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15 Must-See Indie Music Videos of 2012

A Dark God Heart by Sleep Party People

Music videos can be total sensory overload. Not only do you get great audio from bands that have often spent insurmountable time mastering a song they have created, adding to them videos can open a similar avenue with interesting visual storylines and themes. Some have plots, some have twists, and some have neither; others are funny or thought-provoking; all within this list are great in their own right. Check out 15 of my favorite (in no particular order, other than the order they were added to the list) indie music videos of 2012… so far… and let me know what your favorite is, whether it’s on the list or not.

“Atticus in the Desert/Bright Whites” by Kishi Bashi

La Blogoteque and Take Away Shows have been around for several years now and it seems new, similar video sessions are popping up all over. Other than the stunning performance of “Neon Bible” by Arcade Fire in a giant elevator, “Atticus in the Desert/Bright Whites” is now among my session favorites. This was recorded by Echolocale at Golden Gate Park. You can find both songs on Kishi Bashi’s 151a LP, out on Joyful Noise Recordings. (Link goes to the 10th Anniversary pressing on Clear Vinyl!)

“A Dark God Heart” by Sleep Party People (NSFW)

Sleep Party People‘s NSFW video for “A Dark God Heart” quickly became one of my all-time favorite music videos. The cinematography is stunning and the storyline is perfect. You can find “A Dark God Heart” on the band’s 2012 LP We Were Drifting On A Sad Song.

“Weights” by Nat Baldwin

Nat Baldwin‘s music is a bit quirky. You’ve got elements of free jazz paired with the likings of folk. It works well, and this video for “Weights” is just as bizarre as the music sounds; and equally as entertaining. “Weights” is off Baldwin’s recent LP, People Changes.

“Hood” by Perfume Genius

I’m new to Perfume Genius, whose music has thin parallels to masters like Antony Hegarty and Jamie Stewart without the gender-ambiguous vocals or blatant freakouts respectively. The man behind the band is Mike Hadreas and this video (which shouldn’t be semi-controversial but is) features gay porn star Arpad Miklos tenderly brushing Hadreas’s hair, applying lipstick on him and giving him a loving embrace.

Find Put Your Back N 2 It on Amazon.

“Friends Of Friends” by Hospitality

After my buddy Jeremy turned me onto Hospitality, I quickly checked out “Friends Of Friends” which features Gabe of Videogum and actress Alia Shawkat, best known for her role in Arrested Development as Maebe Fünke. With the announcement of a new season of the cult classic show, I’m sure plenty of AD fans will enjoy this one, if but for her mere presence. You know, that red head looks a lot like the shallow blind girl that turns down Kenneth in that episode of 30 Rock too…

Grab Hospitality’s self-titled LP on Amazon.

“Postcard From 1952” by Explosions In The Sky

I like to think the bubble that appears in the beginning and end of this video is a metaphor for how quickly life passes us by; life is too short. If you don’t pause now and again, you miss some really great moments. “Postcard From 1952” by Explosions in the Sky captures in slow motion some of those moments; within each there is both joy and sadness.

“Postcard From 1952” is off Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, available on double vinyl on Amazon.

“No. 1 Against The Rush” by Liars

“No. 1 Against The Rush” is one of the top singles off Liars‘ exceptional 2012 LP, WIXIW, pronounced wish you. This video follows a serial killer packing his van with the bodies of Liars.

“Now That I’ve Given Up Hope, I Feel Much Better” by Shout Out Out Out Out

Falling over in your chair was never this cool. Need I say more? “Now That I’ve Given Up Hope, I Feel Much Better” is the exceptional opening track off Shout Out Out Out Out‘s Spanish Moss And Total Loss.

“Gold Rush” by Deep Time

When I mention Deep Time to friends, I tend to relate the band to a much more indie Stereolab. But noting relations, influences or similarities often fails to adequately give one the impression of an artist. Deep Time is a prime example. Songs like “Clouds”, “Homebody” and “Gold Rush” have dominated my playlist this year — in a way that Stereolab never could muster. Here ghosts have fun in the sun. “Gold Rush” is off their self-titled LP on Hardly Art.

“Fineshrine” by Purity Ring

“Fineshrine” by Purity Ring has been a mainstay on this year’s playlist, having already been featured in several of my radio playlists. But it wasn’t until just recently that I came across this video for the song. The band’s name, and their album titled Shrines, can easily lead one to think the band may have a religious background, but neither their label (4AD) nor Wikipedia note them as so. Still, this video for “Fineshrine” may lead you to that conclusion. It has a great little twist at the end…

Find Purity Ring vinyl albums on Amazon.

“Forever Boy” by A Classic Education

A Classic Education released one of my favorite albums last year, Call It Blazing. On it is the single “Forever Boy” and this video shows that no matter how old you are, you can still be both young at heart and very cool. The video goes back and forth between an elderly gent and some carefree late 20-somethings (i.e. the band). I think they sum it up perfectly in one line: “Getting all eccentric got no other plan!”

“Wait For Us” by Mind Spiders

The synopsis on Vimeo says it best: A reclusive man sends a distress beacon to catch his ticket off an abandoned planet. “Wait For Us” is off Mind Spiders‘ recent LP, Meltdown.

“The Dark” by Mock Suns

Remember that wild zombie case in Florida? This band posted on Facebook that (paraphrase) they ate faces before it became cool. Not long before that incident took place, they released (and I covered) this video. Tell me: does it make you hungry?

“As I Lay Sleeping” by Ozarks

I became obsessed with Ozarks after coming upon their video for “Pyramids of Love“. It was to be on this list, but then I found they’ve got a new one for “As I Lay Sleeping”. And where Mock Suns draw influence (maybe) from the zombie trend, Ozarks take it from vampires. I’d say this one likely has a few Dark Shadows (original series, not recent movie) references in it. Once again, the description on Vimeo provides some insight: A vignette of a stately young man once bitten… twice dead. As he goes about his life, his ancient ancestor looks on, in apparent disappointment.

“True Thrush” by Dan Deacon

No matter what the scenario, a Dan Deacon video will unequivocally be unique and creative, and undoubtedly fun. “True Thrush” is a play off that old game where you sit in a circle and tell a secret to the person next to you… they tell the person next to them… and so on until the end. It always ends up a little different from how it started.

1 thought on “15 Must-See Indie Music Videos of 2012”

  1. great list! gave me and the man something to watch on a rainy Sunday night….and I discovered my new favorite…Nat Baldwin…..hilarious video! (how have I not seen it before??) Thanks for sharing 🙂

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