All the videos that had us shook this year.

Ciara – “Level Up”

“If there are things around you that bring you down, don’t be afraid to drop the dead weight,” said Ciara, setting the scene on a transatlantic call to our very own Maybelle Morgan for our Winter ’18 issue. “Move that energy so you can soar and be your best you. Make that game plan.” I know #newyearnewme is a) usually a big fat lie and b) frankly quite annoying, but you don’t need to partake in triggering trends like “Dry January” to be a certified boss bitch like Ciara. Put that video on and get shit done.

The 1975 – “Sincerity Is Scary”

It’s cold outside, it’s Christmas, and we’re craving nothing but the completely unapologetically wholesome. Matty Healy dancing through the streets in a rabbit hat kind of wholesome. In his words: “Good bowl of soul levels wholesome”, please and thank you. Last month, The 1975’s third studio album A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships made it straight to the top of our albums of the year shortlist, possibly written whilst wearing a similar merch rabbit hat, don’t judge. See you in Jan on tour babes.

Shawn Mendes, Zedd – “Lost In Japan”

Six Christmas parties in, we’ve become well acquainted with long, over-expensive uber rides home, mince pies past midnight, and shameless drunk texting fuelled by the dangerous cocktail of alcohol and nostalgia. On nights like these, we all need a Shawn Mendes *actual Shawn Mendes, to fly a couple hundred miles just to see us. Whirling through a neon-lit Tokyo before rocking hotel slippers and a saucy robe and ending the night at karaoke, Shawn takes us on a cruise-control tour of an 11/10 date. Take notes, boys.

Charli XCX & Troye Sivan – “1999”

“I just wanna go back, back to 1999…Take a ride to my old neighborhood”, sings Charli on the October release… “I just wanna go back, sing, “hit me, baby, one more time!” The video takes us on a throwback trip through the year’s most iconic pop culture icons and lewks: Troye Sivan as Eminem and Justin Timberlake. Charli as Steve Jobs, American Beauty’s Angela, TLC, and all FIVE of the Spice Girls. The Sims. The Matrix. Jack and Rose in Titanic. Feel old? Now realise 1999 is about to be 20 years ago…

Childish Gambino – “This Is America”

At 0.52 seconds, a Jim Crowe pose, a gunshot: “This is America”. Donald Glover’s video made serious waves online for obvious reasons, namely its cutting political relevancy – including carefully orchestrated references to American shootings that have happened IRL (consult the hundreds of online threads dissecting its multiple political references) – as well as its unique artistry and aesthetic. Iconic, iconique.


If you can remember what summer felt like, you’ll know that 2018 was the year Beyonce and Jay Z teamed up for their first, long-overdue album together under moniker “The Carters”. And for their “APESHIT” video, they went suitably big – only The Carters could rent out The Louvre. The pair, wearing coordinated pastel power suits (obviously), get close and personal with the Mona Lisa and other iconic works in the celestial six-minute video. Bow down to the King and Queen.

Ariana Grande – “thank u, next”

Just when you thought you’d cried and danced and die-hard stanned enough for Ariana in 2018 she dropped “thank u, next”, and to be honest, it might just make mantra of the millennium. Featuring 13 Going on 30 references, a cameo from OG Paulette of Legally Blonde, a host of Ariana’s Victorious cast members, IRL Aaron Samuels and a heavy dose of Mean Girls moments – starring ultimate dance Mom Kris Jenner – “thank u, next” broke the internet like only a Kardashian could. Collectively we fell in love, and that’s probably the only thing the entire world can agree on this year.

Level up CC. Ciara, thank u, next 2018.

Rosie Byers

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