RSS Feed Editorial Emissions

Best Of: Top 20 Music Videos of 2011

posted December 30, 2011, 1:24 pm by Ben Oliver | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Video | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Kurt Vile, Beastie Boys, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Radiohead, Mastodon

Every Friday we feature a music video in a feature called Video Of The Week. It’s always fun to watch a classic video from one of your favorite artists, or to watch a new video from a new band. Some of the videos listed here were featured as our video of the week during the past year, while others were just discovered later. Video killed the radio star a couple decades ago, and forever changed music and the industry as we know it. And now with access to the internet, smart phones and iPads, and YouTube, nearly anyone can become an overnight sensation. These range from the animated to the exotic, they will make you laugh, cry, and experience every emotion in between–hope you enjoy! Let us know which you like best, or which videos you think we left off that should be on the list.

1. Tyler The Creator – “Yonkers

Conceived and directed himself, it was filmed By Luis Panch Perez. This iconic video became an instant classic, putting Tyler on the map. It also won him Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards. Oh yeah, and it has over 30 million views.

2. Kreayshawn – “Gucci Gucci

This was another instance of a star being born overnight. Barely anyone knew who this white girl rapper was before dropping this single, which also landed her a record deal. Kreayshawn made the move from making videos to making making music, and it has gained 29 million views since it was first uploaded this summer. It was directed by @JOSEPHZENTIL, and produced by @STRANGEARMAND.

3. Toro Y Moi – “How I Know

Jodran Kim ( directed this creepy yet stimulating horror movie for Toro. Toro is not only a great musician but is also a great story teller. The executive producers were Stephen Buchanan and Jamie Kohn Rabineau, the producer is Jonathan Montepare.

4. The Stepkids – “Suburban Dream

A great example of how artists don’t like to be only one dimensional. Directed by Chris King, this helps to prove well the band has integrated the use of visuals both into their live shows and music videos.

5. Felix Cartel – “World Class Diver

What if senior citizens started dropping acid while hanging out together? It might look like this! This is truly a one of a kind video, and was directed by Josh Forbes, who has also worked with Ariel Pink, Alkaline Trio, and The Fray. It involves elderly people that look like zombies, Four Loko, sausage links, and the use of candy in place of drugs.

6. Lana Del Rey – “Born To Die

Over 5 million views in about 5 weeks isn’t bad, especially when your record isn’t even out yet. This newcomer also has another video I considered for this list, “Video Games”. Looking forward to her new record in January. This one has tigers, tattoos, and references to getting high.

7. Wavves – “Bug

One of my favorite bands, they usually have some amazing videos. This newest is no different, and is directed by Alan Tanner. “BUG” is the the 2nd single off the Life Sux EP. The video chronicles the highs and lows of Nathan Williams and Stephen Pope Jr. When a “bugged” out dude shows up at their house, all the fun is sucked out of the home and mayhem ensues. Mermaids, police, and women are thrown into the mix for a gunpowder filled finale. See if you can spot the Nirvana poster.

8. Battles – “My Machines

Directed by Daniels, this video is a collaboration between Battles, Warp Records and The Creators Project’s The Studio. It also features Gary Numan of “Cars” fame. The directorial duo Daniels are known for dreaming up some wild music videos for bands like Chromeo and Manchester Orchestra. This was also made fun of on a new episode of Beavis and Butthead.

9. Field Mouse – “You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom

This was just released in November by a still somewhat obscure band, but I’m confidant that won’t be true for much longer.
It was directed and edited by Andrew Futral, who also contributed to the cinematography, along with Rachel Browne. They are both members of this Brooklyn band, who look to have a bright and promising future after this. It will have 5000 views by the time you see it.

10. Reptar – “Context Clues

This is one of, if not the, best animated music videos all year. Also probably the best animated acid trip video ever! It was directed by Alessandra Hoshor.

11. Azealia Banks – “212 Ft. Lazy Jay

With well over a million views, this one immediately grabs your attention and won’t let go. Find out why! Another hip-hop song from another relatively unknown artist on the rise.

12. Foo Fighters – “White Limo

From Wasting Light, one of my personal top 10 record of the year picks, this came out around Valentine’s Day. It features Motorhead’s Lemmy, and the always comical Grohl and company as angry gardeners.

13. Black Keys – “Lonely Boy

The boys are back and better than before, as the almost 5.5 million views of “Lonely Boy” prove. This new record just came out, and almost everyone is as excited as the guy dancing in this. It was directed by Jesse Dylan.  Still pissed this record isn’t on Spotify yet.

14. Tuneyards – “Bizness

Directed by Mimi Cave, and with well over a million views, this definitely helped give this exotic group some much needed (and well deserved) attention.

15. Hooray For Earth – “True Loves” (Cereal Spiller Remix)

This is an underrated indie band deserving of more buzz. More videos like this should do the trick. With nearly 150,000 views, it was directed By Cyriak.

16. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “‘Bicycle

This only has around 2000 views, but also was just released in December. One of the best records of the year (another of my personal top 10 picks), they also have another great video for “Ffunny Friends“. Shot and directed by Michael James Johnson (, color by xBitterblossomx, editorial by xBitterblossomx and Michael James Johnson, and it was produced by @KampGrizzly (

17. Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise

The infamous trio caused quite the stir this year as they finally released Hot Sauce Committee, Part 2. This is a mini movie and has many celebrity appearances.

18. Radiohead – “Lotus Flower

Over 14 million views, and Thom Yorke dancing, what more needs to be said? Produced and Directed by Garth Jennings, and
choreographed by Wayne McGregor, credits also include Director of Photography Nick Wood, and Editor Leila Sarraf. It spawned a shitload of parody videos that would mimic it as well.

19. Kurt Vile – “Baby’s Arms

What made this unique and helped keep it circulating was that it was directed and filmed by Todd Cole, entirely on a Windows mobile phone. Todd’s video is part of the Windows Phone Me series, a collection of short film essays exploring a day in the life of creative Windows Phone users. Of course if it had been done using an iPhone, it probably would have already surpassed the half a million mark already.

20. Mastodon – “Curl Of The Burl

Directed by Robert Schober and Concept by Brann Dailor, this has already topped near half a million views. Their video for the song “Deathbound “was also considered for this list.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Music Emissions music community
Music Emissions
Rate, Recommend, Review

© 1999 - 2013 Music Emissions
Acceptable Use | Privacy Policy | Built by Scanland Development
Facebook | Twitter