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  • Writer's pictureCamilla Vaitaitis

22 Songs I Loved in 2022

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

I often contemplate what the point of ranking music is. I love a good "Top 10" list as much as anyone, but to me, it feels impossible to put one song or album above another. Each song I love serves such a different purpose and evokes a specific feeling based on my mood, the time of day, and a million other factors. Each song carries its own little personality, character, and vibe - it's pointless to try to pick which are better than the rest.

However, my brain needs order and I love lists, so I've made an alphabetized list of 22 songs I couldn't stop listening to this year. I chose to only include one song per album here, despite thoroughly loving many of these releases all the way through. Here they are (read more detail about each song below):

  1. Annie Booth Sextet - "Albion Street"

  2. Tim Bernardes - "BB (Garupa de Moto Amarela)"

  3. Men I Trust - "Billie Toppy"

  4. Antibroth - "Blue Jacket"

  5. Palm - "Feathers"

  6. HOMESHAKE - "Haircut"

  7. Hether - "jelly filled coffin"

  8. Down Time - "Just Because"

  9. Madison Cunningham - "Life According to Raechel"

  10. Art Lande - "Little Jimmy (What It Is?)"

  11. Big Thief - "Little Things"

  12. Toro y Moi (feat. Salami Rose Joe Louis) - "Magazine"

  13. Kainalu - "Queen of Wands"

  14. Horse Jumper of Love - "Sitting on the Porch at Night"

  15. Dandelion - "Sugar"

  16. Nu Genea - "Tienaté"

  17. Alayne May - "Waveforms"

  18. Briana Harris - "When We're Found"

  19. Melody's Echo Chamber - "Where the Water Clears the Illusion"

  20. Léa Sen - "With or Without"

  21. Soccer Mommy - "With U"

  22. Kikagaku Moyo - "Yayoi, Iyayoi"

Here's a link to the playlist with these songs, but please remember to support these artists by purchasing their music & merch and going to see them perform live (I've linked where to do so below each song):

"Albion Street" - Annie Booth Sextet

Annie Booth is one of my all-time favorite composers & musicians. Her 2022 release Alpenglow is made up of one remarkable composition after the other, each with its own distinctive character. "Albion Street" in particular always draws me in with a warm, inviting piano intro followed beautiful three-horn writing and amazing musicianship from this incredible band (Anisha Rush, Greg Gisbert, John Gunther, Patrick McDevitt, Alejandro Castaño, and of course, Annie Booth).

Purchase the album here:

Also, if you're in Denver this holiday season, make sure to head to Dazzle to see Annie for one of her iconic Charlie Brown Christmas shows running Dec. 19-24!

"BB (Garupa de Moto Amarela)" - Tim Bernardes

I'm so grateful that a friend recommended Tim Bernardes to me earlier this year. Bernardes has quickly become one of my favorite songwriters ever. His 2022 album Mil Coisas Invisíveis, was a non-stop listen for me this year. "BB (Garupa de Moto Amarela)" is a beautiful love song, and one of my favorites on the album. This song evokes so much positive emotion and sentimentality for me (I cried probably the first 10 times I heard it).

My most watched Instagram reel of the year was his performance of this song:

Purchase the album here:

"Billie Toppy" - Men I Trust

Men I Trust was one of my most listened-to artists of the year, and I had the pleasure of seeing them perform live just a few weeks ago at Summit Music Hall in Denver. "Billie Toppy" is one of the most distinctive songs in their catalogue. I'm hoping that the release of three new singles this year might indicate an album release in 2023. Fingers crossed!

Purchase the single here:

"Blue Jacket" - Antibroth

Antibroth has quickly become one of my favorite bands in Denver. Seeing them perform at the Skylark Lounge a few months ago was one of the best live shows I saw this year, full of so much energy and incredible musicianship. "Blue Jacket" is just one of many songs I love on their 2022 self-titled release.

Catch Antibroth on Indie 102.3 all month long where they're featured as a Local 303 artist for December.

Purchase the album here:

"Feathers" - Palm

Palm's 2022 release Nicks and Grazes is the type of album I feel the need to sit and intentionally listen to all the way through. "Feathers" is a stand-out song for me with its rhythmic and textural interest.

Palm will be at Larimer Lounge tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 6):

Purchase the album here:

"Haircut" - HOMESHAKE

We all know I love a good HOMESHAKE song, and "Haircut" is just that. I always love Peter Sagar's harmony, mellow vibe, and simplistic lyrics. One of my favorite memories of the year was going to the HOMESHAKE show at the Gothic Theater with some of my best friends back in May.

Purchase the album here:

"jelly filled coffin" - Hether

I discovered Hether this year and spent a lot of time listening to their 2022 album play it pretty. "jelly filled coffin" is my favorite song on the album - chill and subdued with interesting harmony and a simple, groovy guitar line.

Purchase the album here:

"Just Because" - Down Time

"Just Because" is one of those songs that I never want to stop listening to. The groove and vibe is so good, I never want it to end. Down Time's 2022 release Spirit is packed with great songwriting and more of these infectious grooves throughout.

Purchase the album here:

"Life According to Raechel" - Madison Cunningham

It's not often that a song evokes an immediate, intense emotional response for me, but that's what happened with Madison Cunningham's "Life According to Raechel." This is a song I wish I could hear for the first time all over again. Lyrically and musically, I feel completely immersed in the story and vibe when I listen to this song and it makes me cry.

Purchase her 2022 album Revealer here:

"Little Jimmy (What It Is?)" - Art Lande - Flex

My friend Annie showed this song to me while we were both working at the Jazz in the Sangres Camp with the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts. I remember listening to it in her car over, and over, and over...and over. This perfect little 1 minute, 41 second ear-worm is one of the best songs of 2022.

Purchase the album, Slate & Quartz, here:

"Little Things" - Big Thief

I'm late to the game on Big Thief, but so glad that I've finally arrived. Their 2022 album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You is full of warmth, sentimentality, and beautiful songwriting throughout. "Little Things" to me feels like being a cocoon, surrounded by the layered sounds, textures, and cozy timbre of Adrianne Lenker's voice.

Purchase the album here:

"Magazine" - Toro y Moi, Salami Rose Joe Louis

"Magazine" is my favorite song from Toro y Moi's 2022 album Mahal. The melody and dreamy vocal delivery from Salami Rose Joe Louis on the choruses are what make this song for me.

Purchase the album here:

"Queen of Wands" - Kainalu

"Queen of Wands" is one of the grooviest songs of the year. The vocal melody on each chorus always takes me by surprise in the best way. I really love the production on this song and all the little arrangement elements that make it so special, like the break before the final chorus.

Purchase the album, Ginseng Hourglass, here:

"Sitting on the Porch at Night" - Horse Jumper of Love

Horse Jumper of Love is another band I discovered this year. I really love their 2022 album, Natural Part. I could listen to the verse groove on "Sitting on the Porch at Night" forever.

Purchase the album here:

"Sugar" - Dandelion

"Sugar" was my most listened to song of the year. I love everything that Matthew Tavares aka "Matty" makes. Whenever he puts out music, it always ends up becoming one of my favorite releases of the year. This song is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard (the vocal harmony at 1:37!!).

Matty made a post on his Instagram earlier this year about his creative mantras that really resonated with me. Maybe it'll resonate with you too:

Purchase the album here:

"Tienaté" - Nu Genea

It was hard to pick one song from Nu Genea's 2022 release Bar Mediterraneo, but I went with "Tienaté" because of how much I love its groove. It's impossible not to dance along to this song. Whenever I've needed a pick-me-up this year, this has been my go-to album - it immediately improves my mood and energizes my day.

Purchase the album here:

"Waveforms" - Alayne May

I haven't ever been much of a country listener, but when I heard "Waveforms," the first track on Alayne May's Strange Beings, I was totally hooked. This alt-country/indie-folk track was one of my absolute favorite songs of the year. May's vocal delivery is warm, rich, and pure, and the harmonic surprises in this song still get me every time.

Purchase the album here:

"When We're Found" - Briana Harris

Briana Harris' 2022 release When We're Found is full of impactful songwriting & lyricism, musical surprises, and absolutely beautiful melodies. The title track is my favorite on the album, from the verse melody, to the groovy pre-chorus, to the energetic, inspiring build to the end.

Purchase the album here:

"Where the Water Clears the Illusion" - Melody's Echo Chamber

Melody's Echo Chamber is one of my favorite artists. I'm really drawn to her vocal quality, unique songwriting, and arrangements. What makes "Where the Water Clears the Illusion" so special to me is the vocal melody on the verses and the cool texture that's achieved by adding the bass part-way into the verse. She released two albums this year, both packed with some of my favorite songs of the year.

Purchase the albums here:

"With Or Without" - Léa Sen

I don't remember how I discovered Léa Sen this year, but I'm so glad I did. "With Or Without" is reflective and calming. I love the depth of this song (especially when the bass is added) and the subtle moments of harmonic dissonance in the choruses.

Purchase the album, You Of Now, Pt. 1, here:

"With U" - Soccer Mommy

I saw Soccer Mommy just a few nights ago at the Ogden Theater in Denver. The band's live performance was immaculately clean and so full of energy. I'm glad I was able to hear my favorite song from Sometimes, Forever live. "With U" is the quintessential songwriter song - thoughtful verses, solid choruses, and a classic bridge before hitting the listener with one last big chorus and an ambiguous ending.

Purchase the album here:

"Yayoi, Iyayoi" - Kikagaku Moyo

I saw Kikagaku Moyo on their farewell tour at the Fox Theater in Boulder in September, and it was easily my favorite live show of the year. The band's final album together, Kumoyo Island, is one of my most listened-to this year. "Yayoi, Iyayoi" is one of many songs I love and could have chosen for this list.

Purchase the album here:

If you made it through, thank you for reading. I hope you find some songs you like. Tell me what you think and let me know your favorite songs of the year in the comments!

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