2022 saw the return of bangers from bands.
From MUNA’s iconic collaboration to Wet Leg’s debut album, it’s been a good year to be a part of a musical ensemble! In fact, most of my favorite albums came from artists who insist that they remain loyal to the band.
With the exception of 1 album from a solo act, here are my top 5 albums from 2022:
5. MUNA – MUNA
For my number 5 pick, MUNA occupies this spot with their excellent studio album.
Not gonna lie, I first heard about MUNA from their joint feature with Phoebe Bridgers. But ‘Silk Chiffon’ (the song name of their collaboration) is just a taste of what is bound to be a great record.
‘MUNA’ is a self-titled album that finds the trio refining a bubblegum pop sound. It’s progressive and their synth-heavy singles remain grounded with their penmanship. An example of this is ‘Anything But Me’, which remains truthful with its retainment of self. With more songs that continue to share this virtue, this album is an exceptional indie record!
4. Flume – Palaces
While my fourth pick is also exceptional, you can’t help but notice that this album is from a solo act.
Continuing his success from the 2019 mixtape, Flume follows up the Grammy-nominated record with a third studio album. From vocals to composition, he invites a lot of collaborators to help out which resulted in a stunning piece of electronica.
‘Palaces’ is enticing and the atmosphere is enchanting. It remains within this space of experimental bliss that amps up its production with a heavy breed of hyperpop. Truly a feat for anyone who’s looking for a euphoric escape!
3. Wet Leg – Wet Leg
Now, the most surprising thing that came out from my deep dive of the best albums is that Wet Leg is British. Well, a bit dramatic I know but hear my out: the details on their origin really informed me on why their album is sounded so good.
It draws heavily on the britpop era and we’re not complaining. To be fair, the genre has never formally died. But in the midst of hyperpop making an upturn, it’s refreshing to hear a britpop record that is both modern and authentic. The elements of rock is pretty much extant and the deadpan glam is what brings the album together. With a certified bop like ‘Wet Dream’, ‘Wet Leg’ by ‘Wet Leg’ will make your eyes wet from how good the album makes you cry. (a happy cry that is!)
2. The 1975 – Being Funny In A Foreign Language
Speaking of crying, I am not exaggerating when I say that I was crying when ‘Being Funny’ was released.
After disappointing fans with their 2020 album, The 1975 went old school. They stripped down the production and what we got is a simple gem that corrects its past mistakes by making sure that the mellow vibe remains in tact. But that doesn’t mean that the bops are no longer there.
On the contrary, ‘Happiness’ is a groovy smooth bop and ‘Part Of The Band’ is a pumping pop hit. They used a lot of trumpets for the interludes but the violins… MY GOD the use of violins in every applicable song is EXQUISITE. Truly an operatic experience that is surprisingly very laid-back!
But wait. If my favorite band did not put out the best album of 2022, who did?
1. COIN – Uncanny Valley
Well, the result is uncanny.
Like a good Oscar-winning movie, COIN understood that an album is a storytelling device. The singles are the scenes and the scenes need to be assembled with a smooth transition. That is the thing that made this album stood out as my number 1 pick.
With bangers like ‘Cutie’ and ‘Chapstick’, the indie pop band excels at making a thematic album that visits the subject of “device.” Whether it refers to technology or the human problems that feel like a simulation, ‘Uncanny Valley’ tries to build its momentum with a tranquil use of intelligence. The rhythmic beat, the smooth transition from song to song… everything about it is profound like a symphony for the digital age.
At the end of the day, this record only left me with 1 question: why did people sleep on this album?