Top Ten Albums of 2022

Time for the big one; the best albums of the year. Reflecting honestly on the biggest releases of the past twelve months, I can’t help but feel that 2022 was an off year for albums. More so than any year in the blog’s history, it felt like there was an abundance of albums that either missed the mark or just flat out failed to spark excitement. They’re not what we’re for however, and if anything they merely helped make the most brilliant records of the year seem to shine all the brighter. Here are the albums that broke the mould, that met and exceeded expectations, and provided the standout musical delights of the past year.

10. Cydemind – The Descent

A solid sophomore outing for this Canadian instrumental prog outfit. Elegant, intricate, expressive, ambitious, and delivered with real cinematic flair, their superb violin driven compositions are a class all their own. (Review)

9. Wild Pink – ILYSM

A record that saw the band admirably walk that tightrope line of growing and experimenting sonically, while still maintaining their unique character and identity. Warm Americana with plenty of surprising and affecting tangents along the way. (Review)

8. Soccer Mommy – Sometimes, Forever

Sophie Allison really honed her songwriting on this record. The raw affecting folk and melodic dream pop of her past couple of records are back and better than ever, with some intriguing dabbling with dark electronics mixed in. (Review)

7. Porcupine Tree – Closure/Continuation

A stunning return after a 12 year hiatus. The visionary Steven Wilson, Gavin Harrison’s transcendent drum work, and Richard Barbieri’s peerless soundscapes are an incomparable combination; what a joy to experience it again. (Review)

6. Pinegrove – 11:11

Its socially conscious lyricism perfectly captured the zeitgeist heading into 2022. Lush pastoral Americana, upbeat rockers and airy emo tinged indie providing the perfect vehicle for their prescient messaging. (Review)

5. Maggie Rogers – Surrender

A raw, passionate, and uncompromising whirlwind of electrifying electropop. At its best Surrender manages to capture the exhilarating reckless abandon and feral joy of Maggie’s magnificent live performances. (Review)

4. 49 Burning Condors – Seventh Hymnal

This dazzling debut is a masterclass in atmospheric storytelling. The ominous and cinematic gothic witch-rock sound evokes both the spirit of the deep south, and the unease of something ancient and primal, in equal measure. (Review)

3. Oceans of Slumber – Starlight and Ash

Haunting gloom, soulful vocals, blistering riffs and a mystifying sense of rising tension. In shifting focus from their doom metal roots to a southern gothic sound, the band truly made something uniquely bewitching. (Review)

2. Black Country, New Road – Ants From Up There

Packed with stunning slow-burners, triumphant arrangements full of life, and with every grandiose climax feeling worth the wait, this record is just pure lightning in a bottle. (Review)

1. The Family Crest – The War: Act II

Inspired and exquisitely executed. A treasure trove of vibrant orchestral indie rock; you never know where their grand theatrical ambitions will lead you next, but rest safe in the knowledge that it’s unfailingly glorious! (Review)