Critics say that television is in its golden age, but we would argue that music videos are too. Thanks to advancements in digital recording, music videos of the past six years have enjoyed the highest production quality and most eye-popping visuals in recorded history. However, this past year, artists aimed to set the bar even higher by creating music videos that weren’t only visually appealing but also told a story. The five videos on Savoir Flair’s list were chosen because of their beautifully complex stories, slick production value, style quotient, and, naturally, the song itself.
This year was possibly the first time in recorded history that a mega superstar was upstaged by her little sister. As much as we can wax poetic about Lemonade’s creative accomplishments, Beyoncé’s younger sister, Solange, proved that she too had inherited artistic chops. Her gorgeous new album, A Seat at the Table, not only earns the title of the year’s most “woke” album, but it also offers stunning moments in the form of breathtaking music videos. There are several to choose from, but ‘Losing You’ captures the amazing style of the Sapeurs (a society of Congolese fashion dandies) and Solange rocking eclectic looks that sparked a thousand imitators.
Say what you will about Lady Gaga’s country-music makeover, but Her Gaganess’ constant transformations are rather spectacular to behold – even if this genre of music isn’t quite your cup of tea. The music video for ‘Million Reasons’ off her new album Joanne gets the “best of” nod from Savoir Flair because of the sheer number of glamorous moments featured – a behind-the-scenes look at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and Lady Gaga’s runway performance included. It also happens to co-star dozens of “It” girls and Angels, such as Taylor Hill, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid.
Kiiara might have flown under the radar in 2016, but one listen to her highly addictive song ‘Gold’ is all it will take to turn you into a fan. The intricate vocal processing on this track acts like an earworm, creating a hook that is hard to shake. However, it’s the super fashionable music video that really sells Kiiara as the new Rihanna, with a no-holds-barred embrace of studded leather and vampy poses aplenty.
Sia has a fairly repetitive approach to music videos, dancer Maddie Ziegler of Dance Moms fame to act out her weird and imaginative “plots”. They’re so compelling, however, that we can’t say we mind. Not only is ‘Cheap Thrills’ visually stunning, but it also happens to be co-directed by Sia herself, in conjunction with Australian director Daniel Askill.
BuzzFeed called ‘Clearest Blue’ by Chvrches one of the best songs of 2016, but we’re here to state that its music video is also one of the best of the year. The highly stylish and mysterious video focuses on the vocally talented lead singer Lauren Mayberry, who walks through the woods in an extraordinary medieval costume. Meanwhile, the song builds to one of the best breaks ever, sending the audience over the edge into musical ecstasy.