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The Top 50 Albums of 2022

Another year passes, another great set of albums worthy of your time and attention. 2022 saw quite a few major releases, as well-known names like Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar returned after long breaks. Scene veterans such as Bjork and Beth Orton also gave us new material that felt exciting and creatively risky. Meanwhile, acts like The 1975 and Alvvays essentially perfected their particular sounds on fresh records. It’s also heartening to witness some rising stars deliver LPs that followed through on their talent – looking in your direction, Wet Leg and Ravyn Lenae (among others). Honestly, overall it felt like this was another strong year for music, even as the industry continues to slowly re-shape itself coming out of the pandemic. Here’s hoping that artists start to get more of a fair cut of from their work, because streaming payments remain dismal and touring faces new challenges with rising costs.

Below you will find my Top 50 Albums of 2022, along with 10 more “honorable mentions” because there were a few more records deserving of a spotlight. If you’re so inclined and haven’t listened to all of these albums, it goes without saying (and yet I’m saying it) you should give them at least a cursory listen. You might just discover a new favorite. I’ve included a Bandcamp or Spotify link to each record so you can have easy access to streaming or buying them. Let’s get this party started!

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order):
Automatic – Excess [Bandcamp]
Daphni – Cherry [Bandcamp]
Dawn Richard & Spencer Zahn – Pigments [Bandcamp]
Fievel Is Glauque – Flaming Swords [Bandcamp]
Horsegirl – Versions of Modern Performance [Bandcamp]
Jenny Hval – Classic Objects [Spotify]
MUNA – MUNA [Bandcamp]
The Orielles – Tableau [Bandcamp]
Pusha T – It’s Almost Dry [Bandcamp]
Wild Pink – ILYSM [Bandcamp]

The Top 100 Songs of 2022

It’s always tough to try and sum up an entire year of music in condensed list form. This is particularly the case when talking about songs, given the sheer number that are released. Overwhelming only begins to describe the feeling. Obviously nobody can listen to everything, and even with your best effort there will still be stuff that slips past your radar, only gets one quick distracted listen, or simply just isn’t to your particular taste. Is any Top Songs list truly comprehensive? Probably not, even if you stretch the list all the way out to some absurd number like 500. The point is, we writers, music listeners, and fans do the best we can. A list like this one is put together with the idea that maybe somebody will read it, press play on a few of these songs, and ideally discover something that will totally blow their mind. No pressure!

My sincerest hope is that even the most uninformed and laziest music listener will find plenty to enjoy within these 100 songs. There are big pop hits from Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, The 1975, Lizzo, Beyonce, and The Weeknd. Electronic gets represented well with KH, Daphni, Jamie xx, HAAi, Two Shell, and Braxe + Falcon. Indie stalwarts such as Sharon Van Etten, Fever Ray, Father John Misty, Destroyer, LCD Soundsystem, and Big Thief all make appearances too. You may also want to become acquainted with some fresh new faces like Bob Vylan, Knifeplay, Shygirl, Automatic, Folly Group, piri & tommy, and Rachika Nayar.

To qualify for inclusion on this list, the song must have either been a single or part of an album/EP released at some point during the calendar year of 2022. In an effort to spread the love around as much as possible, no artist may appear on this list more than once (featured guests on a track don’t count). While the full Top 100 Songs of 2022 list is below, if you’d like to hear the whole thing in playlist format I’ve put that together for you in order via YouTube and Spotify. You can also click on any individual song and listen to it via YouTube. Apologies to Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music users…I was too lazy to assemble this playlist more than twice. However you choose to consume these songs, I hope you give them a chance and explore a bit. Test your boundaries and see where that takes you. I feel confident this list represents the year that was 2022 quite well. Enjoy!

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 11-10-22

Bishop Briggs – Cheer

BROCKHAMPTON – Big Pussy

Jordana – You’re in the Way

Pick Your Poison: Monday 11-7-22

Buju Banton – Si Mi Clean (ft. Busy Signal)

Juice WRLD – In My Head

SG Lewis – Lifetime

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 11-3-22

鈥犫犫 (Crosses) – Vivien

Ice Spice – Bikini Bottom

Polo G – Bag Talk

Pick Your Poison: Monday 10-31-22

Bishop Briggs – superhuman

First Aid Kit – A Feeling That Never Came

Holly Humberstone – Can You Afford to Lose Me?

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 10-27-22

Genesis Owusu – Get Inspired

SYML – Howling (ft. Lucius)

V脡RIT脡 – love you forever

Pick Your Poison: Monday 10-24-22

Bandmanrill – Influence

girl in red – October Passed Me By

Stormzy – Hide & Seek

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 10-20-22

blink-182 – EDGING

piri & tommy – on & on

Show Me The Body – WW4

Pick Your Poison: Monday 10-17-22

daine – Stay Close

Lowertown – No Way

Westerman – Idol; RE-run

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 10-13-22

BoyWithUke – Sick of U (ft. Oliver Tree)

Jordana – SYT

Open Mike Eagle – Circuit City (ft. video dave & STILL RIFT)

Pick Your Poison: Monday 10-10-22

First Aid Kit – Turning Onto You

glaive – three wheels and it still drives!

Shygirl – Shlut

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 10-6-22

GloRilla – Tomorrow 2 (ft. Cardi B)

Knifeplay – Ryan Song

Paramore – This Is Why

Pick Your Poison: Monday 10-3-22

Madi Diaz – Love Looks Different

Palaye Royale – Lifeless Stars

Sam Smith – Unholy (ft. Kim Petras)

Pick Your Poison: Thursday 9-29-22

Acid Dad – Get Me High

The Backseat Lovers – Close Your Eyes

UPSAHL – Antsy

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