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The Alternative Music Videos: Our (Completely-Not-MTV-Affiliated) Top 10 Picks

Jordan McGarry
September 6, 2012 by Jordan McGarry Staff

There’s a lot of talk of music videos this week, what with that big MTV shindig happening over in Los Angeles later today. And given that we love any excuse to arm-wrestle over this kind of thing, we started thinking about what our favorites videos have been so far this year.

Excluded from our list are those already getting their due: the many Vimeans on MTV's shortlist. Our fingers are tightly crossed for Romain Gavras (M.I.A. ‘Bad Girls’), Keith Schofield (Duck Sauce, ‘Big Bad Wolf’), Vincent Haycock (Calvin Harris, ‘Feel So Close’) and Yoann Lemoine (Drake feat. Rihanna, ‘Take Care’).

But as is often the case with big music awards, there are so many amazing videos from lesser-known bands and directors that aren’t going to make it up on to the big screen at a shiny party like the one going on in LA tonight. We think those videos also deserve a moment in the spotlight, so we’d like to take this opportunity to shine it ourselves.

Without further ado, here are our favorite Staff Picked music videos from 2012 that you won't see on MTV. We made the playlist, you make the popcorn.

We’re giving you two viewing choices. If you want a quick browse, take a spin through the list. Or if there’s room in your busy schedule to give these videos the attention they truly deserve, sit back and put yourself and this playlist, in Couch Mode.

Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments, or arm-wrestle us through the computer. It will totally work.

UPDATE: Arm-wrestling through the computer does NOT work and nobody wins.


Jordan McGarry Staff

really nice. but yoann is nominated at the big party in LA tonight so we looked elsewhere ;)

Jordan McGarry Staff

sticking to 2012 was extremely hard but the really fun thing about doing this was knowing that you guys would all send more for us to think about!

Jason Sondhi Staff

I know and love Alma, but this one is my personal favorite of the Mystery Valtari Films. Very tough to leave off, but Sigur Ros is huge band with tons of fans, wanted to shine a light y'know?

Jeff Dougherty

There are so many entries for the competition. I love both of those videos. We went ahead and made an entry for the contest. Let us know what you think (:


Here is a music video I shot this year with Mike Cuenca for a local LA band called Spirit Vine: We had a blast shooting it!

Paul Tackett Plus Indie rock band, A Sound Asleep, is making a huge hit in Florida.

"Lakeland indie rock band A Sound Asleep, quickly stands out from other local bands by featuring dueling male and female vocalists supporting each other. This combination allows the two to harmonize and build off each other." -By Matt Reinstetle THE LEDGER

Jordan McGarry Staff

we love DANIELS, of course. but they got a lot of love at our festival + awards earlier this year - this was about letting some other directors have some airtime ;)

Clifford Cruz

Sucks, I cant watch your list in fullscreen... :(

Jordan McGarry Staff

it's a music video! it's a food film! it's a crazy music video food film! and it fried my brain! amazing!


Time to dance - The Shoes
Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
Devil Fool - Be Brave Benjamin

I'm a little offended that I'm the first to bring these up. Also, Vimeo, you guys should have your own biannual (that's twice a year right?) VMAs. You all have no idea how much I rely on Vimeo Staff Picks to provide me with great music. It's a lot by the way
And if we're voting for number one, Breezeblocks all the way

Jason Sondhi Staff

We Were Monkeys got nominated in art direction at the actual MTV shindig for that Of Monsters and Men video!

Jason Sondhi Staff

oh Hugo! thought you were only good for beautiful camera pieces. nice

Ellen Frances / ORB

Check out 'RIGHT WAY' from ROOM8 (Ezra Reich, Nic Johns and Ian Young of M83)

Stars poet and dominatrix Kendra Grant Malone, James J. Williams III, Mari Kussman and more...
Co-produced by Thorstein Foundation

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