Albums of the Year 2022

Published on 22 December 2022

How was new music for you in 2022? We are now firmly in the Spotify Age when it comes to how we receive music, and as such have pretty much the entirety of music available to stream as and when we feel like it. ‘New’ music is of course anything that’s new to the listener, so that could be The Beatles or Mozart as much as it could be the new Taylor Swift or Slipknot record. That said, what music from this year was resonating the most?

We are of course a company full of musicians, so we thought it would be interesting to ask some staff members for their own favourite releases of 2022. Any genre or style was fine, but it had to be new music released in 2022. 

2022 did actually bring us a ton of great new guitar music from titans like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Andy Timmons. There were also enormous albums by superstars like Taylor Swift and Beyonce, but what’s interesting is that our staff’s choices don’t really reflect either of those areas. It’s an altogether more diverse and interesting list, populated perhaps with artists that may be unknown to some readers. Now is the opportunity to get acquainted! Find some great new music to add to your life before 2023 dawns on us and brings more!

So, in no particular order other than that in when we received them, here are some of the guitarguitar staff’s favourite records of 2022.

 

Vinicius Moreira: Black Country, New Road - Ants From Up There

Topping my list is the incredible new release from Black Country, New Road. Ants From Up There is one of those rare records that made me feel like I’ve known it for years from first listen. From its perfectly paced emotional ebb and flow to its instantly iconic artwork… There’s just something about this record that makes me think it’ll be on my rotation for many years to come.

 

Anna Gembal McLaughlin: Behemoth - Opvs Contra Natvram

My top pick for the best album of 2022 goes to Behemoth! These guys have dominated the extreme metal scene for nearly 2 decades now, always keeping up with the times and trends yet preserving their unique sound. Opvs Contra Natrvam is a sonic proof of their unshakeable metal scene overlords’ status. It makes for a stupendous album, which harks back to the band’s iconic release, The Satanist from 2014. 

We hear a lot of modern influences in the performances yet the overall sound sits comfortably within old school metal. The Deathless Sun comes in with a strong opening lyric ”I am nothing” - it’s an instant high hitter. The album’s artwork, intricately designed by Nergal himself, is an equally important piece that takes us into the realm of the artist’s head. What strengthened my perception of the album was the phenomenal promotional visuals: Behemoth gathered atop Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and gave a live performance with full visuals and special effects. 

 

Ross Brodie: Wet Leg - Wet Leg

I first heard them on a BBC Radio 6 live session back at the start of the year and they were so unexpectedly, and hilariously sleazy yet bang up to date, and not like a send-up or a pastiche. Musically, they’re just super-fun guitar pop, which you don’t see a lot of these days, at least not paired with such good songwriting. 

The guitar tones are satisfyingly scuzzy in places, and there’s plenty of big in-your-face synths stabs too. Wet Leg are just truckloads of fun.

 

Iain Montgomery: Willi Carlisle - Peculiar, Missouri

My album of the year for 2022 has to be Willi Carlisle’s Peculiar, Missouri. Sitting somewhere between folk, country and Americana, Willi grew up on punk music as much as these more traditional genres. It’s influence shows through the tongue in cheek humour present in his lyrics. The writing throughout goes way deeper though, balancing clever storytelling with introspective moments that showcase a real vulnerability. 

Tracks like Tulsa’s Last Magician and Vanlife are laced with clever one liners, while the rambling spoken word title track brings you right to the heart of small town America. Musically, there’s loads to enjoy here, from slick pedal steel to lovely fingerpicking and even haunting gospel-tinged vocal melodies. For me, great albums take you on a journey and there’s no disputing the trip this album leads you on. 

 

Martin Robbie: The Midnight - Heroes

The new album from this synthwave duo might not have as many stand-out hits as their previous releases but it still delivers a beautiful escape into a world of 80s style guitar tones and satisfying melodies.

 

Ray McClelland: Author & Punisher - Kruller

Everyone’s favourite part-man, part-cyborg is back with another suitably enormous sounding record this year, and it might be his best yet. After proving once and for all that keyboards are heavier than guitars, Triston Shone has allowed some guitar textures in amongst his armada of self-engineered machines, to simultaneously cosmic and mind-pummelling effect. 

His famously abrasive sound has opened outwards in terms of texture and scope, and so is more interesting and expansive than ever. That said, it’s still a gargantuan sci-fi nightmare of robots and breeze blocks. Pretty excellent, in order words! Tool’s rhythm section shows up on a few tracks, but you won’t notice. Glorious end-of-the-world noise right here, with a futuristic gauze over everything and no frequency left unmangled.

 

Gage Clawson: Amorphis - Halo

This record is so good, I had to give it a second re-listen almost straight away. It has such a consistent atmosphere and tone. The progressive elements are often subtle and understated, but on the occasions where they are more in-your-face, it's so much more impactful.

 

Keiran Hird: HEALTH - DISCO Part II

My favourite record of 2022 was the second part of the “DISCO” series by the band HEALTH. Combining the properties of electronic music along with some of the most aggressive sounding “guitars” you’ll hear this year, and with a plethora of amazing collaborations (Nine Inch Nails, Poppy & Lamb of God to mention a few), this album will keep you on your toes and keep you guessing the whole way through.

 

Mardi Milne: Nova Twins - Supernova 

What happens when you give two girls guitars and a crate full of effects pedals? One of the most rockin' albums of the year!

 

Ryan Bell: Joyce Manor - ‘40 oz. to Fresno

Stacking 9 songs into a 16 minute record in true punk fashion and sticking to their emotional background with lyrical content that’s imaginative and just overall interesting. Joyce Manor’s ‘40 oz. to Fresno was the perfect release for 2022: nostalgic, fast paced, and just a sweet listen from start to finish. Best paired with a drive home from work and 3 other Joyce Manor records queued up to last the full 40 minute journey. 

For fans of short songs derived from punk and emo roots, 40 oz. to Fresno is something worth checking out.

How many of these albums have you heard? Did we turn you onto anythng new? We hope so! From us, this was 2022 in music, and we can't wait to hear what 2023 brings us!

 

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Ray

Features Editor, Warehouse

I'm a musician and artist originally from the South West coast of Scotland. I studied Visual Arts and Film Studies at...

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