In addition to our 2020 Booooooom TV Awards we wanted to share our picks for the 15 best music videos of 2020! We’d love to hear what videos made your list—send us a tweet! A big round of applause for everyone involved in making the videos below.
Califato ¾ – “Fandangô de Carmen Porter”
Both visually striking and unsettling, this video for Califato ¾ by London-based director NONO is set against the backdrop of a rural Spanish salt mine in the 50s and tells the haunting story of a father unable to cope with the death of his young daughter.
The Weather Station – “Robber”
Director: Tamara Lindeman
Enchanted by the chaotic energy that slowly builds throughout this low budget self-directed wonder from Tamara Lindeman. The song is meant to be a critique of the way we’ve been taught to love the ones who only take from us.
Lewis Capaldi – “Before You Go” (Director’s Cut)
Director: Kyle Thrash
Love this director’s cut of Lewis Capaldi’s track “Before You Go” by Brooklyn-based director Kyle Thrash (previously featured here). Starring Sasha Lane, the beautifully raw visuals explore the aftermath of loss and the memories and traditions you cling to.
Show Me The Body – “Arcanum”
Director: Landon Yost
The energy of this collaboration between New York punk trio Show Me The Body and Brooklyn-based filmmaker Landon Yost doesn’t just hit you in the face; it gets under your skin. As Yost shared with us, “Arcanum” was pieced together over the span of a year — “made on favors and love,” as well as negative 16mm, converted to positive, and filmed while burned during projection.
Love the atmosphere directors Egor Tarasov and Vladimir Ivanov have created for this track by Miyagi and Andy Panda. Set in the Russian city of Vladikavkaz, “Yamakasi” follows various residents as they set about burying generations of hurt.
Arlo Parks — “Eugene”
Directors: The Coyle-Larner Brothers
While the video for Arlo Parks’ track “Eugene” might seem simple, there are so many little things it manages to get just right that a lot of videos never do. Most notably, its depiction of young people in a relationship that doesn’t feel overblown, but rather authentically small and intimate.
Duck Sauce — “Mesmerize”
Director: Keith Schofield
The question is not whether this was one of the most memorable videos of the year; the question is how long the images from it will haunt us. Director Keith Schofield is a genius and this video is pure insanity. Viewer Discretion: there are lots of buttholes (and other NSFW things) in this video.
2020 was the year of Zoom and it was also the year of Zoom fatigue. And then we watched this fantastic video and we realised that perhaps we’re just not thinking outside the box (or making the most of the little boxes we’re in!). “Phenom” was only created via Zoom because the original shoot was cancelled at the last minute due to the coronavirus, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Monteagle – “Tan”
Director: Daniel Henry
Director Daniel Henry described this as a response to a year that was “filled with loss and a heaviness that has stuck with me.” There’s definitely something cathartic about the images he and DP Dustin Lane captured here. Each moment simultaneously illustrates the endless monotony and the immense beauty of everyday life.
Flatbush Zombies — “Afterlife”
Director: Arnaud Bresson
We were convinced director Arnaud Bresson had somehow figured out a way to safely shoot with X-ray technology and we had to watch it a dozen more times after we learned it was VFX. The jaw-dropping work here by Paris studio Machine Molle deserves a standing ovation.
Mild Minds – “Walls” feat. Boats
Director: Colin Read
Director Colin Read video for Mild Minds and Boats’ track is the perfect example of how a creative visual effect can do more than just look cool, but can be used to actually enhance the emotional impact of the narrative. By stitching together a series of digital “walls,” different moments in time are brought together to chronicle the harrowing journey of a father and daughter’s struggle for survival and reunion.
Hania Rani — “F Major”
Director: Neels Castillon
The video for Polish pianist Hania Rani by Paris-based filmmaker Neels Castillon is so perfect it feels like a dream. Almost like observing a rare phenomenon we’re just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to witness.
FKA twigs — “Sad Day”
Director: Hiro Murai
Yet another masterful video from Hiro Murai, this time transforming a dazzling sword fight into a reflection on heartbreak. People will remember this one for the incredible moment near the end but there are so many beautiful details leading up to it, like twigs’ feet floating across that puddle. *chef’s kiss*
Idles — “WAR”
Director: Will Dohrn
Clack-clack, clack-a-clang clang. This one left our heads spinning and our bones rattling. The raw energy of the song could have easily overpowered any visuals but they’re perfectly married here. An instant classic from Will Dohrn.
Maslo Chernogo Tmina – “unknown world”
Director: Aisultan Seitov
If you’ve been following us for a while you might have noticed Seitov’s videos for Kazakh rapper Maslo Chernogo Tmina popping up on the site over the past couple years. Not only is it exciting to see content coming from a part of the world that is unfamiliar to us, the work emerging from this collaborative pairing is truly something special. “unknown world” in particular combines stunning imagery with an unforgettable sense of gravitas as the somber visualization touches on the oil mine catastrophes experienced by post-Soviet countries in the last century.