This year was a great year for music, so here are my top five favorite albums of
“My Other People” – TV Priest
The London-based group follows up their 2021 debut, “Uppers,” with an arguably even better and more consistent album that touches on normal life and its personal struggles. The arrangements blend together perfectly with Charlie Drinkwater’s guttural yells throughout each track, and the record never feels disjointed because of song placement, which was my only complaint about the first record.
“Skinty Fia” – Fontaines D.C.
Speaking of post-punk bands, here’s another one that shocked me, and I can’t believe I hadn’t listened to this band sooner. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, this five-piece juggernaut unloads dark and moody rhythms underneath Grian Chatten’s voice, giving the album a hazy, almost shoegaze feel, while still retaining a hard bite to go along with it.
“Pre Pleasure” – Julia Jacklin
Coming into the year, I was already sort of a fan of Julia Jacklin because of the hit single “Don’t Know How to Keep Loving You,” from her 2019 entry, “Crushing,” but I was surprised by the direction in which she took this album. She swung for the fences on her production style and hit a home run, creating an album that I could give endless relistens.
The songs, even slower ones, never feel tired or out of place, and I feel this is due to the excellent song placement throughout the album. The emotional and groovy “Lydia Wears A Cross” sets the tone for the album before slowing down with “Too In Love To Die” and then picking back up at the end with “Be Careful With Yourself.” Overall, this is an incredible indie rock record, and I am excited to see if she can top it in the future.
“This Is A Photograph” – Kevin Morby
If you know me personally, then you know that I could not shut up about this album this year. After 2020’s “Oh My God,” which was influenced mainly by gospel and other religious music, the Kansas native returns to making hazy folk music while incorporating many influences from around the world, not to mention the heavy jazz undertones on this record.
The album opens with an intro that fades into the titular song, an anthem for looking back fondly on the past and enjoying memories through a photograph, before delving into many personal subjects like love and relationships, addiction and even the death of native Tennessee musician, Jeff Buckley. The album was recorded in Nashville, a new location for the always traveling Morby.
“11:11” – Pinegrove
This was for sure my favorite album of the year and it’s almost a little difficult to explain why. I think that some albums just come along and feel so comfortable, like a warm blanket on a bad day, and this is one of those albums for me. Each track leads into the next with flawless precision and keeps that same comfy energy throughout the album without any of the songs sounding the same, an incredibly difficult thing to do.
The New York-based ensemble continues to follow the heavy influences of Midwest alternative, country and folk music that presided heavily over their last two albums especially, and still somehow creates a whole new sound that is much different than any sound they’ve played with before. This might be my favorite album from them, not because it’s more musically complex or written better than their previous albums, but because it feels so comfy and reassuring after a hard day or week.
In the end, this was an incredible year for music, and I can’t wait for 2023 with releases already confirmed for Pile, Paramore and many others coming soon.
“The Overload” – Yard Act
“Florist” – Florist
“Melt My Eyez See Your Future” – Denzel Curry
“Malign Hex” – Meat Wave
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