video/impregnable-question

9 – Grizzly Bear: Gun Shy

This video is a good example of why anything to do with health, doctors, used plasters, tweezers or bins in toilets is DISGUSTING. Director Kris Moyes got the band to lay around by a sunny brook and mess about with medical equipment while he filmed them. A few very clever editing tricks later and you’ve got one of the weirdest and best videos of the year.
www.itsnicethat.com/articles/grizzly-bear

8 –  James Franco and Seth Rogen - Bound 3 (vague)

Did you see this video? Oh, whoops, EVERYONE saw this video. And why not? It’s one of the most magnificently crafted parodies in recent history, and has made light of a “situation” that reached its apotheosis when Kanye West and Kim Kardashian writhed around on a motorbike.
www.itsnicethat.com/articles/james-franco

7 – We Are Shining: Wheel

It’s good to have an underdog in a top ten list, and this is a very undery dog. Incredible animation and colours that make you feel like you’re in a soft play area in the Himalayas are just what a psychedelic track needs, and this has it in droves. Did we mention it’s made entirely of GIFs?
www.itsnicethat.com/articles/we-are-shining

6 – Laura Marling: When Brave Bird Saved

Only Laura Marling can release an 18 minute long song and get away with it, and only filmmaking duo Fred + Nick could represent it in an appropriate, un-cringeworthy way. Their short film When Brave Bird Saved is a wonderfully dark, surrealist trip inside a hotel where everyone seems upset despite the fact that ludicrously beautiful Laura Marling is playing live in every room.
www.itsnicethat.com/fred-and-nick

5 – The Black Keys: Lonely Boy

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – if you want to make a music video that almost anyone will enjoy, put dancing in it. Even better if the dancer is part-time security guard Derrick T. Tuggle whose dance moves slow-roast your heart and make you want to join in immediately. This is the best example of a spectacularly simple, one-shot music video.
www.itsnicethat.com/articles/black-keyes

4 – I Am Un Chien: Humanity

Another simple yet effective effort here from French band I am Un Chien whose video sees humans impersonating animals in the wild. Sound weak? It’s not. It’s hilarious and magnificently done. Screw you, high budget, hi-octane music promos! This is better and funnier than you’ll ever be.
www.itsnicethat.com/articles/i-am-un-chien

3 – Bob Dylan: Like A Rolling Stone

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    Bob Dylan: Like A Rolling Stone

Bit weird to have a music video made for a song that became a hit in 1965, but it doesn’t matter when it’s this bloody good. Using some of the best lip-synchers in the world, Pulse Films created a webpage that resembled an old TV. Flick the channels and watch every person on every channel of cable TV mime along to this classic song. Genius.
www.itsnicethat.com/like-a-rolling-stone

2 – Devendra Banhart: Für Hildegard von Bingen

What more can you expect from one of the world’s most stylish men than a black and white video that follows a nun from her dramatic escape from the nunnery, to her dancing in the woods with Dev himself, to her transformation into an exotic, 80s TV presenter. Wild, graceful and perfectly in time with one of the most tropically mellow tracks on his album, this video blew us away.
www.itsnicethat.com/articles/devendra-banhart

1 – Arcade Fire: Afterlife

How could we possibly let this not be number one? A live Arcade Fire music video directed by Spike Jonze starring Greta Gerwig and a truly joyous live brass band? Ummmm yep, that’s pretty much exactly what I want, with even more of what I want sprinkled on top without me even knowing I wanted it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
www.itsnicethat.com/spike-jonze-arcade-fire

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and worked across online, print, events and latterly Features Editor before leaving in May 2015.

Most Recent: Film View Archive

  1. Toroymoi-itsnicethat-main

    WHY has no one utilised the dry-ice in the fruit and veg section in a supermarket for the inspiration behind a music video before?! It’s strangely hypnotic seeing it waft all over the aubergines, falling gracefully over the shiny brown onions as if it were landing softly on the round toe of Gene Simmons’ shoe in 1975. Picture Pictures, the guys over in the US who have made some of the most fantastic music videos on It’s Nice That in the past few years, have recently completed this masterpiece for super nice man Chaz Bundick AKA Toro Y Moi.

  2. Nike-pacquiao-itsnicethat-list

    Did you watch it Saturday night? The Big Fight? The Fight of the Century no less? Personally, I didn’t; it was very expensive and a man in the pub persuaded me that watching people take punches to the head was morally wrong. But however you feel about the fight itself it’s impossible to deny the thrill of an event that’s captured imaginations worldwide.

  3. List-found-footage-film-festival-its-nice-that-magical-rainbow-dee

    When a digital format takes over from its analogue predecessor, often the rougher, nostalgia-infused antecedent takes on a charming quality. The fetishisation and popularity of vinyl is the prime example, but many also look to the big, bulky VHS video as something to be cherished. Few perhaps cherish it more than the people behind the Found Footage Film Festival, which is currently touring the world from its New York home.

  4. List-its-nice-thatvs_davef6

    Dave Franco, of brother-of-James-and-being-on-telly fame, is totally losing it – if a new film for Vs magazine is to be believed. Entitled A Rough Day and directed by Guy Aroch, the rather tongue-in-cheek production sees poor old Dave throw a dramatic stroppy in his car, perhaps understandable as he’s just learnt his girlfriend has “met someone else.” He takes a baseball bat to his car, then a huge mallet (Why does he have these things? What else was he going to do with them?), then a can of petrol. Before he sets fire to the whole sorry mess though, the phone rings. It’s a woman! Wanna know what happens next? Best watch it for yourself.

  5. Astoria-itsnicethat-main

    Now here’s something we definitely haven’t seen before: the results of an artist-in-residence at some of London’s care homes for the elderly. London-based artist and producer Phoebe Davies was invited by Clod Ensemble to be part of their programme Extravagant Acts for Mature People, spending three months in two care homes observing what went on.

  6. Drive-ss-w1920-mubi-its-nice-thatlist

    Hans Ulrich Obrist, “Serpentine Superstar”, as The Guardian dubbed him, knows a thing or two about curation. He describes his inspiration – Ballets Russes founder Sergei Diaghilev – as “a junction maker,” adding: “When I became a curator, I wanted to be helpful to artists. I think of my work as that of a catalyst – and sparring partner.”

  7. Barbican-daniela-sherer-pipe-dreams-itsnicethat-list

    As London’s Crossrail development project has rolled loudly, slowly on, it’s probably fair to say the project has been accessorised with a few eye (and ear) sores – cranes, rubble, road closures, dust…you get the idea. But in the bid to make tunnels from Liverpool Street to Farringdon, something beautiful has emerged in the shape of this Barbican commissioned film Pipe Dreams, animated by Daniela Sherer. The film marks the passing of Crossrail’s tunnel boring machines (apparently named Elizabeth and Victoria) beneath the Barbican Estate. Crossrail will see a new 73-mile railway line across London by 2018 (they hope), with a large stretch comprising a tunnel through central London.

  8. Erikshirai-birthofsake-itsnicethat-list

    Aged 19 I got horribly drunk on saké (an evening that ended in me declaring my undying love for an ex girlfriend on a busy train – “I don’t care who’s listening!” etc) and so my relationship with the Japanese rice wine has been estranged ever since. However I may have to reconsider this stance having seen the trailer for Erik Shirai’s film The Birth of Saké.

  9. Itsnicethat

    There’s a reason why a long pan-out is such a recurrent feature at the end of feature films: it reminds us that the characters we’ve been engrossed in for the past couple of hours are just some more tiny ants in the nest of a bigger picture. The same goes for zooming in at the start of movies, and for the concept of this short by Luke Carlisle that takes us fleetingly into the serene, somewhat surreal life of a London drug dealer. We swoop around his day-to-day activities on steadicams, watching him (David Ajala) like a hovering dragonfly as people get in and out of his car, and his phone vibrates on the table prompting a Pavlov’s Dog effect.

  10. Int-aroused-500x325

    If life were like a happy shiny rom com, we’d all have perfectly coiffed hair most of the time, and be fending off the likes of Richard Gere or Hugh Grant at some point. But it’s not – our hair is messy, our suitors are far more odd and generally less slimy, and there’s tears, fears and anger thrown into the mix. And life’s all the better for it. Cinema, too, isn’t only about things that make you smile, but things that make you feel something distinct, and it’s this capacity for film to evoke something powerful and visceral that online curated film service MUBI explores brilliantly in its new campaign.

  11. Blur-int-main

    Blur used to be up for starring in their videos, back when they were all so good-looking that girls used to actually camp outside Damon Albarn’s house. I don’t know about the yoof of today and what they’re into, but I think I speak for all of the women in the It’s Nice That studio when I say that I still fancy each and every band member a LOT. With that in mind I was slightly disappointed when I saw they weren’t featured in this new video by Ben Reed. Still, you can’t complain when you’re met with a cool old Chinese guy with sweet moves having a good old shuffle in an old village hall with a bunch of women and a dove. Nice work. And welcome back Blur, let me know where’s best to pitch my tent.

  12. Dhmis-int-1

    PESKY BEE! Today is the day fans all over the world wring their little tiny/big hairy hands together for: the day when a new episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is released! Did you know that the first episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared has over 24 million views on YouTube? With that many fans to please, Becky and Joe have been working overtime on this one, collaborating with a bunch of new people as you’ll see in the increasingly lengthy credits at the abrupt end.

  13. Camille-summers-valli-int-list

    “Their agenda is that they want an activist film that goes into the history of their struggle and presents a contemporary portrait of what’s happening in Black Mesa right now. But it’s not an activist film. I think ultimately it has undertones of activism because of the subject matter, but an activist film follows a certain structure and I’m definitely moving more towards something else.”