Published Dec 14, 2018In 2018, the best Canadian music videos came from across all genres; we watched (and loved) everything from pot-smoking grunge punks to globally conscious rappers to cousin-assisted indie pop choreography, not to mention cameos from Slim Twig, Violet Chachki and puppets. We even got taken out for a dance party at a donut shop.
Relive those moments and more by checking out Exclaim!'s list of the best Canadian music videos of 2018, below.
Oh, and you might notice Drake's huge visual presence missing here; come back on Monday (December 17) to see all of Drizzy's 2018 music videos ranked in a list of their own. (And head here to see all of Exclaim!'s year-end coverage so far.)
Exclaim!'s Top 10 Canadian Music Videos of 2018:
10. U.S. Girls
(Dir. Alex Kingsmill)
Colourful, dancing, lip-syncing birds brighten up the otherwise snowy conditions in the clip. A surprisingly emotional journey told in the span of a few minutes, the video sees Slim Twig releasing a tiny colourful bird of his own into the wild.
9. The Dirty Nil
"Bathed in Light"
(Dir. Mitch Barnes and Victor Malang)
The video follows the band en route to a warehouse venue, and when the clock hits 11 p.m., they explode into a performance punctuated by flashing lights and flying pyrotechnics. It's as campy, high-energy and fun as the band themselves.
8. Lil Berete
(Dir. King Bee)
Lil Berete continued to climb his way to the top of the list of buzzed-about Toronto rappers this year, delivering "Time Flies" in the process. The video sees him returning to St. Vincent, where he volunteered in the community as part of a gun violence reduction program a couple of years ago.
7. Fucked Up
(Dir. Mike Haliechuk)
For lack of a better term, things get pretty, um, fucked up in the video for "Normal People." There are fully-suited men taking baths, creepy clowns and Damian Abraham shout-singing at a grandma — and it's weirdly awesome?
6. Helena Deland
(Dir. Bronwyn Ford and Hugo Bernier)
Set in a retro family home and doused in sepia tones, this video is a nostalgic nod to Deland and her cousin's penchant for choreographing dances as kids. A testament to childhood creativity and family bonds, it's a charming piece to watch.
5. Dilly Dally
(Dir. Andrew Knives)
An ode to the healing qualities of pot, Dilly Dally's "Marijuana" was treated to a suitably psychedelic video. A jumble of retro special effects, static-y streams of tears and rainbows, it's trippy without relying on stoner clichés.
"Your Girl" (ft. RALPH)
(Dir. Ft. Langley)
A playful twist on consumer culture, the clip for "Your Girl" plays with product placement for goods like "Ralph Light" beer and chunky jalapeno-flavoured "Harrison" chips, eventually bringing them to life (along with Ft. Langley-branded cigarettes).
(Dir. Ali Eisner)
Earthtones cut "No Depression" hears Afie Jurvanen wrestling with his mental health, but the accompanying video is a surprisingly uplifting watch — in no small part due to the fact that it features a puppet version of Jurvanen himself. He goes on a soul-searching mission in the wilderness, before ending up sitting around a fire roasting hot dogs with the actual human version of himself.
2. Alice Glass
(Dir. Lucas David)
After finally breaking free from Crystal Castles, Alice Glass continued to release solo music this year, including "Mine." Its accompanying visuals are as beautiful as they are dark, featuring features Glass alongside RuPaul's Drag Race winner Violet Chachki. Unfortunately, there isn't a happy ending, but that doesn't make it any less captivating.
(Dir. Matt Barnes)
Hamilton rock heroes Arkells charged back with Rally Cry this year, and lead single "People's Champ" is an undeniably catchy, arena-ready anthem. Its video is just as fun, featuring Max Kerman and company igniting dance parties all over Hamilton. There are standout scenes on public transit and at a local bowling alley, but best of all, they make a trip to Grandad's Donuts — and for that, they truly are champions of the people.