While my list of favorite albums from 2013 was heavy on alternative, indy music, my list of favorite videos is a little more diverse–only a couple of the songs play on Alt-Nation!

1. “Tennis Court” by Lorde

My favorite video of 2013 is Lorde’s “Tennis Court”:

I love the song, but what really stands out about this video to me is how smart it is. It takes the standard one take head-shot and turns it on its head by having Lorde only lip sync with the background vocal. I think it’s brilliant.

2. “Pretty Hurts” by Beyonce 

Each of the videos on Beyonce’s new album are interesting and well done. I could easily have filled my top ten list with videos from this album. I was especially torn between “Haunted” and “Pretty Hurts.” The latter ultimately won out since the video for “Haunted” doesn’t see to have been officially released yet.

Where Lorde’s “Tennis Court” is stripped down, “Pretty Hurts” is a more traditional narrative video, almost the only one on Beyonce’s album. All of them are wonderful to watch, so “Pretty Hurts” is also a synecdoche for the whole album.

3. “Stay” by Steve Grand

While Grand’s video for his first single, “All American Boy” received more attention due to its brief nudity and the fact that it was his first video and single, “Stay” is the one I like better, since it’s more romantic and sexy:

So far, these videos all seem to fit into genres: stripped down, narrative, and now feel-good summer video!

4. “Voices” by Disclosure

I’d put this one in the artsy category. It reminds me of Madonna’s “Bedtime Stories” or Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” since the emphasis is on visual aesthetics rather than narrative.

5. “First Love” by Father Tiger 

Father Tiger had my favorite video from last year, and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite bands. This year I loved their gay wedding anthem:

6. “Cups” by Anna Kendrick 

This is barely a song, but I love Anna Kendrick and I love this video!

7. “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert 

This is another great gay love song from 2013. This video is cute — almost a little too cute for my taste — and the lyrics are beautiful.

8. “The Walker” by Fitz and the Tantrums 

Fitz and the Tantrums had my favorite album of last year and they’ll appear again on my favorite tracks/songs list. Here’s my favorite of their videos:

9. “Harlem” by New Politics 

I tend to like videos by New Politics for the appearance of David Boyd if for no other reason. I think he’s dreamy!

10. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Finally, this is just a happy video! And I think Pharrell is a musical genius!

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