If you want a look at the state of the industry in 2011, you could do worse than look at the videos. While the music channels have become taken over by YouTube, there has been a stunning spread of forms – and reasons to make – a video. At one end of the spectrum are the hyper-funded epics of Gaga and The Throne, while at the other you have the micro-world of Actress’s Maze or the huge number of found-footage videos. The middle-ranking stars also produced some excellent work in the classic sing-a-song-while-weird-stuff happens form, from Adele to Wild Beasts to DELS.
Some of these are in the subjectively ordered list below. Some videos contextualise the song, some launch an artist, some are just wonderful pieces of art to watch while you’re on your lunch-break, and all are the sort of thing we’ve posted around this year. The top-slot, though, belongs to one rapper called Drake, with a spot that ties him to the artful underground and hyperreal overground, and, in one five minute long stumble through Toronto, collapsed the opposites, changed music and (briefly) made us want to never drink again.
Drake – Marvin’s Room, directed by Hyghly
Salem – Till The World Ends, directed by Salem
Jay Z & Kanye West – Otis, directed by Spike Jonze
Girls – Vomit, directed by Austin Rhodes
Grimes – Vanessa, directed by Grimes
Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica, compiled by Daniel Lopatin from clips of ‘NU PAGODI’
Gil Scott-Heron, Jamie xx – I’ll Take Care Of U, directed by Jamie-James Medina
A$AP Rocky – Pesos, directed by Abteen Bagheri
Deptford Goth – Youth II, directed by Daniel Woolhouse