2019 was an intense and productive year in the scene. Not only have the artists worked hard releasing killer albums, but they also put out stunning music videos for some of their tracks as well. We know how special these artworks can be and how difficult it is to create a good visual, so it would be a shame if they went unrecognized.
In no particular order (because how can you rank perfection?), here are our picks for the scene’s 50 best music videos of 20ninescene.
1. 5 Seconds Of Summer – “Easier”
5 Seconds Of Summer show off their individual artistry in the music video for the Nine Inch Nails-inspired track, “Easier.” Shots alternate between the members in seas of blue or blood orange as they perform chained up in a cave or drowning in a pool of water. Director Grant Singer says the video was inspired by “the idea of rebirth and the four elements: earth, air, fire and water,” a concept which was executed flawlessly while still capturing the essence of the track.
2. PUP – “Free At Last”
Prior to the track’s release, PUP shared the lyrics and chords for “Free At Last” online and asked their fans to create their own covers of how they thought the song would sound like. With over 200 submissions, including one from Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard, the band dropped an instructional how-to-play video featuring those who sent in their own recordings.
3. Crown The Empire – “Sudden Sky”
Giving their take on the “digital revolution,” Crown The Empire delivered a striking video to accompany one of their latest singles, “Sudden Sky.” With the help of a green screen and even getting down and dirty themselves, the band make both the real and the virtual worlds one.
4. Panic! At The Disco – “Dancing’s Not A Crime”
Panic! At The Disco shared their video for “Dancing’s Not A Crime” in mid-March. The video follows The Amazing Beebo, Brendon Urie’s loveable alter ego, and his antics throughout a day on tour. From greeting fans to flying in the air with a piano, it makes you wonder how much a puppet can really do. It’s not all about Beebo, though. The shots alternate between him and Urie as the singer dances and performs onstage.
5. Neck Deep – “She’s A God”
Neck Deep worship their significant others with “She’s A God.” The accompanying music video is alternating shots of the group in the studio recording and by the soundboard through a ’70s-feeling lens, letting the music speak for itself and whisk you away.
6. Lil Peep, ILoveMakonnen – “I’ve Been Waiting” feat. Fall Out Boy
With a little help from Fall Out Boy, Lil Peep and ILoveMakonnen’s “I’ve Been Waiting” was finally brought to life. The video was a tribute to the late rapper and, according to FOB, acted as a look into what his world may have been like. A piece of art in and of itself, the viewer is taken on a journey through a fantasy land filled with sweet purples and flying creatures.
7. Halsey, YUNGBLUD – “11 Minutes” feat. Travis Barker
Halsey and YUNGBLUD had fans wait a week for a video after the initial release of “11 Minutes,” but man was it worth it. A touching tale of loss and the stages of grief took place as the Englishman continuously tried to save the alt-pop singer, but to no avail. They share a dynamic energy on screen that makes your heart swell as much as their voices.
8. iDKHOW – “Choke”
We get a blast from the past with I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME’s video for “Choke.” According to the description, it was supposed to be used on Pop Time Live, but it was never aired due to Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman’s “refusal to properly pantomime their own song.” Whatever the case, we’re glad the “unaired clip” was made public.
9. Motionless In White – “Disguise”
It didn’t need to be October to start creeping everyone out. Motionless In White prove that point perfectly with their music video for “Disguise.” A demon-esque creature is seen screaming, at one point getting a little too close for comfort with lead vocalist Chris Motionless.
10. Simple Creatures – “Adrenaline”
Supergroup Simple Creatures (All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth and blink- 182’s Mark Hoppus) also delve into the realm of spook but in a more lighthearted manner. The two artists are charged with the security of a morgue, but they’re too distracted to see what’s going on through the cameras. Corpses get up to run and dance, and the pair are completely oblivious. While the video’s theme can be somewhat comedic, there’s also a story of an undead love unraveling.
11. twenty one pilots – “Chlorine”
twenty one pilots introduced us to a lovely little critter in their music video for “Chlorine.” Ned is a shy, small thing, afraid to take the plunge into the shallow depths of a pool. Thanks to Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, though, the critter is able to swim happily toward the end and even undergoes a small transformation.
12. Bring Me The Horizon – “in the dark”
Bring Me The Horizon took Forest Whitaker (Black Panther, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) on set for the music video of “in the dark.” Taken off the band’s latest release, amo, the visual perfectly complements the electronic elements of the track and was singer Oli Sykes’ directorial debut.
13. Slipknot – “Unsainted”
Not only did Slipknot drop a single from their upcoming album, but they also revealed their new masks in the video for “Unsainted.” Each member is featured in headshots as they look menacingly into the camera and also appear to be a part of a ritual. A new era is beginning, and the band are making sure everyone knows.
14. Stand Atlantic – “Hate Me (Sometimes)”
Surrounded by neon, Stand Atlantic show us their fun side in “Hate Me (Sometimes).” Frequent costume changes never slow down the group as they keep their energy high throughout each shot.
15. Post Malone – “Circles”
Post Malone takes fans to medieval times in his music video for “Circles.” Clad in silver armor, the rapper must rescue the “damsel in distress” but faces all sorts of adversaries on the way.
16. Frank Iero And The Future Violents – “Young And Doomed”
With a sea of colors being projected onto them, Frank Iero And The Future Violents play their hearts out to “Young And Doomed.” The colors throughout the video make it easy to get lost in the music but still keep your eyes busy.
17. Boston Manor – “Liquid” featuring John Floreani
Boston Manor’s “Liquid” (featuring Trophy Eyes’ John Floreani) follows two masked individuals as they wander the city together before finding their way home. Flashy lights and waves decorate the sequence, creating a dreamy feeling that you won’t want to let go of.
18. Dance Gavin Dance – “Head Hunter”
Dance Gavin Dance take a trip to a small town in their cinematic music video for “Head Hunter.” Tilian Pearson is set on the demise of Jon Mess, first shooting him point-blank in the forehead. When that doesn’t work, he’s caught in the mix of gunfire. It looks like a normal Wild West shootout until someone breaks out the plasma guns. Even though it’s a bit weird, the video keeps your attention up until Pearson rides out of town in his car.
19. Machine Gun Kelly – “Hollywood Whore”
A tribute to Chester Bennington, Machine Gun Kelly delivers a kaleidoscopic music video for “Hollywood Whore.” The rapper shows off his wit with an easy beat to back him up and strong visuals, which flow together like water.
20. Melanie Martinez – “The Principal”
21. Oliver Tree – “Fuck”
For this music video, Oliver Tree really didn’t give a “Fuck.” Sitting in a room surrounded by photos of himself, all is calm, at least until the music begins. After that, Tree begins smashing everything from paintings to mirrors, even breaking out a chainsaw. It’s absolutely glorious.
22. Sleeping With Sirens – “Leave It All Behind”
In June, Sleeping With Sirens kept their promise of a heavy return when they dropped “Leave It All Behind” and its accompanying music video. The visual displays metaphors for anxiety and depression, such as vocalist Kellin Quinn running through a window and the whole band having their heads in tanks being filled with water.
23. Poppy – “I Disagree”
2019 was the year of genre-blending, and at the center of that movement was strange yet lovable Poppy. Just like its track, the video for “I Disagree” melds bright pop scenes with metal riffs as Poppy stands up for herself in the boardroom. It’s a peculiar combination, but one the singer works flawlessly.
24. The 1975 – “Frail State Of Mind”
Co-directed by the 1975 vocalist Matty Healy, “Frail State Of Mind” sees the frontman operating a camcorder in a room filled with art supplies and photos. Warped images flicker throughout the visual, bringing to life all of his anxieties in the process to represent the track off upcoming Notes On A Conditional Form.
25. Bishop Briggs – “CHAMPION”
Bishop Briggs isn’t your typical bride in her video for “CHAMPION,” but would you be if you got left at the altar? With an imagery inspiring self-empowerment, this is the video to watch when you’re feeling down on yourself and need an outside source to help you get through some tough times.
26. I Prevail – “Breaking Down”
I Prevail lead vocalist Brian Burkheiser gave fans insight into his battle with depression in the music video for “Breaking Down.” Someone else was supposed to play the main character, but director Ben Proulx managed to convince Burkheiser that the story would be best told by him.
27. Andy Black – “Ghost Of Ohio”
Ahead of the release of The Ghost Of Ohio, Andy Black gave fans a look into his world with the music video for the LP’s title track. Shot around several locations in Ohio including Cincinnati and Westwood, Black wanted to explore “the idea of what it feels like to be ‘home’ but feel a million miles away.”
28. FEVER 333 – “ONE OF US”
FEVER 333 and so many others come together in the group’s video for “ONE OF US” to rally for change. Never shying away from expressing their beliefs and demanding equality, FEVER 333 prove there’s STRENGTH IN NUMB333RS as the band march alongside teachers on strike toward Los Angeles City Hall.
29. blink-182 – “Darkside”
30. Billie Eilish – “bad guy”
Billie Eilish took a break from her dark-colored videos with the release of “bad guy.” An array of bright colors were used, but that didn’t take away from how unsettling some shots were, such as when the 17-year-old is bent backward or the ending at the time change. But would it really be an Eilish video without a weird factor?
31. NF – “The Search”
NF gives his audience a look into the darkest places of his mind with the visual for the title track of his latest album. About five minutes long, “The Search” plays almost like a short film as the rapper attempts to find his way through a somber world.
32. Palaye Royale – “Massacre, The New American Dream”
Serving as Palaye Royale’s “most political song yet,” “Massacre, The New American Dream” is a commentary on an issue so close to the hearts of many. Utilizing trippy visuals and shots of actual news headlines, the single’s visual captures the insanity of the U.S.’s current political climate perfectly.
33. Set It Off – “Hourglass”
Taken off Set It Off’s most recent album, Midnight, “Hourglass” shows off singer Cody Carson sporting some eyeliner as he struggles to get out of the sands of time. His now signature blue hair and dark clothes is a nice contrast against the white of the desert behind him.
34. A Day To Remember – “Resentment”
After postponing the release of their seventh album, A Day To Remember gave their anxious fans a music video to help hold them over. “Resentment” is a powerful track by itself, but when paired with its visual, it’s taken to a whole new level.
35. Afterlife – “Holding On”
Paying homage to Linkin Park, Afterlife deliver an intense performance in their video for “Holding On.” Using harnesses for the lead singer’s dramatic pullbacks, every movement is authentic. That includes shots of the band frozen in space. It wasn’t a trick of the camera: The band were actually standing still.
36. K.Flay – “Sister”
“Sister” serves as the third installment of the Solutions trilogy by K.Flay. The video required some extra work considering everything surrounding the singer had to be shot in reverse, but the end product is extraordinary.
37. 93PUNX – “3 Years Sober” featuring Travis Barker
Teaming up with Travis Barker, Vic Mensa joins the fight for equal rights in “3 Years Sober” under his new 93PUNX project. Dressing in drag, fighting a Mike Pence look-alike and throwing shade at the government with his lyrics, Mensa’s video is anything but satire.
38. Knocked Loose – “Mistakes Like Fractures”
Feeling blue? Don’t worry: Knocked Loose have been there, too. In their music video for “Mistakes Like Fractures,” the world around them is literally turning blue as the band come together to play through the energetic track.
39. Ice Nine Kills – “IT Is The End”
Channeling their inner Pennywise, Ice Nine Kills create their own IT movie with the visual for “IT Is The End.” The video served as the fifth and final installment of the miniseries correlating to each single off INK’s horror film-inspired album, The Silver Scream.
40. Bones UK – “Pretty Waste”
When it comes to Bones UK, nothing is a “Pretty Waste.” Using a split screen, the duo both get their space in the spotlight, with their silhouettes highlighted by a plain white background.
41. Creeper – “Born Cold”
Creeper may have been “Born Cold,” but the music video is far from frozen. The band waited exactly one year since their last release to drop the track and then tested fans’ patience for another three weeks for the official video. We think it was worth it.
42. Senses Fail – “Elevator To The Gallows”
Dedicated to Demi Lovato, Senses Fail made an attempt to attract the pop singer with their video “Elevator To The Gallows.” The band are coached in dancing, cooking and working out to try to win over Lovato’s heart. It’s worth mentioning that she did in fact see the video and loved it.
43. Waterparks – “Watch What Happens Next”
Sick of “fans” who are never pleased, Waterparks dropped a hot take with the second single off their latest release, FANDOM. Serving as vocalist Awsten Knight’s directorial debut, “Watch What Happens Next” is a fast-paced track with on-camera movement to match.
44. New Years Day – “Shut Up”
New Years Day took a page out of American Psycho in their accompanying visual for the ever-empowering “Shut Up.” The music video features the actual ax from the cult classic, solidifying the horror vibe.
45. Badflower – “Promise Me”
Badflower recruited Veronicas singer Jessica Origliasso for a music video that will most likely make you cry. The video follows a young couple from childhood through adulthood and highlights all of their struggles during their life together.
46. LANY – “Thick And Thin”
LANY’s “Thick And Thin” shows what a true sunset looks like as the day approaches night. Vocalist Paul Klein precariously rides on the trunk of a car before arriving at the beach, and we’re just grateful he didn’t fall. It’s simple but fits the tone of the pop track.
47. Don Broco – “ACTION”
Don Broco lead vocalist and robot Rob Damiani goes up against Tyler Carter (Issues), Caleb Shomo (Beartooth), Taka Moriuchi (ONE OK ROCK) and Tilian Pearson (Dance Gavin Dance) in a stop-motion masterpiece. With the musicians turned action figures, a riveting battle ensues, creating lots of damage and maybe a little bit of trauma in the process.
48. Grayscale – “If I Ever See You Again”
Remember that time Grayscale kicked out their drummer Nick Veno? Thankfully, it was all a joke, setting the stage for the music video to “If I Ever See You Again.” Still, it’s pretty great to see Veno fight his way back into the band.
49. PVRIS – “Hallucinations”
PVRIS caused some “Hallucinations” with the second single and title track of their latest EP. As the band embrace a poppier sound, the music video serves as a direct translation of the song’s name with close-ups on different facial features and other strange shots.
50. The Driver Era – “A Kiss”
The Driver Era take us to the club in their high-energy music video for “A Kiss.” Flashing strobes mixed with shots of the two brothers tearing up the stage make for a visual stimulation just as intense as the track itself.9 musi