16. Jessie Ware – Wildest Moment
Sometimes the secret to making a great music video is to just let the song speak for itself. The video for “Wildest Moment” consists of nothing more than Jessie slowly turning in circles as she sings the song, and yet as simple as the concept is, the execution is mesmerizing. I could watch Jessie Ware sing all day, especially when it sounds this good. Jessie Ware was one of my most blogged about artists of 2012, and yet of all the videos she posted this year, this is the one that gives me the fondest memories.
15. HEARTSREVOLUTION – Hello Baby!
“Hello Baby!” was the first song I posted in 2012 and it was a perfect start to what turned out to be a pretty damn good year for music. Sadly the revolution promised by last year’s Occupy Wall Street movement never really came to pass, but we saw plenty of other positive signs, from the continuation of the Arab Spring to gay marriage becoming more widely accepted in our country (and legal in several new states, including my own) to the Republican Party’s self-implosion in this year’s presidential race. At least in a small way the counterculture seems to be coming back to America, which this video captures perfectly. This song and video give me hope that things are finally getting better in this “big, beautiful world” we live in.
14. Azealia Banks – 212 (feat. Lazy Jay)
Azealia Banks blew up huge in 2012, but none of that would have been possible if it hadn’t been for this video for “212”. When “212” hit the net it blew up like wildfire and you couldn’t call yourself a music blogger with any sense of self-respect if you didn’t post this video. It just came out of nowhere and caught everyone by surprise by just how damn catchy it was. I mean, you’ve got to love the juxtaposition of her big cheesy smile, schoolyard braids and Mickey Mouse sweater with raunchy lyrics like, “Now she wanna lick my plum in the evening / And fit that ton-tongue d-deep in / I guess that cunt getting eaten.” The song starts out with a crazy infectious dancehall beat and Azealia’s sick flow, and then just when you think it couldn’t get any better, hey, surprise, this girl can sing too. The video’s black and white photography looks gorgeous, and the tongue-in-cheek choreography and the perfect showcase for this fantastic song.
13. D E N A – Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools
“Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools” is the perfect jam for lonely country kids who dream of doing all the cool things they think that the city kids are doing. The song is a lot like the thrift store style that DENA rocks in the video. It’s taking outdated, tossed aside ideas and re-purposing them with a new sense of style to make something exciting and different. It’s taking the very unglamorous setting of a Sunday Swap Meet and adding so much of your own swag that the whole thing actually seems pretty awesome in comparison. It’s being able to laugh at yourself, and at the usual clichés of wealth-obsessed hip-hop. And on top of all of that, it’s just a really catchy summer jam for–you guessed it–chillin’ with your friends by the swimming pool.