This may be my favorite album of 2022 so far! It has such a catchy set of songs, that are so well done and lined up in such a good order. I find myself returning to it over and over these days while driving. "Chapstick" has made rounds on the radio lately, but I highly recommend continuing on to "Cutie" and the rest.
The band's debut album has also been rocking my world this year. Their single "Syncopate" had me in suspense for what the rest of their release would be, and it does not disappoint. It's poppy, full of harmonies, and some of the best composition in indie music today. I cannot wait to see them live... when they're not opening for sold out Mitski shows.
One of my favorite bands of all time is Winnipeg's Royal Canoe. They have released so many good albums in the past decade, and they're so good at coming up with great songs, that they apparently had a whole album's worth of unreleased material to gift us this year! These are songs that they've probably played at live shows or perhaps released as singles, but never all together on a full length release. If you like weird indie rock/pop music, with experimental composition and vocals, this Canadian two-drummer band is for you.
Do you need a good cry? Or perhaps a heartfelt moment sipping coffee, staring out the window on a rainy day? If so, Casey Dubie always has you covered. This singer-songwriter stole my heart years ago when I saw her play live in Minneapolis, and her beautiful voice, straightforward lyrics, and elegant melodies have only grown on me more over time. I also recommend seeking out her music videos, to see her play these songs in some serene surroundings.
I discovered Alfie during these past two years of the pandemic, and have become quite addicted. They are just the most brilliant at creating catchy indie pop hits, perfect for workouts, cleaning the house, getting ready for the day, decompressing after work, running errands, and everything in between. Their new album doesn't have quite as many favorite bangers as previous albums, but it's still a solid release and I will be listening to it a lot this year.
Myke Dodge Weiskopf and Bryan Sandlin have been making music separately for years. But during the pandemic, they finally joined creative forces to found their first joint project, Warm Sound, and released Terminus (May 13, 2022). This LA-based duo—also partners in life and crime—"both like music that's far outside of the other person's comfort zone or field of interest," Weiskopf told me. "This project wouldn't exist without the pandemic. But whereas a lot of other artists, I think, struggled with how to continue making their art in the absence of an audience, it actually allowed us to create ours for the first time." Check out their single "Lightshade," as well as "1st," aptly titled as the first track on the album. Fun fact: In addition to being a radio producer, field recordist, and songwriter, Weiskopf is also a volunteer fire lookout for the US Forest Service in Central California.
This band holds a special place in my heart, for not only are they from my hometown (Ames, Iowa), but they've made some of the best music of the past 20 years. If you haven't heard of them by now, well, you've been missing out. However, they've barely released new music in the past decade (their busy era was from 2004 to 2011), so a whole new album in 2022 is something to celebrate. Lead singer Luke Pettipoole's vocals never disappoint, and it's that, plus the emotion in this music that makes The Envy Corps so goddamn good every time. (Heads up Midwesterners: They're playing the 80-35 festival in Iowa this July.)
Another one of my favorite bands of all time in the vein of weird indie rock/pop is Joywave. This band puts on a killer live show (I got to see them in March!) and I will always recommend them, live or recorded. I don't think they could make bad music if they tried. This album comments quite a bit on society in a very cathartic way, so I've quite enjoyed it.
This Australian band's second full length album is almost as dead-drop gorgeous as their first — which is a feat. Once you finish this album, hop over to Mansionair's Shadowboxer from 2019.
I admit, I have not listened to the new Typhoon yet!! A shame! So you should. They just put out an amazing album in 2021, so I almost missed that they released another already in 2022.
Alec Grefe is a prolific Wisconsion-based musician who, I swear, releases a new album almost every year. And they're always good! If you like Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, and similar artists from over the years, you need to add Alec to your list.
Yes, I like Harry Styles! Yes, I like his new album! It is full of wonderful pop tunes that are catchy and fun and relatable!