Published Dec 14, 2016Sure, Beyoncé and Frank Ocean kept the full-length visual album industry going strong this year, but there's something equally impressive about being able to pack a powerful storyline into just a few brief minutes. The art of the music video is clearly still alive and thriving, even if we now watch them with our faces pressed up to tiny phone screens.
As 2016 comes to a close, we're revisiting some of the finest clips created by Canuck talent over the last 12 months. Plenty of Canadians topped the charts this year, delivering glossy, high-budget clips to accompany their hit songs, while other home-grown talent opted for lower scale DIY magic.
Exclaim!'s Top 10 Canadian Music Videos runs the gamut. Feast your eyes on every single one of the year's best clips down below.
To see more of Exclaim!'s Best of 2016 lists, head here.
Top 10 Canadian Music Videos of 2016:
10. Danny L Harle ft. Carly Rae Jepsen
(Directed by Bradley & Pablo)
Technically, PC Music's Danny L Harle isn't Canadian, but it's featured guest Carly Rae Jepsen that really steals the show in the video for their collaborative track "Super Natural," anyway. Harle plays the realtor to Jepsen's prospective mansion owner, but things get a lot more fun than that sounds once they step inside the house. After shimmying up and down the house's hallways singing to the camera, Jepsen takes the party outside for a barbecue, where things really start to get wild.
9. The Weeknd
(Directed by Ilya Naishuller)
The Weeknd waited until the year was almost over to drop his Starboy LP, but "False Alarm" had us all eagerly awaiting the record before it arrived. The accompanying clip puts viewers in the midst of a disturbingly violent bank heist gone horribly wrong. It's not until the blood-soaked end that we find out who the mastermind behind the whole operation is, meaning viewers are kept on the hook all the way through.
"Kill V. Maim"
(Directed by Grimes and Mac Boucher)
Grimes landed atop Exclaim!'s Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums of 2015 with Art Angels, but she kept the record's momentum going strong this year with several video releases. Our favourite of the bunch was "Kill V. Maim," which finds the pop star and her crew of dystopian superhero pals taking over the Toronto subway with their futuristic get-ups and wild dance moves.
7. Sum 41
"Fake My Own Death"
(Directed by Marc Klasfeld)
Sum 41 returned with a vengeance this year (just don't call it a Sum-back), delivering their 13 Voices album. It was prefaced by a video for "Fake My Own Death," which found the band back in cahoots with Marc Klasfeld — the guy who directed some of the band's classic clips, like "Fat Lip" and "In Too Deep." This time around, the band were forced to dodge an onslaught of terrifying IRL memes, fleeing everything from Kim Kardashian's Internet-breaking butt, tea-sipping Kermit and meme-turned-President Donald Trump to Nyan Cat, Doge and a dog shitting poomojis into a cone (the ice cream receptacle, not the band's bassist).
6. Tegan and Sara
"Faint of Heart"
(Directed by Devon Kirkpatrick)
Tegan and Sara delivered plenty of memorable clips from Love You to Death this year, but "Faint of Heart" was a particularly poignant one, originally released in the wake of the Orlando shootings. The video sees LGBTQ youth donning elaborate costumes and taking the mic in tribute to iconic musicians like David Bowie, Prince, Madonna, Grace Jones and Elvis. As an added bonus, there's even a duo impersonating Tegan and Sara themselves.