While we picked our favourite videos of 2012 back in December, the Prism Prize, an organization awarding $5,000 to the year’s best Canadian music video, announced their prize’s 10 shortlisted videos this morning. The Prism is, like any prize, selected by a jury, but before labelling it the A-V equivalent of the Polaris, consider one quick thing: The Polaris’ jury is made up exclusively of music journalists, while the Prism’s jury is more varied, consisting of journalists, artists, promoters, and filmmakers. (Some, like Montreal writer and ex-Besnard Lakes member Johnson Cummins, have speculated that a Prism-style jury results in more balanced decision-making.)
Process aside, though, we’re all here for one thing: The music videos. Agree with Prism’s picks? Disagree? Feel they’ve missed out on a great Canadian music video? Duke it out in the comments, pals.
Mother Mother — The Sticks
Mother Mother’s “The Sticks” feels a little left-field for the Vancouver indie act—but that’s just what happens when you let noted Calgary weirdo Chad VanGaalen produce and direct your video.
Drake – HYFR
Drake bar mitzvah. Need we say any more?
Grimes – Genesis
Grimes fans that we are, we frequently wonder what her 36-hour amphetamine benders-turned-fruitful writing sessions look like. It’s probably something like the video for “Genesis,” which involve Claire Boucher solo LARPing in the ocean dressed up like a cyberpunk candy raver. Don’t even pretend that’s a bad thing.
METZ – Wet Blanket
Despite the steely, frigid aesthetic of “Wet Blanket,” this sense-assaulting video had YouTube commenters split into two camps: Half compared it to Nirvana, calling it Sub Pop’s return to glory. The other half called it equal parts absurdist and pretentious. Both were correct.
Arcade Fire – Sprawl 2
“Sprawl 2″ proved to be an excellent extension to the The Suburbs’ Polaroid-tinged aesthetic. Come for the gloriously unhinged dancing, stay for the seizure-inducing editing.
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – Hoshi Neko
It was impressive enough that Yamantaka // Sonic Titan made “noh wave” a household term. But it’s more impressive still that band member Ruby Katto Attwood, along with artist Amy Pelstring, put together a video this accomplished.
Young Rival – Two Reasons
“Two Reasons” is nothing if a solid track, but this portrait-driven video’s real star is make-up artist James Kuhn, whose work—listen, he turned someone’s face into a bag of popcorn—borders on hypnotic.
Maylee Todd – Baby’s Got It
Baby’s got it? More like this video’s got it. (And by “it,” we mean a hopelessly catchy, funk-tinged track, someone wanking, an eyeball perched atop a crystalline tower, and red wine being vomited onto a picturesque beach. A.D.D. much?)
Rich Aucoin – Brian Wilson is A.L.I.V.E.
We get it. Those OK Go-style, one-continuous-take music videos are getting played out (it was fun while it lasted, Hollerado). We’ll make an exception for Rich Aucoin’s “Brian Wilson is A.L.I.V.E.,” though, which uses the technique to literally tell the story of Brian Wilson’s life. Colour us amazed.
Grimes – Oblivion
Just when you thought you had Grimes figured out—she’s a psychotropic-fuelled artiste, a houseboat-dwelling eccentric, the world’s most pensive pop star—she releases “Oblivion,” which has her broing down to football, taking in some motocross, and crashing the world’s illest sausage party. It’s no wonder we named her our artist of the year. (We’d like to invite her out for wings, beer, and UFC at Boston Pizza next.)