The Prism Prize has announced their top ten best Canadian music videos of the year for 2015. The top ten were voted on by over 120 professionals in Canadian music, film, and arts who will vote once more to determine the top music video of the year, based on originality, creativity, style, innovation, and if the execution was effective. The final vote will determine the Prism Prize winner, who will receive the bragging rights of best video of the year and a nice bonus cheque of $10 000. Check out the ten finalists below!
Canadian electronic music group A Tribe Called Red released their wrestling-themed project in 2015. The four-song EP was accompanied by a video for the song Suplex. The video matches the wrestling theme from the EP and pays homage to 8-bit video games and the WWE. It follows a young boy who pursues his childhood dreams of becoming a professional wrestler, as he goes from backyard brawls to flying off the top rope.
The third song from Braids’ third studio album, Deep In The Iris, features some heavy social commentary, so the group jumped at the opportunity to make a video that was equally as impactful. Frontwoman Raphaelle Standell-Preston is portrayed in two ways throughout the video. The first, a woman in a greenhouse, unable to move freely. The second is a woman wandering the greenland, exploring and dancing at her will. Director Kevan Funk said he was inspired by the idea of “commodification and control of femininity in a patriarchal societal construct.”
Toronto rock duo Death From Above 1979’s video for Virgins is odd. Definitely not in a bad way, but in the way that makes you realize you just witnessed something unique. The video speaks on the coming of age and “that very precarious time in life when sex is elusive, maybe even frightening, but always compelling,” the band said in a statement issued via Warner Brothers. It features a group of Amish teens who do things that you may not expect them to do. They snort ashes from an urn, eat flowers and mushrooms, wrestle chairs, and head-bang like there’s no tomorrow. Odd may have been an understatement.
Perhaps the most memed video on the list, all it took was a few hours of this one being online before the Internet sprung into a Drake dance frenzy. Now, five months after the fact, it is still near impossible to hear Drake’s name without somebody bringing up his hilarious moves he busts out in the video. Perhaps it was a good idea, as the video, directed by Director X, became an overnight sensation, sparking some clever Vines and hilarious Photoshops. The video itself is minimal, as Drake raps in front of a basic clean backdrop as some vibrant colours illuminate his surroundings. The video is fun, vibrant, and well-deserving of a nomination.
Created entirely using stop motion and thousands of post-it notes, The Elwins’ video for So Down Low definitely tops the list for one of the most creative. The video is quirky and fun, fitting the band’s nature. The group teamed up with director Alan Poon, an animator, technical guru and “doodle superstar” to make their vision come together. The result is a unique video with an infectious vibe to it.
Indie rock group Fast Romantics used some extremely clever editing in this video to make it appear as if they were on the set of 1951 film Royal Wedding. The video is placed over a scene from the movie where Fred Astaire is dancing along. The entire band surrounds him while he dances from the floor to the ceiling. This video deserves the nod strictly on the editing alone.
Grimes is an expressive and unique individual. Everything from her clothes, hair styles, album artwork, and of course, her music videos convey that quite clearly. Her video for Flesh Without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream embodies uniqueness. Grimes dances on a basketball court decked out in an outfit straight from the 1700s, jumps on a bed with money and rose petals, and sports some creepy white contact lenses. The second part of the video transitions to Grimes covered in blood, travelling through some beautifully coloured scenery. Written, directed, edited, and coloured by Grimes herself, she continues to prove she’s capable of being a stand-out artist in more than just the musical sense.
Thanks to technology, society is rapidly evolving. It’s even come to the point where if you’re trying to cut ties with a significant other, it’s probably easier to just do it through text. A harsh reality some teens may be facing in today’s world, Harrison uses the form of texting on a cell phone to convey his message on this video for How Can It Be. The video focuses on how we connect these days and even suggests that the video is not viewed properly unless it’s being watched on a mobile phone. The video follows a text conversation between a couple as they start to lose touch and eventually break up. Differing from most upsetting break-up music videos, this one comes from the point of view of the one doing the breaking-up. Director Maxime Lamontagne did a great job of showing the harsh realities of relationships in the Internet and social media era.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, almost all of these videos showcase the artists displaying some pretty unique creativity. The video for Kalle Mattson’s Avalanche is no exception. In this video directed by Philip Sportel, Mattson is part of one continuous photoshoot and re-creates over 30 of his all-time favourite album covers and challenges the viewer to spot them all. He goes through a plethora of notable albums which also have some pretty iconic covers including Jay Z’s The Blueprint, Backstreet Boys’ Millenium, and David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane.
This might be perhaps the most depressing video nominated, but that takes nothing away from its creativity and ability to make you think. Coupled with the bleak instrumental, the video follows a man who receives a futuristic injection allowing him to relive moments from his past. It’s deep, it’s sad, it makes you reconsider reality. As the video progresses, director Kristof Brandl shows how many of us feel about the past – we want it back, we want to relive it, and often times we hope that moments of our past can become moments of our future.