The Top Ten Best Music Videos of 2022 (So Far)
The last few years have given us some fantastic music videos, with Tyler, the Creator’s CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST-sequences, and FKA twigs’ “cellophane” in fresh memory. 2022 has been less fruitful, but I’ve been digging deep down in YouTube’s algorithms in search of ten music videos that stand out from the crowd.
#10. “That That” – PSY Feat. SUGA of BTS
It is the year 2022 and cowboy music videos are as trendy as TikTok videos and reality shows about dating. In South Korea, PSY – you remember the guy who introduced K-pop to everyone with the legendary “Gangnam Style”? – and SUGA from the excessively popular boy band BTS have employed South Korean-based video production company Lumpens to produce the music video to the terribly mediocre single “That That.” The finished product, featuring thirty to forty-something Korean dancers dressed in cowboy hats and leather boots with PSY himself in the middle, is so well-arranged and good-looking that it almost makes the song tolerable. It’s bright, it’s grandiose, it’s fun!
#9. “Walkin” – Denzel Curry
Florida’s finest rapper, Denzel Curry also put on his cowboy boots in the music video to “Walkin”, as we’re watching him head out for a walk in the desert. “Ain’t no stoppin’ in this dirty, filthy, rotten, nasty little world we call our home,” he sings as he stumbles upon John Wayne himself before killing him in a classic Mexican stand-off with photo angles taken directly from Sergio Leone’s unforgettable spaghetti western The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly from 1966. The yellow fonts in which the credits are presented come straight from a Quentin Tarantino movie (which automatically means that it really inherits from some forgotten ‘60s B-movie Western, anyway), and if it’s not the most original music video I’ve seen, it’s one of the best-looking. Adrian Villagomez is the director.
#8. “Punk Rock Loser” – Viagra Boys
More cowboys appear in Swedish punk band Viagra Boys’ music video to their latest single, “Punk Rock Loser.” Directed by SNASK and produced by Manga Minja, we’re here finding singer and frontman Sebastian Murphy dressed in a blue cowboy suit stumbling through the city, shooting blanks with his revolver while the rest of the cowboy inhabitants threateningly stare him out. I don’t know about you, but I read the Dalton Brothers when I was a kid, and this is how I imagined your average cowboy to behave. It all ends with Murphy getting drunk as he joins the rest of the cowboy crew for a Hot Dog Dance.
#7. “All the Good Times” – Angel Olsen
Meanwhile, in a more contemporary wild west, Angel Olsen has learned how to drive an old manually geared Isuzu pickup on Big Tujunga Canyon Road while shooting the music video for “All the Good Times.” It’s about time you Americans learn how to shift gear manually, and it’s enough to justify her presence on this list. Jokes aside, it’s a damn good music video as well, directed by Kimberly Stuckwisch (executive producer for Stranger Things and Billie Eilish’s “When The Party’s Over” video) using almost entirely yellow, black, and red in one of the first LGBTQ-videos ever to appear in country music, I assume.
#6. “Free” – Florence + The Machine
#5. “King” – Florence + The Machine
Did anyone manage to record a good music video without connections to the wild west, though? Surprisingly, yes. Always making sure her music video matches the cinematic soundscapes of her music, Florence Welch has released two excellent music videos from her new album, Dance Fever, both directed by Autumn de Wilde. I can’t quite decide whether “Free” or ”King” is the better, but I think I’ll go for the former. Bill Nighty (Pirates of the Caribbean, Shuan of the Dead, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow, to name a few) acts next to Florence as “her anxiety” in a very thought-provoking video fitting perfectly to the lyrics. The video is recorded in Kyiv last year before Russia’s invasion, a harrowing reminder about just how quickly things might change.
#4. “Get into It (Yuh)” – Doja Cat
In another galaxy, Doja Cat has left Planet Her on a little purple space shuttle in search of her cat who has been kidnapped by some evil, ugly-looking alien. Doja Cat gets upset and together with her sassy buttocks-crew, she hunts them down, twerks them to the ground, and takes the pussy cat back. Directed by Mike Diva, who’s obviously a pretty extraordinary one.
#3. “As It Was” – Harry Styles
We needed a perfect music video for a perfect pop hit like “As It Was”, and we got one, thanks to Ukrainian director Tanu Muino and her crew. You know the female actress, Mathilde Lin, from Yves Tumor’s “Gospel for a New Century.” The colors are great – blue for Mathilde and red for Harry – and Harry standing in his underwear must really be the icing on the cake, right?
#2. “She’s All I Wanna Be” – Tate McRae
Tate McRae’s music video for “she’s all I wanna be,” directed by Tusk and Michelle Dawley also deserves to be on the list. “She’s all I wanna be // you want the girl with the small waist/ / and the perfect smile // someone who’s out every weekday // in her dad’s new car,” Tate sings in this generic piece of up-tempo radio pop, and let’s be honest – the video is a lot better than the song itself. The video portrays the “better girl” not as the stereotypical white preppy chick but as a beautiful, funky Asian girl in a cool green suit. The video is a feminist statement because it deals with Tate’s insecurities rather than portraying rivalry between two girlfriends.
#1. “The Path” – Lorde
Released just as I’m about to finish this article, Lorde releases the Joel Kefali- and Ella Yelich-O’Connor-directed music video to “The Path” from her critically not-so-acclaimed Solar Power album, and even if I don’t care too much about the song itself, I must confess that I’m seduced by her barefoot beach gatherings. On its own, it’s not that much of a special video. Still, next to “Solar Power”, “Fallen Fruit”, “Leader of a New Regime”, “Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen It All)”, and “Mood Ring”, it is another installment in a series of interconnected music videos supporting her latest album, making her visions of a sunnier path shine stronger and stronger.