By Gregory AdamsThe clips accompanying our Canadian artists' finest singles this year ran the gamut from big-budget productions with countless set pieces to on-the-cheap chucklers full of low-brow boner jokes. A good number of them had us scratching our heads, with camera cuts homing in on anything from medieval sword fights on the beach to an iPhone-indebted look at the world outside our cellies. Let us pray that the more inventive vids of the year inspire more directors to abandon the traditional faux-concert clip and go for something bigger and, ultimately, better.
Top 10 Canadian Music Videos of 2012:
10. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan "Hoshi Neko"
Toronto-based prog experimentalists Yamantaka // Sonic Titan's music is pretty heady as it is, but the band's video for poppy space jam "Hoshi Neko" took us on an even wilder ride. The animated video homes in on the life-and-death journeying of a koi fish that gets swallowed up by a hungry kitten, then proceeds to navigate an intestinal tract before being expelled butt-wise to haunt the cosmos. You'll just have to check the rest of the humourous head-scratcher down below.
9. Ladyhawk "You Read My Mind"
As Ladyhawk can attest, you don't need a big budget to produce a memorable clip, or even semi-professional editing skills. Of the wacky highlights in their self-produced "You Read My Mind," we get grainy VHS video stills and pixel-y pics of Mr. T's similarly mohawked cartoon mutt, an animated gif of a positively satanic Michael Jackson and at least one boner-popping gif. All of it plays by like it was run through an automatic slideshow function, which clearly befits the home job more than some slickened star wipes.
8. Islands "Hallways"
Islands main man Nick Thorburn is a team player, through and through. In the video for "Hallways," he's joined by a crack team of skeleton beatniks who work their fingers to the bone to pump out the ragtime creeper. In a show of solidarity, the suited-up figure sheds his skin — not to mention the bulk of his organs, save a dangling eyeball — to feel at home with the rest of the bones brigade. Despite the crew saying farewell to flesh and blood, the creepy but cute video is a heartwarming affair.
7. Said the Whale "We Are 1980"
West Coast pop crew Said the Whale delivered videos for each song off of their latest LP Little Mountain, so it was hard to home in on just one particular clip, but perhaps the technology-focused "We Are 1980" trumps the rest. Its star flips through real-life settings as if scrolling through an iPhone slideshow, and alters his existence by shaking up the scenery, which ultimately leaves things a little pixel-y. Check it out and consider that this could be a comment on our too-close-for-comfort attachment to our smartphones.
6. Chains of Love "He's Leaving with Me"
Considering the heartwarming retro-soul sound of Chains of Love's Strange Grey Days, it came as a bit of a surprise to see the band issue its creepy, voyeuristic clip for "He's Leaving with Me." We're not sure why a mustachioed motel owner has singer Nathalia Pizarro and now-former guitarist/vocalist Rebecca Marie Law Gray holed up in a room with himself and an uncomfortable private dancer, or why the dude has his whole enterprise rigged up with hidden cameras. Perhaps the band need to get their booking agent to arrange some better accommodations the next time they head out on tour.