Published Apr 30, 2020
8. "Sibling Rivalry" (2019)
Stefan's been sharing his comics and drawings on Instagram over the past few years, and this clip levels up his stick figure drawings with Martin MacPherson's clever animated pamphlets, as the story of Stefan and his sister's road trip turns into a heartwarming ode to the bonds between siblings both familial and otherwise (if only to not exclude only child Steve).
7. "Reservoir" (2013)
The band's first music video already nails their flare for fun storytelling, gory humour and uplifting endings while capturing the intimate, violent intensity of their live sets, as a typical PUP set quickly devolves into a violent, bloody disaster. Bonus points for the cameo by legendary Toronto promoter Dan Burke.
6. "Dark Days" (2015)
PUP typically use music videos to escape their reality, but this animated clip best captures the stark truths of PUP's relentless touring schedule. The video's unsparing depiction of all the lows — sparsely attended shows, fights, crashes, ill-advised drug trips, miscommunications — will have you exhaling with relief during the highs.
5. "Kids" (2019)
After two videos about the band's fictional pasts (we'll get to those soon), the band peek into the future to find Nestor as an exasperated parent of a rebellious teen, Zack on the streets, Steve as a Mugatu-esque fashion impressario and Stefan having mysteriously disappeared. With so many Easter eggs and heartwarming little details (Nestor naming his child after his bandmates? Adorable!), it's a love letter to the band's rich mythology.
4. "Guilt Trip" (2014)
Yes, it's the video that helped launch the career of the new face of '80s nostalgia, but Finn Wolfhard is just one part of a stellar ensemble cast. Beyond the loving tribute to Stand by Me and expertly cast teen stars lies a touching story of young friendship and a riveting narrative bolstered by heart-pounding action sequences. It was the first major example of how PUP used narratives to heighten their music videos from visual delights into cinematic storytelling.
3. "DVP" (2016)
Easily the greatest lyric video ever created, featuring pixel-perfect renditions of the world's most iconic video games, soundtracked by PUP's most critically acclaimed song. It's less cerebral than the band's standard fare, but who gives a shit? It's just as fun, high-octane and deceptively thoughtful as the song it's set to.
2. "Sleep In the Heat" (2016)
The rare sequel that's better than the original, this "Guilt Trip" follow-up foists the spotlight firmly on Finn Wolfhard — fresh off his star-making turn on the first season of Stranger Things — as he bonds with a dog and (spoiler alert) tragically has to put him down. C'mon, it was supposed to be a lighthearted music video about a boy and his companion, why'd I need to get the tissues out?
1. "Old Wounds" (2017)
This is no mere music video: It's a choose-your-own-adventure video game where you play the band's tour manager trying to guide the band's members through one wild night. It's got endless replay value, tons of little details crammed in each frame and expertly tracked concurrent narratives. It transcends the medium itself.
Full disclosure: I don't have the patience to have ever seen it through to completion, but I've tried it a handful of times over the years and every time I stumble upon something new and hilarious. If anyone ever claims that music videos and/or video games aren't art, just show them this.