Best Of 2011–Music Videos

Dec 11th, 2011 in Music

As usual, there was something for everyone this year in the music video realm (no live videos included).  From the sublime to the ridiculous, to the heart (and soul) of the matter, no pixillated stone was left un-touched or un-tested.  Rest assured, though, for those below:  talent was exhibited either in the making of the video or in the song, and frequently in both.  There were plenty of video moments where the two twined the ‘tween.  Check out the best of what we saw this year below, not necessarily in quality order and book-ended by two striking Bon Iver videos for two staggering songs.

Bon Iver–Holocene

PJ Harvey–The Last Living Rose:

She won the Mercury Prize for her album, “Let England Shake,” and her videos for every song thereon had to have helped the cause.


This band with the infuriating-to-type name was critically acclaimed this year. We don’t completely “get” them musically (we’ll see about that sophomore effort), but this video is inventive.

Slow Club–Two Cousins

Slow Club impressed this year, and this video evinces dance-joy.


Destroyer took on disco-jazz from the late 70s and made it its own.  Dan Bejar slayed us with his re-visit to that era and showing what could have been.  What moments were wasted.

MGMT covering Bauhaus “All I Ever Wanted”

Animated videos were everywhere this year.  MGMT included same on this Bauhaus’ cover.

OK Go + Pilobolus–All is Not Lost

OK Go have a history of inventive, enthralling music videos.  Check this year’s fine offering with ground-breaking dance troupe, Pilobolus.

Spoek Mathambo–She’s Lost Control

Check out the 180-degree cover of the great Joy Division song.

Youth Lagoon–Montana

Youth Lagoon wowed the critics this year, and this video/song helped the cause.!

M83–Midnight City

We wrote much about this great French band and their talk-show performances. And this song and video adds to their cause.

Glass Candy–Halloween

Eye candy for upstart Glass Candy’s fans.

Peaking Lights–Hey Sparrow

Peaking Lights will undoubtedly appear on a lot of Best of lists this year. Check ’em out.

Memory Tapes–Yes I Know

Check out this harrowing and innovative video.

Radiohead–Lotus Flower

Radiohead’s King of Limbs album will likely head our Best Albums list this year, and they started the ad campaign with this great black-and-white video of Thom Yorke showcasing his dance seizures. Over 14,000,000 hits and going strong.


More provocative black-and-white (and gray all over) videography.

Clock Opera–Belongings

Here’s a band to bookmark, and to set your clock to. Slow diving.

Loch Lomond–Elephants and Little Girls

We love Loch Lomond’s chamber-singalongs. Add some choreography to the mix, and off you go.

Manchester Orchestra–Simple Math

Great song, great band, and moving/high-tech video.

Hudson–Against The Grain

If you love pencils (and who doesn’t), this one’s for you. This one pencils out.

Eskmo–We Got More

One of the our favorite videos of the year to support the techno groove.

Metronomy–She Wants

We wrote recently about this band’s uniformly innovative videos and great pop-songs. Exhibit A below.

Dry the River–Weights and Measures

Still figuring this one out, but an interesting mix of weighty, operatic vocals measured by some big rock-symph-sounds.

The Belle Brigade–Losers

We recently wrote about this uplifting, canine-friendly anthem.

Karen O–Abandoned

Winner of the most-affecting award.

Cloud Cult–Unexplainable Stories

More original videography from a band with quite a history in this realm.

Good Old War–That’s Some Dream

Great new band with a simple approach.

Diego Garcia–You Were Never There

One of the catchiest songs of the year.

Ben Howard–The Wolves (oh, and Danny Macaskill does a little bike-riding too)

Macaskill’s mad-skills added value via the introduction to new artist to watch, Ben Howard.

Hooray for Earth–True Loves (Cereal Spiller Remix)

Great re-mix of Hooray for Earth’s song, and a mesmerizing video deserving of huzzahs and hoorays.

Chad VanGaalen–Peace On the Rise

VanGaalen is a complex character, and this video adds to the mix. An artist to keep tabs on.

Bright Eyes–Jejune Stars

We love this incendiary video.

Bill Callahan–Riding for the Feeling

Simple video concept that adds to Callahan’s great song.

Bon Iver–Calgary

One of the best songs of the year.

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