I started making a list for my favorite music videos of the year and I got overwhelmed when I saw how many incredible releases this year hosted. Rather than narrow down a massive list, I decided instead to hone in on animated music videos. From stop motion animation to 2D to 3D to collage to virtual reality and everything in between, here are my eight favorite animated music videos of 2016.
Moby - "Are You Lost in the World Like Me?"
[Animated by Steve Cutts]
I spoke about this video earlier this month, but Moby crafted a very woke music video where humanity is glued to their screens, eventually plummeting to their death during the sunset. It's one you should watch with all of your social media pages closed. If you can handle it.
Anderson .Paak – "The Season // Carry Me // The Waters"
[Directed by Anderson .Paak & Chris Le]
One of my favorite albums of the year came correct with incredible visuals. For this video, Anderson .Paak combined three songs off of Malibu for a truly vivid experience, meshing collage-esque animation with live action. It's unlike any other video you will watch this year.
Supa Bwe – "Fool Wit It (Freestyle)" (Ft. Chance The Rapper)
[Animated by Abel Gray]
I look at this video as a milestone for animator/illustrator Abel Gray. After providing numerous pieces of art for Hurt Everybody, he handles the animation for Supa Bwe's collaborative track "Fool Wit It (Freestyle)". Featuring a verse from Chance The Rapper as well as production from Cam O'bi, it's a true Chicago gem, even if Mr. Gray is from the UK.
TheMIND – "Mercury Rising"
[Animated by Kid Super]
For a long stretch of time, this was my favorite music video of the year. theMIND released one of my favorite projects of 2016 and his two music videos ("Mercury Rising" and "Pale Rose") are both top notch. Here, we get a claymation stop-motion world crafted by Kid Super, a formula that does nothing but enhance the autobiographical and cosmic tales of the THEMpeople member.
Whitney – "Polly"
[Directed & Animated by Sarina Nihei]
Whitney deserves all of the 2016 awards. Put the trophies in a box and mail it to their crib. With a handful of great music videos this year, one of the most notable is the animated heartwarmer "Polly", which takes a turn for the surreal in the best possible way.
Bengfang – "Never Ends"
[Created by Trent Holbrook & Bengfang]
A 360 degree virtual reality music video? Watch as you move down a hallucinatory track with the ability to look around and take in your panoramic surroundings. Bengfang has a bunch of incredibly well done music videos, but this one might take the cake.
The Upbeats – "Say Go" (Ft. Mara TK)
[Animated by Jon Vermilyea]
Prior to pressing play on this video, I was unfamiliar with the drum and bass group The Upbeats, but when I saw that animator/illustrator Jon Vermilyea assisted with the creation, I was instantly hooked. Featuring a wild and vibrant world, the video for "Say Go" is a head trip unlike any other.
Radiohead – "Burn the Witch"
[Directed by Chris Hopewell]
Obviously I had to include this video on this list. Radiohead released one of the best albums this year, and this was the first video to kickstart their campaign. Watch as a stop motion man pays a visit to an odd village where things slowly grow stranger and stranger. The climax will stay in your head for weeks/months.
2016 Non-Animated Music Videos Worth Mentioning
Jake Troth - "Sunday Smile"
Whitney – "No Woman"
Kid Cudi – "Surfin"
Gabriel Garzon-Montano - "Trial"
Televangel - "We Dream of Drones"
Qari – "Caterpillar, Butterfly"
The Last Artful, Dodgr – "Squadron"
Joey Purp - "Girls @" // "Say You Do" (Pitchfork Version)
Rich Chigga – "Dat $tick"
Goldlink – "Palm Trees / Late Night" (Ft. Masego)
The Avalanches – "Frank Sinatra" (Ft. Danny Brown)
A$AP Mob - "Yamborghini High" (Ft. Juicy J)
WebsterX – "Everything"
Summer Salt – "Summer Salt"
Kaytranada – "Glowed Up" (Ft. Anderson .Paak)
Earthgang – "Momma Told Me" (Ft. J.I.D.)
NxWorries – "Link Up"
Gosh Pith – "K9"