This year has been a cracker for memorable music videos. However, we’re not going to simply look at the best. That would just be boring.
Instead, here are our alternative music awards for videos featuring amazing alter-egos, shocking animation and atrocious dad dancing.
Without further ado, the winners are:
Best Interior Body Show
Björk, ‘Mouth Mantra’
Björk never fails to push the boundaries, and her latest video is no exception. Shot primarily from inside the singer’s mouth, ‘Mouth Mantra’ is a warped and twisted view of the icon’s tongue, teeth and tonsils. By the end, we are spat out and see Björk dancing wearing a torn dress, with white ribbons streaming from it. Apparently the video will be available in 360° soon, signalling a whole new era for music video making.
Best Fight Scene
Florence and the Machine, ‘Queen of Peace’ / ‘Long & lost’
The fourth and fifth chapter in Flo’s Odyssey series, this two-part video is an unlikely contender for best fight scene (particularly when you’ve got Tay Tay doing simulated explosions and superhero brawls, but we’ll come to her next). What’s so great about the fight scene that opens the video is the intensity and emotion, with no special effects or CGI needed. Filmed in bonny Scotland, the stormy backdrop of the video is provided courtesy of the tiny island of Easdale, in the Inner Hebrides. The raw emotion combined with Argyll knits and a young version of Florence make it genuinely emotionally upsetting to watch.
Most celebrity cameos in one music video
Taylor Swift, ‘Bad Blood’
Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ video has now been watched over 600 million times on YouTube. It features Swift and a selection of her bosom buddies (“welcome to the stage…”) in a mock-up superhero training centre, testing out their powers. Well, apart from Lena Dunham who mainly just smokes a cigar and looks sinister. Other celebrities appearing in the video include Ellie Goulding, Selena Gomez, Cara Delevingne, Jessica Alba, Hayley Williams and Kendrick Lamar. And that’s just to name a few.
Best Human Pyramid
This is one of the stand out videos of the year. M.I.A successfully manages to make an affecting protest, getting it completely spot on. Along to the backdrop of M.I.A’s rebellious lyrics, we see boats of young, male refugees coming into shore and forming the world ‘LIFE’ on the side of a border fence. Skip to 01:55 to see the best use of a human pyramid we’ve ever seen, forming the outline of a massive ship, of which M.I.A forms the sail of. A refugee as a child, this song and video does perfectly what many others would have failed to do.
Best Dad Dancing
Drake, ‘Hotline Bling’
Come on, who else could be in the running for this? Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ video went viral earlier this year when he released the seemingly serious footage of his terrible, terrible dancing. The general consensus was that he looked like a Dad/Uncle at a wedding, trying (and failing) to be down with the kids. He deserves a place on our list just for effort, though.
Best Historical Impersonation
Grimes, ‘Flesh Without Blood’
Grimes’ latest album Art Angels is one of the best albums of 2015, and this is one of the standout tracks from the record. ‘Act I, Flesh Without Blood’ sees the Canadian singer dressed up as a cowboy hat wearing angel, a surreal Marie Antionette on a tennis court and a Playstation playing goth. ‘Act II Life in the Vivid Dream’ features the now blood-stained Marie Antionette pull a out a knife that’s embedded into her stomach, and get dragged around by said angel. Praise must be given for her fantastical interpretation of Antionette.
Most #NSFW. In fact, most not suitable for LIFE.
Please, don’t watch this unless you want to be deeply scarred. Certainly don’t watch it at work. Or on public transport. Or in a room with another person. Or alone. Just don’t watch it, OK. You have been warned. Seriously though,
FKA Twigs, ‘Glas & Patron’
FKA Twigs is well known for her striking visuals and the set of videos she released this year were some of her best. Somewhat disturbingly, Twigs plays several different characters including a pregnant woman with some sort of never-ending rainbow scarf *inside* her, an old woman and a multi-jointed insect type being. As always, she does it well and manages to remain credible while doing it.
Best use of a giant gorilla middle finger
Tame Impala, ‘The Less I Know The Better’
This video from the Australian rockers combines basketball, sex and a massive gorilla to make an alternative high-school love story. Arguably their oddest (aka best) video yet, they mix computer animation, hand drawings and live choreography to brilliant effect. At one point the female love interest rises up on the hand of a King Kong-esque gorilla. And he’s giving a massive middle finger. The wet paint scenes are also pretty delicious.
Best Synchronised Spanking
Hear us out with this one. Electronic DJ Tiga brings us the most fast paced, perfectly timed video of the year in his track ‘Bugatti.’ Various images including sauce being squirted on a plate, shaving foam, record players spinning and computer keyboards being tapped are cut together to perfect time. And yes, there is some workplace spanking involved. And it fits the beat perfectly.
Most likely to be a cover-up for a secret cult
David Bowie, ‘Blackstar’
David Bowie brings us his ten minute “intensely creepy” video for new single ‘Blackstar’, and it just couldn’t go unmentioned on this list. Bowie signing with a bandaged up face and a manic grin, a dead astronaut, a woman with a tail, creepy children and living scarecrows all feature. It looks like Bowie is conducting some sort of cult from behind the bandages, with very odd, jerky synchronised dancing going on in someone’s attic.
Sia, ‘Elastic Heart’
Perhaps the most divisive music video of 2015, Sia’s ‘Elastic Heart’ features child dance-star Maddie Zieglar and Shia LaBeouf inside a cage, doing some very intense dancing. Many people were disturbed by the video, claiming it was age inappropriate for Ziegler to be dancing in such a provocative manner with LaBeouf. However, when you consider that the cage represents Sia’s mind, and Ziegler and LaBeouf her younger and older self respectivley, it suddenly all seems a lot less disturbing. Or so we think.
Best (intentionally) Bad Animation
Surfer Blood, ‘Grand Inquistor’
Surfer Blood’s brilliant animated video for single ‘The Grand Inquisitor’ tells the story of someone who has been playing his lute for 1000 years in a parking lot. One day, a record label boss pulls into the car park looking for a toilet stop, hears the lute and says, “I own a record label’, I am going to make you famous, mate.” The video then tells the story of a small time music fan taken on a journey of drugs and destruction, all through the weirdest video game-esque animation you’ve seen for a while. the disjointed subtitles and terribly-amazing animation make this one of the weirdest (and best) music videos of the year.