Jason Baum's Top 10 Music Videos of 2020

Posted by Jason Baum on January 21, 2021

Contributor Post

What is left to be said about 2020? Literally nothing. I thought about bowing out this year, but I just needed you to know that despite all the frustrating heartbreaking chaos in the world, these videos exist and leave us all with something to aspire toward creating.

Much of my reluctance to participate was based on the fact that it still doesn’t seem like the best time to be making jokes. While I love sharing my favorite music videos of the year, the joy I get out of this list is thinking about the quips and witticisms that at least make me chuckle. I take this so seriously that I even had a dream one night about this year’s posting!

Speaking of nightmares— to sleep better, I have paired every music video on the list this year with a charity. It sounds pretty silly or trivializing, but I urge you to pick your favorite video on the list and donate to the charity I have chosen to complement it. Whatever amount you feel comfortable with. (Disclaimer: I promise that I did my best to research each charity here) Washing my hands and away we go...

Woodkid "Goliath"

Yoann sees his music like no one else can. Wear a mask because black lung can lead to hyperventilation in this case. [Donate]

Taylor Swift "The Man"

I like to think of myself as a man of discerning taste. One of which a big pop video like this wouldn’t normally make the list. But, the ending was a real swift kick to the groin of my male privilege. [Donate]

Orville Peck "No Glory in the West"

I’ve been through the snow on a horse with no name, it felt good to be out of the rain… While I don’t think that mask is CDC approved, you gotta respect Orville for being one of those people that wear face coverings despite no one being around for 600,000 feet. No guts, no glory, with panDADmic jokes here. [Donate]

Trevor Daniel, Selena Gomez "Past Life"

When the coronavirus reared its spike protein head, it seemed like the world could only expect the next genius stock footage masterpiece from Vania and Gal. However, they left that accolade to Stylewar and Keith Schofield (to an extent). Always one to awe visually and mind blow technologically, they delivered this socially distant piece of abstract weird poetry when we needed it most. [Donate]

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down "Phenom"

Covid 19 continues to aerosolize this list. I don’t know very many directors that can be dealt a stay at home order and still make an amazing video. But, that’s what Erin Murray did. This isn’t an asterisk “Best Zoom Video” slot, it’s really one of the most impressive videos of the year. [Donate]

Sam Dew "NTWFL"

I don’t really know what is happening in this video and I’m perfectly fine with that. [Donate]

Meryem Aboulouafa "Deeply"

While this is similar to Zhang + Knight’s video for Eden last year, I feel like they took their James Turrell sherbet aesthetic one step deeper here. (side note: James Turrell sherbet really should be a flavor at Mashti Malone's) It's hard not to fawn over every gorgeous detail in this. But, maybe one day we all can be inside one of those Instagram pop up traps again and it could look like this? [Donate]

James Vincent McMorrow "I Should Go"

It really makes you think about the types of people you meet on Hollywood Blvd. [Donate]

ROSALÍA & Travis Scott "TKN"

If ICE saw this video, they probably would have said something to the effect of "mission accomplished". If that joke disturbed you and/or made you laugh, definitely go and… [Donate]

The Weeknd, "In Your Eyes"

For the 10th spot, I am kinda awarding it to all of the Weeknd videos and live performances. He created such a distinct world and I loved every bit of it. So praise to Anton Tammi, Alex Lill, Cliqua, Arthell Isom, but I’m moving a-head with this jam [Donate]

FKA Twigs "Sad Day"

We know this about Hiro Murai. He doesn’t create music videos, but expansive galaxies and universes. Hence why this is getting the honorable mention slot because I had a hard time defining this as a music video? However, you can’t deny it as one of the most visually arresting pieces on the list. [Donate]

Take care of yourself out there and 2021 please be kind to us all.

Jason Baum is a music video producer and director based in Los Angeles.

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