All right, we’re now at the halfway mark of our journey through the best music 2012 had to offer and with that said we’ve got a lot to get through, so let’s get to the videos!
12. Chairlift – I Belong In Your Arms (Japanese version)
Generally speaking, when an artist re-records one of their songs for a foreign audience the resulting music always seem to pale in comparison to original. I mean, you only need to look at the Beatles’ failed foray into German to realize that this is usually a pretty bad idea. After listening to Chairlift’s Japanese version of “I Belong In Your Arms”, however, the original English language version of the same song almost sounds like a steaming pile of crap in comparison. I could listen to this song on repeat all day long, it’s so good, and it feels like it was always made for the Japanese language. The video for “I Belong In Your Arms” is just bizarre enough to pull it all disparate forces together. It was rather jokingly referred to as “I Belong In Your Armpits”, in reference to Caroline’s obvious lack of underarm shaving, but I think that just adds to the surreal green-screen meets 90’s-internet-computer-graphics nature of the video. This reminds me a lot of all of the different sorts of things I was exposed to culturally at the same time when I first gained interest in Japanese and internet culture. This video for me is like a little slice of nostalgia cut out and placed on a plate for me in dreamy music video form.
11. Icky Blossoms – Cycle
I posted so many videos by David Dean Burkhart this year that I could have just as easily done a “Top 10 David Dean Burkhart Videos of 2012” list, but if I had to pick his best work from this year to include on this list it would have to be this NSFW video for Icky Blossoms’ “Cycle”. Comprised mainly of footage from retro pornography, this fan video perfectly captures the song’s Studio 54/porno chic style and attitude. This song feels exactly like what you’d hear in a seedy disco, and bravo to David Dean Burkart for carefully editing together some of the most lust-filled glances of the genre without actually making the video seem obscene.
10. Tours – Low Life (Feat. Steffaloo)
In college I became quite obsessed with DJ culture and the DJ’s magical ability to take a record you were familiar with and change it into something completely different as if by magic by mixing it with another record, which probably explains a lot about why I like this video so much, making it my favorite non-David Dean Burkhart edited fan video of the year. The source video is actually of DJ Greg Wilson mixing two records together at the same time for the first time on UK television (you can check out the original video here) and I think watching him go about making history is the perfect backdrop for what is absolutely one of my favorite songs of 2012. The song’s dark, chunky melody pulses and flows over you like a dancefloor call to action, with Steffaloo’s ethereal voice calling out from beyond the darkness like a lighthouse’s guiding light reaching out to a ship in a storm. I can only imagine what this song would sound like in a club, with the pulsating bass pushing its way through your skin, right into your very soul. You can’t ever really go wrong with Tour or Steffaloo separately, but put them together and whoa, you’ve got an amazing song.
9. Lushlife – Magnolia
Easily one of the most creative videos of the year, “Magnolia” is yet another shining example of how sometimes it’s the simplest ideas executed perfectly that make for the best music videos. Lushlife made everyone else jealous this year by simply turning every word of the song into a cardboard mask and editing them all together in different settings to the lyrics of the track. The song not only looks like a million bucks with practically a non-existent budget, but it sounds dope too. Plus, you’ve got to love any hip-hop song that dares using a harp for the majority of its melody.