New Year’s Day and Throwback Thursday are perfect times to look back on 2014 and remember the YouTube videos that resonated with us the most. Here are some of our personal favorites from last year.
I don’t think it’s much of a secret that I think Postmodern Jukebox is the best thing to have ever happened to the Internet. So when Scott Bradlee decided to cover Ellie Goulding’s “Burn” in the style of a vintage 60’s girl group, that could’ve been enough for me. That our singer trio is of Robyn Adele Anderson, PMJ’s lead singer, along with frequent collaborators Cristina Gatti and Ashley Stroud, made it all the better, each of their very unique voices somehow managing to both peek out from under their wall of sound while still harmonizing perfectly.
But then PMJ had to throw one more curveball at you: A Saxophone with an open flame. It’s simultaneously enjoyable and a bit stressful as I worry about the apartment burning down. They’ve certainly got that fire, fire, fire.
I have no idea what the first seven months of 2014 were like. No idea what I was interested in, what I was watching, what, if anything, I was full on obsessed with. And the only thing I was paying any attention to from August to November were Pitch Perfect videos, and those were not posted in 2014 so I can’t talk about them, Logan’s rules (thwarted…this time). So 2014, to me, is about December. And December has been all about Neon Jungle, The 100, and dealing with my friend sporadically screaming out “take me to church!” because she’d listened to the Hozier song at least thirty times that day. Every day. So that left the obvious choice of utilizing Neon Jungle’s way-better-than-the-original cover of “Take Me to Church” as the video I couldn’t get enough of this year. In reality, my YouTube history says I’ve watched their music video for “Louder” way more, but “Take Me to Church” will always be the video that screams “December 2014!” and “whoa I have a friend who gets as/more obsessive over stuff than I do!” at me. Good memories, good memories.
Of all the YouTube videos that came out in 2014, I came back to this one a surprising number of times. “I Ship It” by Yulin Kuang, produced as part of New Form Digital’s short film series, is a cheerful, comforting story about fandoms and romance and moving on with your life, featuring young actors and creators I admire and who are doing a lot of cool things in the web video space. In an industry that’s often so much about commercialism and marketing and blatant self-promotion, this was a breath of fresh air.
This was an easy pick for me. I’ve watched this video numerous times, and showed it to many of my friends. All of my friends have called me odd and don’t understand why I cry laughing every time I watch this video. The idea that Shia LaBeouf is psychotic cannibal is just too ridiculous and great of an idea to keep to oneself. That being said, share this with all your friends.
[Editor’s note: Evan didn’t understand the assignment and picked a video from two years ago, EVERYBODY LAUGH AT EVAN. Still a good way to sum up the year, though.]
It’s almost impossible to sum up 2014 in a video…except that actually, it’s not. 2014 is AZ4Angela’s now famous “Bath and Body Works Rant” video. Why you ask? Because 2014 was terrible in a very specific and frustrating way that is perfectly captured by this woman’s picayune prattling about a candle. 2014 was the year that everyone was mad about everything all the time in a deeply unproductive but painfully long winded way. No one wanted to solve any problems, they just wanted to beat them to death on Tumblr for attention. At 11 minutes and 49 seconds Angela’s video perfectly captures 2014’s need to bang on and on ceaselessly about everything without ever arriving at a solution.
Of course I can’t entirely blame poor Angela. Like all of us, Angela lost something in 2014 that she cared about deeply. For many of us that might have been an opportunity, or a celebrity in whom we were too invested, for Angela it was a gross sounding candle. We all have our stuff. Ultimately, this video is 12 minutes that gave me a headache and made me mad. 2014 did the exact same thing, but it took 12 months.
Happy New Year! Tell us about your favorite 2014 videos in the comments!