Exclaim!'s Best of 2014: Top 10 Canadian Music Videos
Published Dec 11, 2014From lo-fi to high concept, 2014 was another good year for the music video, as the medium's flexibility allowed it to thrive and online venues allowed its continued relevance as an art form. Amidst the wealth of audio-visual riches from the Great White North this year, we've assembled 10 videos that moved us the most.
Watch them below, and go to our 2014 in Lists section for more Year-End coverage.
Top 10 Canadian Music Videos of 2014:
10. Timber Timbre
"Beat the Drum Slowly"
(Directed by Chad VanGaalen)
Chad VanGaalen was tasked with fitting the gloomy Hot Dreams strummer "Beat the Drum Slowly" with some animated visuals, and damned if he didn't capture the uneasiness of Timber Timbre's woozy blur of California country and film noir sounds with this creepy clip. The surreal vision of the "phantasms fantastic" that haunt the video run anywhere from ghouls with ever-melting flesh, hot rodders with glandular problems and good old-fashioned murderers. A final car crash ushers us out with a cartoony explosion of sinew, cigarettes, smashed glass and a sense of dread. (Gregory Adams)
(Directed by Menno Versteeg)
First, Toronto punk band PUP wrote a love song to singer Stefan Babcock's car, Mabu, then they created the perfect tribute for his beloved vehicle in a music video. In this berserk send-off, the four members of PUP destroy Babcock's car, pimp the ride with spray paint, cereal and reptiles, and subsequently take it to its final destination: a demolition derby. Zany antics aside, though, this is truly a love story between a man and his car, and the outro funeral is as heartfelt as the rest was entertaining. Side note: You can hire Gallows frontman Wade MacNeil to be your funeral conductor. (Melody Lau)
(Directed by Norman Wong)
Lowell's one-shot video for "The Bells" joins the ranks of other artists who have tackled such an arduous task before her, including Feist, OK Go and Vampire Weekend. The camera follows Lowell as she runs around a football field followed by guys in ghostly makeup, cheerleaders and roller derby girls, all in a choreographed frenzy. Consider it a whimsical mix of Britney Spears and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, an outlandish wonderland where Lowell is the Queen Bee who reigns with a baseball bat. (Melody Lau)
7. Fur Trade
(Directed by Kheaven Lewandowski)
Tabloid-famous tot "Bat Boy" has been a fixture of scandal rags for years, but how did his infamy begin? That's the conceit West Coast Hot Hot Heat/Mounties offshoot Fur Trade take in the video for their self-titled debut's dusky "Same Temptation." Turns out the little long-eared guy had a horrible home life, with his abusive mother more comfortable clipping his wings, literally, than letting him be a kid. While exploited and taunted by neighbourhood kids with cameras, his ray of light is a blind boy that blissfully sees past his buddy's unorthodox appearance. "Cool fucking ears," the pal says lovingly mid-video before the pair start smashing up a junkyard. Cool fucking ears, indeed. (Gregory Adams)
6. Gold Zebra
(Directed by La Barbe Rousse)
Gold Zebra gave the most elegant of ice sports a spooky makeover in their video for dreamy synth-pop piece "Drift Away." Based on '80s horror flick Curtains, it finds a young female figure skater doing a series of spot-on spins and manoeuvres for a group of stodgy judges, only to be joined in the rink mid-routine by a masked figure with a scythe and a notable lack of Bauer blades for an impromptu doubles performance. The judges never reveal their final thoughts, but the mix of slasher film aesthetics and salchow culture made for a high scoring entry on our list. (Gregory Adams)