2011 has been a memorable year for music video. From Best Coast to Beyonce, Azealia Banks to Arctic Monkeys, here's our pick of the most arresting audio-visual moments of the year.

10'Big Bad Wolf'

Now it takes quite a lot to freak us out but to be honest Duck Sauce’s utterly disturbing penis-as-members (sorry) of –Duck-Sauce is pretty 'chills-the-blood-in-our-veins' freaky. Particularly disturbing in the ‘actual sex’ scene. *Vomits*
Best bit: The ‘pissing head’ scene is pretty memorable.

Duck Sauce, 'Big Bad Wolf' (NSFW)
Video: Duck Sauce, 'Big Bad Wolf' (NSFW)


Looks like you’ve attempted to tune your TV into an obscure alternative MTV channel in the 80s with a rusty aerial. Death Grips’ MC Ride hits us with a hypnotic one shot from the passenger seat of a car.
Best bit: Ride’s head nod where his eyes look all coloured out. Spooky.


With nods to high fashion shoots, an Audrey Hepburn flick, a Feist promo and obscure Belgian choreographers, B’s vid for ‘4’s best track was as stunning as you’d imagine. It also managed to hide her baby bump pretty damn well.
Best bit: The rolling, multiple split screens.


A typically stylish video that perfectly matches up St Vincent’s mix of sweet and dark. Kidnapped by a family to play the role of the absent mother, St Vincent flits around awkwardly in Middle America with deeply creepy results.
Best bit: Buried alive by the Village Of The Damned kid? Sure…

6‘Our Deal’

Drew Barrymore brought her directional expertise to the video for one of our favourite Best Coast tracks. Casting a load of hot new teenage talent (including Chloe Moretz and Miranda Cosgrove) was a masterstroke, giving this Romeo And Juliet- like tale of gang violence, an element of stylized authenticy. And gosh that ending…*weeps*
Best bit: The big reveal.

5‘The Bay’

‘The English Riviera’ wasn’t just an album title, it was a complete aesthetic, as the video for ‘The Bay' displayed. Duran Duran-style sprawling footage of bathing beauties and grandiose shots of the sea, were countered by Joe and the band dressed in their best sea-front pastels and posing on the glammy seafront (probably Margate…)
Best bit: The homage to Kylie’s ‘Slow’.

Metronomy - 'The Bay'
Video: Metronomy - 'The Bay'


It’s a classic narrative; hot new rapper ingests rather large insect, gets a little hot and sweaty, develops characteristics of said insect (dead, bug eyes) and then, sadly, hangs self after the bug juice has got to his brain. A perfect visual from one of the year’s most challenging new stars.
Best bit: The dead eyes shot.


This opening shot from 2011’s Coolest Person perfectly illustrates her effortless why she topped the list. She was the x-rated potty mouth who dressed in a Mickey Mouse jumper and wore pigtails in her hair. She was fierce, funny and adorable all at the same time.
Best bit: The '212' ‘walking/strut dance’.

Azealia Banks feat. Lazy Jay - '212'
Video: Azealia Banks feat. Lazy Jay - '212'

2'Suck It And See'

Helders and gamine gal pal go on classic ‘Badlands’/ ‘True Romance’ style mini-movie in the Monkeys most uncharacteristically bold video to date. P Diddy’s BFF is surprisingly effective in the bad boy role (although we still feel a bit voyeuristic when things go a bit ‘sexy time’).
Best bit: The ‘Suck It And See’ lighter!

Arctic Monkeys - 'Suck It And See'
Video: Arctic Monkeys - 'Suck It And See'

1'Video Games'

The re-invention of Lizzy Grant into Lana Del Rey was aided by this clip. Surrounded by iconic images of classic American (the Hollywood sign, the US flag, Tupac) Lana herself was a self made star - all big bouffant hair, and well, those lips. Best bit: That shot of Lana looking straight into the camera, intoning the sad lyrics. A star was born.

Share This

Connect With Us
This Week's Magazine