For the eighth year running, I’ve kept track of the songs that impacted my year as it happened, building a playlist from January to December and keeping it at 100 songs. If I was obsessed with a certain song that week, I made sure to add it into the playlist. If it was a new discovery that I was enamored with, it went in the playlist. If it was a weird track that got stuck in my head, or something that I was enjoying with my partner a lot, or something that will clearly remind me of that time in my life in the future, I plopped it into the playlist. A scrapbook of memories attached to songs. I’m sure in even two or three years I can flip back through some of these and remember exactly what was happening in my life based on the song. I know that will be the case because I’ve been doing it for this long already, and it works baby! You can check out a list of the past Retrospectives HERE.
This is my final wrap-up post for 2022 lists, so I want to thank all the readers that have kept up with Warm Visions in its 12th year. I broke my view count record again, which is a great sign, especially since I really slacked off in the summer and fall and didn’t do my due diligence with keeping up with new music at that time. I’m going to try and stay consistent and add new layers to the blog for 2023. Fingers crossed. Either way, thanks for reading, and to any musicians that I feature on here that happen to be reading, thanks again for your wonderful art. I’d be nowhere without it.
Check out the playlist of songs that soundtracked my year as it happened below, as well as my listening stats for 2022 as well. Think of this post as my Spotify Wrapped instead of those garish graphics. Gimme the raw numbers, baby! Beyond that is a tiny snapshot of other media I consumed this year (spoiler alert: not a lot) and a little wrap-up on my thoughts for the year + music as a whole. Thanks! Happy New Year!
THE SONGS THAT SOUNDTRACKED MY 2022:
Listen along with my 2022 Retrospective Spotify playlist HERE.
This list is organized chronologically and is not ranked, with songs added from January through to December.
- Frank Harris & Maria Marques – “Canto del Pilon”
Not sure how I came across this track, but it was really early on that I did. In fact it was my first blog post of 2022. Kind of a mysterious art pop / folk track that you could only find on a random 7-inch, ripped and put online somewhere. It’s hypnotizing and makes me thankful that some people use the internet for good – in this case disseminating rare tunes.
- Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Souvenir”
I had never listened to OMD before this year and yeah, they’re great! Architecture and Morality was one of the first albums I checked out this year as part of my 80s project, and it was hard to move on to other records on my list since this one was so good.
- The Sea and Cake – “a Fuller Moon”
Inspired by a simple twitter conversation between Ryley Walker and Helado Negro about which The Sea and Cake song they’d most like to cover, I decided to really do my homework and listen to the seminal Chicago band seriously. Their 2008 album Car Alarm immediately became an obsession, especially its first few tracks of “a Fuller Moon” and “On a Letter”, and now it’s in my top 10 most listened-to albums of 2022. I loved the guitars, I loved the rhythms, I loved the melodies. Something about this track really hooked into me and became a quality companion throughout the early winter.
- Fontaines D.C. – “Jackie Down The Line”
The first new track of 2022 that I was obsessed with. You can read more of my thoughts on it on my Top Songs of 2022 post!
- Fairuz – “Rah Nebqa Sawa”
Fairuz is described as “the soul of Lebanon” – seems like a greatly important cultural figure, right? I had never heard of her (nor had any of the people I’d brought her up to) and I feel like it’s now my duty to spread the music of Fairuz because my god, she’s a great singer! This is off a rather contemporary work in her discography (again, part of my 80s discoveries) and this is just a whole experience to listen to. Great gang vocals, melodies are on point, the instrumentation in the background is a little busy and overwhelming, but overall it’s a wow from me.
- Kraftwerk – “Computer Love”
I had given up on listening to Kraftwerk back in college – I think I started off with the early works and didn’t think it got any more fleshed out than that. Boy, was I wrong. Computer World was one of the best things I heard this year. Every track is a hit and I had such a good time listening to it while walking around doing chores this winter.
- Depeche Mode – “Here Is The House”
Had never listened to Black Celebration before this year and it quickly became inside my Top 3 Depeche Mode records.
- Big Thief – “Spud Infinity”
You gotta admit you likely smiled when you first heard this track. Do not deny it.
- King Crimson – “Matte Kudasai”
Another piece of my 80s exploration – never got into non-Court of the Crimson King King Crimson and phew, I was really missing out on Discipline. Could have chosen any track off here.
- The Sea and Cake – “Inn Keeping”
Another Sea and Cake track for 2022, and not the last. This one was inspired by the label Hausu Mountain, who told me to check this track out after tweeting about my blossoming obsession with the band. Despite its 10+ minute length, it quickly became one of my most listened-to tracks of the year. Its breezy, longform jam at the end is so soothing to listen to – cannot get enough.
- Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Rhapsody”
Had never listened to any non-Juju Siouxsie record before this year – I’m glad I finally made the next step! Peepshow is an awesome record, and “Rhapsody” is a killer closer. What can I say – I’m a final track kind of guy. If the last track on your album is bad, how can I respect you?
- Black Country, New Road – “Basketball Shoes”
Lots of emotions about Black Country, New Road at the start of this year, but it was just so incredible to finally have a recorded version of “Basketball Shoes” in our hands. I could have put any of the tracks from the album in this spot since I was binging it so much, but “Basketball Shoes” just felt like the best choice.
- Dan Deacon – “Sheathed Wings”
A new addition to my running playlist. One thing I don’t like about putting my huge playlist on shuffle is that sometimes I’ll put a track on and won’t get it out in the wild until weeks later. This one came on and it felt like alien energy was coursing through my veins. It was an especially cold day too, so I was geared up with a gaiter, hat, gloves, thick sweatshirt, etc. My nose was running, my eyes were watering, but I was flying. And again, I am not a fit person, so read the use of “flying” as “he was running fast for his size”. I remember having to take off my hat and gaiter at a certain point because I was pushing it. I don’t know how I didn’t put together that Dan Deacon would be great for running sooner. It’ll make you feel like running through seventy brick walls.
- Harald Grosskopf – “Synthesist”
Another 80s discovery. Not sure how this came into my life, but I’m glad it did. Alien instrumental synthesizer music from Germany. This guy was also the drummer for Manuel Göttsching too. Wandering around early-dark NYC in the winter listening to this felt awesome.
- Pet Shop Boys – “King’s Cross”
Had never listened to Pet Shop Boys until this year (this is how dire the 80s project is, for real!) and the whole album of Actually is great, but “King’s Cross” stuck out to me the most.
- Patrice Rushen – “Forget Me Nots”
Another 80s discovery, a well-known disco and dance classic. A hit for a reason!
- caroline – “Good morning (red)”
An overwhelming favorite throughout the year. This record is just gorgeous, and I spent a ton of time with it starting in the winter.
- Floating Points – “Vocoder”
The day this came out I was camping out in my partner’s school’s library because the drilling outside our apartment was so intense I needed to leave. I think I listened to this track six or seven times in a row when it came out, blasting in my headphones in this library study space.
- Monoton – “Jsca”
Another strange 80s discovery I’m not sure how I found. The whole album this is off of isn’t totally like this, but I vibed with this track the most. Reminds me of my favorite era of Sun Araw a bit. Was listening to it a lot around Valentine’s Day, if you want a timestamp for where we are in the year at this point. It had just snowed, too.
- Just Mustard – “Still”
A huge 2022 obsession of mine. Holy crap. Getting to see this track live twice this year was incredible too. Hoping Just Mustard has more skin-rippers like this on their future albums.
- Animal Collective – “For Reverend Green”
I finally got to see Animal Collective live after being a fan since 2009, and they played one of my top favorite songs of theirs. I was standing near a group of college-age guys and they all started going berserk for this song, for good reason. I even took my glasses off so I could head bang (or my shake my head side-to-side wildly) appropriately. Over a decade of build up, released.
- Pep Llopis – “El Vell Rei De La Serp”
A lovely 80s discovery in my quest. I have a huge list of records that I add to from time to time, and most of the really random ones lose their context of why I added them in the first place, or what they even sound like. I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this record, but I was pleasantly surprised. So much so it remained on pretty constant rotation into the spring.
- Jens Lekman – “A Postcard to Nina”
The realization that Jens Lekman and The Avalanches sampled some of the same tracks on Night Falls Over Kortedala and Since I Left You, respectively, got me to go back into a deep dive of Kortedala. I think this was either right before or right after the original versions of the albums got wiped from streaming services too, so it was odd timing.
- Charli XCX – “Constant Repeat”
Wasn’t really into the Charli XCX record, but this song is great.
- Lali Puna – “Come On Home”
There was some meme circulating on twitter of the library on the iPod of someone who’d been in a coma since 2006 and I got some great ideas from albums I’d never heard of before, this Lali Puna album being a big one. I know she’s associated with Dntel, and this fell nicely into that realm.
- Destroyer – “It Takes A Thief”
A non-single track that totally blew my socks off. This Destroyer album was great, y’all.
- Denzel Curry – “Ain’t No Way (feat. 6LACK, Rico Nasty & JID)”
The Denzel Curry album was pretty deeply in rotation in the early 2022.
- Braxe & Falcon – “Step by Step (feat. Panda Bear)”
This was my song of the year, so there’s no doubt that it was going to be in my retrospective.
- Blunt Chunks – “Natural Actors”
Greatly obsessed with this Blunt Chunks record throughout the mid-early 2022. I am going to be talking about her even when everyone else is. Right now it’s just me, it seems.
- Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul – “Blenda”
Of course I loved this track! And the whole album!
- Men I Trust – “Days Go By”
Just know that when you’re reading this little block of ten tracks (#31 – #40), it is peak spring 2022. This is when the weather started getting better. You could wear your lighter-than-winter coat, maybe unzip it a little bit. On one of the few days I took off in 2022, I got a haircut and did a few errands to make sure my following weekend would be a bit more open. I listened to Men I Trust’s Oncle Jazz the whole time (it’s a long album), and it was the perfect companion. Crocuses starting to emerge from the cold ground, day lily shoots beginning to grow, the sun beaming down upon everything with a renewed intensity. Days off absolutely kick ass.
- Maria Chiara Argirò – “Clouds”
This was also an obsession. I think I listened to this track 10 or so times in one day, around 20 in a week? Something like that – it’s incredibly infectious and hypnotizing. Another beautiful springtime track.
- billy woods – “No Hard Feelings”
Like how I wrote in my Top Songs of 2022 post, this album unlocked the rest of the billy woods album, which quickly became one of my most listened-to projects for the year.
- Evan J Cartwright – “impossibly blue”
Another top song of 2022 (my #2, in fact!). So much peace to be had.
- MJ Lenderman – “Toontown”
I think I listened to this MJ Lenderman album for the first time on the warmest day of 2022 to that point. It definitely fit the bill.
- Jack J – “Only You Know Why”
The sounds of my spring 2022. Puts that spring in my step, too!
- Tess Roby – “Up 2 Me”
I’ve talked a bit on the blog about this track already, but phew. It’s great. This especially reminds me of a not-so-great time of when I went to Philly for a conference. The conference itself was great and it was lovely to see and meet so many people, but I was also attempting to recover from a cold when I went down. Turns out that trying to yell over loud music with a mask on doesn’t bode well for your voice, as I completely lost it within 24 hours of being there. At a conference where I have to converse with folks. I ended up getting a train back early. It turned out the conference was a covid super-spreader event too, which totally sucks! I escaped at the time, but others weren’t as lucky. Hopefully for no sickness next year. Shout out to Tess Roby. This reminds me of quintessential spring weather, where things are warming up but not completely, and it rains from time to time.
- The Range – “Urethane”
I’ve loved The Range for a long time, so getting a new album that immediately fell into the rotation of his last two, meaning that it still scratched the same itches, was a beautiful thing.
- Dehd – “Bad Love”
This track got me onto the Dehd bandwagon, which is funny because I haven’t seen that many people talking about this new album like the last one. That’s wack y’all. This track and the rest of the album are great. I binged it a ton when it came out, but I’d also like to shout out a moment I had with the record later in October when my partner and I were in California. We drove out to Salvation Mountain from Joshua Tree, driving next to the Salton Sea and through vast farmland. Something about listening to this album while passing through endless fields of produce, as well as having to drive around MASSIVE, spiked tractors / tillers on the road, will be burned into my memory. Also the fact that we had been up since 5am or so and had spent all day hiking and are now driving in the elongated sunset of southern California.
- TSHA – “Giving Up (feat. Mafro)”
A true obsession for me early on in the year. Can’t beat a good amen break.
- Winged Wheel – “Passive But Jag”
Shout out to Tori for introducing me to Winged Wheel. This track kicks ass and was something I would blast on repeat when walking around + running errands on weekends. Big Deerhunter Weird Era Cont. energy on this one.
- The A’s – “My Poncho Pony”
I listened to a lot of different tunes when I was in Arizona with my partner for a wedding, but nothing will remind me of it more than The A’s album Fruit, which technically had not come out yet, but we had an early copy that we’d listen to over and over in our rental car. From driving to the Grand Canyon, to Sedona and in between Flagstaff and Phoenix, The A’s were present for it all. Why I chose “My Poncho Pony” is because it’s likely the song that my partner sang together the most when we’d be hiking. It effortlessly got stuck in our heads, and was thematically appropriate to sing together when climbing around on big cliffs, rhythmically stomping up giant rocks and such. Big desert energy. To be fair though, we likely sang every song on this record on our own when out on hikes. Shout out to The A’s and the history of traditional tunes for making great hike music.
- Belle and Sebastian – “Funny Little Frog”
Got the chance to see Belle and Sebastian for the first time (at Central Park Summerstage, no less!) so I brushed up on the albums that I hadn’t listened to as much. “Funny Little Frog” is a great track!!
- The Sea and Cake – “The Invitations”
The last The Sea and Cake track to make my 2022 Retrospective, but trust me: that does not signal any loss of candor around The Sea and Cake in the last year. I was still listening to them on the regular. This is just a great track that really hit me on the bus ride home from the Belle and Sebastian show in Central Park. A great bus tune, this is.
- Daphni – “Sizzling”
This is a track that’ll jazz up any running playlist. The first time I got it on shuffle out in the wild I felt like I was feeling new emotions. I was definitely smiling while running, pretty sure I was going down Fifth Ave. at the time, probably confusing early morning shoppers: “why is this large, sweaty, running man smiling?” Because I’m sizzlin’ hot.
- TDJ – “Pushed You Away”
This really helped me relive all the times I had at laser tag birthday parties: hearing the mid-00s electronic blasting, playing DDR afterward, watching Toonami when I got home. Great nostalgia trip and a fantastic track to boot.
- Joan Shelley – “Like The Thunder”
I’d mark this Joan Shelley record as the start of summer. It came out near the end of June, but this is when the heat started cranking up and it really felt like a time of vast expanse.
- MUNA – “What I Want”
On first listen I thought this song was pretty annoying. On the 10th or so listen that same day, I thought it was pretty darn good. Definitely associate this with around the 4th of July weekend.
- Dungen – “Var Har Du Varit?”
Got to taste this Dungen album early and this jungle-inspired fusion of psych rock was mind-blowing at the time. Just pressing on all sorts of different pleasure centers in my brain at once.
- Nu Genea – “Tienaté”
If the Jack J record was my positive groover of the spring, the Nu Genea album was my groover of the summer. Hard not to be happy when running errands or walking to shows in morbid humidity while listening to this record.
- Machine Girl – “Cloud Nine”
I can’t remember the exact circumstances, but I’m pretty sure I had to wake up ridiculously early to go up to Connecticut for something, to see my parents or my partners’ parents. Either way, it was likely the time when we were telling them both that we got engaged about a month prior, and my adrenaline was pumping. Great for driving and expelling that built up nervous energy. Also great for running playlists. Still haven’t played the game this track is from, Neon White. Maybe someday.
- Alex G – “Taking”
Around this time the new Alex G album had just been announced, or maybe the first single had dropped without the announcement. Either way, I was in Alex G mode, and realizing more and more that House of Sugar is probably my favorite album of his.
- Hatchie – “Quicksand”
Started like I was sinking into quicksand around the halfway point of the year. What can ya do?
- Tim Bernardes – “Nascer, Viver, Morrer”
Putting this album on during humid summer nights with low lighting is a magical thing.
- Two Shell – “Dust”
I wrote quite a bit about this Two Shell EP on my Top EPs of 2022 post, but I’ll just mark this point in my year as when if you saw me walking around NYC listening to music, it was likely to this.
- Beyoncé – “BREAK MY SOUL”
It’s the new Beyoncé. If it didn’t affect your year, I’d assume you exist on some higher plane than us.
- The Primitives – “Crash”
Shout out to Joel for this one.
- Chat Pile – “Why”
If you don’t feel anything while listening to this song, I don’t know what to tell you.
- Sophie & Peter Johnston – “Television Satellite”
Not sure who put me onto this record, but it’s just PURE 80s pop. Ultra-euphoric melodies, way-overdubbed harmonies, all of the best drum machine and keyboard effects the studio could pay for.
- Florist – “Red Bird Pt. 2 (Morning)”
Many days spent listening to this Florist album in our apartment, especially after runs on Sunday mornings.
- Tallies – “Catapult”
Need to listen to a new Sundays song? This is the closest we’re going to get. A+ jangle.
- Zapp – “Brand New Player”
Shout out to Joel again!
- Kokoroko – “Home”
Immense peace radiating from this one.
- Can – “Halleluhwah”
This year I listened to an embarrassingly low amount of non-2022 music, as you can tell if you’ve been reading along with this whole list. Can, especially their album Tago Mago, was the major record that I was obsessed over throughout the back half of 2022. This record rocks. Holy crap.
- Fleet Foxes – “Can I Believe You”
Finally seeing Fleet Foxes was a true moment. Could have put Helplessness Blues tracks in this spot, but I really started to appreciate songs off Shore this year.
- X – “The World’s A Mess, It’s In My Kiss”
I had never listened to X’s Los Angeles until this year. I know – I’m a dunce. Wow, jokes on me, this album is in fact super good. This track’s my favorite.
- Thee Sacred Souls – “Once You Know (Then You’ll Know)”
Incredibly lush and beautiful track. I was also in a restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI the day after this album came out and they were playing the whole thing in its entirety. Thought that was a fun coincidence.
- Divino Niño – “XO”
I didn’t watch many music videos this year, but this has an awesome music video.
- The Go-Go’s – “How Much More”
Another 80s discovery. Yes, I had never listened to The Go-Go’s Beauty and the Beat until this year and wow, it’s really really good. Crazy to see where the roots for so many contemporary jangle + garage + pop rock groups come from. This is probably my favorite song from the LP, but there are very close to no bad songs on it. A classic for a reason.
- Evanescence – “Going Under”
Y’all, I’m not sure exactly what brought me back to Evanescence’s Fallen, aka my favorite album from 5th grade to 8th grade (it was probably the Crazy Ass Moments in Nu Metal History account), but I can guarantee that the album’s opener “Going Under” goes so damn hard and I legitimately love this song right now. The whole album doesn’t vibe as much with me right now, but this song. Amazing. Lots of rekindled memories of pairing songs from this and imaginary clips from Teen Titans and Avatar: The Last Airbender in my head.
- Badge Époque Ensemble – “Clouds of Joy”
So much stank face on the guitar solo that takes up almost the entirety of the track’s second half. Also for some reason a lot of time spent folding clothes to this song. Good clothes folding music.
- Claude – “roses”
I think I listened to Claude’s a lot’s gonna change three times in a row when I found it. “roses” was immediately the stand out – such a strangely unnerving but lovely melody.
- Voivod – “Ravenous Medicine”
Another 80s discovery. This album kicks so much ass. I was listening to this in headphones at work ready to flip my desk over.
- The Jesus and Mary Chain – “April Skies”
A perfect early fall album for walkin’ around the city in the quickly darkening skies. One of my favorite records I spent extended time with this year.
- George FitzGerald – “Cosmonaut Alley”
LOVE this dang George FitzGerald record! I had a moment when I heard this song for the first time. For some reason I was getting mad “groove stank face”. It’s got a great groove!
- Deftones – “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”
Uhh ok sooo I had never listened to Deftones before this year. Shout out to the twitter account “Crazy Ass Moments in Nu-Metal History”, an account I do not follow, but one that the site really tried to get me to care about for a bit there before I organized my timeline by latest tweets.
- Pharoah Sanders Quartet – “Welcome”
RIP PHAROAH SANDERS – THANK YOU. LOVE IS EVERYWHERE.
- Vieux Farka Touré & Khruangbin – “Tongo Barra”
Had a dance party on my own the first time I heard this. Also drove around in Joshua Tree listening to it and yep, it fit.
- Alex G – “No Bitterness”
This track got me thinking about how both children and the elderly do not operate with irony. It does not exist for them. What a blessed life. No bitterness.
- Roni Size & Reprasent – “Heroes (Kruder Long Loose Bossa)”
I went to California for the first time in early October and listened to the entire Kruder & Dorfmeister K&D Sessions on most of the flight. I hadn’t heard of it until a few days before my trip, when I was looking at legendary NYC record store Other Music (RIP)’s “Most Sold” list, which this was on. Definitely from another time, but cool that so many people were down with this that it stayed on their most-sold chart until they closed in the 2010s.
- Feist – “Sealion”
Much like how The A’s “My Poncho Pony” soundtracked my Arizona trip because my partner would frequently sing it, Feist’s “Sealion” (or at least the chorus) was the soundtrack to my San Diego trip in early October. This is because we saw sea lions in La Jolla. I wasn’t familiar with the song, but it got me to listen to The Reminder for the first time since probably high school. It rocks!
- Jessie Ware – “Hot N Heavy”
So happy to have snagged a ticket to one of the Jessie Ware NYC shows – if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t have realized she’d released a bunch of singles after her 2020 album, “Hot N Heavy” being one of them. A huge live highlight, and an instant add to my running playlist.
- Shygirl – “Heaven”
Just love this Shygirl track. A heavy repeater for early-mid October.
- Stevie Wonder – “Rocket Love”
This was one of those moments when I remembered that the chorus of “Rocket Love” has one of the most devastating melodies in recorded pop music. “You took me riding in your rocket, you gave me a star, but at a half a mile from heaven you dropped me back down to this cold, cold world” – it’s crushing lyrically and melodically. Trust me. It brings you up and then takes you down. Stevie is a genius. We know this.
- Indigo Sparke – “Hysteria”
Love love love this Indigo Sparke record – had a lot of lovely moments in the mornings listening to this record, especially on one train ride to my parents house in CT. It really works in trains.
- Shuggie Otis – “Don’t You Run Away”
Made gumbo for the first time (specifically Gumbo Z’Herbes from the Mississippi Vegan cookbook) and listened to the Shuggie Otis combo album Inspiration Information / Wings of Love the whole time. I was feeling funky as hell that night. And that gumbo was damn good.
- Grouper – “Labyrinth”
On my 30th birthday, I got covid for the first time. Doubly unfortunately for me, my first few days of the virus were pretty brutal. 12-hour fevers and massive aches scored the first day of my thirties. I also had to isolate from my partner, so I was just alone + groaning. My fever was so bad that I had Grouper’s Ruins, one of my all-time favorite albums + gentle sleep aids, at the lowest volume my phone could play and it made me feel like my brain was hot. I was so sick I couldn’t listen to music.
- Palm – “Feathers”
Recovering enough from covid to emerge into the outside world for the first time in a week, I listened to the new Palm album while delivering our compost to the farmer’s market. Feeling vaguely inhuman after isolation, sickness and trying to re-assimilate into the world was maybe the best case scenario for listening to Nicks & Grazes for the first time.
- Beth Orton – “Central Reservation”
I’m not super familiar with Beth Orton aside from her newest album, but this song of hers instantly stopped me in my tracks when I heard it live, despite me never hearing it before. Amazing!!
- Kornél Kovács – “Follow You (feat. Aluna)”
Bouncy, rubbery, tactile electronic textures, a great beat and an A+ vocal performance from Aluna. The refrain “and I’ll pull you up” in the latter half of the track locks into my brain each time. A great running playlist inclusion!
- Daniel Avery – “Devotion”
I had the privilege to sit with this Daniel Avery album for most of the year, but once it came out I was going all in on my two favorite tracks, “Wall of Sleep” and “Devotion”. Lots of days blasting this track off my speaker. Also – listening to it on iTunes vs Spotify really showed me how bad things on Spotify sound. Sorry for using that for my playlists all the time!
- Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt – “Both Blue Moons”
I was enjoying the newest Lucrecia Dalt record for the last quarter of the year so I decided to check out her collaboration with Aaron Dilloway from 2021. A pretty stellar and bizarre record, but this track was instantly appealing. To me this sounds like how a doctor’s office smells.
- Alvvays – “Pomeranian Spinster”
Just a really fun song off the Alvvays album. Can’t complain about that.
- Suburban Lawns – “Jam the Controls”
Why listen to any other song except this one? Listening to it while driving will make you feel like you’re driving a lot faster than you really are.
- Angel Olsen – “Chasing the Sun”
I had been loving this new Angel Olsen record all year, but after reading the newest installment of Octopus Pie (aka my favorite webcomic), it immediately reminded me of Big Time‘s amazing closer “Chasing The Sun”. Even just writing about it now and thinking about this most recent chapter update of these fictional characters I love so dearly, matched with this emotional closer, has me in my feelings. Listen to Angel Olsen. Read Octopus Pie. It is so, so, so worth it.
- Malibu – “So Far Out Of Love”
If you don’t get to experience the fading skies of early winter with a Malibu release, are you really living fully?
- Yukihiro Takahashi – “Good Time”
Shout out to the Blood Incantation “What’s In My Bag” video for Amoeba. Lots of great new finds from that, especially this Yukihiro Takahashi album. For some reason I had never explored Takahashi’s solo stuff, despite loving everything I’ve heard from Yellow Magic Orchestra and its two other members, Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto. The whole album is good, but “Good Time” immediately struck me with its synth tone and textures.
- Daniel Bachman – “540 Supercell”
I have loved Daniel Bachman for a long time now, but this new album is something special. On my first listen there were multiple moments where I had to stop what I was doing and just marvel. Goosebumps-inducing stuff.
- Shirley Hurt – “Empty Hands”
This Shirley Hurt record snuck up on me big time. On my first two listens I thought it was pleasant enough, but then a few days before the end of the year I found this chorus was mercilessly stuck in my head. A killer track, and the song after “Pendulum” is amazing too!
- Old Saw – “Dead Creek Drawl”
Listening to this on a drab, cold day, driving around in the woods of Connecticut was the perfect balm for the post-holiday blues. My partner and I went on a walk at a state park, and then drove back to my parents house during a perfect early winter sunset. Cutting through bare trees, a quilted constellation of pink clouds, tucking into the skyline.
As always, here are my listening stats for 2022 according to my last.fm, something I use with alarming diligence. Think of the section below as my Spotify Wrapped. I didn’t listen to as much music as I did in 2021 (one less track per day on average) and seemed to only listen to brand new music, but I can mark 2022 with some new obsessions, progress in my 80s project, and a whole lot more Yo La Tengo (they joined my 2,000 play club, too!). Check out my totally nerdy stats list below.
TOTAL STATS FOR 2022:
- 26,628 total plays / 73 plays per day
- 1,625 different artists
- 2,425 different albums
- 11,634 different tracks
MOST LISTENED-TO ARTISTS OF 2022:
The Sea and Cake absolutely dominated my year, putting up numbers that haven’t been seen since 2017. Other than that, the only non-2022 artists coming into the fold were Can (which I was truly obsessed with after rediscovering Tago Mago), Fleet Foxes (which was inspired by my partner and I seeing them live for the first time, as well as a lot of Arizona + San Diego driving listening), You’ll Never Get To Heaven (who put out an amazing album at the tail end of 2021) and of course Grouper, who surged into the Top 20 when I got covid. I also would like to point out that I listened to Alex G’s 2019 LP House of Sugar more this year than the album he put out in September. It’s a great record.
- The Sea and Cake – 534 plays
- Big Thief – 477 plays
–> (prev. #7 in 2019 w/ 271 plays)
- Yo La Tengo – 324 plays
–> (prev. #1 in 2021, #17 in 2020, #2 in 2018 & #14 in 2017)
- Alex G – 303 plays
–> (prev. #5 in 2019 w/ 300 plays)
- billy woods – 291 plays
- Florist – 260 plays
- caroline – 253 plays
- Evan J Cartwright – 217 plays
- Alvvays – 196 plays
–> (prev. #10 in 2017 w/ 359 plays)
- Nilüfer Yanya – 178 plays
- Nu Genea – 177 plays
- Can – 172 plays
- Fleet Foxes – 172 plays
- The Range – 170 plays
–> (prev. #5 in 2016 w/ 522 plays)
- You’ll Never Get To Heaven – 169 plays
- Two Shell – 166 plays
- Grouper – 165 plays
–> (prev. #15 in 2021, #6 in 2019, #4 in 2018, #3 in 2017 & #6 in 2016)
- Destroyer – 163 plays
–> (prev. #7 in 2020 w/ 193 plays)
- Lucrecia Dalt – 163 plays
- Horsegirl – 161 plays
MOST LISTENED-TO ALBUMS OF 2022:
Last year I only had four non-2021 records in my Top 20. This year I only had three non-2022. I said I needed to do better, but clearly I just listen to new music and that’s it. Pretty depressing.
- Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You – 403 plays
- billy woods – Aethiopes – 261 plays
- caroline – caroline – 253 plays
- Florist – Florist – 253 plays
- Evan J Cartwright – bit by bit– 216 plays
- The Sea and Cake – Car Alarm – 181 plays
- Nilüfer Yanya – PAINLESS – 178 plays
- You’ll Never Get To Heaven – Wave Your Moonlight Hat for the Snowfall Train – 169 plays
- Nu Genea – Bar Mediterraneo – 162 plays
- Two Shell – Icons EP – 162 plays
- Horsegirl – Versions of Modern Performance – 161 plays
- Tess Roby – Ideas of Space – 152 plays
- Lucrecia Dalt – ¡Ay! – 150 plays
- The Range – Mercury – 149 plays
- Dehd – Blue Skies – 148 plays
- Alvvays – Blue Rev – 142 plays
- Angel Olsen – Big Time – 140 plays
- Daniel Avery – Ultra Truth – 133 plays
- Men I Trust – Oncle Jazz – 131 plays
- Black Country, New Road – Ants From Up There – 124 plays
MOST LISTENED-TO SONGS OF 2022:
* only one song per album
Two The Sea and Cake tracks in this list because I listened to an absurd amount of TSaC this year. They’re from different albums.
- Two Shell – “Dust” – 58 plays
- Evan J Cartwright – “impossibly blue” – 43 plays
- billy woods – “No Hard Feelings” – 41 plays
- Braxe + Falcon – “Step by Step (feat. Panda Bear)” – 36 plays –> my fav track of 2022
- Maria Chiara Argirò – “Clouds” – 36 plays
- The Range – “Urethane” – 36 plays
- Tess Roby – “Up 2 Me” – 35 plays
- Big Thief – “Spud Infinity” – 34 plays
- caroline – “Good morning (red)” – 33 plays
- Nilüfer Yanya – “the dealer” – 33 plays
- Daniel Avery – “Devotion” – 32 plays
- You’ll Never Get To Heaven – “Eye, Soul and Hand” – 29 plays
- The Sea and Cake – “On a Letter” – 27 plays
- Charli XCX – “Constant Repeat” – 26 plays
- The Sea and Cake – “Inn Keeping” – 26 plays –> my fav non-2022 track of 2022
- Blunt Chunks – “Natural Actors” – 25 plays
- Just Mustard – “Still” – 25 plays
- Palm – “Feathers” – 25 plays
- Nu Genea – “Straniero” – 24 plays
- Alvvays – “Pressed” – 23 plays
It was a winter of Big Thief, a spring of billy woods and Evan J Cartwright, a summer of Alex G and Florist, and a fall of Sudan Archives, Grouper, Daniel Avery and of course Yo La Tengo. Oh and a full year of The Sea and Cake. I’m not sure how clear I can be in this entire post about that.
- January – 2,143 plays
–> Top Artist of January: The Sea and Cake
- February – 2,064 plays
–> Top Artist of February: Big Thief
- March – 2,100 plays
–> Top Artist of March: Big Thief
- April – 2,341 plays
–> Top Artist of April: billy woods
- May – 1,804 plays
–> Top Artist of May: Evan J Cartwright
- June – 2,329 plays
–> Top Artist of June: Alex G
- July – 2,240 plays
–> Top Artist of July: Alex G
- August – 2,339 plays
–> Top Artist of August: Florist
- September – 2,156 plays
–> Top Artist of September: Sudan Archives
- October – 2,243 plays
–> Top Artist of October: Grouper
- November – 2,528 plays
–> Top Artist of November: Daniel Avery
- December – 2,415 plays
–> Top Artist of December: Yo La Tengo
MORE MEDIA CONSUMED IN 2022:
I didn’t really dive into much of anything else aside from music and mindlessly watching the same YouTube videos I’ve been watching for the last six years. I made resolutions at the top of 2022 to 1. Read 10 different books (I only read three) and 2. Finish a new video game (I just played Roller Coaster Tycoon and The Binding of Isaac for the most part. I started Hollow Knight, but didn’t go back to it after March or so). Clearly that wasn’t the plan. I also started off 2022 watching movies nearly every night, which wasn’t sustainable. But I did finally watch Mulholland Drive, as well as Taste of Cherry and The Vertical Ray of the Sun in that time. Good stuff. But here’s the small slice of further media:
- Atonement – Ian McEwan
- Crisis Zone – Simon Hanselmann
- Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe (inspired by listening to Aethiopes – thanks woods)
- American Movie – Chris Smith
- A Mighty Wind – Christopher Guest
- Bend It Like Beckham – Gurinder Chadha
- Everything Everywhere All at Once – Daniels
- Miami Connection – Y.K. Kim & Richard Park Wu-Sang (re-watch)
- Monsoon Wedding – Mira Nair
- Mulholland Drive – David Lynch –> unsurprisingly my favorite thing I watched this year
- Suspiria – Dario Argento
- Taste of Cherry – Abbas Kiarostami –> second favorite
- Top Gun: Maverick – Joseph Kosinski
- The Vertical Ray of the Sun – Tran Anh Hung
- The Worst Person in the World – Joachim Trier
FURTHER THOUGHTS ON 2022 / DIARY SECTION:
2022 is a year that will always be marked with some incredible emotions and landmarks, the most obvious of which being that my partner and I got engaged, along with traveling the most we’ve ever done together, attending five weddings across the US (Arizona, San Diego, Maryland, plus two in Connecticut) and seeing so many different groups of friends along the way. I ran a half marathon on my own near the end of the year (previously the longest I had ran was a little over nine miles). I went to so many concerts, almost to the level of pre-pandemic, and crossed so many artists that I had been wanting to see for a decade off my list. And of course, so much good food (despite Superiority Burger continuing to be not open yet). On the flipside, I had a close family member pass in the late summer, and other deaths really grind me down. To me though 2022 continued on a trend that seemed to start at the midway point of 2021, which is extended periods of elevated personal stress and anxiety. I’m not sure what exactly was the root of this aside from, well, the world at large, but it stinks to look back on a year with such emotional highs and for me, to think about how knotted up I had been for a lot of the year.
Looking at my Retrospective playlist and thinking back on how my emotions rolled through the year, I’d say the first few months were fairly positive, as it usually goes, as a nice vacation allows you to recalibrate your priorities and gives you a renewed focus on changing habits or bettering yourself in some way. I was definitely more motivated to cruise through my 80s discovery project (aided by the fact that 2022 was pretty quiet early on with new releases). I was watching movies, reading books, running frequently, all good stuff. Eventually though I backslid into routines of immediately getting on my home computer after work, doing mindless garbage until midnight and then going to bed. The same things over and over. It’s so hard to break that routine. Even later in the year, it was hard for me to break myself away from my computer, even though I wasn’t doing anything remotely useful like writing blog posts for instance. Getting sick for the first time in two years helped me turn more sedentary, and getting sick two more times (one of which being covid for the first time!) put the nails in my coffin.
Also, look, if you know me, I’m all about familiar comforts. One major one is my mp3 music library. In February I decided to give Apple Music a shot, which was difficult to parse to begin with, but the kicker there was that it converted my entire library of mp3s into m4as, making it so if I didn’t have internet, I couldn’t stream my own library at my leisure. No one messes with my mp3s, ok? I’m not making my own library on loan to myself.
After about two months of trying, I quit Apple Music and rebuilt my library (I had to completely delete all the music off my computer + drag & drop a library from a recent backup) and returned to using Spotify for my previewing / running playlist / work computer streaming. My longtime computer was also showing massive signs of deterioration after nearly 10 years of heavy usage, and eventually did spin its last tune in October of this year. Since then it’s been replaced by a new machine and wow – Music/iTunes on new macs is brutally bad. I’m thinking 2023 will potentially see me finally abandon Music/iTunes for good, something that I’ve been working with since at least 2005 or 2006. It’s just terrible. I don’t like it, but again, familiar comforts. I don’t have many in this world (actually I think I do) but an interface of a music streaming program that I can actually navigate? A big one, apparently.
Looking forward, especially after all this hand-wringing (shout out to you for reading this far, and please don’t be mad at me for being so self-pitying), I’m going to craft into fruition healthier habits for 2023: physically, mentally and emotionally. I have some ideas for posts that I’d love to craft in the coming weeks, so hopefully look out for those. It’s easy for me to dwell on negatives and shortcomings, but once I’ve drifted away from 2022 so I can see it from afar, it will be a year that was filled with friends, family, overwhelming love, and the start of many new, positive things. Not to sound too cheesy, but y’know, this is a long, sappy, navel-gazing post. Happy New Year, hope you have a wonderful 2023.