• Top
Music

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

  • 8

    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 is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Film View Archive

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.”

  6. Tim-brown-int-list

    As a one-time news journalist (albeit at a very low level) I have a real affinity for reportage illustrators. George Butler is one of the best around and this new film by Tim Brown which follows him on a three-week trip to Afghanistan provides a great insight into his finely-honed talents. On his first trip to the war-torn country George was embedded with British troops, but he hungered to draw the locals whose lives had been so irrevocably changed over recent years. “I was always aware that over the walls there were millions of people getting on with their lives,” he says.

  7. Liamsaintpierre-dominicwilcox-int-list

    We have often spoken about the difficulties of films profiling creative figures and the disappointment when they fall back on familiar and formulaic tropes. This film from Liam Saint Pierre though shows how it should be done. It helps of course that his subject – the artist and designer Dominic Wilcox – is so interesting and directs his razor-sharp creative mind into all manner of silly inventions. “Let’s do the ridiculous and by doing the ridiculous something else might come of it,” says Dominic at one point in a line that could be his mantra.

  8. Annaginsburg-int-list

    I can imagine that pitching for music videos can be a really interesting process: “Well, we’re going to dress her up in an outfit made of dog treats and hot dog sausages, and have her run around in an underground carpark with two massive Alsatians.”

  9. Marianna-simnett_-'blood'-2015.-produced-as-part-of-the-jerwood-fvu-awards-2015_-what-will-they-see-of-me-(7)-int

    People crawling into a huge pair of nostrils, middle-aged virgins and the power-play of a hotel room feature in some very strange but utterly captivating video works from Lucy Clout and Marianna Simnett, who scooped the 2015 Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Award.

  10. Photoshop-shot-3-int_copy

    Adobe Photoshop has turned 25 – happy belated birthday Photoshop! To celebrate this momentous occasion, CreativeLive, who run live software training workshops online, asked eight Photoshop experts to try out the 1.0 version. Time has flown by, and Photoshop 1.0 looks ridiculous. It’s kind of like MS Paint and is akin watching a child or a grandparent trying to even switch on a computer, but backwards. Who knew that watching people try to add drop shadows to bacon and freaking out not being able to “undo” could be so entertaining.

  11. Rr-oakland-home-int

    Produced by Levi’s Skateboarding, director Ryan Reichenfeld’s Skateboarding in Oakland follows a group of friends who skate around Oakland and its renewed Town Park Skate Park. The film focusses on the voices of Lemuel West and Terrell Newell, who have lost both friends and family often down to the gang culture that thrives in Oakland and its suburbs. They and their friends, having grown up under similar circumstances, see their skate community as a relief from this and an opportunity to extract themselves from potentially destructive lifestyles. Ryan describes Skateboarding in Oakland as “not a story about surviving tough circumstances in a harsh environment, [but] a story about perspective and thriving in the face of it all.”

  12. Bob-benedict-cock-robin-int-lis

    I don’t know what I was expecting when I sat down to watch Cock Robin, the first film by newly-formed direction duo BobBenedict to see the light, but it certainly wasn’t the intense wave of emotion, humour, and the slick, charismatic production that hit me when I pressed play. The pair, formed of photographer Benedict Morgan (who was responsible for this astounding project) and production designer Sean Hogan (or Bob), re-worked the classic nursery rhyme Who Killed Cock Robin? with a perfectly briefed cast of actors. What’s more, the lot was filmed at the Mansfield Indoor Bowling Club, a distinctly familiar and achingly kitsch location which has since sadly made way for a luxury housing development. The setting absolutely makes the film, elevating the idea to the realm of a finely-polished and well-loved 1970s British TV show rather than a short film.

  13. Skrillex-doompy-poomp-int-list

    Fleur & Manu’s latest video for everyone’s favourite ex-goth Skrillex is a bit of a repetitive tale. It takes the form of a mulleted dropout failing to get a loan from his bank, and then having to relive the painful experience again and again, Groundhog Day-style until he loses his shit completely and the whole thing descends into a cross-dressing, semi-naked musical. There are some great hairy backs thrown into the mix too. With a synopsis like that how could you resist?