The best music videos of 2022

Mermaid tails, lobster claws and José Mourinho – the year's greatest, and wackiest, music vids

In an age where streaming and fan-generated content seems to be all that’s talked about, it’s easy to miss the visual creativity from the world of pop that still bulges with budget and ideas. This year’s music videos felt especially whacky and, at times, socially conscious. And some were just a whole lot of fun.

Here are the year’s very best.

‘Music For a Sushi Restaurant’ – Harry Styles

Harry Styles - Music For a Sushi Restaurant (Official Video)

Though ‘As It Was’ naturally racked up millions of more views, can anyone argue that Harry Styles prancing around the Barbican is more entertaining than seeing him as a bearded merman performing with a band of prawns in a sushi bar? Yes, many will inevitably try, but the accompanying video to ‘Music For A Sushi Restaurant’ is a whole lot funnier. He’s on a roll, this lad.

‘Wet Dream’ – Wet Leg

Wet Leg - Wet Dream (Official Video)

Continuing the theme of surreal fever dreams, few do it best than Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers of Wet Leg, who enjoy self-directing their videos with a lot of fun and nonsense. ‘Wet Dream’ saw the pair grow lobster claws and attempt a pillow fight, which is all fun and games until Teasdale finds out what for dinner. This isn’t all going to be seafood-related, honestly.

‘Never Seen You Dance’ – Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Never Seen You Dance (Official Video)

This was an idea that felt familiar enough that it might have been done in a similar vein before, but was executed so sharply it felt new. Reflecting the song’s lyrics, we see a dancer share a headphone with a glum-looking stranger a quiet library, and like the dancing, the wholesome joy is contagious. One to return to next time you need a pick-me-up.

‘King’ – Florence + The Machine

Florence + The Machine - King

Folk horror met urban landscapes when Florence + The Machine returned at the beginning of this year with ‘King’, shot beautifully by her previous collaborator Autumn de Wilde. Like the song, its video is a slow burner that rumbles and boils to its explosive climax.

‘Hot In It’ – Charli XCX & Tiesto

Tiësto & Charli XCX - Hot In It [Official Music Video]

If you had released one of the fiercest and sauciest club bangers of the summer, would you not dance on a mattress on the back of a moving truck? We’ll never be able to look at the John Lewis delivery men the same way again.

‘The Heart Part 5’ – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5

On first viewing, the promotional video for Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers seemed surprisingly simple; Kendrick looking off camera, his crisp white shirt contrasting against a wine red wall. But there’s something a little uncanny valley about it all, confirmed when he’s possessed by six prominent black figures via deep fake, including O. J. Simpson, Kanye West and Will Smith. It’s a powerful visualisation of the rapper’s innate skill of adopting several identities and societal perspectives.

‘Industry Baby’ – Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow

Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow - INDUSTRY BABY (Official Video)

Ever since emerging in 2019, Lil Nas X has been revered for his bravery in coming out as gay as a crossover star of hip hop and country — two cultural spheres that aren’t always famous for their progressive values. Just a few years later he was dancing naked, joyfully and proudly, with plenty of strapping young men after escaping a jail cell. With ‘Industry Baby’ the Georgia rapper went even further to break the heteronormative bars of the rap game.

‘Bejeweled’ – Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - Bejeweled (Official Music Video)

The ubiquitous Haim sisters and the always endearing Laura Dern help make Swift’s Cindrella/Great Gatsby/Game Of Thrones-inspired fantasy come to life, though naturally it’s the star herself who bedazzles.

‘Mel Made Me Do It’ – Stormzy


Though it didn’t make his third album This Is What I Mean, Stormzy’s stand-alone single ‘Mel Made Me Do It’ was one of the most talked about tracks of the year, and it has its accompanying video to thank for that. Featuring a trippy collection of guests ranging from Jonathon Ross and José Mourinho to Usain Bolt and Little Simz, Ian Wright and Louis Theroux, the KLVDR-directed film was as unpredictable as it was visually sharp and arresting.