Yesterday, we shared our favorite Milwaukee music of 2022; today, it’s our favorite Milwaukee music videos 0f 2022. Settle in and enjoy some funny, weird, creative, and impressive clips.

Collections Of Colonies Of Bees – “Harms”

Directed and masterminded by Heather Hass, the long-in-the-works video for Collections of Colonies Of Bees’ “Harms” (from 2018’s HAWAII) is a gorgeous, glitchy, stop-motion floral fever dream that finds Marielle Allschwang taking on a Mother Nature/Earth role while perched inside one of those funky rain lamps your grandparents used to have. Meanwhile, band members Daniel Spack, Chris Rosenau, Ben Derickson, and Matthew Skemp find themselves slowly giving themselves over to complete floral makeovers. By the end of the video they’re encased in flowery chrysalises, and suspended in funky rain lamps of their own. [Matt Wild]

Devil Met Contention – “NEON”

“A mission to the unknown creates more questions than answers as one traveler learns that not everything is as it seems.” So reads the logline to the video for Devil Met Contention’s “NEON,” a track from the band’s excellent/moody 2020 EP Wait. Written and directed by DMC frontman Ehson Rad, the video features K. Eliot Smith as the traveler in question. (Rad and fellow DMC members David Schuyler, Max Nemer, and Nez Lopez also make appearances.) Dig Smith’s impressive retro-future space suit? That’s the work of Milwaukee costume designer Lyssa Kay, who even gave the suit “a functional electric motor powered breathing apparatus and a full dome style helmet that allows the wearer 360 views.” [MW]

Dinner Set Gang – “Are You Someplace Else?”

Since 2020, art-damaged indie-pop outfit Dinner Set Gang has released a Christmas horror video (“Awful Things”), a glitchy zoo-themed video (“Jellyfish”), and a video that pays homage to the Cleveland Balloonfest fiasco of 1986 (“Ceiling Fan”). Not to be outdone, the Kurt Ravenwood-directed clip for the new “Are You Someplace Else?” dramatizes the title question by roaming the empty, carpeted halls of a Wisconsin Dells-esque hotel. Swimsuit-clad stars Becky Cofta, Dennis Lewis, and Jackey Boelkow run, dance, and cavort through the liminal space writ large, eventually finding their escape (?) in a vaguely terrifying hotel waterpark. [MW]

Fuzzysurf – “Sheep Shed”

We mean it in the best possible way when we say Fuzzysurf is like the OK Go of the Milwaukee music scene. On top of churning out top-notch indie rock tunes, the band routinely can be counted upon to pair those great songs with visuals that are ambitious, impressive, and altogether awesome. While you can pretty much rely on every new Fuzzysurf video to be outstanding, “Sheep Shed” could very well be considered the band’s best work yet. Fuzzysurf called upon familiar creative cohorts (Tommy Simms and Joe Ludwig of Simwig Studios) to carry the video to the next level. We could go on, but let’s run down some of our favorite parts instead: poster hanging hijinks in Bay View, a comical battle of the bands that’s filmed at X-Ray Arcade, a Grease-style montage where a car is souped up, a car race through some familiar places, and even a cameo from our friend and frequent Milwaukee Record helper Shea. [Tyler Maas]

Gego y Nony – “Reloj”

It was a big year for Gego y Nony. On top of headlining sets at Mitten Fest, Chill On The Hill, and Indeed Brewing’s Electric Love block party, as well as a high-profile appearance at Summerfest, the homegrown Reggeaton duo expanded on its already accomplished 2022 by releasing an impressive music video. Directed by Jacob Rink, Gego y Nony’s “Reloj” video features dazzling footage of Milwaukee and Chicago, stylish interiors, and—true to the name of the song, which means “clock” in Spanish—imagery of the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower as you’ve never seen it before. [TM]

Grace Weber ft. Mudy “414”

As we all know, April 14 is Milwaukee Day—a.k.a. 414 Day, a.k.a. the day every business in town cooks up something they can sell for $4.14. For Milwaukee Day 2022, Milwaukee native Grace Weber released a new song entitled “414.” An official Milwaukee Day anthem of sorts, the track (featuring now-former Milwaukeean Mudy) extolls the virtues of the Cream City and drops references to Bay View, the north side, “cooler by the lake,” and more. “Love this city, who can blame us / 414 you have my heart,” the now-L.A.-based Weber sings. The video, meanwhile, features Weber, Mudy, Fiserv Forum, Leon’s Frozen Custard, and a whole lot of Milwaukee love. [MW]

Immortal Girlfriend – “Seeker”

The cinematic video for Immortal Girlfriend’s “Seeker” is the perfect visualization of both the song it accompanies and the group itself: dark, sleek, Matrix-cool, and comic-book-inspired. Written and directed by Ryan Bingham and Josh Paul Halverson, the “Seeker” clip finds Immortal Girlfriend brothers William and Kevin Bush rising from a tragic backstory (featuring Milwaukee music video MVP Becky Cofta) to eventually do battle with a masked figure straight out of Eyes Wide Shut. Whiz-bang special effects, wicked lighting, gorgeous illustrations from Shaun Buehler, and Immortal Girlfriend’s impeccable retro-futuristic sound ensue. [MW]

Julien Kozak – “Home Is Gone”

This summer, Milwaukee singer-songwriter Julien Kozak released a new music video that took a decidedly deconstructed approach. Set in a southeastern Wisconsin barn during a gentle rainfall, Kozak’s “Home Is Gone” music video is delicate, delightful, and a success in its simplicity. The live video was filmed in one take and directed by local videographer (and our resident bird columnist) Kyle Arpke. Throughout the three-and-a-half-minute video, the lens remains fixed on Kozak as he performs his soft, soothing new single, and sunlight fights its way into frame through gaps in the barn’s weathered wall. Between the single-take song, the warm visuals, and the aural accompaniment of gently falling rain, Kozak’s “Home Is Gone” video proves you don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel to make something nice. [TM]

Klassik – “All Comes Back”

The opening moments of Klassik’s “All Comes Back” get straight to the point. “Well it all comes back you know,” Klassik croons over an urgent metronome beat. “You can run, you can hide, but in time your hand will show.” Less than 30 seconds in, it’s clear what’s on Klassik’s mind. The video for “All Comes Back,” however, reveals that things maybe aren’t as clear as they seem. Crisp black and white footage of Klassik sitting on a beach and staring off into the magic-hour distance is interspersed with (and sometimes combined with) hazy footage of the artist barely illuminated by a bonfire. Directed by Klassik and Rakim Wil, and edited by Samer Ghani, the four-minute clip is a study in “make-it-look-easy” efficiency and delicious ambiguity. [MW]

Long Mama “Poor Pretender”

The video for Long Mama’s fantastic “Poor Pretender” (from the album of the same name) purports to be nothing more than a lyric video. It’s much more than that. Yes, the lyrics are there, but so is a static, across-the-street shot of singer Kat Wodtke setting up a lemonade stand, waiting, and having one hell of a meltdown when things don’t pan out. It’s a cleverly executed representation of good intentions gone bad, and of the emotional masks we wear just to get through the day. [MW]

Next Paperback Hero – “Don’t Take My Energy”

Back in January, when he was a few months removed from releasing his debut full-length Morning Skies & Heavy Eyes into the world, Nathan Honoré—a Milwaukee singer-songwriter who performs under the Next Paperback Hero namesake—gave the closing track from the album an ambitious video treatment. With the help of local videographer Joe Ludwig, “Don’t Take My Energy” gets a visual pairing that’s just as emotionally evocative as the song itself. The video features Honoré reflecting in solitude as he takes in the scenery near the General Mitchell International Airport, at various spots in Bay View, and at select sites downtown. In addition to the Milwaukee settings, Honoré can also be seen playing guitar at Towne Cinema in Watertown. While the locations are disparate, they were all selected to fit a larger narrative of loneliness and isolation. [TM]

NilexNile – “Enroute”

Shot by frequent NilexNile visual collaborator Carter Green, the “Enroute” music video blends high-energy performance footage of the up-and-coming rapper on stage at this year’s Summer Soulstice Music Festival with sun-soaked shots of him kicking back with friends on a basketball court, at the skate park, and on the trails. Featured rapper 39tharchitect also makes an appearance to lay down his verse on-camera. “The song is about moments in life you always dreamed of as an artist,” NilexNile told us when the video was released in July. “It’s about being successful, rocking the stage with your friends, and hanging out with your day ones.” [TM]

Paper Holland – “What To Wear”

It’s been four years since sunny Milwaukee indie-pop band Paper Holland released the equally sunny Galá​pagos. A long-awaited followup, Devolver, is expected in 2023, but for now we’ll have to settle for a video for a new song, “What To Wear.” The song is a cheeky ode to climate change, and the Joe Ludwig-directed clip is a throwback to those slightly under-cranked British Invasion proto-videos from the ’60s—and/or the film bits from old episodes of Monty Python and The Kids In The Hall. Both song and video wear their influences on their sleeve, and both are absolutely delightful. [MW]

Trapper Schoepp – “I Am A Rider”

The video for Trapper Schoepp’s “I Am A Rider” is a virtual bike tour of some of the city’s most beloved spots: Lake Park, Pabst Brewery, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Domes, the Urban Ecology Center, Leon’s, and much more. Hell, we even get a glimpse of that Boat House on the East Side. Produced by Samer Ghani and co-starring Schoepp’s Boston Terrier pal Leroy, the video comes from Schoepp’s 2021 album May Day. It serves as a perfect summer day bottled up into three minutes. It’s bright, it’s sunny, and it’s all Milwaukee. [MW]

Trixie Mattel – “This Town”

“This Town” captures both the sweetness and the underlying hardship Milwaukee drag superstar Trixie Mattel experienced as a kid growing up in northern Wisconsin. In addition to a song with lyrics about Friday fish frys, corner bars, passing time with late-night drives, and feeling like she can no longer go home after changing her name, Mattel’s accompanying music video further illustrates the song’s themes, with home video footage of the songwriter as a teenager and beautiful footage of modern Wausaukee. [TM]

Valerie Lighthart – “Monster”

With the help of videographer Alisha Hall of Carnegie Imagery and the visual accent in the form of wardrobe created by designer Maria Olson, Milwaukee musician and multi-hyphenate Valerie Lighthart put a bow on her latest EP, The Banshee, with a video for the closing track. The “Monster” video pairs Lighthart’s lush and booming Rod Wortham-produced song with, in Lighthart’s own words, “vivid and unnerving” visuals that ably combine stylish looks with chilling imagery. Lighthart says the video was shot “on a chilly day in April” at a variety of locations that includes Northern Lights Photo Studio, her mom’s forested backyard, and the indoor pool of one of her friends. The final cut looks like something out of a dream, or from another dimension altogether. [TM]

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Milwaukee Record’s favorite Milwaukee music videos of 2021

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The 15 best Milwaukee music videos of 2018

The 15 best Milwaukee music videos of 2017

The 15 best Milwaukee music videos of 2016

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