Video time, and no, don't worry - we're not going to inject your usual dose of quality music videos with some sort of Christmas related nonsense, just all the recent clips that are worth your peepers, and hey, they may just be some of the best this year.
Fleet Foxes - The Shrine/An Argument (dir: Sean Pecknold)
One of the best tracks from one of the best albums of the year deserves not a good video, but one of the best. Sean (brother of band leader Robin) Pecknold delivers just that, in a beautifully rendered showcase of handcrafted animation with a mysterious, rustic atmosphere and rich, enigmatic characters. The visual matches to the soundtrack are brilliant and the lasting impact is that you've just beared witness to a stunning piece of art. Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps the most artsy video of the year.
Alpine - Hands (dir: Luci Schroder) NSFW
Already a staple of their live set, Hands is now the wonderful Melbourne band's lead single for their forthcoming debut. They've delivered impressively spooky drama before with Villages, but their latest ratchets up the sexual tension in a Lolita party of eating, licking and kooking out in a totally NSFW vid that's as sexy as it is creepy. It's scary hot stuff.
Beyoncé - Countdown (dir: Adria Petty)
*this video is just pop incarnate. It takes a surface of cool retro chic - with B flaunting a rotating wardrobe of outfits each more amazing than the last - then mixes it with some distinctly modern editing and visual trickery for a huge visual impact. Then there's some ace choereography that matches the track itself, a definite club upper of drum machines and dancehall swagger. Then a (may I remind you pregant) Beyoncé injecting the video with a pure sense of fun, not least because she herself looks like she's having buckets of it.
It's all so flashy and impressive that it encourages multiple viewings too, Single Ladies may just have found the yin to its yang. Oh... and it's directed by Tom Petty's daughter. Boom.
M83 - Midnight City (dir: Fleur & Manu)
As M83, Anthony Gonazales delivers eighties mini-epics, so it's only fair that the visual match to his synth-driven melodrama takes its influence from the same decade. Just your everyday narrative of psychic-powered kids, its influence made pretty clear by the accompnaying press statement: "This video is a tribute to Village of the Damned, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and other Akiras" That's three checked boxes in my film buff handbook! The finishing touch is neat too, a credits splash that mimics a movie poster, as that delectable sax solo blares us to black.