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My Favorite Albums of 2022

I considered doing some kind of fancier website for this, but the hurry of the holidays has really set in and I find myself rushing to get everything done in time to leave town for Christmas with family and New Year's with friends. So here's my list of the 25 new albums I liked the most in 2022!

Alvvays - Blue Rev #

A long-awaited followup to their first two albums, and also probably the best yet?

Ben Quad - I'm Scared That's All There Is #

The debut album by this band, an all-too-short affair that kicks off like a rocket and hurtles towards its eponymous conclusion. Super anthemic, but full of reflection, anxiety, and regret.

Yaya Bey - Remember Your North Star #

I love this album-- it's easy to just throw on and enjoy, with a mix of sounds across the spectrum of R&B, jazz, and rap. A very dependable album that put me in a good mood whenever I listened to it.

Camp Cope - Running with the Hurricane #

A really nice evolution for the Australian "power emo" band, with songs that put emphasis on lead singer Georgia Maq's lyrics and delivery backed up with great singalong backup vocals.

Charli XCX - CRASH #

The latest album by Charli XCX is kind of a step away from the more extreme hyperpop influences she's dabbled in over the last few years, opting instead for a pretty polished retro sound.

Denzel Curry - Melt My Eyez See Your Future #

I was a big fan of the album "Unlocked" that Curry put together with Kenny Beats in 2020, though it ended up feeling kinda slight at under 18 minutes' worth of music and with a few of the songs feeling kinda padded with repetitions of verses and so forth. There's no chance of this album feeling slight in comparison-- while still only 45 minutes long, it features plenty of creative lyrics, great guest appearances, and solid production. "Troubles", his track with T-Pain, is one of my favorite songs of the year, and has a fantastic music video to go with it.

Deer Scout - Woodpecker #

A great debut album for the indie folk artist from Brooklyn! Super intimate, vulnerable, with lots of earworm lines that kept me coming back.


FKA twigs releases intense, majestic music that gets lots of critical acclaim. This release, technically a "mixtape", feels like an aim to mix things up-- it's a party record in a lot of ways, though it still manages to have some profound moments. Every track has an accompanying music video, too, which obviously I love.

Flume - Palaces #

Flume's had a pretty meteoric rise over the past decade and is now one of the most heavily-marketed electronic producers there is. His new album has high-budget music videos and guest appearances by a variety of mostly female singers, though the last and self-titled track features Damon Albarn, of all people, on vocals. The track "Sirens" with Caroline Polachek was another one of my most-listened-to songs this year.

Nils Frahm - Music for Animals #

The German composer has released a lot of records over the past few years but he hadn't released a full-scale electronic album with all new material since 2018's All Melody. Music for Animals is slower, more ambient, and harder to get into, but it's been both a rewarding listen when I've made time to sit down with it and, to be honest, also the kind of album I love to get absorbed in as I'm falling asleep.

Peter Gregson - Quartets 3&4 #

Gregson released the first two Quartet EPs waaay back in 2017 and had promised more at the time, so it's nice to see him round out the set now after having had a lot of success since then, releasing an album in Deutsche Grammophone's Recomposed series, a followup album (Patina) to his studio albums Terminal and Lights in the Sky.

Hey, ily - Psychokinetic Love Songs #

The long-awaited debut album from 5th wave emo favorite Hey, ily fuses emo/rock with chiptunes, classical interludes, and pop punk. It's super fun at times but also grapples with serious stuff and has just been a joy to have in my collection.

Horsegirl - Versions of Modern Performance #

Excellent rock album that sounds new and modern but also dials into some of the best parts of alternative rock from the 90s and even experimental rock from the 70s. A really rewarding album to listen and re-listen and turn up very loud.

Jockstrap - I Love You Jennifer B #

I almost missed this one-- I saw some buzz about it when it came out in the autumn, but didn't give it a listen until almost the end of the year. I listened to it at least twice a day for a week in December, making up for lost time; it's a rich, complex record that pulls off sounds from all over the map, including modern electronic artists but also a number of the songs invoke Fiery Furnaces, which is a good way to get me to sit up and listen more carefully.

Lifeformed & Janice Kwan - TUNIC (Original Game Soundtrack) #

One of the best video games of the year also has a fantastic soundtrack to go with it. Tunic's deep mysteries, funniest details and intense boss battles are all well represented in the OST for this isometric Zelda-meets-Dark-Souls game.

Ela Minus & DJ Python - ♡ #

A short EP but one that I kept queueing up this year. If anyone can solve the mystery of why final track "Pájaros en Verano" sounds so familiar I'd appreciate it!

Mura Masa - Demon Time #

I love that every album Mura Masa releases is different: his debut/self-titled album had a string of high-profile guest stars singing and rapping on top of catchy, radio-friendly hits, 2020 followup RYC was personal, reflective, and heartwarming. The title of Demon Time might give away that it's a big departure from that-- it's maybe not as cohesive or consequential as the other two, but it's a fun party record with lots of varied performances by guest artists from across genres and notoriety levels.

Nia Archives - Forbidden Feelingz #

I hadn't heard her previous EP Headz Gone West when it came out last year, but after getting hooked on Forbidden Feelingz I quickly snapped up every possible release, DJ mix, and whatever else I could find from this DJ/singer. Also this EP has a series of Columbo clips as samples, which rules.

Overmono - Cash Romantic #

One of my absolute favorite dance artists right now. I look forward to hearing what they'll do next. "Gunk" and "Gfortune" are both some of the weirdest, best songs of the year. I can't wait for a full-length album by these guys.

Sadurn - Radiator #

If I had to pick one favorite album of 2022, it would be this one! The emo-folk band from Pennsylvania blew me out of the water even after I had pretty high hopes from a couple of their earlier EPs. If I didn't know what to listen to this year, I put this one on.

Hagop Tchaparian - Bolts #

A debut album from the first artist signed to Four Tet's label. It's loud and bracing and... elemental? Check it out if you like Four Tet, Aphex Twin, etc.

Mo Troper - MTV #

A lofi rock record from a Portland genius producer and performer. Funny and weird and great. Almost like a Gen Z Robert Pollard.

The Weather Station - How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars #

The lead singer Tamara Lindeman and her band have received countless comparisons to Joni Mitchell over the years, and their sound continues to develop from their first couple albums' fairly simple folk arrangements to the mature, ambitious, thoughtful songs we see now, complete with jazz saxophone solos and carefully-considered lyrics.

Westside Gunn - Peace "Fly" God #

My favorite rap record of the year and one that reminds me of my favorite era of Ghostface's solo career, the Pretty Toney/Fishscale/Big Doe Rehab trilogy.

Yard Act - The Overload #

I'll be curious to see where Yard Act goes from here, having made an album that harkens back to mid-period Blur records but with the perspective of the post-Brexit UK. While the songs could be seen as novelty, though, I've been captivated by every live performance I've seen from this group, and I think they might have further to go.

Honorable Mentions #