15 of the best music videos of 2012

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15) Out Of The Game – Rufus Wainwright

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Director: Phillip Andelman

The mere presence of the fantastic Helena Bonham Carter is the reason this video made the list. In this brilliant fantasy of a video the equally fantastic Rufus Wainwright gives a funny performance by embodying different personalities. The two of them together is a visual treat full of wistful moments.

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14) The Only Place – Best Coast

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Director: Ace Norton

This fun video for the upbeat comeback single from Best Coast accompanies the love letter to California vibe the track has going on perfectly. The California-obsessed duo cruise around the state as we see them indulge in fun activities such as leave their mark, smash TVs and make blended beverages.

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13) Blue Velvet – Lana Del Rey

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Director: Johan Renck

As the face of H&M’s fashion collection for Autumn 2012, Renck and Lana teamed up for this beautifully eerie, Lynch-esque music video/advert.

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12) Lord Knows – Dum Dum Girls

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Director: Christin Turner, via Rookie Mag

Following the theme of their sophomore album, Dum Dum Girls released a beautifully dark EP this year that was ripe with similar themes. This video is full of dark overtones and beautiful cinematography and reflects perfectly how much Dum Dum Girls have grown as band and really found their sound/image.

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11) Only In My Dreams – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

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Director: Travis Peterson

The first video from “Mature Themes” this is a weirdly cute and amusing fantasy video from Ariel Pink.

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10) HYFR – Drake

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Director: Director X

The answer to the question “What would a rap video bar mitzvah look like?” Drake re-enacts his own in this extravant party video complete with his famous rap friends.

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9) Oldie – Odd Future

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Director: Lance Bangs

Cool spur-of-the-moment, rap-off during a promotional photo shoot video from the controversial group Odd Future.

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8) Sixteen Saltines – Jack White

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Director: AG Rojas

A cool, well-shot video full of destruction with the perfect soundtrack accompanying these engaging visuals.

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7) Simple Song – The Shins

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Director: DANIELS

This is the single from the one of the most eagerly anticipated records of 2012. The entertaining video features frontman James Mercer as a hilariously eccentric father. Upon discovering their father has hidden the deed in their childhood home, his adult children ransack the place.

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6) Comeback Kid – Sleigh Bells

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Director(s): Derek E. Miller, Gregory Kohn

This year noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells released their sophomore album that was ripe with more upbeat synth and better melodic arrangements and this track/video sums up their new sound/style perfectly.

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5) Who – David Byrne & St. Vincent

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Director: Martin de Thurah

This is the record I was most excited about this year and it did not disappoint at all in any way. This was the first single to surface from “Love This Giant”, the track, along with the video really sets the tone for this flawless album. The video shows both of their unique qualities as artists and how they are a music match made in heaven.

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4) Genesis – Grimes

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Director: Claire Boucher

Grimes herself is a self-made piece of art and this video reflects that perfectly. Directing this video herself she says the fantasy icons stem from her memories of music videos she watched when she was a kid. This is a highly engaging, strange, absolutely beautifully shot fantasy, music video.

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3) Bad Girls – M.I.A.

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Director: Romain Gavras

This is an absurd yet empowering video from the always entertaining M.I.A. Forever making foreign/international political statements this video is a chaotic jumble of powerful imagery. The song references driving and girls behaving rebelliously, M.I.A. cleverly used this as an opportunity to make a statement about Saudi Arabia’s gender inequality laws. This is a visually stunning video, and an instant favourite of the videos released this year.

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2) Fatty Boom Boom – Die Antwoord

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Director(s): Ninja, Terence Neale and Saki Fokken Bergh

Die Antwoord are one of the marmite bands, you either love them or hate them and personally I love them. Following their beef and anger towards Lady Gaga, they got a transvestite impersonator in the video and eaten alive. As one of the fellow members of the public who grow tired of Gaga’s shock value and public antics, I found it hilarious.

With value as performance art, and aggression as a reflection of anger in our South African culture, Die Antwoord’s videos are always brilliantly absurd and freaky and this is probably their best yet.

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1) Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings – Father John Misty

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Director: Noel Paul

A beautiful track accompanied by a beautiful video. As a big fan of Aubrey Plaza, this video is my favourite of the year. I haven’t seen a video that matches a song perfectly in a long time, narrative wise. Plaza gives an brilliant performance full of all kinds of emotions and the video is ripe with lovely cinematography and shots.

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– Tara Costello

1 Comment
  1. Ricky says

    For my money, MS MR, “Hurricane.” was the best music video of 2012.

    I also loved Solange, “Losing You” and Danny Brown, “Grown Up”

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