2014 saw a heavy uptick in the number of local music videos produced, and while it would be easy to fall into a debate about quantity versus quality, it’s safe to say that more and more bands will continue to employ videos in their creative and promotional arsenal. Fact is, just about any musician can get their hands on a decent camera these days—even a smartphone can work wonders in a pinch—and pro-quality editing tools can had for a bargain, if not downloaded for free. What happens from there, however, is another story. While the barriers to entry may have dropped considerably, no amount of access can alter the fact that creativity and execution remain among the defining features of a great music video.
If I have to choose a common thread that connects all these works, I’d say it’s how effectively they move beyond mere visual aesthetics to arrive at the essence of the band or song. There’s a strong mix of styles here—everything from traditional narratives, to more moody, subdued work, to some stabs at the experimental—and in every case the filmmaking serves the music and pushes it to the forefront rather than the music serving as an excuse to play around with different lenses, effects, editing techniques or what have you. More than any other factor it was the ability of a director to enhance or elevate and not merely augment a song that guided my decision making.
Still, there were a lot of candidates this year and narrowing a list to 10 involved a lot of back and forth and second guessing. If I were to post this a week from now, I don’t doubt there would be some changes, maybe even a few significant ones. For that, I’m interested in getting people’s reactions and find out if there was anything I missed along the way. So strap in, take a deep breath and click on the next page to check out the best videos Atlanta had to offer in 2014.