Yesterday, we shared our favorite Milwaukee music of 2021; today, it’s our favorite Milwaukee music videos 0f 2021. Settle in and enjoy some funny, weird, creative, and downright impressive clips.

B~Free – “This Could Be Us”
Released in August, “This Could Be Us” was B~Free‘s follow-up to an earlier summer jam, “Hate 2 Luv.” Similar to that song, “This Could Be Us” is fantastic. The sound may have a silky 2000s-era vibe, but the subject matter—dating in the digital age—is all 2021. The video, which finds B~Free and friends in full girl-group glory, was shot at the Selfie Hop & Selfie WRLD studios in Milwaukee and Brookfield, respectively. [Matt Wild]

Diet Lite – “Man Ray”
Diet Lite‘s “Man Ray” video is one part No Country For Old Men and one part skate video, with a dash of Say Anything influence thrown in for good measure. And if this fun, no-budget video with a surprising end twist isn’t enough to earn a click from you on its own, the song “Man Ray” is pretty great as well. [Tyler Maas]

Direct Hit! – “Hallow Comfort”
Yes, the “set free stock footage to a song” thing has been done before (and we’re not knocking it—use that free footage!), but accomplished Milwaukee punk outfit Direct Hit! does so as well as we’ve ever seen it done in its “Hollow Comfort” music video. Adding to the aura of helplessness director Ben Sargent conveys by way of vintage clips he collected is the looped animation contributed by artist Walker Dubois. Together, this mixed-media effort is a simple-yet-effective visual pairing for an excellent Direct Hit! single. [TM]

Eddy J. Lemberger – “Got Bucks Lust! (I Love My Milwaukee Bucks!)”
This song rules and this video is awesome. Nothing more needs to be said. [TM]

Immortal Girlfriend – “Others”
Not content with continually making some of the best music to come out of Milwaukee in years, synthwave duo Immortal Girlfriend spent 2021 making one of the best music videos to come out of Milwaukee in years. The incredible clip for “Others” was written and directed by Bash—a.k.a. Ryan Bingham and Josh Paul Halverson. We won’t spoil anything, so just hit play and revel in the video’s timeless “couple-moves-to-the-burbs-and-shit-gets-out-of-hand-and-kind-of-Black-Mirror-y-real-quick” vibe. [MW]

Klassik – “Black Holiday”
Tireless Milwaukee artist Klassik marked this year’s Juneteenth with a new song and video, “Black Holiday.” Of the song, Klassik said: “The summer of 2020 ignited many fires, both literally and figuratively, and the fire of frustration, and an urgent sense of responsibility to articulate that rage and passion, created this song.” Of the video, he explained: “The visual, directed by myself, shot by Samer Ghani, designed by Rakim, and edited by Blizz, is intended to capture the frenzy and disorientation that this rage can incur, instilling a sense of urgency and defiance that is the driving theme of the song and visual.” [MW]

Lakeyah – “313-414”
Adding to a breakout year that found Lakeyah being named to XXL magazin’’s 2021 freshman class and becoming a household name in her hometown and beyond, the Milwaukee-born rapper also took center stage in one of the city’s best music videos. With the assistance of Jerry Productions, Lakeyah and Detroit rapper Tee Grizzley do their respective area codes proud in the next-level music video for “313-414” that features dazzling aerial shots of Milwaukee, sleek downtown settings, and the video’s star sporting plenty of Bucks gear. [TM]

Negative/Positive – “And Sardines”
Former pre-teen band Negative/Positive grew up in 2021, releasing the excellent Mint Bag (Bag Full Of Mints) and playing a series of kinda-sorta-maybe goodbye shows before its members went off to college. If that wasn’t wistful enough, Mint Bag‘s penultimate track, “And Sardines,” practically bursts with coming-of-age bittersweetness, telling the tale of childhood BFFs who have drifted apart. The song’s sweet-and-sad video—co-directed by singer Ava Gessner—puts a finer point on it, depicting the band reenacting a kiddie birthday party and playing toy instruments. [MW]

RealityTV – “Tobey Maguire”
Disappointed by the third installment of the Spider-Man film franchise, two movie buffs look to wash the sour taste of Spider-Man 3 away by paying tribute to the first two Tobey Maguire-starring superhero flicks. So goes the plot in RealityTV‘s aptly named “Tobey Maguire” music video. The hip-hop duo composed of Slang Troubadour and GetMoses star in this ambitious and well-executed send-up directed by Jens Rhude, which ably blends a fun track with equally enjoyable footage. [TM]

Rexxx – “Lost Cause”
The devil’s in the details, and there are plenty of sinister delights to be found in the video for Rexxx‘s rollicking “Lost Cause”: the spooky cult, the touches of animation, Marquette University’s “big red church,” the casual weed-smoking. They’re all here in a handsomely shot production that embodies the title of Rexxx’s endlessly enjoyable 2020 LP: Pure Pleasure. [MW]

Something To Do – “Let’s Break Some Laws”
In its “Let’s Break Some Laws” video, veteran Milwaukee-Madison ska outfit Something To Do uses “deepfake” technology—a.k.a. that terrifying thing that somewhat believably replaces someone’s face on videos—to insert members into clips from classic cinema. Between the altered footage and the fake reviews (including one attributed to Milwaukee Record) accompanying the rousing ska-punk number, Something To Do pull off an Oscar-caliber credit sequence and a pretty hilarious music video concept. [TM]

Trapper Schoepp – “River Called Disaster”
We’ve all been there: It’s been another terrible year, you’re “bent up and beat up and broken and bruised,” and you find yourself playing a piano in the middle of a river. What to do? If you’re Milwaukee troubadour Trapper Schoepp, and you’re making a video for your song “River Called Disaster” (from the heart-on-its sleeve May Day LP), you light the piano on fire and let the sucker burn. Props to Schoepp for plunking away at the burning instrument for much longer than you’d expect. [MWITW]

Valerie Lighthart – “Savior”
You need only look at one frame of a Valerie Lighthart video to know it’s, well, from a Valerie Lighthart video. For the Emry Briskey-shot clip for “Savior” (from 2021’s PT. I: THE GODDESS EP), Lighthart mixes a Victorian vibe with a ’30s-glam-starlet aesthetic to produce another lush, memorable visual. Some lower-res camera-phone footage only adds to the video’s bewitching and out-of-time quality. [MW]

Vincent Van Great and Amanda Huff – “Double Strawberry Plush”
Vincent Van Great and Amanda Huff
paired up in 2021 for the wonderful seven-track record Troublemakers. The Van Great-directed visual for lead single “Double Strawberry Plush” is a candy-colored and kaleidoscopic cavalcade of cascading strawberries (natch) that features not one, not two, but three Vincent Van Greats and Amanda Huffs. It’s a fun, sexy, and ultimately sweet representation of Troublemakers‘ most fun, flirty, and ultimately sweet tracks. [MW]

You Win !!! – “Painmonger”
The video for “Painmonger”—a dreary and deceivingly dance-y single You Win !!! released in spring—finds the self-described “trip-hop/dark pop” duo and director Brendan Thain Jones addressing the song’s themes of pain and the social implications of trauma by showcasing wrestlers engaged in a brutal match. Filmed at Dropout Fight Club (a new Riverwest boxing gym), the above-and-beyond video shows wrestlers Zach Hendrix and Kurt Krueger doing battle in the ring as a referee attempts to keep some order in the match. Between blows, some unruly onlookers cheer on the punishment and You Win !!! treats violence-averse viewers to some performance footage. [TM]

FAVORITE MILWAUKEE MUSIC VIDEO SERIES OF 2021

“No Wake!”
Want to watch some of your favorite Milwaukee artists gently float down the Milwaukee River and perform some of their finest songs? If so, you’re in luck, because the Silver City Studios-produced “No Wake!” series gives you exactly that. A SistaStrings episode dropped in October, and Klassik and Caley Conway installments are on their way.

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