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The 100 best songs of 2022

The 100 best songs of 2022

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Our 100 favourite songs of the year. With a playlist on the last page after the countdown.

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2022 Best of | Best albums | Best songs | Irish albums | Irish songs | Best Of Podcasts | Guest lists | Best New Irish artists

100.

Carla dal Forno

Side By Side

Australian DIY songwriter Carla dal Forno’s third album Come Around dropped in November, and opens with this eerie elemental jam that stuck to the hinges of my listening since.

99.

Teno Afrika

AK love

We did a podcast episode last year talking about Amapiano, the house music from the African continent that has been taking over. It’s the genre of house music that brings in jazzy synths, organs, air pads, bass hits, Zulu vocals and percussion on long danceable tracks.

Teno Afrika is a 22-year-old now Soweto-based Amapiano producer and DJ and as exemplified by ‘AK Love’, his take is quite minimal and fits in to a lot of percussive modern experimental dance music. 

Awesome Tapes From Africa released his new album Where You Are this year.

98.

SZA

Shirt

The bumping lead single from the December-released SOS album, the long-awaited second record from SZA.

97.

Syd, Lucky Daye

CYBAH

The Internet’s Syd’s solo Broken Hearts Club album featured this taut funk pop song. With Lucky Daye on vocal support, it’s a beaut. Could you break a heart?

96.

Tomberlin

Tap

I gently uncovered the music of Sarah Beth Tomberlin this year. Just gorgeous songwriting and songs that have seeped in slowly. ‘Tap’ like album title track ‘Idkwntht’ (“I don’t know who needs to hear this’) reminds me of the brittle and swooning work of The Weather Station and Half Waif.

95.

Sworn Virgins

Searchin For Hiro

If you were looking for the modern version of the Skatt Brothers’ ‘Walk The Night’ congratulations you’ve found it. And of course, it’s on Soulwax’s Deewee label.

94.

NIMMO

Company

Nimmo are a UK duo making electronic pop and the tetchy and bombastic ‘Company’ recalled the best of mid-2000 dance like Simian Mobile Disco and Azari & III in its euphoric groove.

“Company is a celebration of your local queer space and the relationships we have made there.  we were inspired by those very intense emotional transactions we’ve experienced in these spaces and the feeling of being truly liberated……being sweaty and shoulder to shoulder with our people.”

93.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Perfume Genius

Spitting Off the Edge of the World

‘Spitting Off the Edge of the World’ heralded the New York trio’s return with the fifth album Cool It Down (their first album in 9 years), with a sludgy crystalline anthem with bonus Perfume Genius vocals.

92.

Ruby Goon

Cold Wind

The Moscow-born artist Ivan Solimani Leznhev is a young singer-songwriter who “soulfully blends early psychedelia, glam and indie rock” on a debut album called Brand New Power on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound. ‘Cold Wind’ is a beaut of an intro to it.

91.

KH

Feelings

Kieran Hebden had an unbelievable year of tunes, and the first of two I squeezed in here, is listed as the unsearchable array of characters ‘[] vȯ)) ̷̨ʅ (۝ʅ(Ɵʅ():::()̵̳̗̊(Ɵʅ()vȯ)) ̷̨ʅ)’ more often known as ‘Feelings’ by KH, an absolutely honky fizzy banger.

See also his ‘Pax’ Chloe Robinson/ DJ ADHD remix.

90.

Fred again..

Danielle (smile on my face)

Speaking of Four Tet, he pops up again here on a co-production with Fred Again.., initially uncredited to much consternation but it’s all fine now haha, right guys? Ok.

There are no doubts of the origin of this track, with Kieran Hebden’s drum and synth paw prints are all over ‘Danielle (smile on my face)’ from Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022), which samples the acapella of 070 Shake’s ‘Nice To Have’ which was chosen as it was Fred’s own most played track of the year.

In terms of Fred’s output, the bangers do more for me than the more diaristic output.

89.

Tobe Nwigwe, Fat, Pharrell Williams, Earthgang

Lord Forgive Me

The presence of Atlanta duo Earthgang and Pharrell on this track alerted me to the existence of Houston rapper Tobe Nwigwe, a supremely prolific artist it turns out, who is doing exciting big things with music and visuals.

There’s a fine line in interestingly choreographed music videos with style to watch.

See the 2020 New York Times article: Tobe Nwigwe Never Planned to Go Viral. Then He Rapped About Breonna Taylor for an intro.

88.

Shygirl

Shlut

Experimental English club pop artist and rapper Shygirl positive sexuality anthem ‘Shlut’ is an earworm track from her recent Nymph album.

Interestingly, the video’s uncensored version was premiered on Shygirl’s OnlyFans, that’s a first as far as I’ve seen.

87.

Gena Rose Bruce, Bill Callahan

Deep Is The Way

A gorgeous duet that hangs on the contrast between the cragginess of Callahan and the sweetness of Australian artist Gena Rose Bruce.

For a more upbeat song from the Melbourne artist, try ‘Foolishly In Love’.

86.

Prima Queen

Butter Knife

The English-based Transatlantic duo, Prima Queen, Louise Macphail and Kristin McFadden’s uniquely pitched spoken word orchestral indie song cut through the noise this year, with the devastating subject matter of dementia.

“Butter Knife is a reflection on losing a loved one slowly to Alzheimer’s. When they pass away the loss is confusing because not only are you grieving the person you knew before the illness, but also the person they became.”

85.

Overmono, Joy Orbison, ABRA

Blind Date

A once-off in ‘Blind Date’ on XL Recordings, a fine amalgamation of the three producers styles – garage, bass and a hook by ABRA to give it extra heat. OOF.

84.

Ibibio Sound Machine

Protection From Evil

The London afrofuturistic electronic group’s latest and fourth album Electricity was produced by Hot Chip and was a collaboration borne from sharing festival bills and bonding over Francis Bebey and Giorgio Moroder. Ibibio have always been a live band that shook stages and rooms, and it’s nice now to hear a new slant on their music which loses none of its ferocity in the process as heard on this opener.

83.

Aldous Harding

Fever

The New Zealand songwriter brandishes a singular intensity on her music, embodying liminal songwriting and moods. This is a favourite from the album Warm Chris.

Harding plays Dublin’s National Concert Hall in April 2023.

82.

Skinner

The Slump

Razor sharp “weird disco” inspired by James Chance and ESG, Skinner’s ‘The Slump’ is a barrel of new wave and post-punk perfection with a killer bassline, sax, percussion and buzzing angular guitar, that will take you out of a low point.

‘The Slump’ features the Commander Trainwreck EP released on Faction Records.

Declaration Of Interest: I manage Skinner.

81.

Warpaint

Champion

Warpaint returned with their first album in six years Radiate Like This that featured atmospheric dreamy guitar rock with earworm melodies. ‘Champion’ is a gauzy hooky song which refuses to look in your general direction, until the steeliness melts towards the bridge.

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