Warm Visions’ Top 100 Songs of 2022

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Moving further through my favorite music of 2022, here we feature my Top 100 favorite songs of the year. Like previous years, I’ve picked out 90 I loved and organized them alphabetically, and then ranked my top 10 favorites at the bottom, each with little descriptors. There’s no way I can rank 100 songs. That’s bananas.

Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older, or becoming out of touch with the general “indie music consensus” or what have you, but it felt like the songs that the major music media chose as their favorite songs of the year. Obviously I have some of them in here (Beyoncé, Braxe + Falcon), but I wasn’t really vibing with a lot of the obvious single picks. I hope that’s my way of saying, well, I hope you enjoy some ‘alternative’ selections from the underground this year. I had a lot of fun writing the blurbs for my ten favorite songs and I hope it comes off that way. I had some great moments with songs this year, and I hope you enjoy going through my playlist + finding some new favorites for yourself.

Listen along with the Warm Visions’ Top Songs of 2022 Spotify playlist HERE.

  1. THE A’S – “Swing and Turn Jubilee”
  2. ALEX G – “Runner”
  3. ALLEGRA KRIEGER – “Taking It In”
  4. ALVVAYS – “Pressed”
  5. ANGEL OLSEN – “Right Now”
  6. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – “Royal and Desire”
  7. AUTOMATIC – “Teen Beat”
  8. BADGE ÉPOQUE ENSEMBLE – “Clouds of Joy”
  9. THE BETHS – “Expert In A Dying Field”
  10. BEYONCÉ – “BREAK MY SOUL”
    ~~
  11. BILLY WOODS – “Pollo Rico”
  12. BITCHIN BAJAS – “Quakenbrück”
  13. BLUNT CHUNKS – “Natural Actors”
  14. CARLY RAE JEPSEN – “Talking To Yourself”
  15. CAROLINE – “Skydiving onto the library roof”
  16. CATE LE BON – “Moderation”
  17. CHARLI XCX – “Constant Repeat”
  18. CHARLOTTE ADIGÉRY & BOLIS PUPUL – “Blenda”
  19. CHAT PILE – “Why”
  20. CLAUDE – “roses”
    ~~
  21. COURTESY – “Night Journeys II”
  22. DANIEL AVERY – “Wall of Sleep (feat. HAAi)”
  23. DANIEL BACHMAN – “540 Supercell”
  24. DAWN RICHARD & SPENCER ZAHN – “Cerulean”
  25. DEHD – “Bad Love”
  26. DIVINO NIÑO – “XO”
  27. DRY CLEANING – “Gary Ashby”
  28. DUNGEN – “Var Har Du Varit?”
  29. ELI WINTER – “Unbecoming”
  30. ERICA ESO – “Home Is A Glow”
    ~~
  31. FLOATING POINTS – “Vocoder”
  32. FLORIST – “Red Bird Pt. 2 (Morning)”
  33. GEORGE FITZGERALD – “Cosmonaut Alley”
  34. GEORGE RILEY – “Time”
  35. GUERILLA TOSS – “Famously Alive”
  36. HAAI – “Baby, We’re Ascending (feat. Jon Hopkins)”
  37. HORSEGIRL – “Option 8”
  38. IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE – “All That You Want”
  39. INDIGO SPARKE – “Hysteria”
  40. JOAN SHELLEY – “Like the Thunder”
    ~~
  41. JULIA JACKLIN – “Ignore Tenderness”
  42. JULIANNA RIOLINO – “Isn’t It A Pity”
  43. JUST MUSTARD – “Still”
  44. KOKOROKO – “Home”
  45. KORNÉL KOVÁCS – “Follow You (feat. Aluna)”
  46. LIL SILVA – “Backwards (feat. Sampha)”
  47. LUCRECIA DALT – “Contenida”
  48. MABE FRATTI – “Cada Músculo”
  49. MAIA FRIEDMAN – “First To Love”
  50. MALI OBOMSAWIN – “Wawasint8da”
    ~~
  51. MARCI – “Entertainment”
  52. MARIA CHIARA ARGIRÒ – “Clouds”
  53. MJ LENDERMAN – “You Are Every Girl To Me”
  54. MOLLY NILSSON – “Obnoxiously Talented”
  55. MUNA – “What I Want”
  56. NATALIA LAFOURCADE – “De todas las flores”
  57. NILÜFER YANYA – “the dealer”
  58. NU GENEA – “Gelbi (feat. Marzouk Mejri)”
  59. OBONGJAYAR – “Wrong For It (feat. Nubya Garcia)”
  60. PALM – “Feathers”
    ~~
  61. PANDA BEAR & SONIC BOOM – “Danger”
  62. PLAINS – “Problem With It”
  63. POOL KIDS – “That’s Physics, Baby”
  64. PRIMER – “Giving Up”
  65. PVA – “Bad Dad”
  66. RACHIKA NAYAR – “Death & Limerence”
  67. THE RANGE – “Urethane”
  68. RENATA ZEIGUER – “Evergreen”
  69. ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER – “My Echo”
  70. ROSALÍA – “COMO UN G”
    ~~
  71. SAULT – “Higher”
  72. SHABASON & KRGOVICH – “I Am So Happy With My Little Dog”
  73. SHIRLEY HURT – “Empty Hands”
  74. SHYGIRL – “Heaven”
  75. SOFIE ROYER – “Baker Miller Pink”
  76. SUDAN ARCHIVES – “Selfish Soul”
  77. SZA – “Seek & Destroy”
  78. TALLIES – “Catapult”
  79. TDJ – “Pushed You Away”
  80. TESS ROBY – “Up 2 Me”
    ~~
  81. TOMBERLIN – “happy accident”
  82. TOPS – “Perfected Steps”
  83. TSHA – “Giving Up (feat. Mafro)”
  84. VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ & KHRUANGBIN – “Tongo Barra”
  85. WEYES BLOOD – “Grapevine”
  86. WIDOWSPEAK – “Everything Is Simple”
  87. WINGED WHEEL – “Passive But Jag”
  88. YUNÈ PINKU – “Affection”
  89. ZOLA JESUS – “Undertow”
  90. 070 SHAKE – “History”

TOP 10 FAVORITE SONGS OF 2022:

10. JACK J
“If You Don’t Know Why”


Until the end of time, I will associate this song’s iconic bass line with the spring and summer of 2022. The year may have turned out to be some kind of weird anxiety trap for me, but in the good moments “If You Don’t Know Why” and Jack J’s Opening The Door album were really getting me through on cloud nine. There’s a more fleshed out version of the track further down in the album, but I love the more dancefloor-ready version that kicks the record off, with heavy emphasis on that sonic gold bass line, as well as lush groovin’ instrumentation around it, flourished with woodblock percussion, shimmering synths and drum pads, and a righteous, noodlin’ guitar. A true “roll down the windows” chiller.

9. TWO SHELL
“Dust”


Very likely my most listened-to track of 2022. I mentioned this in my Top 10 EPs of 2022 list, but Two Shell’s Icons EP was in my constant rotation of “walking around / commuting” projects. The whole EP is so entertaining, but this track in particular is a step above. For one, it’s got a killer drum pattern, a super sense of rhythm and momentum to keep you moving, but also little atmospheric touches (like the robotic flight attendant voice) to help build an illusion that you’re riding on some kind of futuristic aircraft, hurtling through deep space to return to your families. Tracks like this where I can let my imagination go wild while listening, dreaming up some kind of animated music video out of an instrumental track, is what keeps me going.

8. FONTAINES D.C.
“Jackie Down The Line”


This is probably the closest to a classic indie rock song we’re going to get this decade. I don’t see the genre or style or canon getting a better song than this. It takes stock of what made hit underground rock tracks from the 80s through the 10s great and makes it undoubtedly Fontaines D.C. Singer Grian Chatten brings one of his best vocal performances, the guitars from Curley, Carlos and Conor sound great, Tom is snappy on the drums, the melodies are killer – I don’t know man. This track kicks ass.

7. BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD
“Basketball Shoes”


Over twelve and a half minutes of magnificence, a grand swan song for the first incarnation of BC,NR. It’s a slow burn in the first half, steadily gaining momentum with patiently rising percussion, violin, piano and guitar, acting like peak 00s post rock + earnest indie rock, following along with singer Isaac Wood’s increasingly confident / anxious vocals. Phase two features a peak early Midwest emo guitar and drum duo, exploding with screaming sax and amping up the distortion. Wood is really on one at this point. The song backs away for a moment, still percolating on the main theme that’s been running through the song. Then it really explodes. The patient motif is now a hulking colossus, shrieking chorus recognize its birth and the BC,NR orchestra are on fire, with Wood keeping the tone. It’s a journey and a half and if you’re patient with it, you’ll be rewarded. I know it’s been said many times and it’s unfair to Wood, but it’s still a shame we’ll never hear a song like this performed live. Onwards!

6. BIG THIEF
“Spud Infinity”


“From way up there, it looks so small
From way down here, it looks so small

One peculiar organism aren’t we all together?
Everybody steps on ants
Everybody eats the plants
Everybody knows to dance, even with just one finger

What’s it gonna take
To free the celestial body?

When I say celestial
I mean extraterrestrial
I mean accepting the alien you’ve rejected in your own heart

When I say heart, I mean finish
The last one there is a potato knish
Baking too long in the sun of Spud Infinity
When I say infinity, I mean now
Kiss the one you are right now
Kiss your body up and down, other than your elbows”

Hey you. Yeah you. Take it easy. I know it’s hard to be easy on yourself sometimes, but we’re not here forever. Might as well take a dance break (even with just one finger). Kiss your body up and down. Eat a crust of garlic bread. These aren’t all the lyrics, but you get the point. Big Thief are a treasure.

5. HATCHIE
“Quicksand”


Not only is this a deeply infectious, ultra satisfying pop song, but it’s a track that soundtracked much of my late summer 2022. A sinking feeling of anxiety took ahold of me for a lot of the latter half of this year, whether it be covid anxiety, climate anxiety, political/injustice anxiety, career anxiety, anxiety over lack of inspiration, falling into old/bad habits, losing sleep, neglecting relationships, etc – I was feeling it. All that to say, the line “would I keep fighting if there’s nothing left to fight for, sometimes I feel like I’m sinking into quicksand” was definitely a “oh yes, more for me, please” moment. But zooming back out, all these sentiments are housed in an immaculately produced, absolutely HUGE track, something there’s no shortage of on Hatchie’s Giving The World Away. I’m telling you – the production on this song is massive. Hatchie can write a hook that’ll pull you out of hell, into heaven, and then put you back in hell. She’ll craft a chorus that will dissect your heart, push all the “YEARN IMMEDIATELY” buttons, pull all your brain’s pins like a grenade, and then scurry off with a maniacal smirk. Never did spiraling feel so good.

4. DESTROYER
“June”


I saw a lot of writers accuse Dan Bejar and co. of Destroyer of becoming stagnant in their creative output since the revelation that was 2011’s Kaputt. Not only is that assumption wildly incorrect and off base, but man, did Bejar crush them with “June”. This track is a multi-phased groove experiment that starts off unassumingly (falling in line with sonics heard on Destroyer’s last few records), but quickly hints that there are deeper layers to still uncover, with pockets of hard bass, thundering drum fills and swells of tubular synth wizardry lapping up on the shore of the track. Something from the deep beckons. The submarine plunges into the depths. The percussion is going wild (hello, cowbell!). The bass is bouncing off the walls, shifting between semi-slaps and neck-sliding pendulums). The synths are murky and pull you deeper under. There’s a guitarist in there and they’re going berserk. Bejar is an omnipotent presence whose voice is shifting, singing about lord knows what. The track ends – somehow covering six and a half minutes, feeling both much longer and much shorter than advertised. You are down with Destroyer. And you know what you need to say to those that wrote them off? “Dump him”.

3. BILLY WOODS
“No Hard Feelings”


The most immediate and striking track from woods’ striking first album of 2022, Aethiopes, “No Hard Feelings” sees woods and producer Preservation coming out of the gate with all burners on. woods comes in almost immediately with gripping tone and cadence; painting bleak, matter-of-fact vignettes of tragedies of telescoping magnification, from the Challenger explosion to someone smoking crack on his stoop, all tying them together with poetic clarity. All the while, Preservation has laid down this absolutely bananas (drumless!) instrumental with piercing horns layering on top of one another that amp up the anxiety, an arpeggiating synth line that harkens to nightly news beats of serial killers on the loose, and long, imposing bass rumbles on the low end to shake you to your core. I enjoyed Aethiopes well enough after my first listen, but it wasn’t until I started listening to this track over and over; that was the key to the rest of the album, unfurling it into one of the greatest artistic statements of the year. (And just a little note – woods put out two records this year and they were so good I featured one song from each, hence the reason why he’s the only artist with two tracks on this list – different albums!).

2. EVAN J CARTWRIGHT
“impossibly blue”


Oh man. Phew. Now this one’s a load. I gotta be honest – I was totally against this Evan J Cartwright record on my first listen (spoiler alert – I ended up putting it as my #5 album of 2022), but “impossibly blue” was the instant standout. Cartwright’s dry, upfront delivery of this heartsick melody fits perfectly with this gurgling instrumental bed of tinny organ, tender acoustic guitar cascades and bird song. The themes of love and time and the ambiguity that surrounds them both persist throughout the record (what exactly IS love? does love have a limit? when does love end? does time ever end? what is the perception of time? how does time feel like it speeds up as we age? remember those clocks that played different birdsongs at the top of each hour? – I can go on) and seem to come to a head here, circling and interconnecting into a lovely web, almost acting as a parachute bringing you back down to earth. One little moment I love in this track is near the end when Cartwright’s whistling transitions into birdsong we had heard earlier in the track, and the throughout the album in general, but it quickly becomes digitally manipulated to repeat and shift in pitch, breaking the illusion of a serene, natural setting, throwing the perceived image of real time into question. Just like all living things on this planet, the universe warps and breathes around us. We flow within it, all together.

This brought me a lot of peace this year, and I feel really lucky to have discovered it for myself.

1. BRAXE + FALCON
“Step By Step (feat. Panda Bear)”


I mean, there was no way this wasn’t going to be my favorite song of the year. Immediately after hearing it for the first time I made that conclusion. It is pure perfection. It channels the best French Touch had to offer back in the 00s, no surprise since it’s coming from two of the genre’s marquee producers (look up Alan Braxe & DJ Falcon stuff – seriously), and engages one of the style’s favorite guest vocalists in Panda Bear (last seen in Paris connection on Daft Punk’s “Doin’ It Right”, plus it’s worth noting that this is PB’s third appearance on this list, the former two being in Animal Collective and his solo work with Sonic Boom. The man is moving!). It toes the line of being a corny aping of a past trend, but it’s done so earnestly and with such sense of groove, it’s so hard to deny it.  I compared it to finding an old VHS tape containing footage of Panda Bear walk wistfully on a beach, singing to the camera and looking wistfully into a framed picture he just happened to be carrying around with him (on the beach). The vibes, as they say, are good.

Not to mention its subject matter. 2022 felt like a “one day at a time” kind of year, with so many different elements of chaos poised to crash into my world at any time and put me in a whirlwind of anxiety, BUT: “I’m gonna take it step by step”. The track came out in the early spring, an obvious launchpad for yearly optimism, so lines like “I can feel the ground beneath me moving, feels like there’s something in the air” indicates that things are progressing – we’re pushing past the stasis of winter and into the blossoms of spring. We can move forward while still being a bit melancholy about the past. Its steady beat begs you to keep moving, no matter how fast or slow. Take it half-time, the song has the patience. There’s also a slightly sped-up version on the EP if you wanna get things moving a bit faster. I love this dang track. Let’s keep moving together.

About Very Warm

Usually cool dude stuff.
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