Another year down. Another Best Of list finished. Before we get started on our Final 3 I just want to take a second to thank you all for reading, especially after such a lean year as this one. Your continued support makes it worth putting up with spending all of this time writing up new posts and I’m making it my New Year’s Resolution to keep you guys better stocked with new posts like this one. With that said, let’s stop wasting time and get back to the countdown because this last post is a big one:
3. Wunder Wunder – Hail The Madman
Beach Blanket Bingo meets War of the Worlds sums up this video for “Hail The Madman” pretty nicely. Mucho kudos goes out to everyone who worked on this because the production design on this video is perfect. You’ve got to love how quickly this video goes from cute and quaint to the comically absurd. I’m not sure what’s madder, the guy back-flipping away from danger, the fact that we never know what came out of the purple smoke, or me for caring this much about a single music video. And you know what’s really tragic? How few times this video has actually been viewed on YouTube. Come on, let’s help ’em out, guys!
2. iamamiwhoami – Blue
You may be saying to yourself right now, “Isn’t Blue the name of that new album that iamamiwhoami just put out this year, and not a single video? I mean there’s 10 songs in one post! Making a tie out of two Haim songs is one thing, but this is getting ridiculous!” Calm down, dear reader. It’s OK because I already set this precedent before by naming iamamiwhoami’s kin my number one video of 2012 and I don’t think the amazing Blue should be treated any differently.
Not to be confused with “blue blue” one of the (best) songs that is included on this album, Blue is here in its entirety because the ten videos that comprise the album also make up one continuous video carrying over common themes from one video to the next (and even ones from the last series of videos that was kin). Jonna Lee and her longtime music producer Claes Björklund make their music with these videos specifically in mind. Just about every song that they’ve produced so far has also produced its own music video, and I spent way more money that I probably should have picking up a limited edition physical copy of Blue to support them because all that money goes right back into making these huge, amazing art pieces. There has yet to be a single video that they’ve done that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed.
So wait, if we’re going to go so far as to include all ten videos for one spot on the list, why isn’t this my number one video like kin was in 2012? Well, as much as I love these videos they didn’t quite have the unique wow factor for me that kin had. Yeah, they are wonderful, but ultimately I think the real strength of Blue lies more as an album, and I’d even go so far as to call Blue one of the best albums of 2014 and as a whole it’s the best thing iamamiwhoami has produced thus far. It all just works so well together, easily being the most cohesive and enjoyable piece of work that they’ve done from start to finish.
Usually this would be the part where I make educated guesses as to what each video in the series is about, but I’m not going to do that today. I’ve got my own ideas and maybe I’ll get around telling them to you in 2015, but for now I’ll just let you make up your own opinions.
If you’re only going to listen to one song from this playlist, you should probably check out the first song “fountain”, which more than adequately sets the tone and lays out all of the motifs that you’ll be enjoying for the rest of the videos, or check out “chasing kites”, probably my very favorite song on an album that’s jam packed filled with great songs.
Goddammit, you know what? Don’t check out just one. Fuck that. Do what I did and stream YouTube through your TV, crank up your sound system and watch all 10 of these as one big long music video just like god intended it.
1. Napoleon – Step Off
You’d think I would be pretty stupid to put a fanvid using the dance sequence from Napoleon Dynamite as my number one all-time bestest video of 2014, especially considering I’ve seen so many other videos that have done the exact same thing, but you’d be wrong. Romain Bezzina edited that now cliché footage in such a carefully considerate way that it feels like it was originally shot specifically for Napoleon’s “Step Off”, making even the original film version of this footage now pale in comparison. Every cut, every shot, every movement of Napoleon Dynamite seems tailor fit to Napoleon’s easy groove.
What I find amazing is that when I first watched this video I couldn’t even remember the original song from EP 6: A Night Voyage, despite having listened to it probably 3, 4 times prior to watching the video, and now I can’t listen to the song without seeing this video shot for shot in my mind. That really speaks to the power of a music video done right, where it can take a song that was, for me at least, lost in a sea of other good songs and raise it up to legendary status. “Step Off” is now and will forever be in my top 5 best Napoleon jams. That’s why I keep writing about music videos, because I really think they can make a lasting impact in our lives.
Napoleon has been a big part of my 2014. If you weren’t already aware Simon Mills, aka Napoleon, set out a goal for himself to release a new EP every month this year, and big congratulations go out from me to him, because the crazy bastard actually did it. If you haven’t yet downloaded all 12 of Napoleon’s EPs yet, you really should. Trust me, you need to click on that link. There are so many gems like “Step Off” to be found in there. He produced 49 tracks this year (not counting all the other outside work he did) and more than quite a few of them turned out to be instant classics, just like “Step Off”.
As you’re all probably sick of hearing me say by now, this year I also did an interview with Simon Mills, one of my all-time biggest musical heroes, which will probably go down as one of the best highlights not just of this year, but for me and the blog in general. I can’t thank Simon enough for taking the time to write back to me and answer a few of this music nerd’s burning questions. Turns out Romain Bezzina saw the post I did on “Step Off” through Simon and he got in contact with me this year to say thanks as well, which is doubly amazing. At this point you could be forgiven for thinking that I made “Step Off” my number one video as a lazy bit of cronyism pandering to those two, but I really do think that this is one of the best music videos that I’ve seen in a really, really long time. If you haven’t watched it yet you really should watch it right now, because I’m more than sure that you’re going to agree with me.
Time for me to call it quits. I’m more than a little bit tipsy at this point and I’m really hoping my writing hasn’t suffered because of it. See you in 2015!
[BTW, if you want to watch all of the videos included in C’est Non Un Blog’s Top 15 Music Videos of 2014 list in one go from start to finish (excluding “Step Off”, because it’s only available on Vimeo right now) check out the playlist I made below.]