10 years ago, the art of the music video seemed on the verge of extinction. With MTV’s move toward more mainstream programming, the music format that propelled the careers of artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Britney Spears seemed to be a thing of the past. President Van Toeffler pronounced that, “The novelty of playing music videos has worn off,” and with that, the MTV generation died. Music videos lived on via video websites like YouTube and Vimeo, but the big budget endeavors of the 80s and 90s were far less of a common creation in a time of uncertainty in the music industry.
But in the past few years, the music video has found a rebirth. To compete with music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, YouTube has advertised its self as a free alternative and even went so far as to create their own music awards show. The result of this move has been staggering with more and more music fiends turning to YouTube for their listening experience. Some of the artistic music videos created in 2015 show what a resurgence the art form has had as of late. Here are my 10 favorite videos of the year.
This video is Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.
Just when you thought a Destroyer song couldn’t be any more boisterous and bizarre.
8. Sleater Kinney
“A New Wave”
This video makes me wish they would make a “Portlandia” cartoon.
For anyone who has ever wondered what it would look like if someone puked in slow motion – here you go.
6. Joanna Newsom
Majestic imagery set to majestic music.
5. Action Bronson
Because a green screen Action Bronson video is a no-brainer.
4. Run the Jewels
“Close Your Eyes”
This song came out in 2014, but this masterpiece of a music video came out this past March. The video perfectly encapsulates the endless, depressing battle between the authority and young black men.
Bjork has always been on the cutting edge of music videos, and this tradition continues with her 360 degree virtual reality video “Stonemilker.” Go ahead and have a look around (No, seriously. Click the cursor in the top left corner and have a looksy).
2. Girl Band
“Death to Smoochy,” the Musical.
1. David Bowie
When the video for “Blackstar” was released back in November, nobody knew what to make of the strange production. After David Bowie died, its imagery of a dead astronaut, sacrificial scarecrows, and a dying star all made sense. The man had a flair for the theatric, even in death.