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2012 Breakthrough Videos

Grimes Oblivion Video
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There were plenty of breakthrough artists in 2012 — from a headband-wearing R&B futurist to a synth-poppin' young woman with some seriously fierce beats. A couple of familiar faces even showed up in brand new roles. Best of all, these artists made some great videos to go with their equally great songs. Here are 10 of our favorite videos from 2012's breakthrough artists.


Cloud Nothings, 'No Future / No Past'

 
 

The Cleveland indie rockers' slow-building, Nirvana-channeling song (produced by Steve Albini) gets an appropriately artsy video.

 

Benjamin Gibbard, 'Teardrop Windows'

 
 

Gibbard has fronted Death Cab for Cutie for more than a dozen years. He starts over on his first solo album and in this hilarious video.

 

Grimes, 'Oblivion'

 
 

Canadian Claire Boucher made one of our favorite albums of the year. This video for one of its best songs shakes an entire stadium.

 

Frank Ocean, 'Thinking About You'

 
 

The R&B singer had a stellar year, releasing one of 2012's best albums and a 10-minute song about strippers. This slow jam's video is as mystical as it is redemptive.

 

Of Monsters and Men, 'Little Talks'

 
 

Of Monsters and Men sound like an Icelandic Arcade Fire, and in their breakthrough video, all kinds of Icelandic weird stuff happens.

 

Purity Ring, 'Lofticries'

 
 

The Canadian duo's moody electronic tune perfectly fits the tone of this lyrical video about lonely people going through the circle of life.

 

Pussy Riot, 'Punk Prayer'

 
 

These Russian women made a lot of noise in 2012. They're now in a prison camp because of it. This blistering attack on president Vladimir Putin hit the hardest.

 

Tame Impala, 'Feels Like We Only Go Backwards'

 
 

This colorful animated clip from the Australian psych-rockers' buzz-generating album is almost as trippy as their music. Almost.

 

Tanlines, 'All of Me'

 
 

This Brooklyn duo crosses the early days of MTV with David Lynch in the video for the synth-driven single off their debut album.

 

Jack White, 'Sixteen Saltines'

 
 

White has been a pretty big deal for more than a decade now, but he released his first solo album this year. 'Sixteen Saltines' is the best of the new bunch.

 

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