The 15 Best Music Videos of 2016

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We are counting down our favourite music videos of 2016. A good music video is one that keeps your attention even with the sound turned off. We admire MVs that are cinematic, adventurous, fun, sentimental, clever, artistic, original, that have attractive wardrobe choices, breathtaking shots, architectural or natural wonders, or a stellar message. With high standards, we prefer MVs that are low on violence, lechery, expletives, self-mutilation, and do not display the use of toxic substances, all of which are ugly to us. We select videos that are beautiful to look at, colourful, with crisp, clear photography and brightness/contrast controls properly balanced. Below is a list of our 15 favourite Canadian MVs released in 2016. As YouTube often changes the addresses of videos, we have not embedded the MVs here but have provided links to them for your convenience. (Do note that these may become invalid in the future). As usual, we allowed only one entry per artist on the list and have provided a screen capture for each video below.

15Black Moon by Amaara

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New Canadian singer and dream pop specialist Amaara, based in Toronto, launched debut single “Black Moon” complete with a music video that is filled with mystical themes and dark ambience. Find Amaara near a misty forest joined by some real animals—horse, wolf dog, and owl—lightning, and a rising supermoon. The MV was shot in Alberta.  Link

14Time by Dean Brody

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Time is a subject many recording artists like to address. Country superstar Dean Brody does a fine job especially when singing about how time can alienate generations. “He takes her fishing but he feels bad; she can’t take her eyes off that Facebook page”. And then speaks of how taking time for granted will result in missed opportunities. “But someday soon, who knows how long, she’ll look up from that phone and he’ll be gone.” The wonderful music video does the song justice with many beautiful, related shots that are often dark, damp, and leafy.  Link

13How Far I’ll Go by Alessia Cara

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Alessia performs the song from the Disney animated film Moana on the beach. She has the mother of all sticks and has fun drawing intricate patterns in the sand.  Link

12Faint of Heart by Tegan and Sara

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The Calgary twins put out a number of impressive MVs for tracks off the Love You to Death album. We liked this one best. It features a number of music fans dressing up as their favourite icons with suitable backdrops. Included are Madonna, Elvis, David Bowie, and more.  Link

11Armageddon by Michelle Treacy

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Michelle Treacy was one of the breakout artists of the year; her song “Armageddon” made the Billboard Hot 100. She’s from Ottawa. In the MV, she takes notes in her big journal with a plume and decks herself in colourful attire surrounded by a crowd of teddy bears. Can she make it through the Armageddon?  Link

10Mea Culpa by Automat

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Quebec City’s Automat knew just where to find some picturesque landscapes heading over to Iceland for the shoot. It’s always a good idea to use a decent camera to take advantage of the climes which the band has done here. Exploring a new land is always fun and the MV perfectly captures that spirit.  Link

9Je Reviens by Marie-Mai

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Pop-rock platinum superstar Marie-Mai released this MV at the end of last year after we published our best MVs of 2015 list, so we’ve given it a home on 2016’s. The song is a supercharged rock juggernaut with electronic pulses and a cool oriental vibe; the MV is a feast for the eyes.  Link

8World Princess Part II by Grimes

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Vancouver’s Grimes treated us with a number of music videos in 2016 and just about any of them could be placed here. We like this one best with its raindrops falling on green grass next to a dilapidated castle and footbridge backed by great architecture among other sights.  Link

7Shore by Daniela Andrade

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This popular Edmonton indie pop whiz delighted us with 4 music videos for the 4 tracks on her 2016 EP, Shore. They are all spectacular, shot in Canada, Cuba, and Morocco. We settled on the MV for title-track “Shore”.  Link

6So Far Away by Bridgeway ft. Stéphanie Bédard

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One of the year’s best bilingual version songs came from Bridgeway and features Drummondville, QC’s Stéphanie Bédard. It has a nice pop/rock feel with rich textures reminiscent of Take That. The MV for “So Far Away” presents some spectacular views of snowy land surrounding a tower.  Link

5Need You Now by Gelsea Mae

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Newcomer Gelsea Mae from Vancouver Island put out the perfect video for pop song “Need You Now” as she dances amidst jiving neon lines, kaleidoscopes, and flashes of glitter.  Link

4Too Young by Zeds Dead

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One of the cleverest videos of the year, one can only imagine how much work went into it. A model with various rooms and sets showcases the goings on with the animated figures. Zeds Dead is from Toronto.  Link

3Underside by You Say Party

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This music video deserves an award. Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s classic movie Princess Mononoke, we watch a little one journeying through vast terrain to find something or perhaps hoping to be found. The group filmed 4,000 km around Japan. This is pretty amazing.  Link

2Diamond Eyes by Lexi Strate

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Making effective use of contrasts between shadowy turquoise verses and a glittering peachy chorus, as well as adding a mixed emotion pink/blue combo for the bridge before going for the kaleidoscope at the close, this is fabulous music video art that complements an artistic pop track perfectly. A delicious dessert for both the ears and eyes.  Link

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Canadian Music Blog’s 2016 Music Video of the Year

The iceman cometh. When grief-stricken in a cold and very sad, blue world, one must be careful lest the sudden arrival of the warmth of love cause the heart to melt and the body too! Being thrown from one world to the opposite one may be a relief but sometimes the change is too much. Our protagonist is melting like wax and his beautiful companion is rushing to save him with a bag of ice. But will it be too late? However you may interpret it, what an amazing music video, beautifully shot, and with all kinds of meanings. Canadian Music Blog declares “Demain vendredi” from Jason Bajada as 2016’s music video of the year!  Link

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