The 25 Best Music Videos of 2013

5

Disclosure featuring AlunaGeorge, “White Noise”

To a pair of outsiders like Howard and Guy Lawrence, Detroit is likely known for two things: its history as the birthplace of techno and dramatic scenes of urban decay. With help from director Luke Monaghan, they manage to unite the two with “White Noise,” and if there’s a more appropriate metaphor for our age than dancing through ruins, I don’t know what it is. Woodruff

4

Goldfrapp, “Annabel”

Part of a larger film designed to accompany Goldfrapp’s Tales of Us, the Tomboy-esque “Annabel” is dreamy folk tale inspired by Kathleen Winter’s novel of the same name about a young hermaphrodite forced to take on the identity of a boy in the 1960s, gorgeously capturing the isolation and fantasies of its androgynous title character. Cinquemani

3

Lorde, “Royals”

Though additional footage of New Zealand pop singer Lorde was added to the U.S. edit of “Royals” for American consumption, her absence for most of the original international version speaks to both the 16-year-old’s “postcode” shame and her friends’ suburban-teen ennui. Cinquemani

2

Bob Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone”

Nearly a half-century later, one of the most iconic songs ever recorded finally received a video treatment worthy of its epic scope, in the form of this interactive project from director Vania Heymann, digital media firm Interlude, and an all-star cast including Danny Brown, Marc Maron, and Drew Carey. Even in an increasingly fractured, media-drunk culture, a classic is still a classic. Woodruff

1

Janelle Monaé featuring Erykah Badu, “Q.U.E.E.N.”

Despite a seemingly playful plotline involving ’60s girl group-inspired rebels breaking into a living museum to free their notorious time-traveling leader and her dangerous accomplice (played by Erykah Badu), the futuristic, sci-fi visuals of “Q.U.E.E.N.” teem with political purpose. The video’s expertly crafted edits and jump cuts make it impossible to turn away from Monaé’s nearly minute-long closing sermon on racial and economic inequality and, most importantly, the virtues of “getting down.” Fowle

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