It’s no secret we’ve premiered and reviewed plenty of amazing videos on Impose this year. And now as I start shopping for Baby New Year costumes and 2017 shaped glasses, I’ve looked back and taken stock of this year’s crop of videos to create my personal top ten* for your reading pleasure.
*To be fair, this list technically contains eleven entries and not ten, but once I realized Letterman went off the air last year instead of this one I dropped my planned tribute to his nightly Top Ten list and just came up with this one. Enjoy!
10. Alu, “Nemesis”/Merc Yes, “A Loaf of Bread”
These two share a spot on the list because they both are largely, if not entirely, composed of pre-existing footage that has been reworked into entirely new music videos that represent each of their respective songs beautifully. Alu’s haunting and hypnotic “Nemesis” is a look at the dark side of love and happily ever after while “A Loaf of Bread” is a banging remix of a classic Sesame Street skit. While images of yesteryear flood and flicker across the screen, each track scores the visuals with an intensity that deepens the experience of each song-something all meaningful music videos should accomplish.
9. Joey Dosik, “Game Winner”
While a “Rec Center” version of this video still exists, there was a video I saw for this track that told a new story of love and basketball. To be sure, the track is a solid one that has already been featured in a widely viewed video tribute to Kobe Bryant in his final year with the Lakers and even been covered by the phenomenal Vulfpeck. But I keep going back to that video that was romantic and realistic in its tale of taking a last second shot at love. Perhaps it is lost to the sands of time or perhaps it just didn’t find an audience, but it nevertheless made an impact on me and I hope it gains a wider release one day soon.
8. Yellow Shoots, “Stormy Weather”
This slow burn performance video matches the tone and attitude of its song wonderfully. As the camera rounds the performers there is a light fog that fills the room, not unlike the titular stormy weather of the track. The moody, atmospheric song conjures up plenty of clouds and precipitation on its own, but when set to the video’s simple yet effective visuals, the tune becomes so much more.
7. Emanuel and the Fear, “Some May Fall Asleep”
Images of nature and the band are overlaid on one another to create a performance video for “Some May Fall Asleep” that captures and displays multiple performances at once. The building energy of the track is distilled into the kinetic flashing of colors and lights within the performers. There is a constant duality to the imagery of “Some May Fall Asleep” that keeps the viewer engaged without taking away from the tune itself making both the song and video memorable and something worth staying up to watch.
6. Sundayman, “Alive”
With its mysterious narrative and exotic sound, Sundayman’s video for “Alive” is a thrilling and sleek adventure. Perhaps it’s just me, but I couldn’t help start making connections between different scenes of the video, even seeing faces where perhaps there were none. The stylish “Alive” gives no definitive answers as to what it is truly about, but it certainly is an interesting task attempting to discern its story and message on each new view.
5. Anthony and the Mountain, “Raygun”
The video for Anthony and the Mountain’s “Raygun” captures a visceral and sexual performance of the song that will possibly offend some, attract others, and enthrall many more. So is the story of most art that touches upon religious imagery as the interior of a church is used to convey the rapturous feeling of lusty love extolled by the song. As he stalks and prowls the aisles and pews, singer Anthony Bianco is fearless in his emotion and performance in a memorable and striking way.
4. New Swears, “Brand New Spot”
New Swears are nostalgic for the days of youthful mischief on this track, but the video makes clear one doesn’t have to outgrow being a delinquent unless one chooses to. Whether at the lake or on the city streets, there’s always time to crack a beer, enjoy some snacks, and rebel against one thing or another. There is a palpable feeling of friendship and a shared history of memorable, forgotten nights between the band that the video captures beautifully as it lets the viewer tag along on another adventure full of indiscretions, whether youthful or not.
3. Daylight Robbery, “Rememoration”
Daylight Robbery pairs a serious message with some serious rock and roll on their video for “Rememoration”. The video portrays the harsh reality of Alzheimer’s Disease as well as the exhilarating power of dance as its protagonist imagines a world of choreography, youth, and freedom. As the track struts along, the sun begins to set heralding the triumphant end of the video and hammers home its poignant message.
2. BRUJA, “Sculie”
With a tune as catchy as “Sculie” perhaps BRUJA was a lock for this list, but it is the infectious fun of the track’s video that got it as high as it is on the list. The video documents the band doing everything a band does from selling merch to performing songs to simply passing the time. There is an effortless authenticity and confidence to the band and video that makes its reality one worth revisiting for the good times and good tunes, not unlike one’s favorite local watering hole. Now, I’m not saying watching the video of “Sculie” is like going to Cheers or anything, but I’m also saying it’s not that far off.
1. Captiva, “Road to Ruin”
At the top of the list is Captiva’s “Road to Ruin”. The video juxtaposes a number of narratives against one another while following a small time stage magician. As the swaggering rock lounge of the track thrums along, the video’s urgency increases and draws the viewer in. Ultimately, the video pairs the cinematic visuals and catchy tune in such a way that makes them indelibly linked even though they each stand firmly on their own as works of art.