And here I thought 2022 was not a strong year for music. As I browse through my purchases of the year right now, it turns out: it was. Instead, this impression might primarily testify to the lack of time and leisure for intensive study of new releases, continuations, and comebacks throughout the year. Now, in hindsight and still well hidden in the no man’s land of the new year, I realize that quite a lot was going on in my musical year – and that is not even considering my side interests in genres like Jazz and Metal.

Many of the highlights listed below were in tough competition, and the final list is missing two long-awaited comeback albums (Madrugada: Chimes at Midnight, King’s X: Three Sides of One), which came along very strong but had to give way to the sheer amount of fantastic post-punk releases. Only The Hellacopters, who acted just like they had never left, made it into my top 20, which makes it even worse that I missed the eagerly awaited concert in Berlin due to illness. Also, some big names whose new albums I enjoyed (Arctic Monkeys, Built to Spill, Fontaines D.C., Muse) are left with only a place in the second row, even if, as in the case of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, they came forward twice with new material.

As this list focuses on albums released in 2022, I cannot even mention my greatest discovery here, which was Reuben, the first band of multi-talented Indie-weirdo Jamie Lenman. There was a real scramble in the end for the last places on the list between the many young, often British bands that are currently shaking up all the genres with a “post-” in their name, which explains the fact that even a banger album like “Guitar Music” by Courting can only find mention here. If asked to name only one album, I would – probably after hitting you on the nose – likely settle on “Plosivs” by PLOSIVS, a modern catchy take on punk rock. As for a song that really stood out, I’d go with “The Opposite” by The Smile, a tune that served me well as a testbed for my new audio setup.

Enough said, though. Here we go with the list. Happy discovery!

  • Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard: Backhand Deals
  • Danger Mouse & Black Thought: Cheat Codes
  • Delta Sleep: Spring Island
  • Dry Cleaning: Stumpwork
  • Ellen Arkbro & Johan Graden: I Get Along Without You Very Well
  • Fjørt: Nichts
  • The Hellacopters: Eyes of Oblivion
  • The Hydden: Epic Anesthetic
  • Isoscope: Ten Pieces
  • Kendrick Lamar: Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers
  • Kid Kapichi: Here’s What You Could Have Won
  • Modern Rituals: Cracking of the Bulk
  • Pabst: Crushed by the Weight of the World
  • The Pighounds: Phat Pig Phace
  • PLOSIVS: Plosivs
  • The Smile: A Light for Attracting Attention
  • Savak: Human Error / Human Delight
  • Silverbacks: Archive Material
  • SONS: Sweet Boy
  • Tom Allen & The Strangest: TAATS