The 25 best music videos of 2011

The 25 best music videos of 2011

The very best music promo clips of the year.

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.

  1. Drake – Marvin’s Room, directed by Hyghly
  2. Salem – Till The World Ends, directed by Salem
  3. Jay Z & Kanye West – Otis, directed by Spike Jonze
  4. Girls – Vomit, directed by Austin Rhodes
  5. Grimes – Vanessa, directed by Grimes
  6. Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica, compiled by Daniel Lopatin from clips of ‘NU PAGODI
  7. Gil Scott-Heron, Jamie xx – I’ll Take Care Of U, directed by Jamie-James Medina
  8. A$AP Rocky – Pesos, directed by Abteen Bagheri
  9. Deptford Goth – Youth II, directed by Daniel Woolhouse

    DEPTFORD GOTHYOUTH II from Merok on Vimeo.

  10. Mount Kimbie – Carbonated, directed by Tyrone Lebon
  11. Lana Del Rey – Video Games, directed by Lana Del Rey
  12. Actress – Maze, directed by Luke Alexander

    Actress/Maze from Luke Alexander on Vimeo.

  13. Trash Talk – Awake, directed by Sean Stout
  14. Azaelia Banks – 212, directed by Azealia Banks
  15. Mr Mothafuckin eXquire – Huzzah, directed by Mr. Mothafuckin eXquire
  16. Tyler, The Creator – Yonkers, directed by Wolf Haley
  17. D’Eon – Transparency, directed by Grimes

    D’EONTRANSPARENCY from Hippos In Tanks on Vimeo.

  18. Lady Gaga – Marry The Night, directed by Lady Gaga
  19. Wild Beasts – Albatross, directed by Dave Ma
  20. Ford and Lopatin – World Of Regret, directed by Thunder Horse & Tabor Robak

    Ford & Lopatin “World of Regret” from Thunder Horse Video on Vimeo.

  21. Bon Iver – Perth, directed by Isaac Gale, David Jensen
  22. James Blake – Lindesfarne, directed by Martin De Thurah Blake
  23. Adele – Rolling In The Deep, directed by Sam Brown
  24. Dels – Trumpalump, directed by Us (Design Studio)
  25. Kendrick Lamar – ADHD, directed by Va$htie

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