The 24 Best Music Videos of 2016 So Far: Beyonce, Grimes, The Kills and More

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A quarter into 2016, and we’ve already seen headline-stealing music videos from Beyoncé, The KillsGrimesSelena Gomez, Rihanna, and Ariana Grande.

Perhaps this signifies the continuation of a fruitful year ahead (*ahem* Lady Gaga?). Or did we peak when Bey surprise-released “Formation”?

Whatever the case, check out the 24 best music videos of 2016 so far…


Beyoncé – “Formation”

It goes without saying that Beyoncé’s surprise-drop of “Formation” ahead of her Super Bowl performance was nothing short of epic. “Formation” intersects conversations on race, class, gender, culture at large, and more, the biggest question of all being: are we even worthy? (Jk. But still to answer that, no, probably not). It’s an amazing song to boot, and has henceforth been collectively tying us over until Bey’s inevitable surprise-drop of her new album…which is rumored to be happening literally any day now.


The Kills – “Doing It to Death”

What a wonderful way for The Kills to announce their upcoming album, Ash & Ice after a five-year absence. Their crazy sick video for “Doing It to Death” features a stylish funeral procession, rad mourners dancing in tandem, and of course, the ever-cool duo Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince chillin’ atop a Lincoln.


Grimes – “Kill V. Main”

Grimes came back with the album of the year again, following 2012’s Visions, with Art AngelsWhile the music video for “Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream” was fantastical hot mess (I say that lovingly) – Marie Antoinette-esque costumes set on a basketball court, blood and angel wings, a tuxedo-clad Claire Boucher in another scene, A+ dancing all-around – “Kill V. Maim” (directed by her and her brother Mac Boucher in Toronto) is one for the books. Looking like something straight out of a comic book, Grimes’ pseudo-cosmic underworld of fashionable vampire cyberpunks will have you visually enraptured ’til the video’s end.


Rihanna – “Kiss It Better”

In spite of the fact that the video is kinda boring, Rihanna is ultimately at her peak sexiness in it (which says a lot, given that this is goddess Rihanna we’re talking about) and we cannot deal. Who knew that dice could be so enticing?


FKA twigs – “Good to Love”

FKA twigs directed this dreamy concoction of a music video for her romantic new single, “Good to Love.” The black-and-white video is super intimate, featuring a sultry twigs rolling around bed (again, bringing the sexii).


Selena Gomez – “Hands to Myself”

Because people are overly-obsessed with her dating life, Selena shook up social media for a day when she posted a photo of some random model dude to her Instagram. As it turns out, the model Christopher Mason plays her “boyfriend” in her music video for “Hands to Myself,” in which she’s a “stalker” who breaks into his über-modern bedroom clad in only her lingerie. And because some things are too good to be true, they were just playing some weird lovers’ game all along.


Ariana Grande – “Dangerous Woman”

This is a pretty big deal: Ariana Grande has finally let her hair down, revealing her luscious and long mane. However, this video is notable for that reason only because otherwise, enjoy staring at Ariana’s gorgeous face for 4 minutes.


Majid Jordan – “Every Step Every Way”

Canadian duo Majid Jordan’s music video for their new single “Every Step Every Way” features hands down the coolest special effects of any video we’ve seen this year. I would personally love to experience being in that gorgeous virtual reality of neon pink and purple light structures…


Years & Years – “Desire” ft. Tove Lo

For one, “Desire” is a great song that’ll get you ready club wise, boo boo. The music video is also wonderful, super diverse and incredibly beautiful too (the soft, pastel colors are especially aesthetically-pleasing). Not to mention the fact that Years & Years’ frontman Olly Alexander recognizes the importance of representing an entire spectrum of diversity in music in terms of race and sexuality, which even today in 2016 is still in the process of becoming mainstream.


Massive Attack – “Voodoo In My Blood”

Starring the effervescently beautiful and crazy talented actress Rosamund Pike, whose Gone Girl background really makes her perfect for this eerie role, Massive Attack’s video for “Voodoo In My Blood” is all kinds of messed up. Watch the creepy video if you dare.


Taemin – “Press Your Number”

K-Pop sensation Taemin (of the über-popular boy group SHINee) released a sick music video to go along with his amazing single “Press Your Number,” which was originally written by the one and only Bruno Mars. Featuring drama and psychosis, if any music video can convince you to listen to more K-Pop, it’s certainly Taemin’s.


Bat for Lashes – “In God’s House”

Bat for Lashes’ “In God’s House” is wrought with lonely emotion in the midst of a barren landscape, save for the rows of power lines. Come for the song, stay for the gorgeous hazy shades of pink and purple sky.


Sia – “Cheap Thrills”

Charismatic dance prodigy Maddie Ziegler is back in Sia’s video for “Cheap Thrills,” and like “Chandelier,” “Big Girls Cry” and “Elastic Heart” before her, she carries you through the music with her moves.


Troye Sivan – “Youth”

From Youtuber and child actor to burgeoning pop star, Troye Sivan is breaking hearts left and right with is lovely voice, beautiful face and deeply emotional pop songs. “Youth,” which is about being naive and lost, but joyous all the while (i.e. that’s exactly what youth is, isn’t it?), and the accompanying first video clearly make the case for Sivan being the next big thing in music. His representation of young love though a same-sex relationship is especially refreshing and we’re happy he’s here to stay.


Zayn – “BeFour”

Forget “Pillowtalk” (…loosen up a little, Zayn). “BeFour” was a bit on the boring side, but it was cool to see Zayn hanging out like a #youth with other youths in Manchester.


Halsey – “Colors”

Feelings on Halsey aside, “Colors” features a preppy Halsey and the too cute for the screen Tyler Posey as her love interest (or is he?!). Things are complicated though because the video reveals that it’s their parents who are dating, and her true crush is revealed to be his dad…God, what a tragic, high school, manufactured tale.


Skrillex & Diplo – “Mind” feat. Kai

“Mind” is basically Diplo and Skrillex’s tour diary from their tour-packed crazy year, featuring Kai. The lives of DJ’s are not all the same.


David Bowie – “Lazarus”

David Bowie (R.I.P) filmed his last video from his twenty-fifth and last album Blackstar, which was released back on his birthday, January 8, two days before he passed away. In the wake of his death, Blackstar reached the number one spot in several countries, becoming his first and only album to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart. The fact that no one knew he was sick, and would pass so suddenly, and so soon, and that this would be Ziggy’s last music video makes it all the more poignant and special.


Future – “Low Life” ft. The Weeknd

In which people forget that this is Future’s song, not The Weeknd’s, because the latter absolutely kills it. There’s also something about The Weeknd in music videos that makes me love watching him. Is it his moves? Is it his stare? His voice?Literally all they’re doing is rapping next to a car wearing camo, but if you love The Weeknd like I do it’s well worth the watch.


Kiiara – “Gold”

Kiiara’s debut music video for her addictive “Gold” off her stellar debut EP low kii savage features gold crusted torsos, sick spiky and jewel-encrusted leather jackets and so much Rihanna-level badassery. I’ve said it before, I’ll call it again: Kiiara is the one to watch/listen out for.


Lana Del Rey – “Freak”

Lana Del Rey’s music video for “Freak” is so very Lana. Featuring Father John Misty aka J. Tillman (because of course), they drop acid and things get expectedly trippy. Also fun fact: the video’s acid-dropping theme was partially inspired by one time when Tillman tripped at a Taylor Swift concert.


Brooke Candy – “Happy Days”

“Happy Days,” the new single off Brooke Candy’s debut album The Daddy Issues, is so extra in every way, but I love it. It’s got all the glamour, pills, confetti, and (forewarning for those who are squeamish) bugs.

 


CHVRCHES – “Clearest Blue”

This new one from Chvrches presents us with a dichotomy of a medieval forest and a modern-day party for their excellent, excellent pop hit “Clearest Blue.” Lead singer Lauren Mayberry is all armored and melancholic amidst the video’s blue-tinted world, making us want to be medieval if only for a day too.


DJ Snake – Middle ft. Bipolar Sunshine

Josh Hutcherson and Kiersey Clemons star as two wannabe superheroes and make the world their playground. It’s sweet and sad, and kinda a good reminder to not lose out hope on your dreams and on love.