In case you missed it, 2015 was the year we debuted the Paste Cloud, one of the largest curated collections of concert videos on the internet. Some of those come from the archives of extraordinary partners like Daytrotter and Wolfgang’s Vault, and many are original videos organized, filmed, and produced by our own multimedia team. Below are the 10 best music videos Paste shot in 2015.
One of the best surprises of hosting live sessions is when artists whip out an out-of-the-blue cover or two. Winston Yellen of Night Beds stopped by the Paste Studio in New York during CMJ and offered a Bob Dylan cover transitioning into a new song. Watch “It Ain’t Me Babe / Untitled” below and check out the full set here.
In that vein, Canadian county singer Lindi Ortega busts out a cover of “Mercedes Benz” that would flood even Janis herself. While the snappy guitar accompaniment added a new complexity to the originally a cappella outtake, Ortega wouldn’t need its melodic signposts to hit those notes. Watch “Mercedes Benz” below and check out the full set, with three additional tracks from her this year’s Faded Glory here.
Knoxville singer Jill Andrews has a stunning, urgent voice. She stopped by during CMJ to perform an aching, acoustic version of “Get Up, Get On” off her latest album, The War Inside that came out this year. Watch “Get Up, Get On” below and check out the full set here.
Ellen Kempner, the creative force behind Boston’s Palehound, had a breakout year with her debut Dry Food. The 21-year-old stopped by during CMJ, and her acoustic version of the title track is an even darker take on the original. Kempner’s voice nearly cracks to hit the low notes of the verses before delivering the sledgehammer chorus: “you made beauty a monster to me.” Watch “Dry Food” below and check out the full set here.
Beach Slang’s debut LP The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us is a solid 30 minutes of honest, hard-hitting anthems played fast and loud. James Alex stopped by the Paste Studios in New York during CMJ to treat us to a set of quiet Beach Slang songs where the whispers somehow rang louder than the screams. —Katie Lynch
Watch “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” below and check out the full set here.
We’re making an exception to the video designation, because this live-recorded audio track blew us away. Back in July, Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses teamed up with Iron & Wine to release an entire covers record called Sing Into My Mouth. But the covers involving these former tour mates didn’t stop there. During this year’s Pilgrimage Music & Culture Festival, Band of Horses sat down to record an acoustic cover or Iron & Wine’s “The Sea and the Rhythm.” Listen below and check out the rest of the set here.
Already signed to Oxford, Miss.’ Fat Possum Records, The Seratones are already on our watch list for 2016. Fierce vocalist AJ Haynes leads the Shreveport, La. group in Deep South blues that have been aged in whiskey barrels and sweetened with soul. We hope to hear more from the group next year, but in the meantime, watch “Don’t Need It” below and check out the full set here.
There’s no other way this list could end other than with the three bands that played our launch party. Luckily, for those unable to make the Brooklyn event, their sets are immortalized in the Paste Cloud. The Lighthouse & The Whaler, a four-piece from Cleveland, opened the show with their electro-pop punctuated by string accompaniment. Watch their hit “Venice” below and check out the full set here.
The Lone Bellow strips down to just its core three members—Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanine Pipkin—for this performance at the Paste Cloud party. With their limited personnel, the band’s lyric and harmonies ring as clearly as ever. Watch “You Don’t Love Me Like You Use To” below and check out the full set here.
In case you didn’t believe us when we named the Screaming Eagle of Soul our #1 live act of 2015, we’re here to remind you with video proof. Charles Bradley’s energetic delivery is incomparable to anyone out there today. Watch “Let Love Stand A Chance” below and check out the full set here.