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The Top 20 Best Songs & Albums of 2022 {So Far}

The world is thankfully opening up after Covid.

And there’s been a rush of new music releases to celebrate the beginnings of the return to some kind of new normal.

Has the pain of lockdowns made for great music, I wonder. I certainly think it has!

I predict 2022 is going to be looked back on in a couple of decades and seen as a vintage year. A bellweather. A turning point. Or something.

These are the best sounds of the year so far. According to me.


Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You

Big Thief - Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You

This fifth studio album from Big Thief’s a natural evolution of their sound while still breaking enough new ground to be pleasantly surprising.

Singer-songwriter Adrienne Lenker’s indie rock sound is completely mature now and this is a truly unforgettable album.

Listen to it here.


The Weeknd – Dawn FM

The Weeknd - Dawn FM

The Weeknd has been doling out slick R & B since the debut album but this wonderful R&B release has captured everything we loved about the 20th century and brought it up to date for the 21st century.

We love this act, and they made our list of the top tunes for testing bass too.

Listen to it here.


Earl Sweatshirt – Sick

Earl Sweatshirt - Sick

This testament to a year of terrors is still fun and easy with strong hip hop elements in the rap. Somehow, it’s still one of the most accessible albums of the year and we can’t put it down.

Listen to it here.


FKA Twigs – Caprisongs

FKA Twigs - Caprisongs

FKA Twigs’ record was laid down, in part, to commiserate over the solitude imposed by Covid-19 shutdowns.

The sound is truly global, which is pretty impressive when you consider it was all written and performed in their bedroom.

Listen to it here.


Mitski – Laurel Hell

Mitski - Laurel Hell

We’ve been streaming this album a lot since it came out. Songs like “Working for the Knife” really nail the pain in Mitski’s heart and there’s real poetry on this release.

Listen to it here.


Charli – XCX

Charli - XCX

This is the last of Charli’s album releases as part of the five-album deal that she inked with Atlantic and it’s amazing.

It’s even more amazing when you consider how much Charli has moaned about the relationship with Atlantic from the start, did she save the best of last? If this pop classic is anything to go by? We think she’s just getting started.

Listen to it here.


Rosalia – Motomami

Rosalia - Motomami

This may be Catalonia’s greatest contribution to the reggaeton and trap scenes. It’s so versatile and her new multi-disciplinary approach to the music pays massive dividends.

Where will Rosalia go after this? We have no idea but after this album, we’re all keen to find out.

Listen to it here.


Dark Funeral – We Are The Apocalypse

Dark Funeral - We Are The Apocalypse

The only band on the list that we’ve seen live and who knew from those humble beginnings that they’d go on to create such an epic slab of black metal.

When you really want to let out what’s inside? This is where you come.

Listen to it here.


Watain – The Agony & Ecstasy Of Watain

Watain - The Agony & Ecstasy Of Watain

Watain has been growing bigger and bigger on the metal scene in the shadows but this wonderful slab of darkness has conferred upon them underground superstar status.

Don’t listen to this in the dark.

Listen to it here.


Eddie Vedder- Earthling

Eddie Vedder- Earthling

The Pearl Jam singer has really delivered on this solo effort. The album touches on loss, life, grief, and the problems of getting old and it’s all fantastic.

We’re expecting to see him walk off with a Grammy or two for this.

Listen to it here.


Maren Morris – Humble Quest

Maren Morris - Humble Quest

We weren’t expecting a country release to make our top 20 this year but this is awesome.

It’s the sound of a woman tackling life’s challenges and overcoming them. It takes you from depression to joy and that’s no mean feat in 2022.

Listen to it here.


Tears For Fears – The Tipping Point

Tears For Fears - The Tipping Point

It’s been nearly two decades since their last album and we weren’t sure what the indie-pop superstars might do with their full-length release but it’s just perfect.

It’s like being thrown back into 1985 when their first album was storming the pop charts. This is a stadium filler for sure.

Listen to it here.


Frank Turner – FTHC

Frank Turner - FTHC

Punk-folk-rock is not something that we’d always reach for when looking for a good song but this is a beast of an album.

They say if you ever see Frank Turner live that you’ll want to go on tour with his band forever, from the upbeat, inspiring, joy that this record is? We can totally believe it.

Listen to it here.


Nilufer Yanya – Painless

Nilufer Yanya - Painless

Louis Tomlinson’s loss (he once approached her to star in a manufacturer pop group) is our gain.

This is a soulful, disquieting piece with hints of Radiohead about it and we loved it.

Listen to it here.


Superchunk – Wild Loneliness

Superchunk - Wild Loneliness

This is their 12th release in 33 years and it sounds like they’ve found a more laid-back groove.

It’s one of those ideal albums for nursing a hangover to.

Listen to it here.


Vince Staples – Ramona Park Broke My Heart

Vince Staples - Ramona Park Broke My Heart

If you need rap songs that make you feel what the rapper is feeling – you can’t go wrong with this.

It’s also impressive for the number of subgenres it seems to incorporate.

This is rap done really well, indeed.

Listen to it here.


Toro y Moi – Mahal

Toro y Moi - Mahal

This club classic incorporates more than a touch of prog rock which is a very pleasant surprise.

That nearly every note on this album is played by just one man is even more impressive.

Listen to it here.


Soul Glo – Diaspora Problems

Soul Glo - Diaspora Problems

Dawn Fm is fine, but this was a year in need of a truly angry punk album and this debut is exactly what we wanted for that.

It’s meant to make you feel uncomfortable, so that you search for meaningful answers and it succeeds.

Listen to it here.


Koffee – Gifted

Koffee - Gifted

There’s a feel-good vibe about this album which really shines through on the title track but it’s not all happy – in fact, the lyrics speak of a very dark journey indeed.

This balance is what makes it great.

Listen to it here.


Vein.fm – This World Is Going To Ruin You

Vein.fm - This World Is Going To Ruin You

A bit metalcore, a lot punk, and yet, much less aggressive than their last release.

This is exactly accessible but it might be as close as hardcore mathcore ever gets and it’s a lot of fun when you get under the surface of the sound.

And at least, nobody’s going all Nancy Spungen over this.

Listen to it here.


Final Thoughts

We’re not even halfway through the year and there are already some amazing records out there.

We can’t wait to hear more!

And we’d recommend checking out Ants From Up There too… which very nearly made this list but gets an honorable mention, for now.

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