As of next week, 2012 is officially 1/4 over.
We know! We're already starting to miss it, too.
So in honor of our vanishing time on this planet, we went to a happy place called YouTube to remind ourselves of all the great music videos that've massaged our eyeballs and earballs so far this year.
Following are five awesome music videos of 2012 you should know about. As with the Confidence Pants playlist, this mixtape makes no claims to be comprehensive or unbiased (such an honest mixtape!). There've been metric oodles of great videos so far this year, and if your faves aren't listed here then please add them in the comments. We're just crushin' hardcore on these particular clips, and we have a website, so, without further ado, let's groove on it:
Best Video About Adorable Human Puppets
If this category were rewritten for "Creepy Human Puppets" the trophy would go to Foster The People's Houdini, hands down. But, as you know, we're all about reppin' the sweetness. So the winner's gotta be Here We Go, by the Spring Standards. This NYC trio just put out a double EP of folky, poppy gems (funded entirely through Kickstarter), but nothing really quite made us say "d'awww" and "YEAH!" and "d'awww" again in turn like this track about the first throes of synthetically-engineered love. If human puppets aren't really your thing, don't fret! The Spring Standards do actual puppets too. That's coverin' your bases!
Most "WTF?" Video
Paddling Out from the new album by Miike Snow—2/3rds Swedish production whizzes responsible for Toxic, 1/3rd falsetto'd Manhattanite—borrows one of the classic three-part tropes of literature:
- A man awakens in unfamiliar surroundings
- The man discovers magical dancing shoes
- The man becomes a prototype in a Victorian alien colony's scheme to invade Earth with a squadron of Perfect Human boogie drones
To quote the bard: "WTF???"
Paddling Out is actually part of a video trilogy, falling between a whole lot of running and the inevitable Perfect Human invasion. Weird. Still, we'd rather live in nonstop shirtless dance world than the grim reality of our next winner…
Heaviest Video About Kids Running Amok And Ruining Everything
OK, this was way harder than it should've been. For whatever reason, tribal child takeover is totally in fashion right now. We almost went with Santigold's Disparate Youth, which has a creeptastic Lord Of The Flies vibe, but ultimately threw that out for plot reasons (like, why would anyone even go to Spooky Child Island in the first place?). Then we thought about Skrillex's Bangarang, the lost boy's hobbly-wobbly dubstep empowerment dream, but that song is technically a 2011 release, so, sorry. Disqualified. Thus our winner is Sixteen Saltines, the straight-up finger-lickin' rockin'est track from Jack White's new solo record, Blunderbuss. The song reminds us of everything we love about the White Stripes (RIP), plus: hover kids. The future is a terrifying place, indeed. But at least we'll go headbanging into the apocalypse.
Best Video By Gotye That Isn't "Somebody I Used To Know"
Literal music videos can be dangerous, as a particularly goofy meme recently reminded us. But when your source material is the story of a mad synthesizer home invasion, there's really no reason NOT to follow the action scene by scene. Gotye's animated companion to State of The Art may not be as emotionally evocative as his chart-topping breakup ballad, and there's a serious lack of Kimbra (really, when isn't there?), but it's worth obsessively replaying for reasons all its own. The backing dub beat is infectious, the animated aesthetic here is AWESOME—some weird compromise between Mad Men and Powerpuff Girls—and the dork-topian subject matter of technology turned tyrant is especially prevalent to our over-shared lives. Thus, we say in our best robot voice, "All hail Model D575!"
There's plenty of awesome, well-made music videos that could take this title. But listen—Chairlift's video for Met Before is meta-geeky. Chairlift already proved they were geeks for the '80s with their leotard-wearing, karaoke-scrolling, A-ha aping video for Amanaemonesia, but now they've taken their dorkdom to a new level. Not only is every second of screen time in "Met Before" loaded with adorable dorks and their adorkable hobbies—air guitaring, bee keeping, film-making, protein synthesizing, parallel universe jumping—but the official video on the band's website is a Choose Your Own Adventure controlled by your arrow keys.
It's a video game! A music video video game, where YOU determine whether Caroline Polachek gets the guy, or the girl, or dies tragically from a bee sting. No other video this year so completely assimilates the audience's geekiness into the band's geekiness, and that's why Chairlift is our number one geek crush right now, in every universe.
And if you want to check out some more great music by the above bands, try these tracks:
What did we miss? What's your favorite music video so far this year? Tell us in the comments!
Image credits: http://alfitude.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/miike-snow.jpg;http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4123/4897211679_8af1ac82b8.jpg