Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022 | Music News | Spokane … – Inlander

By Seth Sommerfeld

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

10. RAISED
HAILEY WHITTERS

There’s heart in the heartland, but it takes a proper rural Midwest girl like Whitters to make the heartbeat feel authentic when filtered through a pop-country lens. Sure the singer-songwriter hits on plenty of familiar tropes with her rosy nostalgic odes to the types of small towns she grew up in — there’s plenty of drinking, trucks, big families and side-eyed glances at city folk — but it never feels like a calculated product designed for lowest-common-denominator country fans. By keeping the production simple and letting the county fair sweetness in her voice do the heavy lifting, there’s an authenticity to the clap-filled singles and aw, shucks Americana.

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

9. A LEGACY OF RENTALS
CRAIG FINN

Craig Finn is primarily a storyteller. Whether fronting The Hold Steady or doing his own solo thing, his primary goal over the course of each three- to five-minute rock song is to craft characters that feel fleshed out, flawed and human. A Legacy of Rentals surpasses his prior solo outings, feeling almost like a subdued, spoken word Hold Steady record in the best possible way. The lyrical poetry with which he paints these bittersweet tales of memories (emphasis on the bitter) pairs perfectly with instrumental arrangements of strings, subtle rock ‘n’ roll and vocal aid from Cassandra Jenkins. The backing assists without ever overwhelming, making for a whole that’s as beautiful and rotten as all those faded days gone by.

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

8. LAUREL HELL
MITSKI

There’s a magical contradiction inherent to Mitski’s entire musical persona: No one else can sing as confidently about not being confident at all. That holds true on Laurel Hell. After releasing multiple indie rock masterpieces, she drowns her sound in ’80s synth-pop stylings this time around. The refined and lush dance pop of singles like “Stay Soft” and “The Only Heartbreaker” manage to balance retro saturation and sleek modernity with a steely, effortless cool. The musical tone delightfully clashes with her pensive lyrics that wrestle with staying connected to life and creativity, worthiness, and lopsided love.

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

7. MIDDLING AGE
TIM KASHER

Cursive frontman Tim Kasher has always been the dour sort, but even when stacked against his catalog of bummers, the lyrical work on new solo album Middling Age feels brutal and at times devastating. While his solo sound might be stripped back compared to Cursive’s harder edge, there’s plenty of twists and turns added to the fingerpicked folk and rock formula via swirling horns, string flairs, kalimba and the like. But that’s all really a backdrop for Kasher’s thoughtful lyrical explorations of being unable to move past a failed marriage (“I Don’t Think About You”), fear of being forgotten, faith in the face of death (“I don’t need a crucifix for a crutch”), the middle-age crisis of numbing routines, wrestling with staying egotistic or giving up, and the agonizing thoughts of lovers inevitably dying. The whole package is a poetic gut punch.

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

6. DANCE FEVER
Florence + the Machine

After becoming an arena-filling star on the strength of her powerhouse vocals and wonderfully dramatic delivery, Florence Welch has turned her lyrical lens inward on Dance Fever. The album details Welch’s reflections on the life of an artistic performer and the inherent anxieties and weights one must bear by choosing such an existence. Welch manages to avoid making this exploration an example of “woe is me, the famous star” by being acutely aware and critical of her own self-mythologizing. She’s able to make even wallowing anxiety into absolutely blissful dance pop on songs like “Free.” Not even Jack Antonoff’s usually detrimental production can derail the pop grandeur of the instrumental arrangements that ensure the album is not too heavy of a mental endeavor, allowing Welch to dance like she’s got a benign case of choreomania the whole way through.

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

5. SKINTY FIA
FONTAINES D.C.

There’s a menacing quality that permeates Skinty Fia, the third LP by Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C. The bass-driven tracks with ultra-tight drumming create an ominous brooding rock atmosphere while singer Grian Chatten lets the dark unease hang. He sings his lines of cold love and the complexities of his Irish identity with a captivating detachment, like he’s been cornered in a smoke-filled pub and must seethe his worldview through clenched teeth. Skinty Fia is a snarling, jaded, brooding collection of pummeling sound that rarely relents.

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

4. VERSIONS OF MODERN PERFORMANCE
HORSEGIRL

To a certain degree, cool can’t be manufactured. You’ve either got an inherent coolness or you don’t. No 2022 album has as much unteachable youthful swagger as Versions of Modern Performance. One would be forgiven if they didn’t realize Horsegirl was a trio of Chicago teens. After all, the group’s debut LP could’ve come out before any of them were born and it would’ve effortlessly fit in as one of the best post-punk albums of prior eras, alongside albums from bands like Sonic Youth, Pixies and My Bloody Valentine. The tracks emit a buzzing wall of shoegaze noise without ever losing their melodic underpinning. With the aid of ace post-punk producer John Agnello, Horsegirl saunters through ultra hooky brooding jams (“Anti-Glory”) and the type of guitar rock (“Live and Ski”) that’s artfully ramshackle in the hip way that only masters of the genre can typically pull off.
The Top 10 Songs of 2022
Sounds of the 2022 Spokane Scene
A Washington State Christmas Music Guide

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

3. I JUST WANT TO BE WILD FOR YOU
MAITA

Maria Maita-Keppeler is yearning. What exactly for varies over the course of I Just Want To Be Wild For You‘s 11 tracks, which only makes the Portland-based singer/songwriter’s sonic dexterity shine through. Her razor-sharp songwriting can’t easily be pinned down, as she shifts from a retro smokey, loungey creep (“Loneliness”) and moments of desire for sheer release (“Someday I’ll drive to the ocean and scream” on “Ex-Wife”) to a tongue-in-cheek “love” song about her smartphone (“Light of My Life (Cell Phone Song)”) or a two-song examination about both sides of a failing relationship (“You Can Sure Kill a Sunday, Part I & II”). The album closes with what might be the best song of 2022 — “Wild for You” — which starts as a fingerpicking meditation on the way distance grows and causes relationships to fade before opening up and becoming an emotionally moving anthem that pines for a return to those carefree times of wild passion.

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

2. WET LEG
WET LEG

Like many of the best treats, Wet Leg understands the importance of blending the sweet and the salty. The band’s first LP is packed with tight melodic rockers that are as catchy as they are cynical. Singer Rhian Teasdale’s vocal tone perfectly captures the appropriate hollow eye-rolling reaction to the oversexed young man mystique. The group gets the inherent silliness of raunchiness and leans into it with incredulous saucy detachment on banger singles like “Wet Dream” and “Chaise Longue.” But the album-closing “Too Late Now” also showcases there’s room for the love of self-care in the Wet Leg oeuvre. Teasdale might be practicing the longest and loudest scream for “Ur Mum,” but all of Wet Leg’s debut is screaming out in one triumphant way or another.

   ” class=”uk-display-block uk-position-relative uk-visible-toggle”> click to enlarge Our picks for the 10 best records of 2022

1. OXY MUSIC
ALEX CAMERON

Aussie troubadour Alex Cameron has long felt like a character pulled from a David Lynch or Harmony Korine reality, crating alternative synth-pop rock character studies that luxuriate in seedy territory most songwriters wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. A contributor to recent The Killers albums, Cameron is kinda like Brandon Flowers’ dirtbag cousin; still suave and charismatic, but you can see all the gross stains on his teeth. Oxy Music offers up sardonic observations about the people that society shoves to the fringes — the ones that are getting eaten alive by the opioid epidemic and the other failing trappings of modernity. Whether sax-heavy (“Sara Jo”) or synth-forward (“Best Life”), the arrangements beg listeners to get up and get their hips shaking while Cameron cheekily creates catchy choruses based around cancel culture, internet anti-vaxxers, k-holes and a-holes. Oxy Music holds a mirror up to societal ills and dares you to dance along. ♦
HONORABLE MENTIONS
TOPICAL DANCER
Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul
DIASPORA PROBLEMS
Soul Glo
SOMETIMES, FOREVER
Soccer Mommy
DRIVE MY CAR (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK)
Eiko Ishibashi
EMOTIONAL CREATURE
Beach Bunny
BIG TIME
Angel Olsen
FOSSORA
Björk

BLUE REV
Alvvays
SPECIAL
Lizzo
ILYSM
Wild Pink
The original print version of this article was headlined “Hear Now”
Portland’s MAITA has channeled a perpetual longing into one of the best indie rock albums of 2022
By Seth Sommerfeld
With Raised, Hailey Whitters tries to overcome the country music industry’s hurdles to bring her sweet Midwestern tunes to the masses
By Seth Sommerfeld
Wildcats, homelessness, labor battles, one shockingly normal election and more — here are our best stories from 2022
By Nate Sanford, Daniel Walters and Samantha Wohlfeil
Our arts and culture writers reflect on their favorite and most meaningful stories of 2022
By Inlander Staff
Our critics share their Top 10 Movies of the Year lists
By Seth Sommerfeld, Josh Bell, Chase Hutchinson and Nathan Weinbender
Looking back in 2022, the local restaurant scene saw growth, creativity and community
By Carrie Scozzaro
The Top 10 Songs of 2022
By Seth Sommerfeld
Sounds of the 2022 Spokane Scene
By Seth Sommerfeld
A Washington State Christmas Music Guide
By Seth Sommerfeld
How Tacoma’s Enumclaw managed to become Seattle’s next big hype band
By Seth Sommerfeld
Allen Stone returns to Spokane for four-night residency at Lucky You Lounge
By Seth Sommerfeld

Submit an Event
Submit an Event
or
Browse all Film Times
Our critics share their Top 10 Movies of the Year lists
By Seth Sommerfeld, Josh Bell, Chase Hutchinson and Nathan Weinbender
The Top 10 Songs of 2022
By Seth Sommerfeld
Sounds of the 2022 Spokane Scene
By Seth Sommerfeld
Sure, get high for the holidays — then get distracted with these stoner-friendly seasonal offerings
By Seth Sommerfeld


source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *