Best of 2022
My personal musical loves of 2022. These lists are not for everyone, but if you know me and have some crossover in taste, you’re sure to find something interesting. There’s a lot of music out there, and it’s getting harder to find the good stuff.
Easy to navigate playlists on Spotify and Deezer links below. ‘Too much fighting on the dancefloor’ is uptempo while ‘Ghost town’ is sad bastard music. Please like/follow for your future listening pleasure. Playlists include songs from both album and song lists below. Playlist naming inspiration courtesy of Terry Hall/Specials RIP (see end of piece)
In no particular order:
Albums of the year 2022
Just Mustard – Heart under
Been listening since their 2018 debut. Cranes for the modern times.
Brutus – Unison life
‘War’ from their 2019 album was my most-played song on Spotify in 2022. I’ve become a serious fan of this band despite some of the songs leaning into Evanescence territory. They can go from trad or indie rock to black metal in a heartbeat with her voice following suit.
Gilla Band – Most normal
Post-punk noise from Dublin like Pavement, Fugazi and Silver Jews.
From Atomic – Love Fate Now & Forever
Portuguese dream-pop/post-punk with some Curve influence.
Trentmoller – Memoria
Pre-release tracks made it to my 2021 songs of the year. The entire album came out in Feb 2022 and doesn’t disappoint.
Wet Leg – Wet Leg
Another one with singles released in 2021 that made it to the top of my list. The Debut album came out in April 2022.
Gloria De Oliveira and Dean Hurley – Oceans of time
Collaboration between German-Brazilian artist and singer Gloria De Oliveira and Lynch protege Dean Hurley (who worked on the soundtrack to S3 of Twin Peaks). Also includes a cover of the Buckley/Fraser duet ‘All the flowers in time’
Orville Peck – Bronco
Been a fan since 2019’s Pony. Canadian-based golden voice country with songs like ‘City of gold’ and ‘Kalahari down’ confirming his city and country of origin. It’s like the ghosts of Glen Campbell and Jim Neversink recorded some songs after an Elvis binge.
Mitski – Lauren Hell
An upbeat, yet lyrically dark return from the deeply private (so I recently found out) Japanese-American songwriter.
Hatis Noit – Aura
Debut album from Japanese vocalist reminiscent of Lisa Gerrard/Dead Can Dance. Buddhist chant warning…
Sharon Van Etten – We’ve been going about this all wrong
Like a letter from an old friend.
Soft Moon – Exister
Synthy, moody, gothy, industrially (is it a word though?) post/punk.
Wombo – Fairy dust
Previously unknown to me indie pop from Louisville.
Blushing – Possessions
90s 4AD shoegaze time warp
Angel Olsen – Big time
Pulling Mazzy Star alt.country vibes this time around. Listen after Orville Peck. Now there’s a duet made in heaven.
Porridge Radio – Waterslide, diving board, ladder to the sky
Mercury prize shortlisted art-rock/post-punk.
Beach House – Once Twice Melody
A bumper release of magnificent dream-pop. The track ‘Superstar’ featured on last year’s list was a pre-release to this album.
Songs of the year 2022
Some albums as a whole didn’t hit or were not given enough time, but had some extraordinary songs. Others here were only released as singles.
Moira Bailey – So you say
Experimental folk harpist/songwriter in the vein of Joanna Newsom.
Hudson Mohawke – 3 sheets to the wind
Old school soul samples with bass breaks – like we used to play at Kitcheners Braamies at 4 am c2013. Hudson was doing it then too.
Oliver Sim – Sensitive child
From the bass player and voice of The XXs solo album
Metronomy feat. Porridge Radio – Hold me tonight
Soft and bouncy, like a Belle & Sebastian mid-tempo floor-filler.
Roy Montgomery – In mutual flux
His 1980s band was the first release on the legendary New Zealand label Flying Nun. I’d never heard of him until I stumbled upon 2022’s Camera Melancholia.
Soft Kill – The line
Although the album is very much reminiscent of upbeat Cure or ‘Movement’ era New Order, this slow-burner grabbed me, maybe because of its Tamaryn-like sound.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs & Perfume Genius – Spitting off the edge of the world
A wonderful pairing.
U.S. Girls – So typically now
Indie disco via 4AD
Tess Parks – I see angels
Self-described as ‘lo-fi alternative drones with a hypnotic vibe’. Pretty much 1/3 of everything I like.
Alice Boman & Perfume Genius – Feels like a dream
Tender wintery warm ballad of beauty.
Alvvays – Pressed
A welcome return from dreamy jangly Canadians
The Black Angels – History of the future
It’s the Black Angels I know and love.
Cherokee Death Cats – Shout it out
Like Bikini Kill x Link Wray
Dead Horses – Macabro
Part Surfer Rosa era Pixies and part Gun Club
Easter – Bone marrow stem cell
Sparse with unusual bone-crunching lyrics
Ghost Woman – End of a gun
Somewhere hypnotic between Black Mountain and Rolling Stones
HEALTH & Ekkstacy – Still breathing
From Disco4 pt.II, seemingly an album of extremely diverse collabs (there are tracks with NIN, Lamb of God and Poppy)
Heather Woods Broderick – Blood run through me
Sister of producer/composer Peter Broderick and collaborator with Sharon Van Etten and M. Ward amongst others. Also released a cinematic soundscape album ‘Domes’ in 2022
Vieux Farka Toure & Khruangbin – Ali Hala abada
Mali meets psychedelic Texas.
Interpol – Fables
One of a handful of singles released in 2022, mostly collected on Gran Hotel single
Kali Malone – Living torch
Two 15+ minute tracks of church organ drone and loops. Not for everyone…
Lightning Dust & Bison – Lioness
Grainy Cowboy Junkies throwback
Lo Moon – Carried away
Sometimes channelling the spirit of Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis (check out 2018’s Loveless as a fabulous example)
Party Dozen – Macca the mutt
Stomping sax-driven tune with Nick Cave on guest vocals.
Royksopp & Susanne Sundfor – If you want me
They recorded and released a bunch of tracks in 2022 across three different albums. The Susanne Sundfor collabs caught my attention.
Tummyache – DIY
More DIY punk/indie from an already solid favourite of mine
Terry Hall of ‘The Specials’, “Colourfield’ and ‘Fun Boy Three’. The former’s debut album is one of my top all-time 10 albums, along with many ‘Fun Boy Three’ and ‘Colourfield’ tracks, helping define the 80s for me.
Mimi Parker of Low. 13 studio albums over 29 years with her husband Alan Sparhawk. Another one of my all-time favourite bands. Both Terry and Mimi died from cancer.
Others in my musical circle that left us in 2022 were Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac), Mark Lanegan, Lamont Dozier, Ronnie Spector (Ronettes), Andy Fletcher (Depeche Mode) and D.H. Peligro (Dead Kennedys)
RE-ISSUE OF THE YEAR
Codeine – Dessau
A shelved and forgotten session recorded in 1992 has been unearthed and mastered (there were apparently some frequency issues on the original recording). Codeine are the original ‘Sadcore’ or ‘Slowcore’ band and forerunner to the great Low.
Also notable 2022 releases from Diamanda Galas, Dion Lundon, A Place to Bury Strangers, Ladytron, Lera Lynn, Warpaint, Lykke Li, Preoccupations, Lucy Kruger & the Lost Boys, Zola Jesus, and Emily Jane White. Look ’em up