Rewinding 2020 (So Far) | The Most-Watched Videos

Feast your eyes on the outstanding offerings that have premiered here this year.

I have said it before. I am saying it again: If there’s one thing I’ve learned from running this site, it’s that people love music videos. And here’s the proof: The 10 videos below — the most popular clips on the site so far this year — have amassed nearly 15,000 views since they all premiered exclusively on Tinnitist. And there’s plenty more where they came from. Just click the Video Premiere tag at the bottom of the page to see dozens more clips that debuted here. And keep watching: I’m always lining up more exclusives! Now, on with the countdown:


1 | The Lilacs | Shadow of Doubt

The Lilacs retrace their steps in the video for their single Shadow of Doubt. Taken from the Chicago power-pop veterans’ recent comeback EP The Lilacs Endure, Shadow of Doubt finds the band reconnecting with their past in more ways than one. “We shot most of the video in Chicago, with a few additional shots in New Jersey and New York,” the band said. “We used locations that have had resonance for The Lilacs throughout our history: Phyllis’ Musical Inn on Division St., the University of Chicago, a couple different El stops, Wicker Park. This song has such a bluesy, Stonesy feel, director Kevin Sanders just wanted to show the band being a band — the sheer joy of playing music together.” Make that playing music together again. The Lilacs Endure is the band’s first new release in more than 25 years. Produced by indie rock legend Richard Lloyd (Television, Matthew Sweet), and recorded in Nashville at the legendary Studio 19, The Lilacs Endure features four never-before-recorded songs.

2 (TIE) | Krystle Dos Santos | Buried Alive + Jont | I Think It Could Be Possible

Krystle Dos Santos takes a stand against domestic abuse in her powerful video and single Buried Alive. A preview of the Vancouver singer-songwriter’s fourth album Bloom / Burn, Buried Alive serves as both a call to action and a tool to raise awareness about a national epidemic. The cinematic video takes a hard but hopeful look at a meaningful and dark social issue, relating the story of an abusive relationship, the terrifying process of escaping, and the support available. The video was made in collaboration with Dixon Transition Society, a Vancouver charity and safe house program. It’s directed by award winner Thomas Affolter and features actors Mayumi Yoshida (Man In the High Castle) and David Kaye (Sirens). “Buried Alive is the anthem for destroying your demons,” Dos Santos says. “With powerful drum beats and echoing gang vocals, this song will light a fire in your heart to be your best self!”

Jont issues a collective creative challenge with his lyric video for the single I Think It Could Be Possible. A preview of the Halifax-based singer-songwriter’s 11th studio album Thank You For The Medicine, the inspirational folk-pop track shares the hopeful message that “all of us together can change the way the world works … So many people seem to think things are so bad right now, and are giving up hope that we can have any positive impact on our world,” Jont says. “I say, don’t get swept away by disempowering goals of changing the collective chaos caused by humanity. Instead, effect positive change on the world around you right now by changing how you relate to the world — by addressing the inequality you see every day around you (and) healing the wounded parts of you that stop you from being as loving and kind as happy as you would like to be. If everyone did that, imagine what our world would be like.”

4 | Micah Barnes | When In Rome (I Do as the Romans Do)

Canadian jazz virtuoso Micah Barnes transforms into a transcontinental tomcat with the release of his single, When In Rome (I Do as the Romans Do). “For the video, we got very lucky indeed,” says Barnes, who shot the clip in the song’s setting — Rome! “For three days I pretended I was Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita, sweltering in a suit as we shot in the warm Italian sunshine. When In Rome has a real ‘swingers anthem’ to it, so I decided to give it a sexy, breezy, bossa nova feel with strings for that ‘International playboy’ approach.” Barnes updated the ’60s-era Cy Coleman / Carolyn Leigh classic with his band — Michael Shand, Russ Boswell and Al Cross, assisted by Rob Pitch and Don Breithaupt. “I hope folks will find the results deliciously naughty! After all, When In Rome is essentially a very smart and sophisticated ‘cheating’ song.”

5 | Small Town Artillery | Day As An Arrow

Small Town Artillery aim high with their dynamic single and stylishly eye-catching video for Day As An Arrow.Day As An Arrow was born on the banks of the Xingu River in the heart of the Amazon seven years ago after seeing the heartbreaking displacement of Indigenous peoples as a direct result of industry,” says lead vocalist Tom van Deursen. “In its final form, the song pulls taught the question of where you’d fly if you could move much faster than the frustrating snail’s pace of politics and reconciliation. It is dedicated to the Wet’suwet’en people of northern B.C., who are relentlessly fighting as you read this for their voices to be heard.”

6 | Ayumi Anime | Sleeping Alone

Ayumi Anime promises you won’t be Sleeping Alone in her seductive single and video. “This song is about love, real love,” says the Ukrainian/Korean singer-songwriter, Penthouse cover model and former adult actress. “It’s a story about discovering the real love against the love of money. (The character in the song) so confident and rich; she’s never loved before and was absolutely selfish. But she fell in love now and feels it real, it hurts. She doesn’t want the money anymore, because he won’t be sleeping alone again.” The smouldering, seductive track is “basically a mix of two different genres, which I like,” she says. “I think it fits so nicely together. I actually don’t like to box myself into one genre, so I like to work with different beats. So I fell in love with the beat first and now I’m so proud of the song I’ve got.”

7 | Sultans Of String | El Bint El Shalabeya

Sultans of String and friends surf through a wave of sounds and styles on their playful single and video El Bint El Shalabeya. A preview of the Juno-nominated world music collective’s ambitious seventh album Refuge, El Bint El Shalabeya reinvents an ancient traditional Lebanese song. And in keeping with the title and theme of Refuge, it does so with the help of Syrian clarinetist Majd Sekkar, Algerian mandole player Fethi Nadjem, and Greek oud player Demetrios Petsalakis, all of whom now find their home in Canada. This very fresh arrangement is also a musical tribute to the legendary Dick Dale, who passed away in March. Dale was known as “The King of the Surf Guitar,” which was also the title of his second studio album. Like Sultans of String violinist and bandleader Chris McKhool, Dale’s father was of Lebanese descent and drew on Middle Eastern music scales in his arrangements. Sultans of String fleshed out this arrangement with the incredible string playing of Gündem Yayli Grubu, a Turkish Roma string group in Istanbul.

8 | Katie Ditschun | Here We Are

Canadian jazz-pop artist Katie Ditschun marks a new spot on the music map with Here We Are, a single from her debut album Spare Skirt. Recorded in Ottawa, and featuring some of Eastern Ontario’s best jazz musicians, the track and album feature Ditschun on vocals, piano, and ukulele — a nod to the singer/songwriter’s self-described style of quirky piano pop meets serious jazz notes and thematic, explorative story-based lyricism. “My songs are about relationships — of love, and of those often confused for love,” she explains. “I’m particularly interested in situations where people lack self-knowledge, or gain greater awareness about oneself, or one’s place in the world. Here We Are speaks to the feeling that there’s some distance between what your life is and how you thought it would turn out, who you thought you’d become, or where you thought you’d be.”

9 | Gentlemen of the Woods | My Dear Old Friend

Gentlemen of the Woods kicked off 2020 with an intimate performance video for their popular track My Dear Old Friend. To capture this warm, acoustic rendition of the song from their 2019 album This Great Unknown, the band took their name to heart, heading to rural Ottawa for a cozy cabin-set video shoot — something they wanted to accomplish before embarking on tours and more recording this year. “With two records under our belts, we wanted to honour some of the songs with performance videos,” drummer Mario Carlucci explains. “We drove out to MacSkimming’s just east of Ottawa. If you know Ottawa, you’ll know MacSkimming for its pioneer village and cool cabins. We thought it’d be the perfect place to capture the mood and feel of our sound. Jeff Watkins of Loretta Media did a great job. He’s been behind the board at some of our concerts, so we thought it’d be really cool to have him capture our sound on video too. Jeff just started rolling and we recorded a live performance off the floor. Two microphones and two cameras.”

10 | Fiona Ross | For My Dad

Fiona Ross celebrated Father’s Day early with her gorgeous and personal single and video For My Dad. A highlight of the award-winning jazz artist’s latest album Fierce and Non-Compliant, For My Dad is one of two pared-down productions that were completed in a stairwell. “I wanted the production to reflect the honesty of the song: raw and real,” Ross confides. “This album ended up being a really personal journey, and this song just happened. I was going through my songwriting book and found a list of chords. I had no idea what they were for, and they had no lyrics with them. So I turned them into a song for my dad. Finding the album cover photo of me as a child made me reflect on my childhood and my upbringing. My parents always wanted me to be an artist, and my whole childhood was based on that. My mum wanted me to be the next Julie Andrews, even sending me to the same school, and my dad wanted me to be some kind of Judy Garland/Bette Davis combo. Now that I am finally doing my thing, I do find it sad that they can’t see it.”

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