It's the end, but the moment has been prepared for as The Doctor used to say. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed combing through some of the more obscure videos that came out this year. If the quality of the ones seen here is any indication, the art form is going strong. See you at the bottom, folks.
8. Zero Theorem, "You"
There were surprisingly few science fiction music videos in 2019, but "You" makes up for all the ones that never were. It follows Chaz Flud as a doomed spaceman caught in an apocalypse loop, and has some absolutely gorgeous visuals and effects. I honestly can't believe that something that looks this good didn't crack YouTube wide open.
7. Abney Park, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"
I have watched this video at least 20 times and I love it a little more every time. Steampunk death race musical? Yes please and I'll take a box home to go as well. The word "fun" was redefined and we all stood back in awe and wonder. Someone give Abney Park money to make a movie.
6. Final Child, "Ruthless Liar"
And on that note, why not an old school saucer flick with Final Child? They do so much with some basic set-ups, and it makes a hell of a fun time. The space mummy doing the "Thriller" dance is worth all the extra points.
5. Marika Hackman, "Hand Solo"
The award for the video most unabashedly about playing with yourself is "Hand Solo." I kid, but it's actually a pretty damned meaningful piece of art that looks to de-stigmatize female sexuality to the point that it presents confessions from women about how they have suppressed under patriarchy (one woman used the handle "Icicle," so kudos for the Tori Amos masturbation reference). Oh, and it has a giant vibrator being roughly shoved into the center of the Pentagon just in case the point was too subtle. Hats off to all the people in the YouTube comments who thought they were clicking on a Star Wars parody video and learned something about their own bodies instead.
Marika Hackman is a goddamn treasure.
4. Cat Clyde, "So Cold"
"Hand Solo" pairs very nicely with another bit of womanly backhand slap, "So Cold" by Cat Clyde. It's meant to be a throwback to the classic women revenge grindhouse films, and it captures that aesthetic beautifully. It's angry and righteous and on fire as all good things should be.
3. The 1865, "John Brown's Gat"
I have a soft spot in my heart for music that teaches history, and no one did it better in 2019 than The 1865 with "John Brown's Gat." I'm going to quote Sacha Jenkins herself on this one:
John Brown was a white man who believed that African Americans should not be enslaved; he was willing to bust his gun (aka his “Gat”) to contribute to the emancipation/liberation effort. The kids today would simply describe him as an “ally." He was willing to put his life on the line and eventually he lost his life on behalf of his Nubian brothers and sisters. We crafted a tune to honor the man. RIP my brother. You were on the right side of history. Donald Trump is a chump.
2. Belle Mt., "Origins"
"Origins" is almost indescribably beautiful. Animated by Mustashrik Mahbub, it's the backwards story of two people in love from death to birth. As we sit here in the darkest timeline wondering if we're even going to have a future, something as lovely as this is a balm for the soul and a work of pure art. Almost nothing can top it.
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1. Sontalk, "The One Who Breaks Your Heart"
This music video broke me.
I've never seen anything so blunt and awful while never losing an ounce of its magical grace. It's the story of a family suffering through substance abuse and all the coming together and falling apart that creates. Coupled with an unforgettable tune, it's a four-minute wound that bleeds badly but promises a hope of healing. If I had to pick a single music video that could encapsulate all the art form could be, it would be this one.
I hope you've enjoyed the journey through the wilds of the music video realm as much as I have. Hopefully, 2020 will be even better.