Best videos of 2012

A viral hit seems like the best way to make it big in the music business today, and whatever you think about the effect of that on actual songs it’s certainly been an entertaining year for watching crazy things set to tunes. Words by JODY MACGREGOR.

Sufjan Stevens – Mr. Frosty Man

If you love Christmas, you’ll enjoy seeing this claymation saga of Frosty the Snowman saving the holiday from an army of the un-dead. If you hate Christmas you will enjoy seeing what happens to Santa when the zombies arrive. Everybody wins.

Velociraptor – The Walk On By

This is actually a pretty honest interpretation of what a real Velociraptor gig is like, only instead of zombies there are fans and instead of biting – actually, the biting’s accurate.

Real Estate – Easy

It’s a hard-knock life for an indie band in 2012. Hustling, always hustling, whether it’s for Facebook likes or radio play. In the video for ‘Easy’, the Real Estate street team take this to its logical, law-breaking conclusion.

Spiritualized – Hey Jane

‘Hey Jane’ is a series of emotional gutpunches, delivered one after the other. As rough as you think its depiction of poverty-line single parenting has got, it always manages to one-up you with what comes next.

Fiona Apple – Every Single Night

Want to spend the next three-and-a-half minutes inside Fiona Apple’s head? Of course you do. It’s full of snails, yellow lasers, dancers with lights on sticks and now it’s time to feed the crocodiles and swim upside down. At least the octopus’ hat will keep you warm inside her crazy skull.

Ben Folds Five – Do It Anyway

It’s been a good year for celebrity guests in music videos – Shia LaBeouf in the NSFW clip for ‘Fjí¶gur Pí­aní³’ by Sigur Rí³s, Helena Bonham Carter in Rufus Wainwright’s ‘Out of the Game’, Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Time To Dance’ by The Shoes – but recruiting the Fraggles is obviously best of all.

Trash Talk – Slander

This is what punk concerts are like in your grandparents’ imagination when they mix up their meds. Crowd-surfing on an actual surfboard, motorbike to the face, blood and death and radioactive drugs. Give us some of those blue pills, Grandma.

Purity Ring – Lofticries

Emotionless people walk in and out of emotionally charged situations, each scene transforming into the next via the kind of glitches Tumblr calls “the new aesthetic”. It’s super pretentious and self-consciously arty, but it’s also amazing.

Woodkid – Run Boy Run

A schoolboy runs from left to right like he’s in a video game. But what’s he running away from, or towards? You’ll have to watch this cross between Where the Wild Things Are and Adventure Time to find out.

Explosions In the Sky – Postcard From 1952

‘Postcard From 1952’ takes family photographs and brings them to life for a few slow-motion moments like in your memories or Harry Potter, only here it’s made heart-squeezingly sad.

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