Even though the days of MTV and VH1 playing long sets of music videos is long gone, the music video is alive and well. It still serves as a powerful way to communicate the message of a song. With over 1.5 Billion users, YouTube is the largest music platform on the planet, and in a recent poll 77% of individuals used YouTube for listening to music this last month. We feast your eyes AND ears on UTR’s picks for the Best Gourmet Music Videos of 2019 (from the world of well-crafted, faith-inspired songs). [FYI, we did not consider concerts, live takes, or lyric videos. These are listed in no particular order.]
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
This April video release is a sure-fire smile inducer. Not only does it feature Drew’s real family, but cameos from his extended music family including Mat Kearney, The New Respects, Dave Barnes, Joseph, Johhnyswim, Ben Rector, and several other recognizable faces.
Debuting on 1/25/19, this is the oldest video on this list, but one the might have you dancing for joy for years to come. The video tells a subtle story of life transformation through Christ with a lead character who encounters God through the music and worship. Yes fun. And yes powerful.
“Why Did You Run?”
Judah & The Lion
Director Matthew DeLisi used stop-motion animation to tell the story of a budding friendship between two students. The pain-filled lyrics and hope-filled music create a unique juxtaposition, and the video brilliantly captured the emotional undercurrent of this song.
Not much can convey a joy-filled, carefree spirit than singing and dancing through New York City. Not only will this song get stuck in your head (in the best way), but the video (shot in Central Park) is so sweet that it might legitimately reduce your anxiety levels.
Mike Mains & the Branches
Sometimes when listening to a song, one can visualize what the song “looks like.” But with this song, director Robbie Barnett took that vision and flipped it. Part homage to Napoleon Dynamite and part hysterical fun, this video is a brilliant must-see experience.
“Leave Me Alone”
There’s a reason why this July release has had over 30 Million views in its first 5 months. As the song tackles the theme of mental health, the video is eerily shot at an abandoned amusement park. The cinematography, editing, and art direction are masterfully executed.
“I’m Gonna Let It Go”
No stunts, no explosions, no CGI babies. This release shows that a simple concept with some wizard-like post-production skills can equal an amazing music video. The unique freeze-frame art direction here is superbly produced and is a mesmerizing viewing experience.
“Whatever Makes You Mine”
John Van Deusen
This video opens with one of the ultimate filmmaking tightropes – the shaving of John’s head (no second takes!). Director Ben Park takes us on a wild ride of Prius driving, art desecration, dancing seance, and a fight with an evil wookiee. It’s a bizarre ride worth taking.
Switchfoot (ft. Lindsey Stirling)
This semi-orchestral reboot teams Switchfoot up with former America’s Got Talent finalist and YouTube sensation Lindsey Stirling. This November release bravely flashes real-life hurtful comments aimed at both artists, and shows some “voices” aren’t worth listening to.
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”
This updated arrangement began as an invitation from PBS affiliate WQED (home of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood). While the timing of that partnership didn’t work, Joy finished this fun remake and filmed this on location in her & Fred Rogers’ hometown of Pittsburgh.
HeeSun Lee (ft. Jacquelyn Wells)
This is the only (directly) crowdfunded music video on our list. It powerfully communicates the value of adoption from three different perspectives. All three principle creators (HeeSun, Jacquelyn, and director Jon Maxwell) are all Korean adoptees.
“Did Not Our Hearts Burn”
We almost didn’t consider this February release because it’s almost a lyric video. But it’s either one of the best lyric videos ever made, or it transcends that label. The song is jaw-droppingly good, but so is this one-take video with some spectacular post-production effects.
“I’m Gonna Love You To The End”
Jenny & Tyler
If the backdrop was an alley or parking lot, it just wouldn’t have worked. Filmed at in a gorgeous creekside bluff, Veritable Films & Caleb Chamberlain found a way to capture subtle glimpses of deep & genuine love on the artists’ faces.
Hope you enjoyed the visual side of some stellar music. We would love to know if this curated list help you discover any songs or artists that are meaningful to you. If so, please tell us below.