Top 25 albums of 2022

It’s that time of the year, and this time, I am actually writing this on time, bearing in mind my “2021” article is still in the drafts. I will release it soon; in a sense, it’s always good to revisit albums and rediscover or discover music as time passes.

As always, these albums are just the ones I thoroughly enjoyed over the year; it is not a scientific list of this or that I don’t claim to understand music more than the next person, but I still love to share and talk about it a lot, so here I am once again; it’s simply albums that spoke to me – by their story, music, production and composition. I hope you find music that speaks to you and becomes your companion.

25. Kaelin Ellis – THE FUNK WILL PREVAIL

As my friend said when I showed him this record, “They don’t do funk like this anymore”. The beautiful thing about this album is how it combines the classic funk style and the modern day we live in. Ellis does it in a way that seems effortless but requires so much truly – technically, artistically and personally. It’s the only instrumental album on my list this year, and it’s absolutely worth your time, especially if you enjoy some excellent vibe and modern funk. If jazz, funk and fusion are what you like, you may also know him as Mr. Mockwell.

Name: Kaelin Ellis – THE FUNK WILL PREVAIL
Where in the word: USA
Release date: 01.04.2022
My top 3: Cats Groove, Trippin, Don’t be Late
For fans of: Jon Batiste, Anderson .Paak, Trombone Shorty
Genre: Funk, Jazz, Fusion
Listen: Spotify

24. Placebo – Never Let Me go

I admit, having this album on my list may be partial to a nostalgic feeling, where this legendary British alternative rock band ties to my teenage years. But! That does not change how good this album is or how relevant it is in the shared stories – as has always been true about Placebo. It always fascinated me how beautifully they represent brit rock of the late 90s and are still technically a band from Luxembourg. Either way, they made their mark, bringing glam rock to a whole other generation of listeners. Their comeback album has, in its own way, really been nostalgic because it brings the classic Placebo sound well. Perhaps to some listeners, it comes dated, but to me, it was refreshing.

Name: Placebo – Never Let Me Go
Where in the word: Great Britain, Luxembourg
Release date: 25.03.2022
My top 3: Beautiful James, Forever Chemicals, Try Better Next Time
For fans of: White Lies, Editors, Suede
Genre: Post-Punk, Glam Rock, Brit Rock
Listen: Spotify

23. Preoccupations – Arrangements

Preoccupations are, in my opinion, one of the best bands out there, and I can’t quite get my perspective right. In my mind, they are huge, but whenever I recommend them to someone, in most cases, they don’t know them. So perhaps some of you will find this band now, too; believe me, they are worth it. It’s a combination of art rock and indie rock that can be as noisy as it can be quiet and very moving. Their latest album, “Arrangements”, comes after a 4-year-long gap, which is not typical for this band, and the wait was worth it.

Name: Preoccupations – Arrangements
Where in the word: Canada
Release date: 09.09.2022
My top 3: Ricochet, Slowly, Death of Melody
For fans of: Joy Division, Deeper
Genre: Post-Punk, Art Rock, Noise Rock
Listen: Spotify

22. Flower Face – The Shark in Your Water

Ruby McKinnon, the genius behind the Flower Face project, is a talented beast. Everything about this album is perfect – the sound, the production, the concept surrounding it, and the vocals that draw you in and make you not just sway along but feel deeply. It’s an album I would recommend to absolutely anyone, anytime. Flower Face combines so many things, so many sounds and together, they come together in what one could describe as indie folk, but there is much more to the sound than this label makes you believe.

Name: Flower Face – The Shark In Your Water
Where in the word: Canada
Release date: 27.05.2022
My top 3: Sugar Water, Spiracle, Back To You
For fans of: First Aid Kit, Beirut, Damien Rice
Genre: Indie Folk, Indie Pop, Neon
Listen: Spotify

21. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Omnium Gatherum

What can one say, they are living and breathing music, and the average 3-4 albums released yearly on their own labels are the ultimate proof. It’s a band that represents “Never let them know your next move” like no one else. They could come back with jazz, metal, indie or grunge; hell could be full-on opera. By this point, it’s clear they can adapt to any sound and make it theirs, adding an element of fantasy, Tolkien-level storytelling and music that’s gripping – whether it’s an 18-minute or 2-minutes track. They are the chameleons of music, and no one does it like them. To prove a point, I don’t even need to prove Omnium Gatherum is the band’s 20th studio album; the band was founded in 2010.

Name: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Omnium Gatherum
Where in the word: Australia
Release date: 22.04.2022
My top 3: The Dripping Tap, Kepler-22, The Grim Reaper
For fans of: Pink Floyd, Tame Impala, Art of Sleeping
Genre: Literally everything but let’s say psychedelic rock and progressive for this one
Listen: Spotify

20. Zeal & Ador – Zeal & Ador

I think, this is one of the most creative bands in metal right now, and I would put my hand into the fire for this statement. Right now, it feels like there is not much happening in metal that would make you stop and say, “oh yeah, I have not heard something like this before”. But Zeal & Ador have been like that on their debut album on Bandcamp, and they are like that on the third studio album. The smooth combination of blues, blues rock and Afro-American spiritualism and black metal somehow makes perfect sense in their unique avant-garde setting.

Name: Zeal & Ador – Zeal & Ador
Where in the word: Switzerland
Release date: 11.02.2022
My top 3: Golden Liar, Bow, Run
For fans of: Enslaved, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Myrkur
Genre: Black Metal, Blue, Avant-Garde
Listen: Spotify

19. Kevin Morby – This is A Photograph

You may know Kevin Morby from Woods and the Babies Morby or you may know him as an accomplished solo artist; perhaps you don’t know him at all, since indie folk is such a diverse field. “This is a Photograph” is Morby’s seventh studio album inspired by browsing old family photo albums and photographs, and that’s precisely the kind of mood you can expect – a bit of everything from taking the trip down memory lane. Still, with a brilliant spin and build-up, Morby shows in his leading single and other songs, making him a unique sound in that big indie folk world.

Name: Kevin Morby – This is A Photograph
Where in the word: USA
Release date: 13.05.2022
My top 3: This is a Photograph, Stop Before I Cry, Rock Bottom
For fans of: Sharon van Etten, Fleet Foxes, Ben Howard
Genre: Indie Folk, Folk Rock
Listen: Spotify

18. BROCKHAMPTON – The Family

Hearing about Brockhampton coming to an end still lingers in my mind, but everything ends sooner or later. But hearing of the final album coming out, I was thrilled to look forward to one more project coming out – we ended up getting two. Of the two albums in 2022, “The Family” really spoke to me in its stories and sound. If anything, though, it feels like a statement from Kevin Abstract – Look, this is what I do, this is how good I am, and these are the people I did it with. It feels like an intimate album that puts the proverbial period behind all the snooping on “why this or that happened to Brockhampton.” I guess time will tell what comes next. Either way, brilliant album.

Name: Brockhampton – The Family
Where in the word: USA
Release date: 17.11.2022
My top 3: Any Way You Want Me, (Back From the) Road, Big Pussy
For fans of: JPEGMAFIA, Kenny Beats, Earl Sweatshirt
Genre: Rap, Hip Hop
Listen: Spotify

17. Resa Saffa Park – Spaces

I can appreciate the Spotify radio function because sometimes it brings you gems you would not otherwise discover unless spending hours on Bandcamp or Last.FM and other portals are your things; still, it’s a needle in a haystack with the amount of music in the world. That’s why I am grateful for discovering Resa Saffa Park, and by checking her older music, I found her new album. There is a haunting and almost theatrical quality to her music and the production it’s wrapped around. It’s one of the most unique and fascinating female singers I have discovered, with absolutely brilliant lyricism.

Name: Resa Saffa Park – Spaces
Where in the word: United Arab Emirates / Norway
Release date: 18.02.2022
My top 3: Candles, Who?, Dandelions
For fans of: Lana del Ray, Susanne Sundfør, Aurora
Genre: Indie Folk, Indie pop
Listen: Spotify

16. Gabriels – Angels & Queens – Part 1

I have absolutely no idea where this band came from, but I hope he never goes away. The artistry, the vocal power, the atmosphere, and the musicality are all perfect on this album. This album, in its not even 30 minutes length, makes me more hopeful than all the therapy you can buy, and it still makes me reflect, dance and feel all sorts of light and heavy. Gabriels was recommended to me by my friend, and I cannot thank him enough. At the same time, I cannot stress enough how much I want you to give this a chance – I don’t take these words lightly, but it’s perhaps the best soul mixed with gospel out there happening right now.

Name: Gabriels – Angels & Queens – Part 1.
Where in the word: USA / UK
Release date: 30.09.2022
My top 3: Angels & Queens, Taboo, Mama
For fans of: SAULT, Curtis Harding, Son Little
Genre: R&B, Soul, Gospel
Listen: Spotify

15. Arcade Fire – WE

I will be brutally honest and say I had low expectations of the new Arcade Fire since the last few records were not music I could honestly enjoy and return to. But the album “WE”, I dare say is one of their best albums and one of the most exciting and creative alternative rock released this year. There is so much build-up happening over the songs and so much creativity with clear messages and beautiful melodies. It’s an album I have enjoyed returning to over the year, and I am sure I will enjoy it for a long time.

Name: Arcade Fire – WE
Where in the word: USA / Canada
Release date: 06.05.2022
My top 3: Age of Anxiety I, The Lightning I & II
For fans of: Interpol, The National, White Lies
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Listen: Spotify

14. Foals – Life Is Yours

A lot funkier than you would perhaps expect but very true to their sound and the overall hopeful feeling Foals always bring along. I have not paid much attention to Foals, not that I would not like them, they simply don’t fall on my radar as I usually listen to different albums, and I am so happy I gave “Life Is Yours” a listen when I came across it because it’s an album full of energy and beautiful creative sound. It gets you moving, gets you hoping and feeling. If that’s what you need right now, Foals can give it to you.

Name: Foals – Life Is Yours
Where in the word: UK
Release date: 17.06.2022
My top 3: Flutter, Wake Me Up, 2 AM
For fans of: Bloc Party, White Lies, The Wombats
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, Dance
Listen: Spotify

13. Samm Henshaw – Untidy Soul

There is such a beautifully humorous side to “Untidy Soul” by Samm Henshaw. Still, at the same time, the stories Samm says through a unique combination of soul, jazz, funk and 90s hip-hop are relatable to almost any listener. It’s an artist I have not known before, but I am thrilled I clicked through to his profile on Spotify. You can vibe, you can dance, you can feel joy and you can also relate to his lyrics. It’s all in the music that is beautifully done and very creative, but it’s also the type of album you can put on no matter the mood you are in, which I think is always a unique quality.

Name: Samm Henshaw – Untidy Soul
Where in the word: UK
Release date: 28.01.2022
My top 3: Still Broke (feat. Keyon Harrold), Thoughts and Prayers, Enough
For fans of: Mahalia, Joy Crookes, Thirdstory
Genre: Soul, Jazz, Hip-Hop
Listen: Spotify

12. Lee Chanhyuk – ERROR

Lee Chanhyuk is one part of the South Korean indie pop/ballad duo AKMU and ERROR is the first solo album he released. The album is very conceptual – each track describes his own death. While the lyrics lay heavy, they are built on synth-pop and rock and melodies that work with intense and soft melodies as the story unravel for the listeners. Everything surrounding this album has been performance art. The music video, performances, and how the album plays out. If you want to go one step further, I recommend checking out the lyrics translations by Genius.

Where in the word: South Korea
Release date: 17.10.2022
My top 3: Eyewitness account, Panorama, Siren
For fans of: Weeknd, Code Kunst, Allie X
Genre: Synth Pop-Rock, Pop
Listen: Spotify

11. King Buffalo – Regenerator

I can never make a list without at least one post-rock heavy album on it, and this year the one that caught my attention was “Regenerator” by King Buffalo. In just 7 tracks, this record drags you in from the first distorted sound of a guitar and keys coming through – as any post-rock, it’s very atmospheric but also haunting, full of energy and calmness, all packed together. That’s the uniqueness of the genre that deserves a lot more attention from listeners. King Buffalo play a lot with a combination of psychedelic and blues sound, so if that’s the music you typically enjoy, I recommend checking them out.

Name: King Buffalo – Regenerator
Where in the word: USA
Release date: 02.09.2022
My top 3: Regenerator, Interlude, Hours
For fans of: Tame Impala, Mars Red Sky, Elder
Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Stoner Rock
Listen: Spotify

10. Just Mustard – Heart Under

In 2018 I accidentally stumbled upon a brilliant album by the Irish rock band Just Mustard, and since then, I have been in anticipation. Finally, in 2022 they came back with a second studio album, an absolute beauty. The album has a good amount of noise, but it’s combined with both hauntingly soft and powerful vocals. It’s a dark album, that’s for sure – it won’t make you feel wobbly on the inside, quite the opposite. It has so much texture it will drag you deeper the longer you listen to it, and that’s the beauty of this record. Although the first record was more on the shoegaze side, I find the noise on this album more enthralling.

Name: Just Mustard – Heart Under
Where in the word: Ireland
Release date: 16.06.2022
My top 3: 23, Still, Seed
For fans of: Preoccupations, Porridge Radio, Daughter
Genre: Noise Rock, Shoegaze, Post-Punk
Listen: Spotify

9. Jacob Banks – Lies About War

Jacob Banks is someone I ultimately trust – the possibility of a song that’s not perfect just does not make sense when it comes to him. His music style is as unique as it is fascinating. It is soulful, but there are elements from almost everything you can think of – indie, gospel, r&b, funk, and rock. It’s experimental, but it makes perfect sense, it binds together, and you, quite frankly, can’t stop listening to it. Lies About War is an album full of struggle and love, told in his beautiful baritone voice and accompanied by an array of featuring artists who add to the journey.

Name: Jacob Banks – Lies About the War
Where in the word: Nigeria / UK
Release date: 26.08.2022
My top 3: Just When I Thought, Bang (feat. Tobe Nwigwe), Our Song (feat. Anne Leone)
For fans of: Kwabs, Allan Rayman, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
Genre: Soul, Blues, R&B
Listen: Spotify

8. Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia

There is so much artistry behind Fontaines D.C., maybe more than people would usually give credit for or expect from post-punk this heavy and this honest. The build-up in their songs absolutely has the ability to destroy you, and something like that is becoming quite a rare find. Fontaines D.C., and most likely not a band that can fit everyone, but if you are not afraid of post-punk sound, they are one of the best out there, with songs both in English and Gaeilge. There is so much to explore on this third studio album in a pressuring and calm rhythm with unique vocals. When they blend together, or you hear Grian Chatten’s solo vocals, there is just so much emotion in all of that.

Name: Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia
Where in the word: Ireland
Release date: 22.02.2022
My top 3: In ár gCroíthe go deo, I Love You, How Could Love Is
For fans of: Joy Division, IDLES, Squid
Genre: Post-Punk, Rock
Listen: Spotify

7. Wet Leg – Wet Leg

The self-titled album “Wet Leg” is the band’s debut album and is full of anticipation of what this British rock band will do in the future. This album deserves everything it’s getting – from the 4 Grammy nominations all the way to the critical acclaim. The album reminded me immediately of Slater-Kinney when I first heard it, and it’s been so long since there was a piece of music like that – so war, unapologetic, slices with punk and rock, and has lots to say that one can relate to. That’s how I see Wet Leg and that I how I fell in love with them.

Name: Wet Leg – Wet Leg
Where in the word: UK
Release date: 08.04.2022
My top 3: Chaise Longue, Wet Dream, Ur Mom
For fans of: Slater-Kinney, Wolf Alice, Porridge Radio
Genre: Post-Punk, Indie Rock, Britrock
Listen: Spotify

6. J-Hope – Jack In The Box

Wrapped in the concept opposite of Jung Hoseok’s usually known persona in BTS, Jack In The Box is a brilliant homage to 90s hip-hop, meeting the current rap trends while maintaining the typical sound only Hobi can produce and express. Jack In The Box is a brilliant album with many messages – from equality to hope for a better future, but it also explores darker sides, desires and fears. It’s an album any hip-hop fan could truly enjoy if they open their mind and get rid of the idea of labels that are often penned together in the western media, describing what is commonly known as k-pop but what has much more depth than the label allows it. You can check out the translation of the lyrics by Genius and delve as deep as this album deserves by looking at Pandora Box – full of the worst imaginable thing but hiding hope at the very bottom.

Name: J-Hope – Jack In The Box
Where in the word: South Korea
Release date: 15.07.2022
My top 3: Arson, Future, MORE
For fans of: Black Sheep, Zico, Joey Bada$$
Genre: Rap, 90s Hip-Hop, Rock
Listen: Spotify

5. Aurora – The Gods We Can Touch

Aurora is an inspiring artist, full of love, hope, compassion and understanding. Her music is as haunting as it is full of hope and love, and that is a fascinating combination – especially when it’s as genuine as Aurora would have you believe. This album dives into different moods – it makes you dance, hope, and reflect, but it also takes a bit of hurt away, whatever that hurt is. I always found Aurora healing that way, extending her own talent and emotions to us through her music, which simply heals if you let it.

Name: Aurora – The Gods We Can Touch
Where in the word: Norway
Release date: 21.01.2022
My top 3: Blood In The Wine, Everything Matters, Cure For Me
For fans of: Allie X, CLANN, dodie
Genre: Electro-Pop, Dream Pop, Electro Folk
Listen: Spotify

4. Stromae – Multitude

My appreciation for Stromae starts from his lyrics; through them, I discovered and explored his music’s complexity and uniqueness. Stromae, a Belgium singer and songwriter, is, in my humble opinion, a lyrical genius. And not just in the stories he tells, from what I gather from the french-speaking friends and other listeners, he’s pretty brilliant in his work with the language. But the rest of us can simply appreciate the stories, the rawness, the brutality and compassion about many things – work, love, mental health, the world we live in, and the society we endure and make. Much of that is explored on Multitude, wrapped not just in Stromae’s unique sound but also in many other traditional sounds from many corners of the world, intertwined into his album. You can find all translations of his lyrics here.

Name: Stromae – Multitude
Where in the word: Belgium / France
Release date: 04.03.2022
My top 3: Santé, L’enfer, Fils de joie
For fans of: Maître Gims, Christine and the Queens, Sofi Tukker
Genre: Electronic, Experimental
Listen: Spotify

3. Alt-J – The Dream

When the fourth studio album from Alt-J came out, I was very excited, as it is one of my favourite bands. Then I saw the reception and strongly disagreed with some of the negative ones. The part that appeals to me about this band is the uniqueness – no matter where they take it. The way they can combine a poetic approach to not just their songs but also the lyrics and stories they tell with a unique sound that holds your attention but still offers something new every time you return to it. That’s the bit charm of Alt-J, and they stay true to that, always exploring something new and always bringing music that makes you feel while you sway with it.

Name: Alt-J – The Dream
Where in the word: UK
Release date: 11.02.2022
My top 3: U&ME, Bane, Philadelphia
For fans of: The XX, Broken Bells, Portugal. The Man
Genre: Indie Rock, Experimental, Art Pop
Listen: Spotify

2. Pit Pony – World To Me

Bandcamp finds often become some of the best gems you can think of, and that’s what Pit Pony became to me. This is a beautiful grunge band from Newscastle, and they are some of the best rock you hear these days. There is so much raw sound in their album, their vocals and the heavy baseline and drums that swallow you up as you listen. Their music is full of adrenaline that never gets out of control. A healthy hazard, if you will. They are beautiful, and I hope to see them live one day and climb the charts.

Name: Pit Pony – World To Me
Where in the word: UK
Release date: 01.07.2022
My top 3: World To Me, See Me Be, Black Tar
For fans of: Daughter, IDLES, Sick Joy
Genre: Noise Rock, Shoegaze
Listen: Spotify

1. RM – Indigo

First full solo album by Kim Namjoon, who is possibly more known as RM from BTS. It’s so easy to fall in love with Indigo no matter what music you enjoy – it has it all. Indigo reflects Namjoon’s 20s, but it mainly reflects on moving forward, living in the moment and most importantly, living. Expressing so many things in so many musical aspects – from acid jazz through ballads to grooving melodies it’s an honest celebration and conversation with oneself and the audience. For me, it became the album of the year.

Name: RM – Indigo
Where in the word: South Korea
Release date: 02.12.2022
My top 3: Wild Flower (feat. youjeen), Still Life (feat. Anderson .Paak), Change pt. 2
For fans of: Kevin Abstract, Nujabes, Denzel Curry
Genre: Rap, Ballad, Neo Soul
Listen: Spotify

Thank you very much for reading to the end. Hopefully, you found some new music that can become part of your life. If you enjoyed this article, please consider buying me coffee; it helps me keep this dream alive.

Enjoy the Top 25 of 2022 albums in the Complete playlist


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