Some people argue that music videos don’t have the same relevance or importance as they once did, in the heyday of MTV – when one of the only ways to visually connect with your favorite bands and artists before the internet was through their promotions. .
Then there are others who claim videos are more important than ever – a way for artists to speak out clearly amid the constant clamor and nonsense of social media.
Anyway – and for the day ahead – here are ten of the best music videos from Irish artists in recent memory.
HOZIER – “Take me to church”
A video that will always be on these lists, for good reason. Hozier’s debut single shares a powerful message about bigotry, but the video hammered the point with startling black-and-white detail.
THE AMBIANCE AFFAIR – “The devil in detail”
This superbly atmospheric video takes inspiration from Radiohead’s “There There” video, creating an otherworldly narrative that sees the protagonist follow a red-mantled damsel deep into Wicklow Forest. The jerky and offbeat atmosphere is due to the remarkable fact that it was 15,000 reconstituted fixed photographs.
PHIL LYNOTT – “Old town”
A video we’ll never tire of watching (it helps that the song is an icy classic), watching the Thin Lizzy man walk the streets of 1980s Dublin evokes a nostalgic sense of romance every time. It will also make you really miss The Long Hall.
ONE HOUSE – ‘Endless Art’
In the 1980s, maybe everyone was in awe of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” video, but we had our own equivalent in Ireland. This brilliant promo, produced using a stop-motion technique, still stands.
SHIT ROBOT – ‘Take’ Em Up ‘
We still feel immense joy from this video (and the song, which remains a banger), 11 years after its first release. The colors, the concept, the sheer freshness of it all – amazing.
U2 – ‘Where the streets have no name’
Surely one of the most iconic Irish videos of all time? Bono and the guys had their own “Beatles on Top of the Apple Building” moment when they closed a downtown Los Angeles street while playing an unannounced concert atop a liquor store in 1987. Just awesome.
ENYA – “Flow of the Orinoco”
The genius that is Enya doesn’t get its due, often seen as music for your mom or something cheesy and dated. In fact, she’s one of the most avant-garde Irish musicians of all time – and that has bled in her music videos as well. This watercolor-enhanced promo would still be amazing if released in 2021, no matter 1988.
APHEX TWIN – “Come to daddy”
There could have been a number of Aphex Twin videos on this list, but we go with the most disturbing. The music of the Limerick-born musician and producer is often the soundtrack to your nightmares, but this truly terrifying video will remain etched in your brain.
GIRL BAND – ‘Paul’
By now, Girl Band has established that they don’t make music like other people. Matching their quirky sound to a visual is no small feat, but their video for ‘Paul’ – which sees a children’s artist go through a blackout in a beautiful OTT fashion – is amazing. You’ll never look at Peppa Pig the same way.
THE DIVINE COMEDY – “Bad ambassador”
Looking for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on roller skates? You have come to the right place. This makes the video for The Divine Comedy 2001 single frivolous, but it’s actually a really nice job. Beautifully shot and not devoid of humor, it is seriously underrated and sweet without being sentimental.