Brad's Top 50 Albums of 2022
Brad's Top 50 Albums of 2022
#50 kelz 5am & I Can’t Sleep (Bayonet Records)
I can never resist a dreamy bedroom pop album. A beautiful and catchy album. Perfect album to lose yourself into in 2022.
#49 Whitmer Thomas The Older I Get the Funnier I Was (Hardly Art)
I was pleasantly surprised by this comedian's exploration of catchy indie pop. Hardly Art rarely lets me down with their releases. And they have given us another great little album. For fans of Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes.
#48 Julia Julia Derealization (Suicide Squeeze)
A spooky solo album from Julisa Kugel-Montoya of The Coathangers. This album is dark and haunting but in the best way possible. It has the quality of a dark and dreamy lullaby.
#47 Sunflower Bean Headful of Sugar (Mom + Pop Music)
Third album of angsty pop from Sunflower Bean. This band is a bit of a throwback to the early 00s. Reminds me of bands like Mates of State and Cursive.
#46 Stella Donnelly Flood (Secretly)
Second album of sweet and catchy indie pop from this Australian singer. Stella has a fantastic voice and I always feel better after listening to her albums.
#45 Black Country, New Road Ants From Up Here (Ninja Tune)
English art rock for fans of The National. One of those records I keep going back to this year. Somehow heartbreak feels good with an album like this.
#44 Marci Marci (Arbutus)
Marta Cikojevic of one of my favorite band TOPS has given us a sexy and smooth album full of 80s pop radio jams. A super fun album full of catchy pop songs.
#43 Tony Molina In the Fade (Run For Cover)
Every couple of years I find a great 70s style power pop album to make me happy. Melancholic pop like this is timeless but always takes my back to the soft and smooth 70s.
#42 Peel Dream Magazine Pad (Slumberland)
Slumberland is one of my favorite consistent labels that always ends up giving me a couple of great albums to choose from every year. Twee pop to make the heart happy.
#41 The Stroppies Levity (Tough Love)
What is not to like about this jangle pop group from Melbourne. Paul Weller approves and took them on tour with him as his opener.
#40 Living Hour Someday Is Today (Kanine)
Melancholy pop has always been one of my favorite genres. I find comfort in these albums and always seek them out. They seem to somehow always fill me with joy.
#39 Yumi Zouma Present Tense (Polyvinyl)
Dreamy alternative rock from New Zealand. A warm blanket of an album to wrap yourself up in. This one goes down easy. Soft rock for our modern era.
#38 Skullcrusher Quiet the Room (Secretly)
Dreamy alternative folk from my hometown of Los Angeles. A really beautiful album that will crush your skull. But in a good way.
#37 Molly Nilsson Extreme (Night School)
Like a more experimental weird version of your favorite albums by MGMT or Empire of the Sun. Synth pop jams that float in between various decades and genres.
#36 Bartees Strange Farm To Table (4AD)
I was a big fan of his album from a couple of years ago. A fantastic storyteller and songwriter. An album full of energy and emotion. Feeling all the feels with this one.
#35 Munya Voyage To Mars (Luminelle Recordings)
Alien indie space rock from this Canadian magical being Josie Boivin. An album cover that perfectly fits the album. Melodic and dreamy and completely easy to fall in love with.
#34 Young Prisms Drifter (Fire Talk)
I will never ever get sick of shoegaze. Always excited to see what my favorite shoegazers come up with every year. It has been a while for this SF band but they do not disappoint. Like all good shoegaze you don’t really need to know what they are saying. The vocals are just another instrument that help to make some gorgeous sounding mind numbing music.
#33 Deserta Every Moment, Everything You Need (Felte)
Felte is another label I always look forward to. Deserta gives us more dark and dreary shoegaze. Perfect album for those of us that like that sort of thing. This is like the soundtrack to a dark and cozy dream that you wake up from happy to have had the fuzzy journey.
#32 DC Gore All These Things (Domino)
“Nietzsche on the Beach” has been one of my favorite songs of the year. I really can’t get enough of it. Like a modern day version of Pet Shop Boys or Human League. A perfectly synthy and poetic album.
#31 Syzygy Anchor & Adjust (It Records)
Not an easy band name to spell but worth the time it takes to remember. Synthpop from Melbourne that will take you back to the time of Xymox and Anything Box. Dark and spooky while being fun and dancey.
#30 Friendship Love the Stranger (Merge)
Any album that starts with a song about watching David Attenborough shows is an album for me. A great album of mellow indie country from this Philadelphia band.
#29 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Cool It Down (Secretly)
Happy to have Yeah Yeah Yeahs back in my life. Hard to believe I have been into this band for over 20 years now. “Wolf” is another one of my most played songs of the year. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. Just like I fell in love with Karen O and this band the first time I heard them back in 2001!
#28 Hatchie Giving the World Away (Secretly)
Australia seems to be having a moment. At least in my top 50 this year. Another Australian album full of pretty dream pop dance music that helped me get through the year.
#27 SRSQ Ever Crashing (Dais)
It has been four years since SRSQ gave us her fantastic debut album. Ashlyn has one of those haunting and emotional voices that makes for some great dreamy pop. An album that tears out my heart and mends it all back together. Always happy to take the journey with SRSQ.
#26 Sorry Anywhere But Here (Domino)
Moody and angsty dark British indie pop. A bit dark and disjointed but it is really a perfect album for these times we are living in.
#25 Blushing Possessions (Kanine)
I was first drawn to this album since it features Miki Berenyi of Lush on vocals on one of the tracks. Another great album of dreamy Texas based shoegaze pop for our modern era.
#24 Drowse Wane Into It (Flenser)
A doomgaze album that might be too dark for some. But I love this album so much. Like your favorite dream pop album mixed with your favorite pacific northwest doom metal. “Mystery, Pt. 2” has been on repeat in my car on these recent dark nights. This album really captures that indescribable feeling I get when I listen to an album for the first time and go somewhere I’ve never been before.
#23 Tallies Patina (Kanine)
Smooth and pretty dream pop from Toronto. Sounds like some of your 90s favorites like The Sundays of Cranberries. Always a comfort to sink into a nostalgic album like this.
#22 Oliver Sim Hideous Bastard (Young)
We should be getting a solo album from Romy of the XX hopefully next year. But Oliver Sim has given us a great treat this year with his own solo album. Dark and catchy just as you would expect if you are a fan of the XX. An album that you can easily lose yourself into.
#21 Beach House Once Twice Melody (Sub Pop)
Beach House is always there for me when I need them. I really needed a new Beach House album and a live show to go to this year. This is the eighth album from everyone's favorite dream pop group. This is up there with my most listened to albums of the year. They are like a long lost friend that is always there for you when you need them.
#20 Alex G God Save the Animals (Domino)
This is Alex G’s ninth album but might be my favorite yet. Maybe I am slightly jealous that he is not even 30 and has put out nine albums. But I am just happy he has decided to share his songs with us. He has a folky bedroom pop vibe for fans of gloomy pop from artists like Elliott Smith and Smog.
#19 Mitski Laurel Hell (Dead Oceans)
I do sometimes wish Mitski had given us a whole album of dance synth pop jams like the song “The Only Heartbreaker.” One of my most played songs of the year. But its place in the middle of this album makes it all the more special. She takes us on an emotional journey to get there. And it is always worth it with a Mitski album.
#18 The Weeknd Dawn FM (XO Records)
We got another fantastically fun album by The Weeknd this year. But we also got a Weekend themed haunted house featuring spooky plastic surgery at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. The Weeknd always takes us deep into his world on his cinematic albums. Never a dull moment and always a fun nighttime driving album.
#17 The Soft Moon Exister (Sacred Bones)
I always look forward to new dark and spooky albums by Luis Vasquez aka The Soft Moon. It is not always pleasant to confront your demons but a necessary part of getting through life in this world. The Soft Moon always helps me get there. “Monster” is one of my favorite songs of the year. But I have to limit my daily intake of Soft Moon. Makes me cry every time I listen to it.
#16 The Smile A Light For Attracting Attention (XL Recordings)
I went from being the biggest Radiohead fan in the era of The Bends and OK Computer to not really caring much about them in over a decade. But Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood got me back in love with their new project The Smile. I was really expecting some great quarantine shut down albums to pop up this year. And this is exactly what this is. Claustrophobic and frenetic and beautiful and all the things you hope from anything from the Radiohead universe.
#15 Launder Happening (Ghostly International)
Another great 90s style shoegaze album. Launder fits in with those shoegaze bands that were a bit more alternative and grunge. Like a mix of bands like Medicine, Dinosaur Jr. & Teenage Fanclub. A shoegaze styled Nirvana. I love this album.
#14 Wet Leg Wet Leg (Domino)
Not sure if I will ever grow too old for albums like this. But I hope not! Super fun and arty British indie rock. Angsty and emotional and the music I will forever love. A fantastic debut album and worth all the fuss.
#13 Day Wave Past Life (Play It Again Sam)
Melodic dream pop for fans of The Drums and Beach Fossils. Perfect albums for those of us that love nostalgia and those early days of that perfect 90s music era. Super catchy and dreamy songs perfect for the sunny & cold winter days of LA.
#12 Dehd Blue Skies (Fat Possum)
I missed their first album that came out in the early days of the shutdown. But quickly got into them when a trusted friend introduced them to me. So I was happy to have a new second album to get obsessed with when this one came out this year. They have a unique sound that combines a bunch of genres and really works. Dream pop and garage rock meet somewhere in the middle to make one great little album.
#11 Just Mustard Heart Under (Partisan Records)
This is the second album by these Irish shoegazers. An achingly beautiful dark and strange album for fans of the darker side of shoegaze. Bands from the 90s like The Cranes or Curve. This album for sure helped me get through some dark times this year. The album seemed to come out of nowhere but I am so glad it did.
#10 Fashion Club Scrutiny (Felte)
Spooky dark wave post punk from Pascal Stevenson of Moaning & Girlpool. Like the music that would accompany your 80s infused nightmare but in a good way. For fans of bands like Cold Cave & Boy Harsher.
#9 Duster Together (Numero Group)
So happy to have this band back in my life with an excellent new album this year. Hard to believe these bay area slowcore legends put out their debut album Stratosphere in 1998! “Retrograde” is easily one of my favorite songs of the year and for a while I was listening to it every day. Dark are dreary at times but just what I need to slow down and experience life in all its heartbreak and joy.
#8 The Reds, Pinks & Purples Summer At Land’s End (Slumberland)
Oh how I love Glenn Donaldson and this new album. He has managed to put out an album every year for the last couple of years and has already released a second album this year! Dreamy lo-fi twee that I can’t get enough of. This man has a fantastic voice and I fall in love with his songs every time I put them on. This album is really just perfect. Makes me daydream of my 90s days up in San Francisco.
#7 Grace Ives Janky Star (Harvest)
A beautiful weird dancey pop record that is perfect for our times. Full of energy and messy twentysomething emotions that some of us never grow out of. Grace Ives could be as big as Billie Eilish if only more people gave her a chance and checked her out. Just try and not love the song “On The Ground.”
#6 THUS LOVE Memorial (Captured Tracks)
Gothy post punk from Brattleboro, Vermont. They are like a more modern twist on bands like The Church, Echo & the Bunnymen or The Chameleons. There were really some great things to come out of the pandemic and quarantine like albums like this. We often have to go towards the darkness to come out the other side. Can’t imagine my life without discovering new bands like this and reveling in their dark genius.
#5 Orville Peck Bronco (Columbia)
Our favorite gay cowboy is back with his second proper album of alternative country. I can’t ever get enough of Orville’s music. He really has an amazing voice made for country ballads. You should really get on the Orville Peck train if you are not already a fan. He really takes you into his world with his storytelling and makes you feel like everything is going to be ok.
#4 Gloria de Oliveira & Dean Hurley Oceans of Time (Sacred Bones)
I was already a fan of Dean Hurley because of his work with the recent Twin Peaks music. But this album took me by surprise. Dark and spooky dream pop. A truly gorgeous and majestic album. “Something to Behold” is another song I had on repeat this year.
#3 Steve Lacy Gemini Rights (RCA)
One of my fun albums of the year to break up all my gloomy dream pop and shoegaze that I normally listen to. This man is a genius and creates some seriously catchy songs. There is something just irresistible about this dude and his music. He got his start as the guitarist in The Internet. But Gemini Rights is his masterpiece and one of the albums of the year. This is the not the jazz saxophonist Steve Lacy. But it is hard to put a genre on him as he floats between alternative soul and lo-fi funk.
#2 Weyes Blood And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow (Sub Pop)
Like a dream pop Crystal Gayle and Karen Carpenter. Natalie Mering has one beautiful voice. Absolutely heartbreaking but totally essential. One of those albums we all need to get through the day and continue on to the next. Music is truly therapy and this album proves it. Sometimes I really just want to live inside this album. An epic mellow masterpiece.
#1 Alvvays Blue Rev (Polyvinyl)
It has been a long 5 years since we have had an Alvvays album but it was worth the wait. This is their best yet. I want all my favorite albums to be this dreamy and catchy. This album really does get its hooks in you and never lets go. They are a more accessible version of shoegaze but only in that you can actually understand their lyrics. Another perfect album this year from a band I am so glad to share this planet with.