Final two time! And I didn’t even realize this until I started to write this post, but both artists presented below are French. Yay for French music!
2. M83 – Midnight City
If there’s a winner for song mostly likely to give you goosebumps in 2011, I’d definitely like to nominate “Midnight City”. And in a year that saw several people try and bring back the 80’s sax solo, “Midnight City” is the song that totally redeemed that horrible fad of the 80’s.
This song defines epic from beginning to end. That screechy synth part at the beginning immediately grabs and holds your attention, while the quiet verse sections of the song pull you in deeper and deeper until you are totally in love with the song. Once the saxophone solo kicks in at the end it’s all over. The first time you heard it you knew: This is going to be one of my favorite songs of 2011.
The video is appropriately just as epic as the song and very similar to the video for The Sound Of Arrows’ “M.A.G.I.C.” This little mini movie is about children with telekinetic powers and weird glowing blue eyes breaking out of the research lab in which they live and going out to an abandoned warehouse to play. The video is very simple and understated and I love the way in which they matter-a-factly show the littlest girl throwing a trailer across a room. Showing something magnificent without drawing any attention to it somehow makes it even more amazing, I think.
This song was so epic that they used it for probably the greatest Victoria’s Secret ads ever made. (I posted that video on my blog’s Facebook page. If you’re not already a fan, what are you waiting for?!) As an added bonus do yourself a favor and go back and watch the video for “Wait”. It’s so beautiful and touching that you’ll thank yourself later for re-watching it.
1. Yelle – Que Veux-tu
Technically this music video contains two songs, “Safari Disco Club” and “Que Veux-tu”, but for me the first half of the video is really just the build up for the second half. You know what it reminded me of the last time I watched it? This video is like when you go to a concert and the opening band is so amazing that you’re sure there’s no chance in hell that the headliner is going to be better than what you’ve just witnessed. As the roadies break down the opener’s gear and set up for the headliner you’re filled with equal parts anticipation and anxiety. That was so great, you say to yourself, but could the rest of the show be just as good? And then suddenly, before you even know it, the headliners take the stage and proceed to rock so fucking hard that you feel like your whole life has led up to this one fantastic moment. Time seems to slow down and each magical moment becomes an event each unto itself. Before you know it, the biggest smile you’ve ever had has crept onto your face and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else anytime soon.
I’m engaging in a bit of hyperbole, of course, but only a little bit. I really do love this song more than my words could ever adequately describe. It kind of sneaks up on you at first before slamming into you with a tidal wave of pure joy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Yelle is one of the absolute best performers out there. I love her facial expressions, her mannerisms, and I totally adore her dance moves. And what’s not to love about this video? From the Tchiki Tah man to the arm keyboard, to the Fanny Pack dance crew to the way that the end of the video seems to evolve into a massive dance party, right down to that final booty shake in the last shot, this video is like a masters class on how to shoot and edit a great dance video.
And I haven’t even mentioned the equally amazing fan video that someone made to Madeon’s remix of this song. Or the similar music video Yelle recently did for “Comme Un Enfant”. If Yelle’s name was attached to a music video this year, chances are it was totally worth checking out.
Well, that’s my Top 10 Music Videos of 2011. I honestly thought 2011 was one of the greatest years for new music that I can remember. There were so many fantastic songs that came out this year and so many other videos that I think were equally deserving to have made it onto this list. What’d you think? Were there any great videos that you thought should have made it onto this list?