2020 had its ups and downs (okay, mostly downs) but one thing this year didn’t lack was must-watch music videos. With many of us being stuck at home, music videos have given us a brief break from the isolation and chaos of the world. These 20 videos in particular have provided introspective, funny, and just downright enjoyable entertainment. Keep scrolling and check to see if your favorites made the list.

 


 

DMA's - Best Music Videos of 2020

20. DMA’s – Life is a Game of Changing

After watching DMA’S music video for “Life is a Game of Changing,” we kind of feel like we just went on a mini vacation. Filmed in Bangkok and Pattaya, Thailand, the music video contains beautiful shots of the two cities and its people. The video goes beyond the surface though, focusing on specific resident’s lives through a series of vignettes, including shots of a man getting a tattoo, a father playing with his son, a pet owner brushing his cat, and friends sing in a karaoke lounge. These moments give us a brief taste of another life, if only for a short while. 

 

 

Phoebe Bridgers - Best Music Videos 2020

19. Phoebe Bridgers- I Know The End

If you’re in the mood for a bit of existential dread, watch Phoebe Bridgers“I Know the End.” The video is ripe with symbolism, seemingly showing Bridgers struggle with coming to terms with the fleetingness of youth, the monotony of life, and eventually “the end.” The finale of the video is rather cathartic, as a current Phoebe and an old-age Phoebe meet in the middle of dark stadium, scream into each others faces, and then make out. At the very least you know you’re not the only one who wants to scream into the void. 

 

 

Gabriel Garzón-Montano - Best Music Videos 2020

18. Gabriel Garzón-Montano – Agüita 

In Gabriel Garzón-Montano‘s “Agüita” he lets his surroundings do a lot of the talking. Filmed in Colombia, the music video is interspersed with images that capture the country’s identity. From shots of brightly colored houses, to vibrant jungle greens to the easily identifiable and absolutely breathtaking Medellín mountains, the video is a true homage to Garzón-Montano Colombian roots. 

 

 

FKA twigs - Best Music Videos 2020

17. FKA twigs – sad day 

For a music video that is ripe with alternative meanings and understatements, FKA twigs’sad day” is dark and very quiet. It begins in a nearly empty fish & chips restaurant where a man sits silently waiting. FKA twigs arrives and a full-on sword fight ensues that carries the couple Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-style out of the restaurant, through the streets, and eventually into an apartment, ending in what could be called a stalemate. At the end you’re not quite sure if it was real or if a Groundhog Day scenario is happening, but the music video definitely leaves you with a lot to think about (including whether or not you should sign up for sword-fighting classes ASAP).  

 

 

Beyonce

16. Beyoncé – ALREADY (feat. Shatta Wale and Major Lazer) 

All of Beyoncé’s BLACK IS KING, so it was difficult to pick just one of her songs for this list, but “ALREADY” rises to the top thanks to its breathtaking visuals, stunning outfits, and Beyoncé’s unparalleled vocals. The video features a number of truly powerful visuals and African outfits that affirm Beyoncé’s pride for Black culture. Of course, the dancing in this video is amazing too. 

 

 

BLACKPINK & Selena Gomez - Best Music Videos 2020

15. BLACKPINK – Ice Cream (with Selena Gomez)

You will literally feel like you’re swimming in an ice cream cone while watching the music video for BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez’s Ice Cream.” The video takes places in a glittery, pastel-colored world teeming with bouncy houses, colorful slides, pastel bikes, and plenty of ice cream. Spoiler alert: A capybara makes a special appearance, making this ice cream filled world our official dream scenario. 

 

 

Rosalia & Travis Scott - Best Music Videos 2020

14. ROSALÍA & Travis Scott – TKN

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding what ROSALÍA & Travis Scott’s music video for “TKN” really means. Set in Los Angeles, the video is interspersed with shots of a group of children running through the streets, playing with ROSALÍA’s hair and hands and dancing in a small house where they seemingly all live together. This, coupled by the references to gangs and ROSALÍA’s protective nature towards the children, indicates the existence of a sinister threat and the need to provide security within a family, mob affiliated or otherwise.  

 

 

Aminé - Best Music Videos 2020

13. Aminé – Compensating (feat. Young Thug)

We wish we could hangout with Aminé in his colorful video for “Compensating”. Taking place in a giant mansion with major ’80s motifs, the music video showcases Aminé and his friends adorned in cheeky, pastel tennis outfits having good time dancing in a racket room. The brightness of the video keeps the mood energetic, despite the introspective lyrics and certainly makes us wish we also lived in an ornate mansion with all of our friends. 

 

 

Harry Styles - Best Music Videos 2020

12. Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar

You ever have a dream about frolicking around a beach with Harry Styles surrounded by a group of gorgeous people until the sun goes down? No, just us? Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” feels exactly like that – a magical world where only beautiful people are allowed, with no responsibilities other than eating watermelon with Harry Styles. Although Styles hasn’t confirmed any particular interpretation, there are many theories that the song isn’t just about eating watermelon but maybe, er, something else.

 

 

Rina Sawayama - Best Music Videos 2020

11. Rina Sawayama – XS

Rina Sawayama’sXS” feels like a cross-over between The Stepford Wives and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and we are 100% here for it. Sawayama explained that “XS” is a “song that mocks capitalism in a sinking world.” The video does the same, caricaturing a QVC-style show where Rina attempts to sell a gold juice taken from the body of a tied-up creature. The video is a poignant take on consumerism and may have you reconsidering the next fad purchase you make. 

 

Perfume Genius - Best Music Videos 2020

10. Perfume Genius – Describe 

We’re not entirely sure what we are seeing in Perfume Genius’Describe” but we’re digging it nonetheless. Set on a dusty ranch, the music video shows the life of a cult-like group of people who eat, dance, and apparently sleep on the floor together. The video gives off major Midsommar and Wild Wild Country vibes (albeit with a much happier ending). Mike Hadreas has stated that the song is about being in a dark place and needing someone to describe what goodness feels like, which explains the overall introspective feel to the music video.  

 

 

9. Christine and the Queens – La Vita Nuova

To describe Christine and the Queens’ “La Vita Nuova” as a mere music video doesn’t seem to do it justice. The video, clocking in at nearly 14 minutes, is more of an epic play. Beginning on a rooftop in Paris, the protagonist of the story travels through a number of destinations, including a dance studio, a stage in an empty theater, and an ornately decorated lobby haunted by a devilish creature that she can’t seem to escape. “La Vita Nuova” is definitely one of those videos you’ll need to watch over and over again to really understand. 

 

 

Billie Eilish - Best Music Videos 2020

8. Billie Eilish – Therefore I Am 

While many people have grand plans of travel and adventure once they get a vaccine, some of us have a destination in mind that’s a little closer to home: the mall. Billie Eilish takes full advantage of this in “Therefore I Am” as she dances and sings around a closed-down shopping mall. Billie even makes time to grab a Wetzel Pretzel from the food court, giving us major nostalgia for simpler times. As Kira Kosarin eloquently put it on a YouTube comment “Oh to be Billie Eilish dancing through an empty mall.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 

 

 

7. Drake – Laugh Now, Cry Later (ft. Lil Durk)

If you’ve ever wanted Drake to know what it would feel like if Drake called you “baby”, then the music video “Laugh Now, Cry Later” featuring Lil Durk is the one for you. The video features a number of close-up shots of Drake singing the word while gazing directly at the camera. The music video, which was filmed at the Nike World Headquarters in Oregon, features a number of notable athletes including Kevin Durant, Marshawn Lynch, and Odell Beckham Jr. Drake is the true star, performing a number of athletic and emotional feats for the camera.

 

 

Duck Sauce - Best Music Videos 2020

6. Duck Sauce – Mesmerize 

When a music video literally makes you say “Oh no!” out loud several times while watching it, you know you’ve got something very unique on your hands. Composed entirely of stock photo, low res CG models, and other, uh, risqué footage, “Mesmerize” is truly unlike any other music video we watched this year. The frantic pace of the images gives this music video a club-like feel, and “cameo appearances” from Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman are well-worth the watch. One small caveat: you may be seeing more of them than you ever wanted to, so proceed with caution. 

 

 

slowthai - Best Music Videos 2020

5. slowthai – feel away (feat. James Blake and Mount Kimbie)

If you are fed up with watching videos where a person cuts into an object that turns out to be cake, you perhaps should sit this vid out. slowthai’s music video for “feel away,” featuring James Blake and Mount Kimbie, includes people cutting into slowthai himself and a person ripping into a baby, revealing both of them to be cake. Did we mention that slowthai gives birth to said cake-baby while he watches his partner marry a doctor in the very room he is giving birth in? Yeah, that’s why this vid makes this list. The song itself is actually very heartfelt and deals with themes like doubts within a relationship. If you can stomach one more object-turn-cake, we highly recommend watching “feel away.”  

 

 

Pa Salieu

4. Pa Salieu – My Family (feat. BackRoad Gee)

The quality of Pa Salieu’sMy Family” is clear from the get-go. Directed by Femi Ladi, the entire video is shot in black and white, yet each rapper appears vibrantly on the screen as the camera focuses in on him and his “family.” As Ladi put it: “the song is hard, raw and in your face. I wanted to reflect that in this video.” That sentiment certainly comes through throughout the whole music video, making it well worth the watch. 

Disclosure

3. Disclosure – My High (feat. Aminé and slowthai)

My High” will take you on a wild ride. The video follows the plight of a poor car accident victim is strapped to a gurney and about to receive medical attention when the attendant assigned to watch the victim takes a pause to light up. As a result, the victim is pushed on his gurney through increasingly distressing and ridiculous scenarios including a family dinner, a skate park, and a party where a couple gets a bit too comfortable using the victim as a hook-up spot. Joined by Aminé and slowthai, Disclosure certainly gets the message across to not f*ck up their high. 

 

 

Run the Jewels

2. Run the Jewels – Ooh LA LA

The one word we would use to describe Run the Jewels’ “Ooh LA LA” is “joy.” Imagining a world where money has no meaning, the video for this track depicts a massive dance party amongst people of all ages jubilantly burning their cash and credit cards in huge bonfires, as helicopters trailing colorful smoke and hot air balloons fill the air. The song’s lyrics are somewhat darker, concentrating on the current corruption among those in power, but the beat and video help us imagine that a better world is possible. 

 

 

Cardi B

1. Cardi B – WAP (feat Megan Thee Stallion) 

You’d have a hard time finding someone who has not seen the music video for “WAP.” From Will & Grace star Leslie Jordan to conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, it seems like everyone had something to say about it.

The video, which features a plethora of bad-ass women like Normani and ROSALÍA , received much aplomb and praise. But it also faced criticism due to a lengthy cameo featuring Kylie Jenner, a white celebrity who has continuously been called out for her history of cultural appropriation. This prompted a discussion about the minimization of the women-of-color who participated in this music video and even resulted in creation of a petition calling for Kylie Jenner to be removed from the video entirely.

It is undeniable that this song and its music video will be continued to be discussed in years to come, and the dance will certainly be attempted in clubs for generations to come.