The Five

The Five Songs of 2022

It gets harder and harder to discover new music and new artists as you get older.

But I still try to pick up a new CD now and then. My wife bought me Jack White’s Fear of the Dawn as well as Miranda Lambert’s Palomino for Father’s Day and birthday. Other CDs that I picked up featured a throwback to Duran Duran’s 1983 cut, Seven and the Ragged Tiger so that doesn’t exactly count as a 2022 release.

Regardless, there were plenty of new jams that perked up my ears. I find music these days is becoming more stripped down and aware of their ancestral origins, a pastiche of instruments and rhythms of another generation.

With all art, there is a nod to the predecessors. R&B seems to be channelling back to the smooth jazz era. Then there’s the heavy 1980s influence on a lot of tunes. Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” has that 1980s vibe to it, and Beyonce’s “Cuff It” feels like it was uncovered in a brownstone attic with 1973 written on the box.

I still jam out to house music, electronic as well as some of the pop elements that worm their way into my ears. Tove Lo’s “How Long” taps into the 1980s oversaturation. Hints of Goblin and Keith Emerson are matched with EDM-pop fusion productions. It’s not new, but it’s not old.

Even perennial metalheads Ghost infuse their riffs with 1980s hair metal feels. “Spillways” has such a rock opera jive; I feel like hunting down my old vinyl copy of Styx’s Paradise Theater.  

Alvvays’ “After the Earthquake” throws you right into a wistful reprise of the Go-Gos and Starship. It’s full-on 1980s and I don’t take any issues with that. I half expect the song to be used in a John Hughes-inspired teen dramedy that takes place during the late Cold War era I spent my childhood years in.

There are some bangers from artists like Kula Shaker, Dawes, Calexico, Mice Parade, Florence and the Machine, TSHA, Mall Grab, Moor Mother, Bonobo, Ari Lennox, Bobby Oroza, Sudan Archives, as well as Coheed and Cambria, but I had to stick to my habit (bad or not).

Before I get too carried away with my love of music and what stood out for me in 2022, here are my five favourite songs from the year.

Song: “Strange”
Album: Palomino
Artist: Miranda Lambert
Release: April 29, 2022
Why: Even though I tend to dig deeper to find new music, I always enjoy new tracks from some of my favourites.
Song: “Impossible”
Album: Profound Mysteries
Artist: Röyksopp (feat. Allison Goldfrapp)
Release: April 29, 2022
Why: Röyksopp and Goldfrapp have been around the EDM scene for quite some time. This is a solid collab between the artists.
Song: “Taking Me Back”
Album: Fear of the Dawn
Artist: Jack White
Release: April 8, 2022
Why: Jack White covers familiar territory with his heavy guitar licks and terse vocals.
Song: “Tonight”
Album: Alpha Zulu
Artist: Phoenix
Release: September 7, 2022
Why: Twelve years ago, “1901” was getting plenty of air time, and I totally dug that. “Tonight” harkens back to that late Aughts hit. And I totally dig that.
Song: “Wet Dream”
Album:Wet Leg
Artist: Wet Leg
Release: April 8, 2022
Why: Technically “Wet Dream” was released in September 2021, but the album was released in April, so if you want to talk semantics, by all means. However, most of the radio play was 2022, so I’ll listen to the smooth vocals of Rhian Teasdale while you chatter.

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