The 50 Best Music Videos of 2022 You Probably Missed Part 1: 50 - 41

The music video countdown begins!
The music video countdown begins! Screencap from No. 41 on the list.
Every year, the Houston Press combs through the best indie and lesser-known artists out there to find the best music videos around. You won't find the big name artists here. Instead, we try to draw attention to the best of the underground and new work from musicians who may be past their hey day. Here are the first ten, and we'll be doing ten more every day this week.

50. Weyes Blood, “Grapevine”

“Grapevine” finds Weyes Blood stranded on the side of the road after a car wreck. Stalked by a shadowy figure with glowing eyes, she eventually embraces her fate after realizing she’s no longer alive. Director Rick Farin has a good eye for film noir menace and puts together a somber story that matches Blood’s sorrowful song.

49. The Paranoias, “Felicity 2”

Ska is back, baby! At least, if The Paranoias have anything to say about it. Judging by “Felicity 2” they sure do. On top of the killer track in both English and Spanish we get a hilarious story about someone with a crush on a nun. Everything should be this naughty and weird.

48. Jean Dawson, “Sick of It”

“Sick of It” feels like every music video I watched this year was poured into a blender and then set to run for two minutes on high. There are clowns, horses, the moon, and more all at maximum volume and speed. It would be exhausting if it wasn’t so exhilarating.

47. Fiona Apple, “Across the Universe”

The Fionassance continues with this bopping cover of The Beatles’ “Across the Universe.” Apple sits serenely in a diner as a group of ‘50s toughs destroy it with baseball bats. True to the lyrics, she lets none of it bother her. It’s wonderful to see Apple back doing great music videos again.

46. Air Traffic Controller, “20”

Done all in one shot (appropriately, with a drone), “20” is about a man lamenting the hope and vigor of being 20 years old as he lies in bed surrounded by obligations. The video uses extensive choreography to create a shifting pattern of people constantly calling on our hero’s time and sanity until he breaks down. The concept is simple, but so expertly executed that it becomes exceptional.

45. Mytriza, “Motion”

Call it a symptom of societal collapse, but there were a lot of great music videos this year about abandoning civilization for the old gods of nature. One of the best of these was “Motion,” directed by Mytriza and Todd Wästfelt. The two put together a compelling advertisement for leaving all this mess behind and finding meaning in the woods and sea.

44. Gunship feat. Power Glove, “Ghost”

It was inevitable that someone was going to make a music video completely out of AI-created art assets this year. Honestly? The end product isn’t bad at all. What it lacks in a human touch it makes up for in a certain kind of regulated chaos. This might be the future for a while, so give it a look and see if you’re comfortable with that.

43. Sharon Van Etten, “Headspace”

Directed by Ashely Connor, “Headspace” casts Sharon Van Etten as a kind of love goddess who is trying to make a couple reconnect as their obsession with the world in their phones pulls them apart. It sounds trite, but Van Etten and the couple (Coco Karol and Miguel Angel Guzman) really put their everything into the bit to tell a physical and moving story. Van Etten especially comes across as something superhuman, screaming out of the white void of a television monitor to try and save the lives of her charges.

42. Thousand Below, “Sabotage”

Now for something a bit grim. Director Alex Bemis takes us to a forsaken beach for this ode to broken hearts and mental desolation. Singer James Deberg wanders around haunted by the ghost of a loved one (Siena Thompson), who constantly digs her ethereal claws into him to drive him mad. It’s an intense experience that is beautifully shot.

41. Jadu Heart, Freedom”

“Freedom” is a video delightfully out of its era. Tommy Midnight stars as a man with three eyes who wanders a weird landscape trying to understand where he is. The whole thing is shot with a combination of ‘70s punk cinema and late ‘90s revival indie home video movie styles. The result is an oddly timeless, but still enjoyable, throwback.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2: 40 - 31!
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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner