The Five Most Creative Music Videos of the Year (So Far)

The frontman of Eytan and the Embassy runs down 2012’s coolest music videos

The frontman of Eytan and the Embassy runs down 2012’s coolest music videos

When Eytan and the Embassy debuted the music video for their single “Everything Changes” last month, the single-take, costume-heavy video caught Neil Patrick Harris’s attention and set a record for the most costume changes in an unedited music video.

Since he managed to do a lot with one shot and some crazy wigs, we decided to ask lead singer Eytan Oren for the most creative music videos he’s seen this year. Videos for the second half of 2012, you’ve got a lot to live up to.

1. M.I.A., “Bad Girls

M.I.A. is bad-ass. This is big budget done right.

2. OK Go, “Needing/Getting”

It took me a few viewings to realize just how much planning and mathematical engineering went into pulling this off. I don’t know how OK Go keeps coming up with amazing video ideas.

3. The Family Bones, “If You Ever Need Someone”

25,000+ Post-its used to great stop motion effect.

4. The Shins, “Simple Song”

An amazing song from my favorite record this year and the video is incredibly funny.

5. Chairlift, “Met Before”

I loved choose-your-own adventure books as a kid, so the interactive choose-your-own-adventure video got me hooked.

On Getting the Video for “Everything Changes” Together

We had been kicking around different ideas for several months. The initial idea, which was mine, was, “Let’s do something that’s one take where what I look like completely morphs throughout, using costumes.” So that was the initial inspiration. Then Joe Pickard, who’s the director, who really brought a lot of the ideas and execution to the table, he took that initial idea and he came up with this history of rock n roll aspect to it.

On the World Record

We made the video just for its own sake and then I became friendly with one of the co-founders of Recordsetter, a guy named Dan Rollman. And I just really fell in love with the site. It’s just this like anti-Guinness, totally community-based inclusive approach to world records…Dan truly believes at the bottom of his heart that every person should be the world record holder of something and that’s his mission with this site. So it was a lot of fun being sanctioned for a world record on their site and I’m hopeful that someone will come along and try to beat us.

On the Musicians Left Out of His Video

I would’ve loved to get Freddie Mercury in there because he’s definitely one of my favorites. We had a couple of really last minute changes. Like actually Jimi Hendrix was supposed to be one of them and we just felt like I couldn’t look like Jimi Hendrix and it just wasn’t working, so we changed it to Bob Dylan right in the middle of the shoot. I ran out and bought a harmonica and a harmonica rack and it ended up being one of the best ones I think, but a very last minute one…Marc Bolan was one that I really wanted to do. Obviously the Stones would’ve been nice, but the ‘60s are so jam packed with amazing artists that that was the toughest one to figure out. It ended up a lot of the time being like ‘Which ones can I plausibly look like?’ Which surprisingly Weird Al was the one I most plausibly looked like. I don’t think any of us saw that coming.

On How He Feels About Looking Like Weird Al

[Laughs] Pretty excited actually. I know I should feel bad about that, when people say like, “I hope this doesn’t insult you but I was amazed by how much you look like Weird Al.” But everytime I watch the video and see that moment, I don’t know, it just sort of makes me happy.

For a handy guide to all the musical references in “Everything Changes,” click here!