Contact Us

The Top 10 Music Videos of 2014


Although MTV abandoned music videos right around the dawn of reality television, that doesn’t mean musicians stopped making them. In fact, you could almost make the argument that a lack of a corporate gatekeeper has us firmly in the middle of a golden age for videos. Thanks to the instant accessibility of YouTube and a decreased emphasis on videos as a means to move units, artists are free to follow their visual creativity wherever it takes them. Whether that means shooting entirely on an iPhone or casting puppets, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

With the year coming to a close, we came up with our official list of the Top 10 music videos of 2014. Disagree with our choices? Comment and let us know which video you think should’ve been No. 1.


The Decemberists

‘Make You Better’

There’s a chance Ron Swanson might be the new Spike Jonze. Nick Offerman of ‘Parks and Recreation‘ directed this hilarious clip for the Decemberists (one of two videos he helmed in 2014 to make it on this list) and he brings his legendary mustache along to play the lovelorn host of a German cable show. While his faux interview with Colin Meloy incorporates a vague ‘Between Two Ferns’ air, Offerman manages to stick in a mildly profound statement at the very end.


Lykke Li

‘No Rest for the Wicked’

Although Swedish songstress Lykke Li wrote ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ about her own painful breakup, she plays a separate star-crossed lover in the midst of a very different volatile situation in the video. Alternately beautiful and narratively ugly, the clip (directed by Tarik Saleh) is a powerful one.


The Black Keys


Directed by Rolling Stone heir Theo Wenner, the Black Keys‘ video for ‘Fever’ casts frontman Dan Auerbach as a sweaty televangelist and drummer Patrick Carney as his equally sweaty sidekick. Shot to look intentionally cheap, it’s so successful at being authentic that you’ll want to shower after watching.


Arcade Fire

‘We Exist’

The Amazing Spider-Man himself — Andrew Garfield — is outright luminescent in Arcade Fire‘s controversial clip for ‘We Exist.’ Dressed in drag and assaulted at a dive bar, Garfield’s character falls into an extended dream sequence that culminates during the band’s recent appearance at Coachella. Although Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! didn’t care for it at all, we really do.


Dirty Heads


A straight-ahead and minimalistic performance video, Dirty Heads‘ clip for ‘Silence’ may lack an overarching concept or storyline, but its sheer quality elevates it. Shot using state-of-the-art cameras and with the help of fans, the video has been a mainstay on our Top 10 Video Countdown since its release in September.



‘I Won’t Let You Down’

At this point, you’ve gotta believe OK Go write songs specifically with elaborately choreographed music videos in mind. The drone-filmed ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ (directed by Morihiro Harano) is the latest in a long line of innovative videos, and it includes an army of umbrella-wielding Japanese schoolgirls all working to a maximum Esther Williams-type effect.



‘Low Key’

The fact that Jeff Tweedy‘s new band features his young son, Spencer, on drums leant itself perfectly to the premise of the father-son team hawking their record door-to-door. Another Nick Offerman joint, the Wilco frontman’s hysterical video features an impressive cavalcade of celebrity cameos (including Conan O’Brien and Melissa McCarthy) and also serves as a pretty poignant commentary on the current state of the record industry.



‘Hunger of the Pine’

Immediately evoking a certain ‘Hunger Games’ immediacy, Alt-J‘s video for ‘Hunger of the Pines’ combines epic cinematography and special effects with downright brutal imagery. Following a young man racing for his life through thick woods, it’s so well done it can be difficult to watch — and it culminates in a finale that’ll stick with you.


St. Vincent

‘Digital Witness’

There’s no subtlety in this Tim Burton-esque satire from St. Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark). With society’s obsession with social media squarely in its sites, the video helmed by Chino Moya depicts Clark (surreal hair and all) in a pastel but industrial world where nothing really happens. You can connect the allegorical dots from there.



‘Take Me to Church’

True, Irish musician Hozier released ‘Take Me to Church’ toward the end of 2013, but it didn’t reach a global audience until this year — and considering how strong the video is, we felt it had a place here. Beautifully filmed with subject matter that’s heart-wrenchingly painful, the video adds another layer of depth to the already immersive song.


Next: 21 Best Alt Rock Albums of the 21st Century

Best of 97.9 GRD

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for Freeloaders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Freeloaders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.