The 20 best music videos of 2016

11. Hanne Kolstø – Stein/Saks (Rock/Scissors)

This video takes literal inspiration from its title and creates a crafty stop-motion visual. Using approximately 1,500 photographs, a pair of scissors and a rock, the video was born – and it was all shot on an iPhone6. An innovative and inspiring work that proves sometimes a little nostalgia can go a long way.

12. David Bowie – Lazarus

David Bowie wasn’t going to go out without a bang. This stunning, artistic work speaks of mortality in a new light, showcasing existential thought and using subtle but heavily impacting imagery to put its message across. It was directed by Johan Renck, who produced the perfect way to say goodbye.

13. Fresh Snow – I Can’t Die

The internet was the main inspiration behind this video for Fresh Snow’s ‘I Can’t Die’; arrow clickers, pixellated infographics and screensaver-like compositions are included in the visuals, making for a nostalgic hook. Physcadelic and inspiring, this Benjamin Portas directed clip will bend your mind.

14. Grimes – Kill V. Maim

Grimes collaborated with her brother once again for the visuals for 2016 single ‘Kill V. Maim’. We’re shown a futuristic, cyber-punk apocalyptic world in which anime stylings collide with clever camera tricks. Shot in Toronto, the video showcases the Neo Tokyo cityscapes of Akira, and animated line drawings before ending in an underground blood rave.

15. ThisisDA – The Sufferbus

Directed by Antonia Blakeman, this video for Bristolian artist ThisisDA is a dystopian dream centred around the musician gripping onto a giant, spinning coin. The coin is said to symbolise a wish, with the coin thrown into a well to coincide with the dream themes. 

16. Mr Oizo - Hand In The Fire (feat. Charli XCX)

In the 90s, a certain gloved-puppet grabbed the attention of the UK and soon became a number one hit. Flat Eric was one of the most surprising successes of the decade but this year proved his wasn’t done. Appearing in the Mr. Oizo and Charli XCX video, it’s proof that a character design, if done the right way, can stand the test of time.

17. The Chemical Brothers – Wide Open

The Mill collaborated with award winning directing duo Dom&Nic to bring Chemical Brothers’ brand new video ‘Wide Open’ to life. It’s an astonishing work, featuring a woman dancing in a warehouse to then reveal that parts of her body are made as 3D-printed lattice constructions. Be sure to check out this behind-the-scenes clip to see how it was put together.

18. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – ‘When I Try, I’m Full’

A hand-drawn music video created by Jules Guérin, Smith’s video for ‘When I Try, I’m Full’ is a strangely stunning piece. “An organic cell is born,” reads its description. “ts birth drives us through a shamanic vision where it will evolve with music, becoming more complex while mineral, organic, and cosmic elements orbit around it to transform it to its final state. This is the source of endless possibilities.”

19. Whitney – Polly

Tokyo-based award-winning animator and illustrator Sarina Nihei directed, animated and hand-painted the entire video for Whitney’s third single over the course of two months. Nihel says that the piece focuses on the causes of broken relationships between people and also represents the idea that no one is able to understand other people’s actual feelings.

20. Charles X – Can You Do it

Social commentary and creativity went hand-in-hand this year and this video for Charles X’s ‘Can You Do it’ is one of the best. The mix of 3D/2D animation – produced by Eddy and animated at Brunch Studio – gives this an inspiring and playful feel with a political undercurrent. Describing the video, designers Parallel said, it was “intended to act as a social commentary which aims to cast light on perceived societal expectations and social norms by integrating elements and people from different walks of life.”

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