This year has served up some truly unforgettable moments in music.
From new releases by industry powerhouses The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to the continued evolution of artists like Doja Cat, Troye Sivan and Olivia Rodrigo — it’s been unreal!
Taking us through the visual highlights is Nick Jones from Nightlife Music’s Content team — who you may remember from our last recap: ‘Top Music Videos of 2021‘! Today though, he’s sharing our list of 10 of the top music videos from 2023. Let’s get into it!
Now And Then – The Beatles
Directed by Academy Award Winner Peter Jackson, the emotions that the visuals in this music video evoke make it something for every Beatles fan.
Using a mix of new and digitally restored footage from 1967, Jackson creates a world where Ringo and Paul are haunted by their former bandmates, and former selves, while working on a new song.
One of Your Girls – Troye Sivan
In what can only be described as the video that broke the internet in 2023, Troye Sivan topples societal constructs of gender and sexuality as he sings a sultry, sobering story of the desperation to be loved.
Donning drag and featuring an intense on-screen chemistry with a shirtless Ross Lynch, Troye’s ‘true and shameless’ homage to Britney Spears is a stand-out of this year’s music videos.
get him back! – Olivia Rodrigo
Cementing her mainstay as the heir to Taylor Swift’s throne, Olivia Rodrigo’s ferocity, that populates much of her GUTS album, is brought to life in this music video.
Filmed entirely on an iPhone 15 Pro Max, Olivia and several versions of herself depict the chaos that often ensues when navigating the on/off relationships that take up so much of our young adult lives.
Live Again ft. Halo Maud – The Chemical Brothers
Having worked with The Chemical Brothers for over 25 years, their visuals team are experts in the cunning creativity it takes to bring the band’s music to life, and they’ve only gone and done it again!
What’s interesting about this clip though is not just the sci-fi storyline of a dancer who transcends time and space, but the mix of virtual production and real-time visual effects used together to bring this Groundhog Day dream (or nightmare, depending on how you see it) to life.
Big Hammer – James Blake (Explicit Content Warning!)
This adults-only music video is a modern-day, point-of-view tribute to the cult classic Pulp Fiction. Shot on location in Bulgaria, a motley crew crash through various walls as they go on a tirade across town.
Featuring some definitely NSFW content (don’t say we didn’t warn you), this video recounts their adventures in such a way that viewers are entertained but unsatisfied, left wanting the whole story.
Gorilla – Little Simz
Don’t get it twisted, there’s certainly a time and place for the use of AI in the creative process. It just so happens that Little Simz’s music video ‘Gorilla’ is a prime example of what happens when you find it.
Director (and music video genius) Dave Meyers uses a mix of AI and practical effects in a delicate but powerfully atmospheric way that’s both visually pleasing to look at and undeniably smooth.
Survivor – Genesis Owusu
‘Struggler’ is a concept album unlike any other we’re seeing from mainstream artists. The story of the cockroach is incredibly subversive and felt in every dark corner of this release, especially this video.
Created alongside world-renowned Aoteroan artist Lisa Reihana, everything from the harshness of the God and his disciples to the anarchic resistance of the cockroach has an impact on the viewer.
RIOT (Rowdy Pipe’n) – A$AP Rocky
If this track is A$AP Rocky’s homage to the empire he’s built, then consider its music video a visualisation of the lengths he’ll go to protect it.
Complete with footage of Rocky driving tanks through New York City, visuals of his seemingly endless stream of fans (or is that soldiers?), weapons and money, it’s quintessential watching from this artist.
Infinity Repeating (2013 Demo) – Daft Punk ft. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz
In a fitting, final music video for the duo, three animation houses across Paris and London have come together to illustrate the story of human evolution in the Daft Punk realm.
As each human iteration comes in and out of focus with the changing animation styles, it leaves viewers reflecting on the evolution of the band, the music and the fan base in its 28-year run.
Demons – Doja Cat
Doja continues her reign of terror against the ‘phony’ fans and followers in her comment sections with a clear-cut embodiment of the demon they so often paint her to be.
She tackles head-on accusations of being a sell-out and satanist in this clip, with a horror storyline, a rarity for music videos, and nods to the Shining and the Exorcist, as well as a cameo from Christina Ricci.