C’est Non Un Blog’s Top 15 Music Videos of 2014 (Part 1)

2014 managed to simultaneously be one of the best and worst years for C’est Non Un Blog. On plus side this year I did my first ever interviews for the blog with David Dean Burkhart and Simon Mills (very exciting!); I put out my biggest mixtape yet, The Superhero Summer Mixtape (100 songs!); and the quality of each and every one of my individual posts is probably at the best that they’ve ever been since I started doing this.

Unfortunately all that extra work created some unforeseen problems, mainly that while everything’s been getting bigger and better this year, there’s also been a whole lot less of it to enjoy. There’s been fewer posts this year than any year I can remember since I started doing this more than ten years ago. Yeah, my bad. Take the fact that it now takes me four times longer on average to write a post than it used to, combine that with my perfectionist instinct to not want to put out something half-assed now, and multiply that by my natural predication towards procrastination and laziness and well, after all that gets jumbled together not much got done. Blame it on me trying to take on too much and not pace myself properly, but what you the reader got is this year’s meager batch of posts.

Anyone who’s read one of my year’s end lists before knows that I draw from all of my previous posts to pick my top…whatever the hell number of videos I feel like doing that year, but if I followed the pattern and did that this year I’d pathetically just be reposting everything I’ve already done, so this year we’re going to be doing things a little bit different. Mixed in with the usual favorite videos that I’ve already talked about this year will be my favorite videos that I was totally going to post, but well, you know… as well as the best videos I just found while trolling other people’s Best Of lists while trying to come up with something to throw together last second. With that said, all and all I think I put together a pretty solid representation of what this year had to offer us.

So sit back, put on some headphones, crank the music up and enjoy Part One of our five part look back at what I think best represents the Top 15 videos of 2014.

15. Iggy Azalea – Fancy (Feat. Charli XCX)

FancyIf you had to pick the song of 2014 Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” would probably be right up there at the top of most people’s lists. “Fancy” was everywhere this year, catapulting Iggy to top entertainers of 2014 status and finally putting the indomitable Charli XCX on the radars of anyone who was too dumb to have not paid attention to her previously. Don’t believe me? This video has been viewed more than 410 million times as of me writing this.

So why is it on the list? Aside from successfully and playfully paying homage to Clueless, ultimately you’ve got to give it up to the hooks in this song. If “Who dat, who dat? I.G.G.Y” wasn’t stuck in your head all year then it must have been because Charli XCX’s “I’m so fancy” chorus was stuck there instead. You probably don’t need any more proof than that because I’m guessing you are now singing those parts in your head before you even hit play on the video below.

 

14. Elliphant – One More (feat. MØ)

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Next up on our countdown is another all-star female collaboration, this time between Elliphant and MØ, two of the most dynamic female voices coming out of Scandinavia right now (and that’s saying something). “One More” is a beautiful catchy ode to getting perhaps a bit too drunk and trying to convince your friends to stay for just one more drink (that’s also perhaps one too many). This bruiser of a tune’s killer refrain of “I’ve got money” is less bravado than it is a desperate plea to lure back those broke schmucks stumbling out the door at last call for another round of madness.

While singing drunk in the back of a cab isn’t exactly a unique idea for a music video (see also: Lily Allen’s “Our Time” video) what saves this video from mediocrity is their crazy drunk geisha meets club kid fashion choices, as well as the amazing harmonizing of these two unique voices. You can just tell in the video that the two of them had a lot of fun collaborating. “One More” is one of those killer earworms that only gets better and more addictive the more you listen to it.

 

13. Kiesza – Hideaway

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Rounding out today’s countdown of this year’s most badass female performances is Kiesza’s infectiously happy dance video for “Hideaway”. The playful choreography was all shot in one-take, whose DIY simplicity seemed especially refreshing this year now that OK Go is too busy trying to absurdly one-up themselves with each new video (doubly impressive considering she’s recreated the video several times on her live television appearances). I still catch myself singing “ooo…ahh…ahh…ooo” in the shower most days. It all adds up to one memorable video, which is exactly what you need for a Best Of list.

 

[While it didn’t make the cut, out of respect to the other infectiously catchy girl power tracks on today’s list an honorable mention needs to go out to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” video. Let the hater’s hate, that was a damn fun video.]

 

 

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The Knocks – Classic (feat. Powers) [Original and Powers Sunset Version]

 

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Quite possibly the song of the summer this year, The Knocks’ “Classic” overcame obvious and inevitable irony to become an instant classic. From the disco guitars to the funky dancefloor-ready beat to the fantastic soaring vocals brought to you by Powers, everything about this song is perfection. If you somehow made it through the entire summer without hearing this song at least once, A) What the hell is wrong with you? and B) Make sure you remedy that immediately by checking it out right here, right now:

 

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I’m actually more partial to the original “Official Audio” version of the video. The Stepford Wives/Sims nature of the “Official Video” version kinda creeps me out. Sure, very quickly you begin to realize that the entire “Official Audio” version loops the same few video clips over and over again through its entirety, but I think the image selections combined with the quick editing better match the breezy, free-spirited summertime essence of the song.

 

Of course, as the goosebumps on your arms and the sudden layering of heavy clothes on your body probably made obvious long ago, it’s no longer summer anymore. Just recently The Knocks released a slower, more soulful “Sunset Version” of the song by Powers that’s quite possibly even better than the original version of the song, or at least better for the current weather we’re all facing outside right now. Fittingly this video features lots of footage from classic, or should be classic, movies. You can enjoy the “Sunset Version” below:

 

Like The Knocks on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theknocksnyc
Follow The Knocks on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theknocks
Like The Knocks on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/theknocks

Like Powers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/givemepowers
Follow Powers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/givemepowers
Like Powers on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/givemepowers

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Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders – Come On Back This Way (feat. Sharon Van Etten)

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Probably one of my favorite new discoveries recently is this video for Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders’ “Come On Back This Way”. Imagine Nick Cave putting on a public access performance directed by David Lynch and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect here. Jack Ladder’s deep rumbling baritone tells an eerie, surreal story that’s haunting, but in a pleasant and soothing kind of way. The cheap airport lounge keyboard rift only adds to the ambiance, giving the song that feeling of stumbling into the wrong place, but staying for all the right reasons. Come for one of the catchiest choruses you’ll ever hear, and make sure to stick around for that slide guitar.

Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders’ fourth album, Playmates, was just released in Australia and should be available in North America in 2015.

Like Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JackLadderAndTheDreamlanders                                           Like Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders on Soundcloud:  https://soundcloud.com/jackladder

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Napoleon – Step Off

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I’ll be the first to admit that it’s been entirely way too long since I’ve last updated the ol’ blog.

There’s lots of excuses. Not just the usual procrastination/laziness ones, neither. I actually (cross my heart) had a weekend full of blogging all planned out a while back. And then my computer blew a fuse and was in the shop for over two weeks. After that I got called in at work to do a bunch of overtime, which was great for my paycheck but bad for my health, causing me to get sick and not care much about blogging. And then, as we all know, once one thing snowballs into another and you get out of the habit of regularly posting, well, everything goes to shit.

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I’m sorry for that, loyal readers. I’ll try to be better. And what better way to get back into the swing of things than with a fantastic fan mash-up of blog favorite Napoleon with everyone’s favorite scene from Napoleon Dynamite? I’ve seen lots of great mash-ups of various songs with the famous dance sequence from the end of Napoleon Dynamite, but this video is far superior in every way to every other one I’ve seen thus far.

The trick is that most of the other videos I’ve seen seem barely edited. People just sync the video with the sound, press play and let the magic happen on its own. Romain Bezzina has carefully edited the dance sequence with other scenes from the film, matching each shot perfectly to the theme and rhythm of the music to create one seamless music video that uses the footage so well that it feels as if it were made for this video, not the film. This video feels like a mini-movie in its own right. Couple that Napoleon’s magnificent song, “Step Off”, and you’re in for a fantastic ride. After watching this home run of perfection I knew it had to be the video to kick off my posting yet again.

Go here to pick up a free download of “Step Off”. Or better yet, go to Napoleon’s Bandcamp page, download his sixth EP of the year, A Night Voyage, on which “Step Off” was originally featured. And while you’re there download every other EP and album on the site, because as I’ve mentioned numerous times before everything on there is amazing. There’s no way you can regret that decision.

While we’re at it, if you haven’t already Like and Follow everything below. Only 2,100 Likes on Facebook? Come on, guys. We can do better. If we show Simon enough love maybe he’ll release his eagerly awaited 10th EP of the year.

Like Napoleon on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NapoleonUK
Follow Napoleon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Napoleon_UK
Like Napoleon on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/simon-mills

If that weren’t enough, don’t forget to check out my interview with the man behind Napoleon, Simon Mills, here!

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Kiesza – Hideaway / Giant In My Heart

Hideaway Hideaway1Hideaway5For what seems like months YouTube has been bombarding me with ads for “Hideaway”, insisting that I write this video up, and gosh darn it if those ads didn’t eventually wear me down. Watch out kids, because this song is gonna getcha. It starts off quietly, innocent enough, until that House beat kicks in and those “Ooo….ahhh…ahhh….ooo’s” cause some fuse to be lit in your brain and damn it if your booty isn’t involuntarily shaking itself all around the room.

If watching her dance in this video in one continuous take wasn’t impressive enough, she’s recently recreated the video for her live television appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live. That Jimmy one is especially impressive.

 

Giant In My Heart

While we’re at it, why not share Kiesza’s huge House anthem “Giant In My Heart”? The video echoes the song’s theme of seizing the day and being your best possible self by telling the story of a drag queen who’s drowning pretending to blend in with the rest of the world and only really feels empowered when she’s strutting her stuff at the club.

You can find both songs on Kiesza’s Hideaway EP

Like Kiesza on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kiesza
Follow Kiesza on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kiesza
Like Kiesza on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/kiesza

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Broods – Mother & Father / Bridges / Never Gonna Change

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This stellar track from New Zealand duo Broods is going to knock your socks off. “Mother & Father” has one of those choruses that gets right under your skin with the perfect mixture of defiant, exuberant joy and Morrissey-level melancholy. I could listen to this song over and over for hours.

“Mother & Father” can be found on Broods’ upcoming album, Evergreen.

Want more? Check out these videos for “Bridges” and “Never Gonna Change” from their self-titled EP.

 

Like Broods on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/broodsmusic
Follow Broods on Twitter: https://twitter.com/broodsmusic
Like Broods on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/broods/

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Wunder Wunder – Hail The Madman

Hail The madmanHail The madman3Hail The madman2I actually first heard this song on Wunder Wunder’s excellent Everything Infinite album and something about it just jumped right out at me. I immediately started playing “Hail The Madman” over and over and luckily just a few days after my discovery this video was released. The campy Beach Blanket Bingo vibe and never quite explained Lovecraftian horror show perfectly fits the song’s bouncy tongue-in-cheek psychedelic 60’s pop sound. A+ all around for the song and the video.

Like Wunder Wunder on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wunderwunderband
Follow Wunder Wunder on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wunderwundered
Like Wunder Wunder on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wunder-wunder

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