As the mystic veil thins during this time of Apocalypse, we might find ourselves walking stunned yet aware through a dystopic maze of war, hunger, corruption, and suicide. A horrifying yet insightful realm where truth becomes more clear to those who wish to see it; but a tragic place for those who cling to delusion. Through it all, we shared music, videos, writing, and wisdom from all across the globe. Here are the best videos of 2023. This is not an exhaustive list. I try to pick as many different countries and styles as possible. Stay awake, even if it is awful.
PERLEE – “Lampshade”
The year began with the spiritual comfort of “Lampshade” by the Ireland/Berlin Dream Pop duo Perlee. A touching journey guided by a guardian angel stars Seamus O’Rourke and Matthew O’Brien, shot on location in Ireland by Mark Smyth at Killinagh House, The Ballroom of Romance, and McHugh’s Bar, off the debut full-length album “Speaking From Other Rooms.”
NEOLIN – “Tetzahuital“
The Mexican spiritual revivalist Experimental/Psychedelic/Post Punk trio, Neolin, formerly the five piece BEZTl∆, tap into their ancient Mexican Anahuaca roots in “Tetzahuital | Omen,” sharing a realistic worldview, rather than a romanticized one whilst wearing traditional attire on the sacred grounds of The Plaza of the Three Cultures, in Tlaltelolco, Mexico City.
TOMORROW SYNDICATE – “Interphase”
Tomorrow Syndicate is the Glasgow, UK Sci-Fi Kraut-inflected Electronic Pop Collective that blends imaginative and expansive soundscapes with vibrant futuristic vibes for “Interphase.” The visuals by Gerard Espie perfectly capture the essence of the track by shuffling an animated computer generated performance with a trippy outer space universe, off the 5-track 12″ LP “Higher Resolution”, via Feral Child Recordings.
THE BIPOLAR DISORDER PROJECT – “Sumitomo Girl”
On November 8, 2020 the Brasov, Romania-based multi-instrumentalist Robert Cotoros died, leaving behind friends, family, and an unreleased Progressive/Post Rock “Black” EP, made under The Bipolar Disorder Project moniker. His dear friends vowed to get the album published on his birthday April 26, 2023 and Ilinca Ivanuca made a beautifully symbolic video for “Sumitomo Girl” to lead the charge. Earnings from the “Black” EP go to DepreHUB, to help people with depression.
EQUINOX + ZOLTAN FREITAG Feat. ANOMYS – “Through The Glass”
The transcontinental Synth-laden collaboration between electronic musicians Equinox (Vancouver, British Columbia) and Zoltan Freitag (Turin, Italy) features the vocals, acting, and video realization of Anomys AKA Simona Minutolo, in an outdoor Alice in Wonderland fantasy Wave adventure, “Through the Glass.”
DIAR STORM + LOST BOY 1984 – “Will You”
Another imaginative and immersive collaboration between Essen, Germany-based 80s Electronic artists Diar Storm and Lost Boy 1984, “Will You”, gives us a cheery soft sun tinged nature setting with dreamy slow motion romance clips cast in nostalgic 80s flashbacks, via Lost Boy 1984’s label, Hold on Love Records.
ECHOBERYL – “Blue Ophelia”
Paris-based Dark Electronic storytellers Adriano Iacoangeli and Cecilia Dassonneville AKA ECHOBERYL dropped “Blue Ophelia”, a wonderfully intuitive video shot on Super 8 by Cecilia Dassonneville herself, starring Zoé Basso as Ophelia. The song and visuals inspired from Arthur Rimbaud’s 1870 poem “Ophélie” and John Everett Millais’ iconic 1852 Pre-Raphaelite art masterpiece, off the 10-track 2021 LP “Mother Solitude and Other Dark Tales”, via their own independent label Mother Solitude Records.
LESHI – “Battlefield Hymn Before The Sky Burial“
The strangely captivating new Industrial / Ritual and Experimental Noise project of LESHI–LEŞHI–ლეში – combines the provocative visual eye and dramatic vocals of the Georgian artist and musician Keren Batok with the cutting-edge style of the Berlin-based, Ankara-bred experimental electronic producer and musician Tolga Baklacioglu for a stunning debut single/video “Battlefield Hymn Before The Sky Burial.”
RETROVISOR – “Wiphalas off Planet“
A Sci-Fi salute to Post-Apocalyptic females, brought to us by the Cochabamba, Bolivia-based Minimal Dark Wave Dance duo, Retrovisor. “Wiphalas off Planet” is a tribute to, Alison Spedding’s Cyberpunk/Andean sci-fi book “From Time to Time Saturnina.” The retro-futuristic video by Luis Borda T. stars Paola Vargas, Lucía Herbas, and Paola Cano, as an all-women warrior crew aboard a groovy metallic spaceship.
THE PALACE OF TEARS – “Veiled Screen, Woven Dream”
Another memorial tribute, this time for the sudden death tragedy of the brother of the New Orleans Gothic Rock vocalist Leah Darkling whose band, The Palace of Tears with multi-instrumentalist Erick r Scheid put together a stunningly symbolic and beautifully reflective DIY video for the title track of the forthcoming Sophomore LP “Veiled Screen, Woven Dream.”
WE MELT CHOCOLATE – “Holy Ramen”
Warm and inviting, a vibrant kaleidoscopic bowl of “Holy Ramen” delivered fresh by Roberto Schoepflin for the Florence, Italy Shoegaze/Dream Pop act We Melt Chocolate. A feast for the eyes and ears, blends reverb-drenched wall of sound noise and dreamlike contemplative auras with moody post-punk undertones and the vocals of The Sensitive Club’s Ben Moro, off the forthcoming sophomore album, “Holy Gaze.”
LURVE – “L.I.F.E.”
Lurve ends the year with a dystopic DIY vision from the snow lined streets of Russia. “L.I.F.E.”, captures the frustration and resentment of a 9-5 job with a restless enthusiasm and anti-technology attack to give us a cathartic release whilst looking forward to their forthcoming, 2024, sophomore LP, via Spirit Goth Records (US) and Anchor Lights (RU).