Harmless Noise

A music blog from Ireland.

Harmless Noise

December 19th, 2012
2012 :: Best Music Videos


My favourite music videos of 2013. 

One of my favourite categories on Harmless Noise is Video.  Not just because it makes life easier as a blogger to insert a bit of code and let people amuse themselves as the listen, but also because you can gain far more insight to a musician or band’s creative prowess when you see how they interpret their music visually, whether on their own merit or through a director.

HN-video 3


SomadronePulse Of Joy (Neil O’Connor)
Made by Somadrone himself, this video is equally scant and rich, much like the song. Put a piece of plain white paper in front of a synesthete and this is what I imagine they would see.

Slow SkiesAcross The Sea (FeelGoodLost)
Simple themes work best with simple songs. I found out about Slow Skies through SertOne recently and following the trail led to this video by FeelGoodLost. I like that the elements of nature and layered effects they’re well known for are used here, but in quite a gentle and unobtrusive way that doesn’t detract from the song.

BoutsTurn Away (Barry Macneil/Barry Bracken/Peter Grogan)
Another great video concept of unadulterated fun, Bouts packed a load of mates into a tiny karaoke booth, plied them with booze, pinned the Turn Away lyrics to the wall and then this video practically made itself.

AndersonHistory (Colm Russell)
Call me a sap but I love happy home videos. All you can really do as a musical parent is plant a seed, water it with love and then step back and let it grow. Starting with a grainy shot from a Super 8 reel, being asked ‘Are ye gonna sing a song?’, it cuts to modern-day Anderson launching into the first line. Not arthouse, but this heartwarming collection of footage makes me think Danny’s family must be really proud of him which is, y’know, nice.

EatenbybearsDuchenne Smile – (Paul D’Eath – psuedonym? No link!)
A video that’ll make you jump, the creepvibes are high. Eatenbybears went on to underline their love of lipstick in Your Pet Is Dead.

Clockwork OrchestraPaper Purse (Anne-Sophie Rosenvinge Skov)
Super cute 70s style stop motion by Danish artist which is so nice to watch. The abstract paper snippings provide a theme to follow without having to apply deep thought or interpretation. This video led me to explore the Clockwork Orchestra album and uncover all the treats contained within.

RoystaWalking Heart Attack (Bold Boy Films)
Fegs. You can’t help but stare agog at this lurid health warning from Belfast rapper. Or, for the blowback shots, perhaps that should be ‘stare agag’. Look after your heart: listen to Roysta.

Laura SheeranLonesome Soldier (Arbutus Yarns)
Two premier creatives joined forces when filmmaker Myles O’Reilly wove a shadowy spell of allure over Laura Sheeran’s downbeat track from What The World Knows.

Myles ManleyEaster Morning (Bob Gallagher)
This was the video that made me really sit up and take notice of what Myles Manley’s been doing with his band The Little People. I’d never really considered HD video as the modern counterpart to renaissance oil painting but it works so very well.

Costello ft. GIThe Representatives (Doonwave)
Typically one who thinks for himself as you can tell by the themes of his songs, there have been a good few hip hop videos doing the rounds this year and Costello went in the opposite direction of his fellows, choosing a bright and positive portrayal of Dublin’s Moore Street Market. It’s a very charismatic video, full of smiling people, that reminds me how much I love home.

TieranniesaurIn The Sargasso  (Bowsie Workshop)
One of the early videos of 2012, this is my favourite track from the Tieranniesaur video. Although minimalist, it’s a trippy watch as you realise that the hand puppetry imitates life under the sea.

Candice GordonI Haven’t Eaten In Days  (Candice Gordon)
Painstakingly made, this is perhaps the prettiest video of the year. The warm tones, roses, hair, wealth of textures, use of stop motion photography and puppetry Made me see how changeable Candice Gordon can be in a different light, and now I’m really looking forward to more.

BurrowsI Watched You Run – (Kate Glavey/Declan Q Kelly)
Shot in an underground carpark that’s been used by Declan as the recording base for music projects for a couple of years now, I was really impressed with this video for I Watched You Run because it gave the boundaries of expectation a well-needed push. Before seeing this, if you’d asked me how I’d visualise a Burrows video, I would have come up with some dull idea about a woodland. Kate Glavey aka Burrows had a better concept. While the carpark is a great location, this video wouldn’t work so well without the creepy horse mask, reclaimed from party jokers. This, and the use of natural light and body language in unnatural space, created something unnervingly human.

MMOTHS ft. Keep Shelly In AthensHeart (Jamie Delaney)
Another video with emphasis on youthful romance, this video for Heart is positively uplifting and intrinsically beautiful, and would assuage the fears of parents who worry where their teenagers go to party the night away, cans, smoke, fire and flares be damned. There’s an Instagram feel to its photogenic perfection that’s not quite real, but that helps us keep in mind the staged element that could otherwise visit an inferiority complex on those of us too old and past it to revisit such days of carefree abandon.

OchoYoung Hunting (Marcin Koszalka)
The word ‘sinister’ does not do justice to this immensely freaky video by acclaimed Polish director Koszalka. Apparently a lot more scenes were shot for this video but they were too graphic to be used, hence the insertion of kaledoscopic slides. Though beautiful, I think those let this down slightly but we see more than enough to use our imagination and anyway, this vid is all about that incredible shot of the body in the water. Sends chills down my spine every single time.

VillagersThe Waves (Alden Volney)
Open-minded as I consider myself to be, after the folky illustrative nature of Villagers’ videos from Becoming A Jackal I honestly did not expect to see this band go sci-fi. Proof then, that the Internet does not desensitise us completely. This was the other video this year (before Simon Bird) that impressed me with its use of computerised hue and saturation, wired elements, pixelated starchild Conor and electric celestial runway. It was the perfect visual introduction to the new, synthesised sound of Villagers’ forthcoming second album {Awayland}.

Ginola14 Hormonal Years – (Donnacha Coffey)
Bands just wanna have fun. Think I’ve watched this a dozen times and it hasn’t lost any of its exuberance, though it helps that this track from the Way Harsh EP is an absolute belter. It fits the title so well because always feels like I’m seeing Dublin Zoo from a kid’s point of view even though the guys in Ginola are way past the adolescent stage.

BATSWolfwrangler (Stevie Russell)
Just before releasing the album, BATS made a stunning return to the scene with this meat’n'moss metaphor for what scientists do in the name of love for their subject, turning their backs on socially acceptable lifestyles and the safe confines of staid careers in order to pursue knowledge and understanding off the beaten track. Wait for the moon shot, it’ll make you howl.

Little Green CarsThe John Wayne (Peter Strain)
There’s a big-budget official video for the song but I far prefer this artwork version of The John Wayne. The disembodied characters that gradually take shape sums up so well the angst of the song and youthful nature of the band. Lyrics in videos really appeal to me in general but the different sizes and strokes emphasise how good the words are. And as most may know from those after school cookies-and-milk moments in front of children’s TV, there’s something really riveting watching an artist at work.

Simon BirdAll The Houses On My Street Look Exactly The Same – (Kevin A. Freeney)
Stunning 10-minute mindbender of a video from the first release off Simon Bird’s Sport album. I really appreciated the imaginative use of colour and textures in this video, because they play huge roles in keeping my attention fixed on what I’m watching and ideally, I don’t want to tear my eyes away. It’s too easy to switch to a new tab and let the music play on its own as unfortunately, there’s been a lot of reliance on repetitive graphics and filters in videos in recent years that I found pretty boring. So All The Houses… worked for me on so many levels, from the super-high saturation and mixed media to the Wone Race central theme with costumes and choreography. The whole thing is utterly compelling and, short of going shaman, I could not have predicted anything like this coming out of Ireland this year.

These are the best Irish music videos of 2012 in my estimation, gathered from what I blogged about and can remember seeing elsewhere this year. As the list is restricted to 20 there are plenty more left over of course, and plenty more to come.

*Edit* I forgot about this excellent video for the EP title track There Go The Lights Again by Slow Place Like Home. So an honourable mention because it wouldn’t be fair to remove any of the nominations above. Check it out – directed by Jules Hackett, it features Julian Opie’s visual installation Suzanne Walking In A Leather Skirt.


Send to Kindle

One thought on “2012 :: Best Music Videos

  1. Pingback: Gig :: Slow Skies / Meltybrains? / Sinead White « Harmless Noise

%d bloggers like this: