Despite the rise of Spotify and streaming services, The music video continues to dominate in terms of artist marketing due to the domination of Youtube, the major label’s push of Vevo and the independent artists making cracking videos on small budgets released through Vimeo. Music videos are still hugely effective for establishing an artist’s brand. For this list, I kept that in mind, while also representing the videos for songs that either I loved or liked previously, or videos that lifted or introduced a song to me. The power of a good idea and great execution is what is celebrated here.
Live TV performance of the year
Kendrick Lamar performing on Late Show with Stpehen Colbert
Lamar and his band played a To Pimp A Butterfly medley (or “The Very Horny Caterpillar” as Colbert called it) on the second episode of Stephen Colbert’s tenure at Late Show filling in permanently the big boots of Dave Letterman. It was a powerhouse of a performance, featuring the tracks ‘Wesley’s Theory’, ‘Momma’, ‘King Kunta’ and ‘u’ and performed with a tight band that includes Anna Wise, Bilal and Thundercat. Proof that Kendrick pushed his music and himself as much as possible this year.
Best use of video to promote an album
Video by: Colm Russell
20. Missy Elliott – ‘WTF (Where They From)’
Directed by: Dave Meyers & Missy Elliott
What better way for Missy to return that with a kickass dance video?
19. Sleep Thieves – ‘You Want The Night’
Directed by Mike P. Nelson
A brilliant collection of horror-mongering imagery to suit a foreboding song.
18. Major Lazer & DJ Snake – ‘Lean On’ (feat. MØ)
Video by: Tim Erem
MØ’s limber dance moves and the lads attempt at doing what the professionals do is a right laugh. More than anything though, the video and the dancing suited the song down to the ground.
17. Charli XCX – ‘Famous’
Video by: Eric Wareheim
Charli XCX’s saccharine bright pop is counteracted by Eric Wareheim’s warped mind which infects the neon space of the music video with ideas about the negativity of our reliance on our social media feeds, mobile devices and vanity.
Video by: Feel Good Lost
The song endures as a recent Irish classic but Brendan Canty gives its 2015 sax-version a new dimension that explores an unhinged couple’s escapade.