We're more than halfway done, so it's time to look at some of the truly transcendental videos of the year. The segment has two fantastic new releases for artists who have been quiet awhile, a Houston masterpiece, and more. Enjoy!
16. Vonavi feat Run Rivers, "Regrow"
A lot of music videos bill themselves as cinematic, but few of them actually reach the level of a short film. "Regrow," directed by Andrew Litten and starring Dylan Cheek, does so with poise and grace. It's a sad jam about a man searching for the family that abandoned him as a child. It leaves you wondering what a lost past might actually be worth, and is a triumph of human emotion.
15. Jason Charles Miller, "Running"
I keep waiting for that goth country revolution to take the music world by storm and it keeps not happening. Oh well, as long as I have honky tonk chords and vampires thanks to Jason Charles Miller I can live in hope. The dedication to Nosferatu in the shots is also commendable.
14. Darwin's Finches, "HWY 787"
I don't even know where to begin with this fever dream from Houston's own Darwin's Finches. On one hand it's a silly film where a buffalo hunts a man. On the other hand it's some sort of Lynchian weirdness that is surprisingly terrifying for all the corny costumes. Regardless, it's enthralling.
13, Pond, "Hand Mouth Dancer"
"Hand Mouth Dancer" is a video out of time. It feels like one of those classic art installation works you used to see at the tail end of MTV's relevancy where the cocaine had run out of the video-making industry and all that was left was trust fund kids using pop bands to express their feelings on screen. Joking aside, there is something incredible sincere and beautiful about this video which exceeds it's irreverence.
12. Gary Clark Jr., "Pearl Cadillac"
Remember everything I said about cinematic music videos when I talked about "Regrow?" Turn down the sadness a bit and ramp up the style to eleven and the same hold true for "Pearl Cadillac." In many ways the videos are dark mirrors, both obsessed with terrible choices made in childhood and the men they ultimately made. It's powerful stuff.
11. Mortiis, "Visions of an Ancient Future"
It's been way too long since Mortiis put out a creepy music video, and I am willing to bet he's never done one as masterful as this. It has everything you would expect of his music, including blood and dark woods and pagan rites that cannot be understood by mere man. It's great to see Mortiis hasn't lost his touch, and I look forward to seeing him here in Houston in January.
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10. Clipping, "All In Your Head"
I brought this up back in October, but Clipping might actually be the best music video creator of the 21st Century. Even among all the great videos Clipping produces, "All in Your Head" stands out as near-perfect. No one else could craft this mixture of human beauty and industrial rot. If you haven't been following Clipping, you need to have started yesterday.
9. Perfect Son, "Promises"
This is my personal favorite music video of the year. Directed by Jarek Tokarski, it's the grimly wonderful tale of a person trying in vain to build a companion out of spare parts. Predictably, it ends in tragedy, but the journey through the madness is what makes it all worth it. Tie that in with a powerful pop tune and it makes a potent mix.
Tomorrow will be the last one. Stay tuned for Part 5!