Albums You Might Have Missed In 2022
2022 was another great year in music. We all loved records by Alvvays, MJ Lederma, Fontaines DC, Wet Leg, Big Thief and many others. Some records might have slipped through your fingers, including titles by Rosalia, Yeule, Björk, the Black Angels, and The Beths. So many great releases, hopefuly we will more time in 2023 to discover more new music.
MOTOMAMI – Rosalía
A rising star gone supernova, Spanish genre-bending popstar Rosalía locked in a headlining set at next year’s Primavera Sound following the widespread success of her 3 rd full-length album MOTOMAMI. The acclaimed album propelled the singer’s infamy by making her the first Spanish singer to perform solo on SNL (“CHICKEN TERIYAKI”), as well as a viral TikTok hit with fiery reggaeton bop “BIZCOCHITO”.
Fossora – Björk
For longtime fans of experimental Icelandic queen Björk, Fossora will forever be affectionally nicknamed “The Mushroom Album”. Whimsical arrangements present the artist’s 10th release as deceptively accessible, with mycelium references bubbling up via an abundance of digitally manipulated clarinet takes and guest spots from Indonesian dance duo Gabber Modus Operandi. “Ancestress” proves to be a peak moment. The ode to her deceased mother meditates on nature’s role in processing grief over echoing bells, operatic strings and lush vocals.
Sentencia – Ángel De La Guarda
Chilean Coldwave. The award for most enticing genre wordplay might be pinned on this for 2022. Santiago duo Ángel De La Guarda released their debut EP Sentencia over the summer, and for fans of Suicide or Molchat Doma it’s bound to become a cult classic. Opener “Crimen” finds shadowy guitar
melodies and metallic synths paired with lyrics en español lamenting fragmented identities. Another highlight, “Vienen”, could be the soundtrack to a dystopian film for its baritone warnings (translated as “they come”) and echoing adrenaline. We can only hope to hear future releases from this fantasmal pair.
Wilderness of Mirrors – The Black Angels
Austin, Texas psych giants The Black Angels released their sixth studio effort on Partisan records in 2022. Wilderness of Mirrors expands on their socially haunted undercurrents to include environmental motifs, such as on “El Jardin”. With each successive release, the Angels seem to maximize the pendulum swinging through their sound; at once heavier and more menacing like the battle cry of “History of the Future”, yet exponentially tripping out further on the title track. A highlight for all psychedelic devotees, “The River” summons heroes from the afterlife like Roky Erickson and members of The Velvet Underground and the Beatles to ask: “Answer us and tell us what you’ve seen”.
Expert in a Dying Field – The Beths
The title track of New Zealand indie darlings The Beths asks, “How do you know/ It’s over when you can’t let go?” Part confessional, part inquisition on the nature of change, The Beths 3rd album finds songwriter Elizabeth Stokes at once more vulnerable yet wildly tumultuous.
This is a Photograph – Kevin Morby
Morby has cemented his status as the face of post-2010 Americana with his timely magnum opus This is a Photograph. On “Five Easy Pieces” the Kansas City native distorts the mythos that nostalgia should be looked upon fondly: “I was dreaming of the past/Oh, just to make the bad times last.” Elements of vintage soul and gospel haunt the folk artist’s 7th release, which seems fitting as the album was largely inspired by a family member’s near death, as well as a jaunt to Memphis.
PAINLESS – Nilüfer Yanya
London singer-songwriter Nilüfer Yanya brings a subtle power to second solo effort PAINLESS. There’s a delicate balance of nervy guitars, breathy Sade-style vocals and tempo sure to satisfy any 90’s alt cravings.
It’s Almost Dry – Pusha T
Def Jam alum and longtime NYC rap fixture Pusha T sampled legends like John Lennon and even Beyonce on his 4 th solo LP. Not to mention the album’s long list of A list guest spots: Jay-Z, Pharrell, Lil Uzi Vert and Kid Cudi to name a few. It’s clear to see why the former Clipse member has reigned supreme in the industry for nearly 3 decades. Singles “Diet Coke” and “Scrape it Off” showcase the emcee’s insane wordplay and larger than life aura. Also, guessing there’s another Drake dis hidden in there somewhere.
Time Skiffs – Animal Collective
The kaleidoscopic romp of Time Skiffs opens with “Dragon Slayer”, an orange-sunshine soaked gem that finds the band in a space of deep tranquility. Animal Collective are well-known for shapeshifting album to album, but their 11th release finds a new level of dub-driven oceanic harmony for the Baltimore band. The record is vast, open, toying with negative space in a way previously unexplored compared to the BPM sizzle moments on crossover Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Revealer – Madison Cunningham
An opening slot on last year’s Harry Styles tour and subsequent Grammy nomination for Best Folk album propelled this California singer-songwriter’s star to rise. “Hospital” showcases Cunningham’s snappy lyrics and twangy electric soul riffs.
Glitch Princess – yeule
Seldom does a pop record even approach the outer fringes to be described as “risky”. Loaded with synth sirens and hollowed out digital soundscapes, Singapore born Nat Ćmiel acknowledges in Glitch Princess that humans are themselves the dystopian future. “Eyes” is a peak moment, with the cyborg artist asking, “How can I burn out of my own real body?”
Words by Linden Krause
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