Rewinding 2020 | Tinnitist’s Top Videos

Feast your eyes (& ears) on the outstanding clips that played here this year.

689

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. Here’s the proof: The videos below — the most popular clips on the site this year — have amassed tens of thousands of views. And there’s plenty more where they came from: Just click the Video Premiere and Sponsored tags at the bottom of the page to see tons of others clips that debuted and screened here. Now, on with the countdown:

 


EXCLUSIVE PREMIERES

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 | Blinker The Star | Terror Of The Heart

Blinker The Star deliver a crash course in intergalactic love with the video for their latest single Terror Of The Heart. A single from Blinker’s latest album Juvenile Universe, Terror Of The Heart offers a chiming, charming hit of retro-fuelled space-pop, augmented by a kitschy-cool clip featuring bandleader Jordon Zadorozny as an astronaut who falls in love after falling to Earth. “Terror Of The Heart was the final song written for the new album and is a co-write with my good friend Bob Wilcox,” explains Zadorozny, the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer behind Blinker The Star. “I had the line, “terror of the heart” in the second verse and Bob decided that it should be the title and main hook in the chorus, which, of course, I never would have thought of doing myself. Musically, I was inspired by Trevor Rabin’s shimmering guitar and production work on Yes’s 90125, but filtered through a slightly more gothy pop vibe.”


3 | Niz Wiz | America Fly

Neil Osborne takes a bold creative leap with his darkly freaky new musical outlet Niz Wiz, launching a self-titled double album and the video single America Fly. “The Niz Wiz double album is an expression of feelings and fears around certain themes: America, money, God, artificial intelligence, and a little bit of Canada,” the 54•40 frontman reveals. “Many people have asked me in the past if I would ever consider a ‘solo’ record, but I never felt the need to… 54•40 is the perfect vehicle for me as ‘Neil’ in our themes of fun, unity, thoughtfulness and reflection couched in a three-chord rock combo … That all said, somewhere early 2019, I had a sudden inspiration to create a conceptual body of work alone. As a person — as Citizen Niz — I began to sense some kind of disconnect with common sense and outdated or hijacked cultural values. I suppose some of it could be attributed to being around 60 and feeling, as my father used to say, ‘Well, the world is passing me by,’ but… I had this insistent, nagging feeling it was much more than that.”


4 | 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.”


5 | Blake Reid Band | Penny

A rich life has nothing to do with dollars and cents in The Blake Reid Band’s video for the single Penny. “I’ve learned that the moments when love trumps money are the ones that I hold on to,” says Calgary singer-songwriter Reid. “When your heart leads, pennies are insignificant. Penny is about silencing the world and finding a way to be lost in a single moment. To navigate life’s storms sometimes we need to crack a bottle of wine, gather good friends, and completely open our hearts.” Fittingly, Penny is the opening single from The Blake Reid Band’s debut album Another Way Home, set for release in May 2021. The followup to Reid’s 2015 solo album Rust, Another Way Home finds him boldly crafting a new Americana-focused sound with his most trusted collaborators. What results is a blend of roof-raising anthems and heart-wrenching ballads.


6 | A Family Curse | LA Blues

A Family Curse head to Hollywood to track down a twisted sister in their trippy new single and video LA Blues. And if this family that plays together looks familiar, no wonder: A Family Curse co-stars 54•40 frontman Neil Osborne (aka Niz) and his singer-songwriter daughter Kandle (aka Baby Kiz). And the the curse they share is their addiction to the fuzzy psychedelic blues-rock that defines their seductive sound. “We are kin,” the duo explain. “We make our music from experimenting with various audio scraps and acting on our emotions. Decidedly different from their usual artistic pursuits, Niz and Kiz’s approach to A Family Curse seizes firm hold of whatever emotions and random instruments are within reach. The result is bespoke musical mastery of the best variety — 10 tracks of pure folk-art best listened to, they urge, under the light of the Moon.


7 | Krystle Dos Santos | Buried Alive

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!”


8 | Jont | I Think It Could Be Possible

Jont issues a collective creative challenge with his lyric video for the single I Think It Could Be Possible. Taken from 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.”


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

Canadian jazz virtuoso Micah Barnes transforms into a transcontinental tomcat with 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.”


10 | 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.”


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

11 | Ayumi Anime | Demon


12 | Sultans Of String | El Bint El Shalabeya


13 | Katie Ditschun | Here We Are


14 | Meryem Saci | Eyes On Me


15 | The Orchard | Whatever Gets You High


16 | Gentlemen of the Woods | My Dear Old Friend


17 | Mandy McMillan | Dream Catcher


18 | Jhalaak | Main Naraye Mastana


19 | Caardia | Walking Away


20 | Jadyn Lamb | Bad Sign


NON-EXCLUSIVE SHOWCASES

These artists didn’t debut their videos with me — but that didn’t stop thousands of people from checking them out anyway:

 


1 | Kim Mitchell | Wishes


2 | Wonders Of The Yukon | Cartoon Dreams


3 | Bif Naked | Jim


4 | Jesse Cook | HEY!


5 | The Light Workers | Peppermint


6 | Grumpy Kitty Boy | Airplane Wings


7 | The Spoons | Landing Lights


8 | Bryce Clifford & Brother Superior | Worst Enemy


9 | Craig Cardiff | To Be Safe, Loved & Home


10 | Low Budget Rock Star | Low Budget Rock Star