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My favorite albums from 2022
Posted on Dec. 31, 2022.
Here is a list of my top albums of 2022, plus some honorable mentions of other albums that I really liked. All of these albums are listed in chronological order, and they all have links to stream them on Apple Music, Bandcamp, SoundCloud and Spotify.
My favorite 2022 Albums
Late December 2020 found Soul Glo holed away in an unfinished warehouse, beginning to find drum tones for their upcoming full length, Diaspora Problems. They had just begun to accept that they would be in talks with Epitaph Records, and that it was likely they were going to go with the label as they hadn’t even begun to reach a place where they could consider shopping it to other record labels. Working with Epitaph was far and away the best case scenario that the band could’ve hoped for, but they simultaneously wondered if the label had any understanding of what they were getting into.
Recorded: December 2020 – August 2021
Label: Epitaph Records
Aethiopes is billy woods’ first album since 2019’s double feature of Hiding Places and Terror Management. The project is fully produced by Preservation (Dr Yen Lo, Yasiin Bey), who delivered a suite of tracks on Terror Management, including the riveting single “Blood Thinner”. The two collaborated again on Preservation’s 2020’s LP Eastern Medicine, Western Illness, which featured a memorable billy woods appearance on the song “Lemon Rinds”, as well as the B-side “Snow Globe”.Release Date: April 8, 2022
Label: Backwoodz Studioz
Prepare Thyself To Deal With Treacle
This may seem surprising when listening to the final result, but this album was conceived as a tribute to the music of the 1950s, in particular rhythm'n'blues, rockabilly and doo-wop, but also cartoon music and Duke Ellington orchestral jazz. Emma's reading of Unsung Heroes of Rock'n'Roll by Nick Tosches (to whom the album is dedicated) and then her discovery of a second-hand Farfisa in a flea market were also decisive in the first weeks of the composition. The bases of the six tracks were laid down in the winter of 2020 and then reworked, edited. A particular care was taken, during several months still, to think about the sequences, which had been also the longest stage during the making of « Shitshitshit »'s 43 tracks.Release Date: April 19, 2022
Composed: December 20th, 2020 – February 24th, 2022
Label: PopKatari Records
The Mars Volta
The Mars Volta
Breaking a decade of omertà, The Mars Volta reawaken from their lengthy hiatus with an eponymous album that radically reshapes their paradigm. The new album shakes loose some of The Mars Volta’s long-standing shibboleths, fearlessly defying all expectations and categorizations. Instead, The Mars Volta pulses with subtle brilliance, Caribbean rhythms underpinning sophisticated, turbulent songcraft. This is The Mars Volta at their most mature, most concise, most focused. Their sound and fury channeled to greatest effect, The Mars Volta finds Rodríguez-López’s subterranean pop melodies driving Bixler-Zavala’s dark sci-fi tales of the occult and malevolent governments. Distilling all the passion, poetry and power at their fingertips, The Mars Volta is the most exciting and accessible music the group has ever recorded.
Recorded: 2019 – 2021
Label: Clouds Hill
Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono
Imagined and curated by Death Cab for Cutie's Benjamin Gibbard, the LP includes new performances of some of Ono's finest songs by an awesome array of artists: Sharon Van Etten, David Byrne, Sudan Archives, Death Cab for Cutie, Thao, U.S. Girls, Jay Som, Stephin Merritt, Deerhoof, We Are KING, The Flaming Lips, Japanese Breakfast, Yo La Tengo and Amber Coffman.
Label: Atlantic Records
Squeeze, the second full length from Sasami, surveys the raw aggression of nu-metal, tender plainspokeness of country-pop and folk rock, and dramatic romanticism of classical music.
It's Almost Dry
The album, co-produced by Kanye West and Pharrell Williams/The Neptunes, marks Pusha’s first in four years, following 2018s Daytona. It’s Almost Dry features the previously released tracks, “Neck and Wrist,” featuring Jay-Z and produced by Pharrell; “Diet Coke,” produced by West and 88-Keys; and “Hear Me Clearly,” another Pharrell-produced song that also appeared on I Know Nigo, a new project from a Bathing Ape founder Nigo.
Label: GOOD · Def Jam
Janky Star is at its core about devotion. Three years on from 2019’s 2nd, Janky Star sees Ives take a wider-angle camera lens to her life, and consider the care and attention it takes to find both self-acceptance and self-preservation in a world that never stops spinning. Throughout songs that are still full of punchy synths and unconventional rhythms, Ives uses the quiet spaces in between to honestly reflect on her ongoing struggle to find stability and happiness. Touching on sobriety, overdoses, and the desire to escape from the realities of modern life, the record also focuses on the rewards of slowing down, and finally finding a home for herself in the ever-shifting world.
Label: True Panther · Harvest
The second full-length release for British rock duo Nova Twins, produced with Jim Abbiss. In lesser hands, an album that at times sounds like R2D2 breakdancing in an industrial spin-dryer might make for trying company. Yet, for all their Day-Glo stridency, Nova Twins not only know how to write songs, but how to arrange them too. Overall, Supernova is exactly what it says on the tin - a bright burst of energy that will leave you awe-struck.
Tresor (Treasure) is Gwenno Saunders’ third full length solo album and the second almost entirely in Cornish (Kernewek). Written in St. Ives, Cornwall, just prior to the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and completed at home in Cardiff during the pandemic along with her co-producer and musical collaborator, Rhys Edwards, Tresor reveals an introspective focus on home and self, a prescient work echoing the isolation and retreat that has been a central, global shared experience over the past two years.
I Love You Jennifer B
Jockstrap’s discography is restless and inventive, traversing everything from liberating dancefloor techno to off-kilter electro pop, trip-hop and confessional song writing; an omnivorous sonic palette that takes on a cohesive maturity far beyond their ages of only 24 years old. They have cemented themselves as one of the most vital young groups to emerge from London’s melting pot of musical cultures.
Label: Rough Trade
Blue Rev doesn’t simply reassert what’s always been great about Alvvays but instead reimagines it. They have, in part and sum, never been better. There are 14 songs on Blue Rev, making it not only the longest Alvvays album but also the most harmonically rich and lyrically provocative. The songs of Blue Rev thrive on immediacy and intricacy, so good on first listen that the subsequent spins where you hear all the details are an inevitability.
Recorded: October 2021
Label: Polyvinyl · Transgressive · Celsius Girls
I really hope you enjoyed this list, and let me know in the
if you have any recommendations!
(And no, I did not forget about BCNR, black midi, Wet Leg or MUNA)