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Best Of 2012: The Most Inventive Music Videos Of The Year

Some of the craziest techniques and unusual themes we saw this year.

There was a time when the idea of a music video itself was novel, and every one that came out was some amalgamation of Mungo Jerry’s “In The Summertime” video. But as time went on, people began using various story-telling techniques to visually augment music in bold new ways. And once animation entered the equation, all bets were off.

Today the world of music videos delivers some of the most unexpected methods for filmmaking, serving as a short-form testing ground for directors and animators to explore the limits of their craft. On top of that, tools have emerged that allow the average user to achieve a level of quality once only possible with a high budget, and high budgets can now buy ever more incredible results. Needless to say, we love this stuff and cover it relentlessly. Here are the coolest ones we’ve seen all year.


Tanlines – “Not The Same”

The two members of Tanlines served as the directors, stars, and extras in this video. Our personal favorite pair is the one rocking tuxedos.

Jon Lindsay – “Oceans More”

This video utilizes the RGB+D Toolkit, which we’re expecting to see a lot more of in 2013.

Warm Myth – “Working”

Origami and kaleidoscopes seem like they should go together, right? Well, they never had until this video. Relive two parts of your childhood at once.

Benga – “I Will Never Change”

This is what happens every time Benga leaves a room. No wonder he’s so prolific.

Liars – “Brats”

Throw out everything you knew about Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, hunting, game glitches, and revenge and allow this video to seep in and replace them.

Lorn – “Weigh Me Down”

Dude, if you thought your idea of 8-bit hell was dark, you have nothing on Lorn. Hell is a slaughterhouse. AN 8-BIT SLAUGHTERHOUSE!!

Kid Sundance – “Tech City”

This is one of the craziest narrative music videos of the year, and a terribly underrated one. Superelectric totally devised their own science, and it’s hard not to be convinced because the characters are so sincere in delivering it.

Bjӧrk – “Mutual Core”

We were severely hyped when we heard Andrew Huang was partnering up with Bjӧrk, and our expectations were exceeded when this insane video came out.

Unstoppable Death Machines – “Do The Devo”

Tod Seelie and a hundred different animators put together this video for the two-piece outfit, featuring too many amazing stills to even process.


Death Grips – “RETROGRADE”

Click here to view “RETROGRADE”

The most inventive video of the year is so inventive that it’s barely even a video anymore. It’s a 109 videos, each a repeated grain of the song doused in once of a few colors. It’s abrasive, it’s loud, and it’s difficult to watch, and we’re pretty damn sure that no one has done something this awesome before. Check out our original premiere of “RETROGRADE.”