our favorite albums + songs from the first half of 2022
Presenting our favorite albums, songs, and EPs from the first half of 2022. Click the links to buy from bandcamp + stay up on our complete and ever-evolving best songs of 2022 playlist HERE...
20 HORSEGIRL | Versions of Modern Performance
19 YASUAKI SHIMIZU | Kiren
18 HTRK | Death is a Dream
17 JAMAL MOSS | Thanks 4 the Tracks U Lost
16 ETHEL CAIN | Preacher’s Daughter
15 CHARLI XCX | CRASH
14 OMAR-S | Can’t Change
13 ALDOUS HARDING | Warm Chris
12 JANE INC | Faster Than I Can Take
11 EARL SWEATSHIRT | SICK!
10 WIDOWSPEAK | The Jacket
09 HIKARU UTADA | Bad Mode
08 NILÜFER YANYA | PAINLESS
07 070 SHAKE | You Can’t Kill Me
06 BURIAL | ANTIDAWN
05 AXEL BOMAN | Luz / Quest for Fire
Two glorious albums of playful and dreamy house + techno from Swedish luminary Axel Boman. The vibe is loose and a bit unhinged at times which can be a lot to take in (start with the cosmic swirl of "Sottopassaggio" if you need an easy access point), but spend some time with these records and watch them magically cohere into your transportive summer jam.
04 BEACH HOUSE | Once Twice Melody
Nearly two decades and 8 albums into an illustrious and absurdly consistent run as one of this century’s most influential bands, I guess it’s easy to take Beach House for granted at this point (7.8? please). But the duo’s sprawling, self-produced double LP Once Twice Melody, presented in 4 chapters, is a dazzling display of everything we’ve always loved about the band, and it feels like a triumphant, career-spanning alchemy of all of their greatest hits.
03 MJ LENDERMAN | Boat Songs
On the eminently relatable-to-me Boat Songs, Ashville, North Carolina's MJ Lenderman sings about Jackass, various sports legends (Jordan, Brady, and Marino all get shouts here), and the fucking log ride and the spinning swings at Six Flags Over Texas, all the while managing to make things feel warm, alternately poignant and funny, and deeply affecting. Like our other current guitar heroes Enumclaw, Lenderman has a gift for making easy, seemingly tossed-off jams feel like heart-on-sleeve anthems that you’ve known forever.
02 SAM GENDEL + ANTONIA CYTRYNOWICZ | LIVE A LITTLE
“We’re actually making an album!”, beams 11-year-old Antonia Cytrynowicz near the end of LIVE A LITTLE, sounding psyched and rightly proud — if a bit incredulous, with just a touch of tween defense mechanism sarcasm that I instantly recognize as the father of an 11-year-old girl — at the magic she and her accomplished collaborator Sam Gendel have just conjured. She proceeds to work out the song’s lyrics, melody, and tempo on the spot like a pro with Gendel, just as the duo did on the rest of the album, all fully improvised “one late summer afternoon in Gendel’s Los Angeles home.” The resulting collection of jazzy avant-pop songs is sweet and playful, heartfelt and real, an often haunting and always entrancing document that feels utterly unique and fleeting. Think somewhere between Tirzah’s Devotion and Chandra’s 1980 classic Transportation, two records that I love dearly, and you’re on the right track.
01 BILLY WOODS | aethiopes
woods has been on a brilliant and frankly unprecedented run for a long time now, and with producer/collaborator Preservation providing an immense psychedelic backdrop here, he’s reached a dizzying peak on atheiopes. This is an impossibly dense and compelling labyrinth of a record, with woods' next-level lyricism and Preservation's haunting production gelling to jaw-dropping effect. “Cinematic” is the word that comes to mind, but that would be an understatement; granted, I’m still not trying to go to the movies during a lingering pandemic, but this one's a more vivid and thrillingly immersive trip than any film I’ve experienced this year.
25 NILÜFER YANYA | L/R
24 MORABEZA TOBACCO | Temperature
23 CHARLI XCX | Lightning
22 JACK J | I Saw Fire
21 SOCCER MOMMY | Shotgun
20 WIDOWSPEAK | Everything is Simple
19 MALLRAT + AZEALIA BANKS | Surprise Me
18 YEULE | Too Dead Inside
17 TIRZAH | Ribs
16 TOPS | Perfected Steps
15 SABA | Come My Way
14 TOMBERLIN | tap
13 FONTAINES D.C. | Jackie Down the Line
12 KENDRICK LAMAR | Mother I Sober (feat. Beth Gibbons)
11 YEAH YEAH YEAHS | Spitting Off the Edge of the World
10 HIKARU UTADA | Somewhere Near Marseilles (マルセイユ辺り)
09 070 SHAKE | History
08 MARCI | Immaterial Girl
07 MJ LENDERMAN | Tastes Just Like It Costs
06 HELENA DELAND | Swimmer
05 TWO SHELL | Home
04 BOYHOOD | Stroke It
03 BILLY WOODS | Remorseless
02 CAROLINE POLACHEK | Billions
01 BRAXE & FALCON | Step by Step (feat. Panda Bear)