What even counts as a music video now? Vevo and Tiktok and Instagram TV have all insisted on blurring the lines, and while it’s tempting to pine for the days of MTV when the medium had a simpler place in the world, there has never been a better time to experiment with what music videos can be or do. They can be an hour long. They can be events again, via YouTube Premiere. They can be virtual reality. They can be an Expensify ad.
Inevitably, making a year-end list of the best ones means resigning yourself to the fact that three months from now, you’ll find a clip from this year that you had no idea about that is profound and moving and funny and a little weird. The best music videos always are. Here are 25 of them, presented alphabetically by artist.