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Best Of 2016's Music Videos: Part 3

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Leland Music narrows down 2016’s vast promo output

Best Of 2016's Music Videos: Part 3

To finish our round up of 2016 music videos we're looking at films with a focus on choreography, as well films with brilliant direction and concepts.


The Blaze – Virile

Label: Bromance 
Director: The Blaze, Jonathan Alric

There’s something just so wonderfully pure about this film. The music itself has a tenderness and sense of hope that marries beautifully with the simplicity of the concept: a couple of guys dancing around in an apartment, having a good time. I think it deserves to be in the choreography category because there are several beautiful moments, improvised in feel, of solo and paired dancing. The affection and playfulness just leaves you smiling.

Son Lux - Undone

Label: Joyful Noise 
Director: David Terry Fine

The genius element of this film is the quick switching of environments from a forest setting to a black room. The two dancers, brilliantly cast here, seem only able to express themselves in the latter universe, perhaps suggesting a freedom not attainable in the real world.

Blood Orange – Better Than Me

Label: Domino
Director: Devonte Hynes

From the king of choreographed clips. Soft-light, suits, film grain, almost whispered verses, sax solo and heaps of ‘verb: could it get any more deliciously 80s? And a Carly Rae Jepsen cameo to boot.

Chemical Brothers feat. Beck – Wide Open

Label: Virgin EMI
Director: Dom & Nic

Technology meets human movement in this clip for The Chemical Brothers. Beautiful and simple.

Francis & The Lights feat. Bon Iver & Kanye West – Friends

Label: KTTF
Director: Jake Shreier 

I love this track, and Francis Farewell Starlite’s struts are delightful, but it’s the quasi-90s-era-boy-band moves that keep bringing me back. Justin Vernon goes at it with gusto. Kanye does very little, but I’m okay with that.


Run The Jewels (feat. Gangsta Boo) – Love Again

Label: Mass Appeal
Director: Ninian Doff

I’m biased (because RTJ = life) but this is simultaneously one of the most stunningly directed and terribly inappropriate clips of 2016.

Cherry Glazerr – Told You I’d Be With The Guys

Label: Secretly Canadian 
Director: Riley Blakeway

This is a simple concept done well for a banging track from LA fuzz pop band, Cherry Glazerr: everyday settings slowly filling with men in red shirts.

Solange – Cranes In The Sky

Label: Columbia 
Director: Alan Ferguson, Solange Knowles

2016 was a critical year for minority voices in the USA: the ongoing conflict between people of colour and law enforcement, discussions about representation in all industries and deep political divisions resulted in constant shifts in the presentation of art by people of colour. Solange’s album A Seat At The Table seems both a protest and unapologetic celebration of black culture and black women’s powers of expression. The film for “Cranes In The Sky” is a stunning piece of direction: the muted colour palettes and grand settings are awe-inspiring, and the beautifully graceful movements of Solange and her ensemble exude power and elegance.

Michael Nau – Love Survive

Label: Suicide Squeeze 
Director: Parallel Teeth 

Embarrassingly, this is the one and only animated video in this round up. The dreamy Americana style of Michael Nau is represented beautifully here by the naïve and simple animation of Parallel Teeth. It’s summery and calming, synchronised to the plinks and plonks of percussion in the track.

Codie Childs is Senior Music Researcher at Leland Music. Find out more about their work at

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Leland Music, Mon, 16 Jan 2017 12:57:52 GMT