Every year, we ask artists what their favorite albums of the year were, and every year I always look forward to reading Western Addiction vocalist Jason Hall's list. He has wide-ranging taste, always picks a great mix of widely-loved albums and albums you might've missed, and always accompanies his picks with entertaining commentary. His 2022 list ranges from indie pop to black metal to country to punk and more. Here it is:
JASON HALL'S FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2022
This is what I found myself listening to again and again. I have a tie for first place…
#1 Wet Leg – Wet Leg
“Chaise Longue” is the kind of song that will take you around this Earth. I knew on first listen, the day the single came out. This band is weird and cool, and that’s what I like. Have you ever seen old videos of the B52’s playing “Rock Lobster”? It felt asymmetric and attractive at the same time. There are great melodies and singing, dynamics, coy lyrics, good production, it felt modern and intelligent. An incredible debut and they seem like nice people enjoying themselves. They deserve everything. Please keep going.
#1 Orville Peck – Bronco
In a normal world, based on talent and quality, this would have been the biggest thing on the planet. Great songs, incredible image and I could sense he was a punk playing country. His singing range is simply insane. I could use a few more up-tempo songs but I’m not complaining. Note to bands: people want to hear up-tempo songs. It’s human nature.
The rest are in alphabetical order…
Alvvays – Blue Rev
The singer is a really good songwriter. She understands structure and vocal melody. The record is a smidge “noisy,” but I don’t mind. Great indie-pop.
Beach House – Once Twice Melody
These feel more like songs and less like atmospherics this time. “Runaway” is perfect.
Carla dal Forno – Come Around
The record is very pleasant and the cover art is calming. She has a beautiful voice. Here’s a description from All Music – “Australian singer/multi-instrumentalist who writes sparse, haunting tunes…”
Daeva – Through Sheer Will and Black Magic…
This is the best metal record of the year. Great riffs, great singing, efficient structures, perfect black thrash. I listen to metal more than any other genre. The best metal show on Earth is Seek & Destroy on KEXP.
Liquids – Life is Pain Idiot
It’s really hard to find good punk records. I don’t mean that as a slight, I just think there aren’t that many punk records in general. It’s not like metal where there is SO much. This one, which came out in 2021 but I missed it until this year, reminds me of Zero-Boys. Simple and catchy.
Night Shop – Forever Night
Mellow indie rock. Very good songs.
Pixies – Doggerel
This band never stops making good music. They have a sound truly their own. And…they never stop. They are touring right now. This is what a professional, elegant band looks like. They act their age in the best way possible. Nothing is embarrassing. It’s all pure beauty. They do whatever they want, and it works. In fact, they chose NOT to put the best song (“Human Crime”) on the full length, yet released it as the first single, because they can.
Plains – I Walked With You a Ways
This is the singer of Waxahatchee, who is a good songwriter, and Jess Wiliamson. It’s country-tinged and very pleasing.
Angel Olsen – Big Time
This was a grower. An improvement from the previous record. She re-recorded one of the singles with Sturgill Simpson.
Automatic – Excess
Cool, sparse, post-punk style but feels modern.
Beach Bunny – Emotional Creature
These lyrics aren’t for me but this is well-crafted indie-pop so I must mention.
Black Anvil – Regenesis
My old friend Paul is the singer and I admire his persistence. He’s a goer, people like him and he deserves the attention the band is getting.
Camera Obscura – Making Money
Rarities collection, I can’t wait for their next record.
Cate Le Bon – Pompeii
Also a grower. She is SO cool and interesting. It sounds like Television but also original and totally weird.
Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
This is a reissue, remix, etc. I’m hearing all kinds of new sounds. So cool. Please someone do this to Husker Du.
Human Corpse Abuse – Xenoviscerum
This record is crazy! The art, is crazy! It’s death, it’s black, it’s a panic attack, the vocals are like a drop-tuned puma and a cocaine witch. It’s got a little bit of that thing where the snare sounds like someone hitting a coconut with a golf club, but I’m somehow ok with it, on this release only. It usually drives me insane.
Kids on a Crime Spree – Fall in Love Not in Line
Nice indie pop. Slumberland puts out some good records.
Knoll – Metempiric
I read about this band in Decibel and they had such a great attitude and drive. I love seeing young bands making their own way. The music is chaotic and tough.
Moral Panic – Validation
The singer, Daniel, is an old friend and plays guitar for Western Addiction on small tours. It feels very NYC, very Johnny Thunders. It’s a good punk record.
Niis – Must Be…
This is tough.
Nine of Swords – Beyond the Swords
This is also tough.
Skinny Dyck – Palace Waiting
I like authentic country music. This is very nice.
Skullcrack – Addicted to the Underground
This reminds me of Tear It Up but more metal vs. punk. The guitarist is a straight up shredder. The bass player runs around like a maniac and I’m pretty sure I saw a video of him drinking beer out of a shoe. Check out “Stuck on Repeat.” The breakdown makes me want to fight a dump truck. So ripping.
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