The top 10 Toronto music videos of 2014
Our favourite Toronto music videos of 2014 are proof that our city's strongest acts aren't content to limit their creativity to audio - they have a ton to say visually as well. With concepts ranging from laugh-out-loud funny to intensely moving to complete WTF insanity, these clips selected by our staff run a wide gamut and have tons of replay value for very different reasons. With 2014 forever marked as the year MuchMusic sounded its own death knell, it seems more important than ever to give tribute to this increasingly precious artistic medium.
Here are our music team's picks for the top music videos from Toronto this year.
Odonis Odonis - "Order in the Court"
Director Lee Stringle brings an old Hieronymous Bosch painting to terrifying life with this video. It's an animated descent into hellish madness that accurately syncs with the shrill wails and sawtooth noise of this standout track from Odonis Odonis' Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled.
Man Made Hill - "Constant Touching"
Randy Gagne decided to go the extremely literal route when making this video for his freak-funk project Man Made Hill. He and his all-male dance troupe partake in some sort of weird postmodern khaki parkour for "Constant Touching" (followed by "Troll Jazz" in the clip). It's kind of mesmerizing.
PUP - "Guilt Trip"
The video for the opening track off PUP's debut is just your typical band origin story - drunk children, shack explosions, blood brother pacts (ow) and the inevitable moment your lead singer grabs a cop's gun. Watch for The Smugglers' Grant Lawrence making a great cameo as the ill-fated cop.
Austra - "Habitat"
The sensual vibes of Austra's slick electropop are captured exquisitely in this Matt Lambert-directed clip. Three starkly different couples build tension exploring their sexy side in a seedy hotel (though it's far from raunchy - basically, sex = dancing). Bathed in an artfully lit neon glow, "Habitat" is a feast for the eyes.
Owen Pallett - "The Riverbed"
The first official video from Owen Pallett's acclaimed In Conflict is a beautifully honest snippet about the anxieties of age. The song's gradual build of frenetic energy matches perfectly with the visuals. Cool tidbit: Pallett cast his own actor uncle in the lead role.
Petra Glynt - "Sour Paradise"
Multimedia artist Petra Glynt stays true to form with this inventive, highly interpretive music video directed by Blake Macfarlane. A wash of acid colours illuminates scenes of women dancing with abandon to the music's polyrhythmic, noise-tinged blast. The environmentalism theme is ever present, but preachiness is eschewed for positivity.
Weeknd - "King of the Fall"
Some may prefer The Weeknd's "Often" (NSFW), but the follow up for "King of the Fall" is just so thoroughly Toronto we have to forgive the artist some of his more questionable bro moments. Abel Tesfaye spends the slow jam strolling from Parkdale to Queen and Spadina, a.k.a The Land of Sad Hotties. See how many downtown spots you can recognize.
Greys - "Guy Picciotto"
It's one of the simplest video concepts of the year, but Greys' amp toss in "Guy Picciotto" is also one of the most effective. Between band performance shots that momentarily seem like old Fugazi bootlegs, you're drawn into the Marshall's slow descent off the roof of a downtown highrise, eagerly awaiting a payoff that never happens.
Trust - "Capitol"
One of our favourite all-time goths, Trust revels in vintage 80s vibes with this video for "Capitol." Kind of a cross between Poltergeist and Tron, it depicts a young woman who becomes possessed and gets pulled into a glittery, laser-lit sci-fi world. Robert Alfons, now the only member of Trust, performs solo in moody interstitials.
Diana - "Strange Attraction"
This slow-burn track from 2013's Perpetual Surrender got the video treatment from George Bok earlier this year. With spellbinding cinematic quality, it portrays a 1950s couple whose relationship is slowly unravelling. Diana's Carmen Elle does a beautiful job playing the part of unhappy housewife, and her Nancy Sinatra-esque style is fashion-lover candy.
What did we miss? Add your favourite Toronto music videos of 2014 in the comments below.
Lead image from Sour Paradise
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