This is the one where you start to question whether or not I know how to count to 15.
9. DyE – She’s Bad (feat. Egyptian Lover)
Visually “She’s Bad” is probably the most creative video on this list. Not for the faint of heart, this very NSFW video superimposes wildlife footage over the more urbane mating ritual that is two people going out on a date. It starts off innocently enough, but the title of this song should give you some indication of what to expect from the twist ending. If you’re squeamish you might want to turn away from the screen at the end and practice your popping and locking instead. 80’s legend Egyptian Lover gives this song some well deserved electro funk street cred that’ll get you up and dancing in no time.
8. Kindness – Who Do You Love (feat. Robyn)
The thing that I love most about Kindness is how their music and lyrics have such a pure and raw emotional quality to them. It takes real honest-to-god talent to tell a story beautifully and eloquently with such simplicity and economy of language and purpose, much like what you hear in “Who Do You Love”. Each note, each pause, each instrument seems essential and mandatory, like nothing else could have done the job any better, and Robyn’s always amazing voice more than rises to the task Kindness had at hand for her.
The video is also very spartan. No one is this video is a paid actor–everyone is either a friend or relation to Robyn or Adam Bainbridge of Kindness–and as the story goes they were sat in front of a camera, talked to, and just asked to respond honestly and appropriately. The video is just a sequential series of human faces, but as simple and no-frills as this video is it’s really hard not to have an emotional reaction while watching it, it’s so beautifully done. Each dart of the eyes or twitch of a facial muscle perfectly matches the story being told in the song. “A picture tells a thousand words…”
7. Haim – If I Could Change Your Mind / My Song 5 [tie]
I think I actually sat down and attempted to write a post for “If I Could Change Your Mind” at least two/three times this year. I mean, it got so bad that the screen grab from the video that you see above was actually pulled from a rough draft I’d started to put together months and months ago. It then seems only fitting that I should finally give this video its due in my year end list. I’m a sucker for a well-choreographed and cleverly staged dance video and “If I Could Change Your Mind” checks all of those boxes, from the clapping routine to the quick swapping of color pallet from black and white to deep maroon. It’s a lot of fun.
Of course “If I Could Change Your Mind” wasn’t the only great video Haim put out this year, and I was torn trying to pick between it and “My Song 5”. Featuring a guest verse from A$AP Ferg and guest appearances in the video from SNL’s Vanessa Bayer, Kesha and Grimes (!), “My Song 5” features the sisters as guests on a crazy lost 90’s daytime talk show. While “If I Could Change Your Mind” feels like it could have been ripped right out of the 70’s with its funky guitar riffs and playful handclaps, “My Song 5” is decidedly modern with its jerky, subwoofer destroying beat. I also really love that harmonizing part that starts around 2:17. It’s killer. That’s the moment where you know this song is capital Bad. Ass.