Video

The 50 Best Music Videos of 2022 You Probably Missed Part 4: 20 - 11

The countdown continues!
The countdown continues! Screenshot from No. 11 on this list.
We're finally in the top 20of our look at the best indie, underground, and just otherwise might've-been-missed music videos of 2022. Today we have some great animation and stop motion, as well as a clever way to use Zoom to make a good horror video. Plug in and let's go!

20. The White Buffalo, “Love Will Never Come / Spring’s Song”

Jake Smith, otherwise known as The White Buffalo, dropped a trio videos at the end of the year as a part of his ongoing Year of the Dark Horse companion film project. Smith has a captivating physical presence that makes him a joy to watch, even when he’s just pretending to be a preacher or dancing over a sparkler. Do check out the whole work when you get a chance. Smith continuously proves he has a grander vision than most artists.

19. Mad Meg, “Waiters”

It’s been a while since I checked in on Mad Meg, and they’ve only gotten more weird and wonderful. “Waiters” is a visual trip animated by Katya Mezentseva that rides the driving blues song through a surrealist nightmare. It often looks like a strung out version of Shel Silverstein, but it fits the groove like a hand in specially made costume glove.

18. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Wolf”

It’s fair to compare this video to Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” since that tune is literally name dropped in the first verse. However, director Allie Avital offers a perfect reboot of the ‘80s classic. Actress Britt Lower leaves her comfortable house in the hills to stalk through the woods as a wild animal, running into Karen O and the boys along the way for a deliciously feral outing.

17. Jen Cloher, “Mana Takatāpui”

It’s been a really hard year for LGBT people, especially here in Texas where the state government continues to wage institutional war on our very existence. The fight can take a lot out of a person, so seeing someone like Jen Cloher release a video of simple celebration of gender and sexual orientation minorities is a balm to my soul. I think I’ll write her lyric “If I can’t be the love of your life I’ll be the loss of your life” on my bathroom mirror. We can’t forget to be be joyful, and “Mana Takatāpui” is a desperately needed reminder.

16. ††† (Crosses), “Sensation”

Guitarist Shaun Lopez directs this Lynchian nightmare of a video alongside Lorenzo Diego Carrera. A young woman (Thais Molon) is driving down a dark highway when she spots her own doppelganger walking down the same road. The two slowly converge across the rest of the run time, leaving the final version bleeding from the nose. It’s more of a vibe than a plot, but that vibe is hot, spooky, and worth the time.

15. Jozem, “Foreign”

It probably not a surprise that a lot of songs about isolation have been written in the last couple of years, what with the pandemic and the increasing political divide. Jozem’s “Foreign” turns that isolation into a miniature horror flick where he is stalked by a faceless doppelganger in a remote house. It’s more deeply unsettling than outright scary, and it leaves you feeling haunted.

14. Lights, “Okay Okay”

One of the more fun things from Instagram this year was watching Lights introduce cuts from her new album Pep through vignettes where she personified the songs as characters. She leaned even harder into the bit for the video for “Okay Okay.” Her various versions contribute ideas for the official video while a sinister online stalker slowly turns the experience into a horror short. It’s a little cheesy, but overall an excellent Zoom call adventure.

13. Lyrics Born, “Alligator Boots”

When you rap about hot air ballons being pulled by caribous and being barefoot on the moon, you need a music video master to make that come alive. Luckily, Lyrics Born had animator Jesse Hughes, who rises to the task admirably with a first-rate stop motion adventure. The fact that the song is one of LB’s best ever doesn’t hurt either.

12. Alpha Rabbit, “Eternity”

This one is a real tearjerker. Director Anthony Catanese follows a family as they grow up happy and then confront a tragedy. What makes the video stand out is how random the moments seem to be woven together. Tears and laughter, children and adolescents… all of it mixes in a feverish way that feels more like our real life messy memories instead of the narrative manner they’re usually shown on screen. It’s a lovely, if sad video.

11. Chappell Roan, “My Kink is Karma”

Taylor Swift may have had the more popular karma-themed song this year, but Chappell Roan had the better one. Not only are the lyrics more playful and sharp, her video featuring a sad clown of a boyfriend getting his face shoved in a cake is just more fun. Extra points for the line “using your distress as foreplay.”

On Monday, we'll unveil the Top 10! See you then.

Part 1: 50-41
Part 2: 40-31
Part 3: 30-21
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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