• 09.07.12

Forget the VMAs: Here Are Your Alternative Music Videos Of The Year

Last night, MTV handed out its annual awards for the best music videos. The list of winners may seem sorely lacking, but that’s okay because Vimeo has fixed it.

Considering the network’s reliance on reality-based programming, MTV seems like less of an authority than ever on what makes a compelling music video. If last night is any indication, the best MTV can muster these days is Taylor Swift getting over her latest flame, One Direction staring into your heart, and Rihanna cavorting with a Chris Brown impersonator (ok, that video is pretty good). As though there weren’t thousands of wildly inventive videos circulating online, deserving of recognition. Vimeo has taken matters into its own hands, though.


The video-sharing site recently posted its picks for the 10 best music videos of the year in an album cheekily titled “The Vimeo AMVs: Alternative Music Videos on Vimeo.” The list includes 10 divergent, visually dazzling vids completely unaffiliated with MTV, but perhaps worthy of a Jersey Shore-size audience. Oh, and the songs aren’t bad either.

As Vimeo notes in a disclaimer on a blog post about the list, curators left out some of the higher profile Vimeo videos already being recognized by your MTV types (like Romain Gavras’ “Bad Girls” for M.I.A.) So the resulting list represents the alternative alternatives. Directed by Ian Robertson, the dancey Delta Heavy spot, “Get By” breathes new life into the stop motion video, with a variety of board games turning into graphic equalizers before your eyes. Former (and perhaps future?) Blur guitarist Graham Coxon’s user-contributed video for “What’ll It Take,” directed by Ninian Doff, takes footage of 85 separate fans dancing, and digitally inserts the clips into a new setting with playful sloppiness. Debut director Houmam Abdallah takes Beirut’s “The Rip Tide” out to sea, with lush cinematography and a surreal feel.

Watch these and the other AMVs in the video slideshow above.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.