The Gummy Awards 2012: Your Top 10 Music Videos

Our rundown of this year’s Gummy Awards results continues! Close watchers of yesterday’s Top 20 Tracks reveal will be interested to learn that 60% of these selections also appeared on yesterday’s list, though the #1 Best Video isn’t on your top Top Tracks list, and vice versa. Interesting! (And a note to aforementioned Close Watchers who find this “Interesting!”: We salute your nerdiness and love for stats.) One more stat for you, then: As a medium, music videos tend to reward singular, charismatic focal points, so it’s little surprise that this year’s list is 70% full of solo artists — charismatic and singular to the letter.

Now that we have our numbers crunched, press play once more on your Top 10 Videos of 2012:

10. Jack White – “Sixteen Saltines” (Dir. AG Rojas)

09. Killer Mike – “Big Beast” (Feat. T.I., Bun B & Trouble) (Dir. Thomas C. Bingham)

08. Solange – “Losing You” (Dir. Melina Matsoukas)

07. Spiritualized – “Hey Jane” (Dir. AG Rojas)

06. Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” (Dir. Joe Pelling & Becky Sloan)

05. Frank Ocean – “Pyramids” (Dir. Nabil)

04. PSY – “Gangnam Style

03. Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again” (Dir. Emily Kai Bock)

02. Grimes – “Oblivion” (Dir. Emily Kai Bock)

01. M.I.A. – “Bad Girls” (Dir. Romain Gavras)


Congratulations to Romain Gavras on that top spot, and to Emily Kai Bock for placing twice. For a fun comparison, close watchers, please see last year’s Top Videos list. And here is a copy-and-paste-able recap of 2012′s:

10. Jack White – “Sixteen Saltines”
09. Killer Mike – “Big Beast”
08. Solange – “Losing You”
07. Spiritualized – “Hey Jane”
06. Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
05. Frank Ocean – “Pyramids”
04. PSY – “Gangnam Style”
03. Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”
02. Grimes – “Oblivion”
01. M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”

UPDATE: Here are the results in all categories:

Comments (60)
  1. Not feelin’ Grizzly Bear at #3. Bad Girls, Oblivion, Gangnam Style and Pyramids would’ve been a flawless top 4 (although come on, we all know PSY deserves that top spot). Disappointed everyone seems to have forgotten about Chairlift’s great “Met Before” video too.

  2. great list everyone!

  3. Whatever happened to Animal Collective’s Today’s Supernatural. A definite #1!

  4. PSY should totally be #1, and I have the feeling that everyone knows it, but just doesn’t want to say it. Regardless of your thoughts on the song, no other music video has ever been so popular, and with good reason.

  5. Here let me round out the top 20:
    No. 11-18: DON’T CARE
    No. 19: T SWIZZLE
    No. 20: Japandroids, “The House that Heaven Built”

  6. Japandroids’s “The House That Heaven Built” and Rhye’s “The Fall” got snubbed.


  8. I never remember the year’s music videos the way I remember singles and albums so yeah, this list looks fine.

  9. Nobody else loved Sufjan’s Mr. Frosty Man? Best video I’ve seen in a long time.

  10. Dan Deacon’s “True Thrush”? Anyone?

  11. I’m glad that Gangnam Style made it that high, even if it didn’t get the top spot. Regardless of its phenomenon status, it is still just incredibly entertaining.

  12. #1 & #2 = Females with hoodies dancing with people that are just happy to be there.

  13. I really enjoyed the Shins “Simple Song.” It had a wacky, yet cohesive, story.

  14. My favourite were hood, hey jane, tiny tortures, postcard from 1952, slow down, don’t deny your heart, chum, and house that heaven built.

  15. My vote was for El-P’s “The Full Retard,” but “Bad Girls” and “Big Beast” were definitely close behind.

  16. My two favorites from this year seem to have been forgotten or ignored by nearly everyone. The top spot I’m giving to Father John Misty’s “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” where Aubrey Plaza turns in a surprisingly harrowing and utterly gorgeous (which isn’t that much of a surprise at this point) as a girl completely lost in a bad trip. It had a surrealist tint to it but was utterly believable and honestly felt which added up to something as brooding and visceral as the song itself. The other was a little release from The Henry Clay People for The Fakers which, to me, was the most perfect encapsulation of this era of basement-era rock and roll. It was a simplistic idea that was executed flawlessly and an in incredibly joyous affair that I haven’t been able to stop watching since it came out. That video is what rock and roll is to me and an incredible representation and articulation of that little niche.

    The nightmarish fever-dream video for Tom Waits’ “Hell Broke Luce” is worth a mention, too. That was a bona fide event with a mysterious press campaign. Can’t remember the last time a music video generated that much pre-release buzz, apart from Joanna Newsom’s STILL unreleased video for “Good Intentions Paving Company”.

    On a somewhat related note, did the Sigur Ros releases for the Mystery Film Experiment qualify as music videos or short films? If it’s the former, then a whole slew of them would be on my list as well.

  17. And Congratulations to AG Rojas. “Hey Jane” is too good. I like the part in “Sixteen Saltines” when the kid flies. He’s come a ways since EARL’s legendary video.

    So excited to see “Big Beast” in the top 10! My favorite video of the year hands down. Love the 10 minute extended version and El-P’s role is great. Such a cool video and the fact that the song is one of the best rap songs of the year sure helps.

    Bun B + T.I. = Also Helpen’

  18. Another list missing Perfume Genius and Father John Misty, but that’s okay—these videos are good.

  19. I know it was nominated for viral video of the year, but I voted Hot Cheetos & Takis, anyway.

  20. Not a bad list at all.
    I would have put Freedom At 21 on there instead of Sixteen Saltines.

  21. Sigur Ros being snubbed is ridiculous. Their film experiment was genius and boasted several gorgeous, brilliant videos.

  22. I thought “Every Single Night”‘s video was not o ly an interesting video but totally fit with the song and its message as well as Fiona’s general person.

  23. Did anyone else vote for The Shoes?

  24. I definitely thought Liars’ No.1 Against the Rush would feature here. It feels more like a film than a music video where the song acts as a soundtrack. For once the video actually matches the song’s dark, tense mood. Maybe I was alone in thinking that it was brilliant?

  25. M.I.A. is the coolest. That’s all I gots t’say.

  26. what about that sigur ros video with shia lebouf? that was amazing. psy should be #1 though.

  27. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  28. flying lotus ‘until the quiet comes’ was kindddddofffff genius, and that dirty projectors movie had a royal tenenbaums referenece

  29. I probably would have gone M.I.A., PSY, and Grimes in the 1-3 spots, but still a very good list.

  30. My friend left some kickass Bose over ear headphones at my place, and I’ve been relistening to every piece of music I’ve ever liked. I’ve missed out on so much! The bass! Oh my lawd the bass!

  31. I am floored Chairlift “Met Before” isn’t here.

  32. Alex Winston.

  33. I really enjoyed Major Lazer’s Get Free video. Beautiful video, great song.

  34. i thought Bad girls was form 2011

  35. What’s with Emily Kai Bock and the strobes?

    And I think I preferred Genesis to Oblivion, but that’s maybe because in my head I imagined that to be an average day in the life of Grimes and her friends. Giant yellow snake and all.

  36. crabtron  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2012 0

    “Oblivion” and “Bad Girls” were definitely my top two as well. I’ve only seen the PSY video once, watching over someone’s shoulder who was watching it on an iPad. So I didn’t get a great look at it. Can’t think of anything else I’d include, except for Chairlift’s “Met Before.”

  37. EL-P is really taking a hard snubbing from readers.

    Hedonistic squirrel puppet you guys, what more do you want?

  38. I get Sixteen Saltines being on this list. The song itself is not as great as the visuals that go with it, but that’s why it’s on this list and not the top 20 songs list.

  39. David Byrne & St. Vincent’s ‘Who’ was definitely one of the best videos in 2012.

  40. Pretty good list. Nice to see Bad Girls at #1 and the Emily Kai Boch videos.

    Here’s a shameless plug for my top 50 videos of the year, for the hardcore music video watcher:

  41. 00010  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2012 -1

    Finally, a qualified #1 pick from an otherwise disastrous year of Gummy Awards.

  42. How did Vinvent Haycock make this list?

    Gangnam Style is so damn wack! All hype no talent!

  43. **How did Vincent Haycock NOT make the list?

  44. going back to my earlier henry clay people claim, i realized i didn’t leave a link & should’ve as it’s a relatively small release that got next to no publicity, so here it is in all its charm.
    that video’s still only barely over 400 views and mine’s still the only comment on it.
    this makes me sad.
    i hope someone out there loves it as much as i do.

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