Vimeo: I chose to use Vimeo almost exclusively this year because they have more videos available, have higher quality videos, and they don't censor their videos (all compared to YouTube, of course). Vimeo doesn't seem to support custom playlists, so I've built this page to add my unsolicited commentary to the videos I chose. Enjoy...
Gardens & Villa - Black Hills (Secretly Jag)
Gardens & Villa are just one of the several Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar groups on this list this year. And I'm not just trying to give props to the homebase crew (they're based in Bloomington), they just tend to get some really great artists. They're a fun band to watch live, mostly because of their easygoing sensibility, evidenced clearly in this video. ET meets Grease? Maybe.
M83 - Midnight City (Division)
M83 had the #1 album of the year on my list, the wildly ambitious, double-disc "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming." Wildly ambitious albums often come with several wildly ambitious videos. Thus far though, we've just seen this one. This compared with the three that came off of "Saturdays = Youth" (check out "We Own the Sky"). A little Children of the Corn, but M83 seems to like doing videos about the power of youth.
The Black Keys - Lonely Boy (WBR Digital)
One of the more humorous videos of the year, the story behind it is kind of interesting. Always trying to make funnier videos, the band actually filmed a "proper video" in LA over the course of several days, only to scrap virtually all the footage. The only thing left is this video. The part-time security guard was given an hour to learn the lyrics and come up with a dance. The result became a wildfire meme.
White Denim - Street Joy (Downtown Museum)
White Denim are great with music videos. Their previous efforts have raised the bar, but this one still measures up. A tribute to late 1980's proms, complete with mullets, chester moustaches, goofy tuxedos. Even though the band themselves likely graduated high school in the late 90's.
Wye Oak - Holy Holy (Merge Records)
For Wye Oak's second music video from "Civilian," the duo decided to hit Coney Island. It's not the most interesting concept, but you certainly get a lot of up-close-and-personal time with them.
Beirut - Santa Fe (Sunset Television)
The most upbeat track on "The Rip Tide," Santa Fe is somewhat of a hommage to Beirut's Zachary Condon's hometown. Although medical bankruptcy is a serious and currently relevant issue, it's nice to see a somewhat light-hearted view of it. The dog eating the pizza is pretty priceless.
The Antlers w/ Neon Indian - Rolled Together (Adam Hall)
One of the reasons I wanted to use Vimeo on this list this year was because of this specific video, which is not available on YouTube. The song is great as it is, but it's really nice to see it performed well. "Blown Apart" is a much more instrumental and atmospheric release compared to "Hospice," and on this track, as on others, there are minimal lyrics are repeated throughout, emphasizing the point. "Rolled together with burning paper heart. Rolled together but about to burst apart."
Explosions in the Sky - Be Comfortable Creature (Explosions in the Sky)
Explosions in the Sky has never really done a "proper" video, where the band members are featured. It may shyness or it may be humility, but they can end up being more enjoyable that way. However, they also sometimes come off as student projects, such as this one does. It's well-done and the story fits the music well, so I guess I can't complain too much.
Youth Lagoon - Montana (Tyler T. Williams)
Youth Lagoon's videos have proven to be excessively somber. The frailty of the singing lends itself well to this emotion, but the seriousness is a departure from most other music videos, particularly the ones on this list. This particular one has been well received and could easily be scenes from a movie.
Destroyer - Kaputt (Secretly Jag)
Not huge into this album. In a year that was throwback album after throwback album, it put itself in a cheesy sort of 1970's-ness that never actually existed but lives on in parody form. But the beginning of this video is great.
WU LYF - We Bros (LYF)
WU LYF (pronounced as it looks) have, if anything, an energetic approach to their music. In their videos (also check out "Dirt," if you're interested), they lay out what the unintelligible lyrics are about. "We Bros" picks up on some easily relatable themes and does it in a way that's very beautiful.
Bon Iver - Holocene (Secretly Jag)
It just makes you want to go to Iceland, doesn't it?