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dmathias25 of 2022

This year I attempted to slow down my music listening and really connect with a few albums instead of consume as much as I could. It made for one of my favorite years in music. Below are my top 25, some honorable mentions, some I don't plan on returning to, and some that I need to listen to from this year.
50Black Country, New Road
Ants from Up There

Beginning of "On My List to Check"
49Pool Kids
Pool Kids
48Late Night Cardigan
Life Is Bleak and It's My Cheat Day
Blue Rev

Technically I have listened to this one a few times, but I feel like I haven't given it the time it deserves. So on this portion of the list it goes!
46Everything Everything
Raw Data Feel
45Domestic Terminal
All The Stories Left To Tell
44Lizzy McAlpine
five seconds flat

End of "On my list to check"
43Foxy Shazam
The Heart Behead You

Beginning and end of "Maybe the worst album I've ever heard"
42Harry Styles
Harry's House

Beginning of "Fell far below expectations"
41The Dangerous Summer
Coming Home
40The Dear Hunter

End of "Fell far below expectations"
39Anais Mitchell
Anais Mitchell

Beginning of "These were Fine"
38Hailey Whitters

End of "These were fine"
36Molly Tuttle
Crooked Tree

Beginning of Honorable Mentions
35John Moreland
Birds In The Ceiling
34Jenny Hval
Classic Objects
33Gregor Barnett
Don't Go Throwing Roses in My Grave
The Salt Water Well
31Big Thief
Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
Walls of Mirrors
29Christian Lee Hutson
The Buried Storm
27Emma Worley
New Preoccupations

End of Honorable Mentions
Quiet the Room

Rating: 3.7
Best Song: You are my House
RIYL: Pretty music

This has the potential to fly up this list, as it's gotten so close to clicking multiple times. One of many incredibly folk releases this year
24Ian Noe
River Fools and Mountain Saints

Rating: 3.7
Best Song: One More Night
RIYL: Country with a french horn

This whole album is great, but there's a song with a french horn and it's all I ever want to listen to
23Bartees Strange
Farm to Table

Rating: 3.7
Best Song: Wretched
RIYL:Like every genre

Bartees Strange is so close to creating something consistently phenomenal. This isn't quite it, but boy are there some bangers on here
22Peregrine (USA-MA)
the awful things we've done

Rating: 3.8
Best Song: the sixtieth harvest
RIYL: Hotelier-core

This album hit hard when I first listened to it, but I haven't found myself in a mental state to want to return to it. Which is good, probably!
21Jana Horn

Rating: 3.8
Best Song: Optimism
RIYL: Minimal folk music

This year has been defined by folk music for me in many ways, and this was the album that kicked that trend off
20Craig Finn
A Legacy Of Rentals

Rating: 4
Best Song: Messing with the Settings
RIYL: Stoned middled age men making music

Craig Finn does what he does best* (although not exactly his best)
19Honey Harper
Honey Harper and the Infinite Sky

Rating: 4
Best Track: Heaven Knows I Won't Be There
RIYL: Dreamy country music

Slightly less dreamy and slightly more country than last time
18Willi Carlisle
Peculiar, Missouri

Rating: 4
Best Track: Peculiar, Missouri
RIYL: Country with a capital C

The images invoked on this album both lyrically and musically make it one of the most genuine country albums I have heard in a long time
17Regina Spektor
Home, Before and After

Rating: 4
Best Song: Loveology
RIYL: Regina Spektor

The fact that I'm still somewhat considering this a disappointment shows the high level Regina Spektor continues to operate at
The Great American Novel

Rating: 4.1
Best Song: Shuck and Jive
RIYL: Pissed off political pop punk

You had me at the Mitch McConnell diss track
15Somewhere South of Here
Leave Me for the Crows

Rating: 4.2
Best Song: Pines
RIYL: Angry yet melodic pop punk (-ish)

It's been rare for a new pop punk (-ish) band to grip me, but leave to a Sput user to figure out how
14The Delines
The Sea Drift

Rating: 4.2
Best Song: Surfers in Twilight
RIYL: Slowcore folk music

A unique voice and approach to folk while staying ture to the genre
13Jenna and the Janes
Earth Dog Year

Rating: 4.2
Best Track: Through the Bluffs
RIYL: Sweet, impactful folk

A unique voice and approach to folk while staying true to the genre
12Saya Gray
19 Masters

Rating: 4.2
Best Song: S.H.T (silent hot tears/send hot tempura)
RIYL:Getting on Johnny's good list

A unique voice and approach to folk while attempting to recreate the genre
11Grace Cummings
Storm Queen

Rating: 4.2
Best Song: Storm Queen
RIYL: Dark, angry folk music

A unique voice and approach to folk while staying true to the genre
Heal My Head

Rating: 4.3
Best Song: Warning Signs
RIYL: Religious trauma and 2000s alt rock

Music to question your spiritual upbringing to
9Noah Cyrus
The Hardest Part

Rating: 4.4
Best Song: Noah (Stand Still)
RIYL: Wishing Kacey Musgraves went in a different direction

Nepo baby alert: This has some of my favorite vocals and moments of the year. Very little is done wrong here.
If My Wife New I'd Be Dead

Rating: 4.5
Best Song: Nashville
RIYL: Throwback to classic country with some melodrama and musical theatre thrown in

"Nashville" is potentially the song of the year and everything else on here follows close. A superstar in the waiting.
7Lack the Low

Rating: 4.6
Best Track: Small Windows
RIYL: Art pop, I think, although I have no idea what art pop really is

Spacey, lush, full, orchestral, etc etc etc. How many cliches can I give to an album that defies all cliches?

Rating: 4.7
Best Track: Purple
RIYL: Alternative rock that is just good alternative rock

I forgot there was a world of music where music could just be music (not that gimmicks are bad) and this is a refreshing reminder.
5Gang of Youths
Angel in Realtime

Rating: 4.7
Best Song: spirit boy
RIYL: Rollicking indie rock about dead dads

Ever since 2020, you know a dead dad album with be towards the top of my list.
4Orville Peck

Rating: 5
Best Song: Hexie Mountains RIYL:
Throwback to classic country with some melodrama and musical theatre thrown in (a recurring theme)

Potentially my favorite artist falling at number four should show the strength of what's to come. A trailblazer.
3Shannen Moser
The Sun Still Seems to Move

Rating: 5
Best Track: Ben
RIYL: Warm, interesting, lush folk music

This favorite contains some of my favorite lyrics of the year, which is quite the claim considering the music that was released this year. It also contains some of my favorite compositions, which is, again, quite the claim considering the music that was released this year.
2The Wonder Years
The Hum Goes on Forever

Rating: 5
Best Song:You're the Reason Why I Don't Want the World To End
RIYL: Pop Punk that keeps up with you

Once again, The Wonder Years release an album that somewhat outpaces my own existence, but still leaves an incredible mark on me.
1Ethel Cain
Preacher's Daughter

Rating: 5
Best Song: House in Nebraska
RIYL: Anything in the boygenius era of artists

If you want my essay, check my writing for the Staff Year End list. Simply put: The most impactful album I've heard in 5+ years.
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