What were the best albums of 2022?

December 14th, 2022

2022 has been one of those years where albums have come out and I’ve bought them. Much like most other years. Just like all those other years, I’ve painstakingly been through every album to try and figure out what my favourite ten are.

If you are interested in everything I’ve found this year then, as always, I’ve made a playlist of the year. It’s a good listen if you put it on shuffle.

Also this year I released my fifth album. It didn’t make it onto my top ten albums because that would have been both weird and unconvincing.

Just to maintain some tension I’ve put my top ten albums in reverse order. It’s a slow build-up unless you read quite fast.

10) Little Simz – No Thank You – I didn’t know whether to include this or not. It only came out at the weekend and I’ve not really listened to it enough to be absolutely sure it is one of my albums of the year. But it shows that good albums come out throughout the year and Little Simz is currently an unstoppable force. After winning the Mercury Prize back in October and having back to back to festival headlines I’d have thought she would want a month off. Apparently not.

9) The Comet is Coming – Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam – I don’t want this to look like my token jazz album of the year but it is the only bit of jazz on this list. So it is the token jazz album of the year. It’s been a year of mixed news for Shabaka Hutchings with Sons of Kemet splitting up in the Summer and this album coming out in September. This is The Comet is Coming’s most complete album to date and you should listen to it.

8) Daniel Avery – Ultra Truth – It sounds a bit like early 90s electronica but not in a laboured old man sort of way. I hate lazy comparisons with other bands/styles but you need them if you’re ever going to have any luck describing music. Otherwise, it’s a series of electronic bleeps. Actually this is literally a series of electronic bleeps but with expansive production that sucks you in from the start.

7) The Utopia Strong – International Treasure – It’s really hard to separate The Utopia Strong from being the band that Steve Davis is in and being a band in their own right. This could either make them look like a novelty band, which is really unfair or introduce more people to the exciting world of modular synths. I’m not convinced many people are looking to find out more about the exciting world of modular synth. My other The Uptopia Strong news is that they cancelled their gig in Kings Heath twice this year. I’m still angry about that.

6) Crack Cloud – Tough Baby – Canada never seems to have bands. They always seem to have collectives. My only frame of reference for this is Godspeed You! Black Emperor. So, leaving aside my limited knowledge of Canadian bands, Crack Cloud are, currently, my favourite Canadian collective. I thought this was a complete mess when I first listened to it but it grew on a lot. Give it a few listens.

5) Nilüfer Yanya – Painless – This is another one that grew on me over time. It came out at a really busy point of the year and I think I’d only given it a couple of listens but then saw loads of people talking about it and thought I might have missed something. I had. There are loads of different genres in here but it still maintains a consistency that shows it is all one person’s work.

4) King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Omnium Gatherum – It’s been another relentlessly busy year for KG&LW (I just can’t be arsed to type all of that out every time). From an album of remixes in January to three new albums in October and Omnium Gatherum in the middle. This massive double album covers every style we know them for and is also a great route into the 23 albums they’re released in the last ten years. The opening 18 minutes of the Dripping Tap is just exhausting to listen to.

3) Danger Mouse, Black Thought – Cheat Codes – Danger Mouse seems to have knocked out quite a bit of stuff this year as well. This partnership with Black Thought sounds both very old and very new all at the same time.

2) Jockstrap – I Love You Jennifer B – Jockstrap is the worst name for a band. It’s terrible. They create a mental image that couldn’t be more removed from what they sound like. This is probably the most creative album I’ve listened to this year and probably my gig of the year as well.

1) Charlotte Adigéry, Bolis Popul – Tropical Dancer – And my album of the year is Tropical Dancer. Belgium’s finest electro pop by some way. This takes a quick trip through racism (opposing it) and mysogeny (also opposing it) whilst being perfect electronica. It’s good to listen to and it’s good work to.

That’s my lot for 2022.


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