With the end of the year approaching, it’s time to reveal our list of the best music videos of 2014. There was wonderful videos of all styles and fashions this year, but if there was an overarching theme, it would be the abundance of great narrative-based videos, even many of my favorite VFX-heavy videos this year had strong storytelling work. Dance videos also undoubtedly had a big impact, seeming to permeate every level of the cultural zeitgeist. As for directing, the MVP this year was almost certainly Hiro Murai (who makes four appearances on this list) though Nabil, Ryan Staake,Vania Heymann and many others also had very strong years.
The following (mostly arbitrary) list contains the best that 2014 had to offer in music videos, filled with gorgeous visuals, inventive concepts, superb editing and poignant storytelling from some of the most diverse and talented visual artists working in any medium today. The videos are all embedded below or if you prefer, you can watch them all as a playlist on Vimeo. Enjoy!
The Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right. See our collection of stories covering marriage equality on newyorker.com. This is Bob Staake’s “Spectrum of Light,” from 2012.
The pop singer Prince died on Thursday, at the age of fifty-seven, but his legacy will remain with us for a long, long time. Our cover for next week’s issue, Bob Staake’s “Purple Rain,” is a tribute to the great performer; click here to read remembrances from our writers.
This awesome music video for A-Trak & Tommy Trash’s song ‘Tuna Melt‘ follows an incredibly elaborate and playful Rube Goldberg machine set up throughout nearly every room of the beautiful Ohage House in St. Paul, MN. Dominoes (and pieces of scrummy toast) fall, paper airplanes and feathers fly and there’s even a brief underwater sequence, all culminating in a simple yet mouthwatering illustration of the song’s title. The Rube Goldberg device was set up by Tim Fort and the video directed by Ryan Staake.
I live in San Francisco. Composting is a way of life. My kid’s school has a pack-in/pack-out lunch policy. We even know people with chemical toilets. So, yeah, we’re well-acquainted with green.
But for my kid, these things are all pretty abstract. They’re just what we do, rather than what we do to make the planet a better place.
So, I liked We Planted a Tree. It’s a very cause-and-effect kind of book. We planted a tree, and it made some shade for us. It helped make the air cleaner. It helped prevent erosion. And, hurrah, we planted a tree and it made maple syrup. (Mixing self-serving motives with more altruistic ones is okay with me, if it helps the common cause.)
Another thread running through this book is that a tree grows with you. The first couple of pages show two young families planting a tree, then wraps up with the same two families, now expanded, standing around and admiring around their grown-up trees. My kid was very interested in this part – which adults from the last pages used to be the kids in the first pages. And how the parents in the first pages became old and have to use a cane. By no means is that the point of the book, but it’s a nice extra.
And, another nice little extra – the adorable lollipop tree endpapers. According to the illustrator, Bob Staake, his books are known for their endpapers. I think this would make some killer wallpaper.