Musicians spend a lot of time making videos, sometimes resulting in mini masterpieces. From flying through the air with Hitsujibungaku to old school disco vibes from Helsinki Lambda Club and some zombie apocalypse action from Ryoto and the Franchise Owner, here are our best videos for 2022.

10. Awich — Dore Ni Shiyou Kana

The self-proclaimed queen of Okinawa released “Dore Ni Shiyou Kana” (roughly translated as “which one should I choose”) from her album Queendom, accompanied by a feminist video tirade. The great thing about this is that it is an easy-to-watch dance video, interspersed with Awich as a female director. She launches the remote at a TV screen in fury at the patriarchal messages being shown such as “just be pretty” and “slim down” from her company director role. Then back to the dance, accompanied by an on-point dance routine.

9. Hitsujibungaku & Lücy — Oh Hey

“Oh Hey” from the four piece begins fairly typically with a green-suited Lücy playing her way through various changing scenes, including a café, park, street etc. At the midway point, though, it switches. She suddenly ends up flying through blue skies in glee, while the band plays the song down in what looks like Texas.

8. Kojikoji — Togei

We sifted through many music videos taking place in Japanese sento (bathhouses) for this. This one stood out due to the old bath house owner, who artfully captures the spirit of  the Japanese old lady. Kojikoji plays a layabout sento worker who goes through her workday as leisurely as possible.

The character watches TV in the changing rooms, steals bottles of milk mid-shift and even falls asleep, only to be disturbed by her elderly colleague. This juxtaposition of young and old captures the attitudes so well that if the main younger character was a bit more likable we could probably call “Togei” heartwarming.

7. Pasocom Music Club — Sign ft. Takashi Fujii

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. The video is straightforward. Get a large cutout of the main character, famous comedian Takashi Fujii, and place it around the city. It is such a simple idea — we wonder if Fujii was originally supposed to join and couldn’t make it, last minute — but one that works so well. Watching the video, we couldn’t help but chuckle. Each time Fujii appears it gets even more ridiculous.

6. Sorane — Gimme HPN

A homage to the Fatboy Slim video featuring Christopher Walken, “Gimme HPN” features an award-winning dancer doing typical Japanese salaryman things. We see him body-lock his way over the walkway in Shibuya and head to a bar to chat to the clientele, apologizing along the way for his uncontrollable dancing. The video ends with said salaryman embracing his inner dance and getting onto the bar counter to the raucous rousing of his fellow customers.

5. Zombie Chang — Switch

The video for “Switch” by Zombie-Chang acts as an extension of the song. It opens with Meirin Yung playing Nintendo Switch and becoming seemingly frustrated as she discovers the limits of single-player gaming. She devises a plan to get a gaming partner, sweeping her poster-filled walls clean and putting on appropriate clothes to attract said comrade.

Red dress on, she heads to a club where a pigeon is DJing and she is leered upon by an office worker. She then leads the office worker to her home where she proceeds to tie him up in cling film, forcing him to play switch together. The end.

4. Aisho Nakajima — DLB

The video for PC music-inspired track “DLB” by queer creator Aisho Nakajima, directed by Matheus Katayama, features nail pyrotechnics, latex-clad daddies and a bloody kitchen scene.

Nakajima, located in what seems to be the setting for a horror film, wearing what appears to be a dress made of blood, begins filming as the scene cuts. It flashes onto Nakajima in black KitKat Club latex before swirling into him as the corset-clad protagonist at a Chinese-style restaurant mafia setting. Flanked by two leather masked ‘daddy’ types, he spits lyrics into the camera, orange talons waving over the food. What’s not to love?

3. 4s4ki — Cyberspace

4s4ki is a video heralding the wonders and dangers of cyberspace, as frequent collaborator, director Yusuke Oikawa, puts the singer straight into the metaverse. This deserves a shout for the sheer effort at creating an entirely new world for 4s4ki to play about with. Part retro, part future, we enter the metaverse through a low-poly, rainbow-colored tunnel, heading through neon laboratories and cyberspace forests. 4s4ki is a faerie, tripping through each scene in a flowing white dress and patterned frock.

A well-composed, otherworldly video that complements its song and creator.

2. Helsinki Lambda Club — Pitch Black Donuts

The fun-loving indie trio do not disappoint with this lo-fi video. It’s a frolic in the grass to remind us that sometimes handmade is best. Unabashedly silly, “Pitch Black Donuts” has it all. There’s drag, papier-mâché mics, a fake planet Saturn and of course a donut. This is simply a band having fun. Encapsulating the home video footage style of a parent at a school nativity play, it’s a video to watch with a hint of nostalgia.

1. Ryoto and the Franchise Owner — Weird Feeling

Filmed in one take, “Weird Feeling” by Ryoto and the Franchise Owner is a whole movie by itself. It shows the demise of an unsuspecting family over the course of what should be an uneventful barbecue.

We see each character unsuspectingly prepare to get things started, as zombies shuffle about the lawn. They enter the house, the lights flicker and everyone reemerged. We love this for its surrealness. Since it came out in September we’ve revisited it often for a quick pick-me-up.