No shade to Taylor Swift and "Bad Blood," but this year's VMAs could've used a little more varied pool of nominees. From technology-enhanced interactive videos to politically-charged cinematic plotlines, here are our picks for the ten most underrated videos of the past year.
1) Kali Uchis -- "Rush"
Shot with 8mm film, this video directed by film and photography duo, Wiissa, creates a dreamy vintage vibe that perfectly complements Kali Uchis's jazzy and sultry voice. Watch Kali and her cool girl gang of '70s-style babes go on a road trip and roller skate around.
2) Flume -- "Some Minds (Feat. Andrew Wyatt)"
In this eerie music video, a guy floats through a futuristic-looking stadium, comes onto a stage and busts a move that makes his body ripple through air as if he were a reflection in a fun hous mirror. The video starts at slowly, but as soon as that beat drops, it takes off into another dimension.
3) BjÃ¶rk -- "Stonemilker"
Come on, it's 360 degrees of BjÃ¶rk. Only two million views -- really?
4) Earl Sweatshirt -- "Grief"
Who knew that all it took was infrared vision to give us nightmares for the rest of our lives? "Grief" puts Earl in front of a thermal imaging camera for a ghostly, back-from-the dead effect that matches the song's murky feel.
5) Holly Herndon -- "Interference"
Experimental composer Holly Herndon is a whiz at turning the digital realm on its head and her vibrant, transfixing video for "Interference" is no exception. Filled with mysterious text, gradient layers and 3D computer-rendered imagery, it's easy to spend half the video trying to click out of the fake ad box at the bottom.
6) Azealia Banks -- "Wallace"
While we're talking about interactivity, Azealia Banks's "Wallace" video uses your computer's camera to track your facial movements, so that you can become Banks and a part of the video itself. Talk about virtual reality.
7) Shamir -- "Call It Off"
Desert road trips and dance routines from Shamir's anthropomorphic puppet alter ego -- it's like the Muppets-meets-On The Road. Or something. Whatever it is, it's a damn delight.
8) Heems -- "Sometimes"
A mash-up of references and cultures just like Heems' own music (and fashion), "Sometimes" features top-notch cameos (Hannibal Burress, Eric Andre), VHS-style infomercials and epilepsy-inducing cinematography for a wild good time.
9) Vince Staples -- "SeÃ±orita"
In this striking black-and-white video, Vince Staples wanders through an all-too-plausible dystopic wasteland, watching as people are gunned down. Eventually, it turns out, the mass murder is all for the enjoyment of a laughing white family -- putting a fine point on Staples' politics.
10) Miguel -- "Coffee"
It's the distillation of Miguel as a tender sex god, capturing his approach to love, characterized by quick, beautiful moments. He's not playing outside the box so much as perfecting what you can do inside of it. (And if the video is any indication, what you can do inside the box is VERY NSFW.)