top of page
  • Emily Marshman

Buzzkill's Albums of 2022

Howdy, pals! Wow, I can hardly believe it's that time of the year again - and that this will be my third year sitting down to wrap up the year behind us for y'all. It's starting to get cold (though not that cold where I'm at), the sun is setting earlier and rising later, and we're heading into the off-season for new releases, which is arguably the perfect time to catch up on everything you might have missed throughout the year.


I know I must say this every single year, but god damn, the music that was released in 2022 was unreal. So many past faves that are truly coming into their own, so many new faves starting to make waves.


In addition to our Best of 2022 playlist, I wanted to make sure that I rounded up as many albums + EPs that were released this year as I could, so that none of them fell through the cracks. I'm hoping to do some in-depth, reflective reviews for a few of these, so stay tuned for that. This is not a ranked or even a rated list, per se - the albums are listed in alphabetical order based on the artists' names, and we only have nice things to say about all of them. Grab a hot bevvy, pop on some tunes, and let's get going!


p.s. — an asterisk means it's a debut!


★ BEING FUNNY IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE — THE 1975

I want to say this is an unexpected favorite for me, but I knew as soon as The 1975 announced they were releasing a new album that it would be a knockout. I know each album comes with a new era for The 1975, but this feels like something so wholly different than anything else we've ever heard from them. It feels grown up. It feels like an exploration of what it truly means to be human, all the raw, earthy, lovely parts. — Emily Marshman


★ HOW WILL I KNOW IF HEAVEN WILL FIND ME? — THE AMAZONS

The third record can make or break a band – but The Amazons approached it headfirst without a doubt in their mind that they would make exactly the album that they needed to. How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? is very different sonically and thematically from their previous two records, which I think alienated a lot of their early fanbase, but it’s a strong indicator that stagnancy is not on the menu for The Zons. As much as we might miss the heavier, head-bangier tunes, I’d much prefer a band that is always evolving and always craving change to one who burns out before they’ve given us all there is to offer, and HWIKIFHWFM? gave us just that. — EM


★ WORLD BELOW — BABY STRANGE

The new album from Baby Strange flew under the radar for a lot of people, and this is me attempting to set this right. It’s a fantastic record from one of the best Scottish bands in the scene - a gritty, raw exploration of how apocalyptic life feels these days, and how we can and should stand tall in the face of it. — EM


★ EXPERT IN A DYING FIELD — THE BETHS

The third studio album from the New Zealand based indie rock group, Expert in a Dying Field is their best yet. With bright instrumentation and brutally honest lyrics, The Beths explore themes of love lost in their own vein of playful and awkward endearment, all while remaining true to their coming-of-age indie sound. The entire album is undeniably clever; filled to the brim with sugary sweet anxiety and attentive musicality, The Beths have really struck gold with this one. — Emma Egan


★ HERE IS EVERYTHING — THE BIG MOON

The Big Moon make extremely personal and heartfelt music, and Here Is Everything is a record that feels to me like their most experiential yet. Based largely on lead singer Juliette Jackson’s experience during pregnancy and early motherhood, you can truly feel the emotion in every song. — EM


★ IF YOU ONLY FEEL IT ONCE — BLEACH LAB (EP)

If You Only Feel It Once feels like a warm hug of encouragement as you’re taken through themes of running out of time, finding your way in life, and finding a home. It brings about a feeling of being known and the safety in that, against a backdrop of dreamy vocals and soft instrumentals you could wade through. They have a touch of Wolf Alice about them that makes this whole EP irresistible from start to finish. — Amiee Bolger


★ MODE — CAREER*

A concise little album with quite a bit to say, Career’s debut LP is a tight 10 tracks, 33 minutes long, and a genuinely enjoyable listen. I would highly recommend a spin for fans of bigger-but-still-growing bands like Sports Team and Courting. — EM


★ UNCANNY VALLEY — COIN

Uncanny Valley digs into the relationship between AI and humans through the lens of ‘what if our wholly human experiences can be taught through algorithms and zeros and ones?’ in both a familiar and foreign musical manner. Without compromising on the sound we’ve come to know and love from COIN, they push boundaries and succeed in reminding us how it’s heart-breaking and euphoric to be a human. There are songs to make you dance, love, and cry in equal measure. — AB


★ MISS POWER — CONNIE CONSTANCE

If you aren’t aware of the enigma Connie Constance is yet, then you should be. A creative departure from Constance’s first album, Miss Power is just that: a powerful stance of her identity as an artist. From delicate melodies to the contrast of not being afraid to be loud as a woman in music. The English indie-rocker breathes new life into the indie scene. — Bri Jacobs


★ GUITAR MUSIC — COURTING

Courting’s debut full-length was much-anticipated from the moment they started releasing music in late 2019. It took the Liverpool ensemble a few years of grafting, EP releases, and playing live to string one together, but Guitar Music is pretty much perfect, so they’re forgiven. They’re beloved among indie rock fans for their ability to blend what seems like as many different genres into one track as possible. — EM


★ WAR BOYS — DEAD PONY*

The debut EP from Dead Pony has been a long time coming and rather than entering quietly, they’ve caused an earthquake. War Boys will have you grateful for the little respite offered between monstrous riffs and battle-cry vocals. It's a post-apocalyptic landscape you’ll want to live in with this as your soundtrack, stating that Dead Pony are here to stay, and you won’t regret getting on board now. — AB


★ SONDER — DERMOT KENNEDY

If Dermot Kennedy writes and records it, I will listen to it. The man can do no wrong, and Sonder is a powerful followup to his 2019 debut, Without Fear – which, fun fact, is what the name Dermot roughly translates to. This sophomore record is as earnest and heartfelt as his first, with the added value of years of experience, and I would highly recommend a listen, if you haven’t yet. — EM


★ SOMEWHERE IN NOWHERELAND — DEVON*

Another debut from a longtime Buzzkill favorite who absolutely smashed it out of the park, Somewhere in Nowhereland is cohesive and electrifying, another quick little release that cuts no corners. A For Fans Of feature in November of 2020, the prospect of a full-length record from Devon has been a very exciting inevitability for us, and now that it’s here I can’t get it off repeat. — EM


★ GET MEAN — DIVORCE (EP)*

Both bass-forward and twangy in a way not many bands branded as indie are willing or brave enough to get these days, the debut EP from Nottingham newcomers Divorce has cemented them as ones to watch. Get Mean is a compilation of their first four released singles, and it’s unmissable in my opinion. Very excited to see what is to come from them! — EM


★ DECIDE — DJO

The highly-anticipated follow-up to 2019's Twenty Twenty, Decide is Joe Keery's masterclass in how well psych-pop blends with indie rock, if you push it hard enough. The entire album ebbs and flows, weaving a tale of desperately wanting to step out of the limelight once you’ve been soaked in it. My favorite tracks are 'Runner,' 'End of Beginning,' and 'Change.' — EM


★ STUMPWORK — DRY CLEANING

Dry Cleaning is easily one of the most exciting artists on the rise right now. We’re seeing a resurgence of post punk right now, and they are certainly leading the pack. Stumpwork, following closely behind 2021’s New Long Leg, sees the band expand on ideas explored in their debut – that the ordinary experiences we have every single day can seem like kismet, if you look at them the right way. — EM


★ DELUSION SPREE — EADES*

With a rowdy opening track that sets the tone for, quite frankly, an incomparable debut from Eades, Delusion Spree is one that I consider to have been wildly overlooked when it was initially released in March of 2022. Another band that often sees comparisons to other, popular guitar bands, Eades are kind of moving in their own sphere, and I’m hoping music lands in the laps of more prospective fans throughout 2023. — EM


★ PREACHER'S DAUGHTER — ETHEL CAIN

Preacher's Daughter tells a story - of a girl named Ethel from a small southern town who dreams of something bigger. These dreams cost her more than she could ever have imagined. The first release of what will eventually be a trilogy surrounding Ethel and the other women in her family, Preacher’s Daughter is easily the most conceptual album released this year, and I encourage everyone who has yet to give it a listen to do so immediately. It will change your life. It has certainly changed mine. — EM


★ SHADOWGLOW — FLIPTURN*

Flipturn has been big with us at Buzzkill this year, and their first full length album, Shadowglow perfectly demonstrates why. Aptly named, Shadowglow equally embraces the light and the dark, ruminating on the cyclical nature of progress and personal growth. The album is ever in motion, strongly held together by frontman Dillon Basse’s tender lyricism and vocals. Shadowglow is a masterful debut, and a perfect add to any indie playlist. — EE


★ DANCE FEVER — FLORENCE + THE MACHINE

Four years without a new album from Florence Welch was far too long to wait, but it was well worth it in the end. Dance Fever is one of the best albums released this past year. Florence’s ability to capture a specific feeling or vibe will never fail to amaze me, and on this newest release, she’s really gotten it down to a science. Every time I listen to it, I feel like going out into the forest barefoot and dancing under a full moon, which I assume was probably her intended effect. — EM


★ LIFE IS YOURS — FOALS

To me, Foals are almost exclusively a summertime band. Every memory I associate with them occurred either when the sun was highest in the sky, trying to pretend it wasn’t burning me to a crisp, or late at night, around a campfire, cicadas singing all around us, and Life is Yours is no different. I’m sure this is a release that no one missed this past year, but if by some chance you did, now’s a good time to spin it, to evoke feelings of blistering warmth during the coldest season of the year. — EM


★ SKINTY FIA — FONTAINES DC

Skinty Fia is Fontaines D.C.’s third offering, and it is, in a way, incomparable to both their debut Dogrel and their sophomore record, A Hero’s Death. They’re trying to do something different, more adventurous, this time around, and I would argue - alongside critics all over the world - that they’ve succeeded. This isn’t a record I can tell you about; you need to simply listen to it for yourself to understand its weight. — EM


★ TAKE HOLD OF YOUR PROMISE! — GENTLY TENDER*

Beginning as a way for frontman Sam Fryer – of ex-Palma Violets fame – to learn how to treat life in a gentler manner, Gently Tender is a project whose debut, Take Hold of Your Promise!, is nearly five years in the making. This album is one that I actually only discovered while putting this list together, and I know it’s a bit cliche to say that I’m glad I did, but I really am. I felt like this was a record that clicked with me immediately, as someone who’s trying to step back and relearn how to see the world. This is exactly what I’m trying to do by putting this list together; the hope is that some of these records might click with someone else, too, who might not have listened to them otherwise! — EM


★ SLUGEYE — GRETEL HÄNLYN*

I’m honestly quite shocked this album isn’t more popular among the sad girl music connoisseurs – with a voice quite unlike anyone I’ve heard before, Gretel Hänlyn (real name Maddy Haenlein) has built an ethereal world for us in Slugeye that doesn’t seem to be very welcoming, but she invites us in nonetheless. If you’re feeling jaded and unenthused by the state of music today (which, with all of the exciting albums released this year, I’m not quite sure how you could be), let Haenlein’s debut, with its razor-sharp blend of genres like grunge, alternative, and indie, be what lures you back in. — EM


★ GARAGEBAND SUPERSTAR — LAURAN HIBBERD*

Reminiscent of early-2000’s pop and punk, Garageband Superstar is Lauran Hibberd’s outspoken debut, which seems to be influenced by the likes of Sum 41 and New Found Glory, with Hibberd's own special touch heightening it to a plane entirely its own. She is very quickly becoming one of the cleverest lyricists working today, refreshing in a way I hadn’t realized I had been searching for. Hibbard made me enjoy this genre of music again, in part by reinventing the way I see it. — EM


★ CAN YOU AFFORD TO LOSE ME? — HOLLY HUMBERSTONE*

Holly Humberstone is so unbelievably talented, and this latest offering is a compilation of previously-released and well-loved singles like “Falling Asleep At The Wheel,” “Overkill,” and “The Walls Are Way Too Thin,” alongside some new-to-us tunes that actually knocked me on my ass when I first heard them. Humberstone is a singer-songwriter in it for the long run, and if you’ve never heard her music before, now is a good time to give it a spin! — EM


★ PURE MISERY — HUMOUR (EP)

Another 2022 release that I feel deserved more commendation than it received. Out in late November, Pure Misery is refreshingly carefree and honest, and I would highly recommend a listen to anyone in the mood for something they’re sure they’ve never heard before. — EM


★ PRE-PLEASURE — JULIA JACKLIN

Julia Jacklin is the queen of looking deep into your soul and seeing you for who you truly are – or, at least that’s what it feels like. Her music has always been heartfelt, earnest in a searingly bright way that feels hard to look away from, but PRE PLEASURE invoked feelings in me I had forgotten lived dormant. From the very start of the record, with “Lydia Wears a Cross,” she explores what it meant to be a child exposed to religion without a clear understanding of what it all meant yet, and that exploration of self, of the self in relation to the people and beliefs that we devote ourselves to, the inward life we live versus the outward life we lead, does not yield. — EM


★ HEART UNDER — JUST MUSTARD

Shoegaze also seems to be on the up, and Just Mustard’s sophomore record, Heart Under, has the potential to be one of the best albums in the genre in recent years. Eerie and anxiety-inducing in a way that leaves the listener wanting more, it’s a bit different from their debut offering, but I believe it to be a change for the better, giving them a more individual and compelling sound. — EM


★ SOUND OF THE MORNING — KATY J PEARSON

Pearson’s 2020 debut, Return, was one of my favorites out that year, and Sound of the Morning only takes the things that I enjoyed about that record and expands upon them, honing in on what works best for her while cutting out anything that might have marked her as predictable or ordinary. It’s a genius followup and I look forward to spinning it throughout the different seasons of this year. — EM


★ TIRED OF LIBERTY — THE LOUNGE SOCIETY*

Born out of the restlessness of the pandemic, The Lounge Society have a sound to match that energy, a yearning, always-wanting-more sort of sound that has both excited and perplexed music fans for the last couple of years. Their debut full-length has been long-awaited, and was received pretty well this past year, for good reason. — EM


★ MUNA — MUNA

One of the best bands to be aware of going into 2023, MUNA’s third studio album somehow the band continues to grow even more. While “Silk Chiffon,” the band’s collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers, was a stick out single prior to the album’s release but is far from the only track worth noting on the album. Everyday it’s more and more important to see queer musicians taking up space in the way MUNA does and this newest addition to the band’s discography does just that. — BJ


★ REELING — THE MYSTERINES*

The Mysterines are another band you should absolutely be keeping an eye on going into this year. Their particular brand of hard-and-fast, in-your-face rock and roll mixed with lead singer Lia Metcalfe’s deep, at times rasping voice makes for an exciting debut – who put on an amazing live show, too, by the way. Even the slower songs on this record keep your heart rate up. — EM


★ BANSHEE — NEWDAD (EP)

NewDad have been on our radar for a while – another FFO column alum, if you can believe it; so many on this list – and with an EP already under their belts, this newest release cements them as ones to watch. They’re sure of who they are, and they have something to say, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll listen. — EM


★ TIME BEND AND BREAK THE BOWER — SINEAD O BRIEN

The debut full-length from another artist who has something to say and has found exactly the way to do so, Sinead O Brien is a master of the surreal, her music a mirror reflecting, digesting the natural and manufactured world we live in. Time Bend and Break the Bower is self-assertive, self-assured, and not a record to listen to casually. If you haven’t had the chance to yet, you’ll want to carve some time out in your day to truly pay it the attention it – and O Brien – deserves. — EM


★ FROM 2 TO 3 — PEACH PIT

From the first twinkling notes of “Up Granville” to the album’s close in titular track “From 2 to 3”, this album is an absolute delight. From 2 to 3 radiates warmth with a folk influence that feels like it was made for Peach Pit’s easy listening indie sound. I truly cannot say enough good things about this album, the songwriting itself is devastatingly candid, and despite its softer edge, still brings out all of the best from Peach Pit. — EE


★ LUCKY ME — PHOEBE GREEN*

Phoebe Green is an artist that we’ve been championing at Buzzkill since I was doing this alone in my one bedroom apartment in upstate New York, and it’s so exciting to watch her experience the success of her debut full-length. It’s bold and eccentric and unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. I find myself coming back to it quite a bit, and I feel that says a lot in a world where we’re constantly being slammed with the newest release. — EM


★ DREAMS, PAINS & PAPER PLANES — PIXEY*

Every song that Pixey records and releases is sunshine bottled, even if the subject matter is a little less than that. This entire album reminds me of days spent relaxing on a sandy beach, hand over my brow to keep the sun from my eyes. She is without a doubt a star on the rise, and I’m so excited to watch her ascend. — EM


★ IT’S NOT COMFORTABLE TO GROW — PLASTIC MERMAIDS

Hailing from Isle of Wight, the energetic and exciting band Plastic Mermaids released their second full length album. It’s Not Comfortable To Grow, much like the album suggests, is a journey through growing but also genre. Each track feels different to the rest, yet like a chapter in the same story. All building to the album’s finale track, "Elastic Time," which feels like a culmination of the bands neo-psychedelic sound but as well as their experimentation throughout the album. — BJ


★ WATERSLIDE, DIVING BOARD, LADDER TO THE SKY — PORRIDGE RADIO

I was lucky enough to see Porridge Radio back in September when they were touring the States, and witnessing so much of this album live was honestly life-altering. The band has a commanding presence, which was a little bit overwhelming at times, but the kind of overwhelming that leaves you changed. The record itself evokes so many of those emotions in me again every time I come back to it. — EM


★ BEST OF BEACH PUNK — REMINDERS*

Rip-roaring, rebellious punk that shoves you through the frustrations of life, especially those that come along with being in, and falling out of, love. Tinged with heart-on-your-sleeve, yet shoutable lyrics and bass and drums that could punch a hole in a brick wall, Best of Beach Punk is a masterclass in bringing old school punk to the here and now without losing its spirit. Each song is a postcard into what life is like in a forgotten seaside town from a band making sure they won’t be. — AB


★ DOES IT MAKE YOU HAPPY? — ROWAN*

Irish rockers Rowan's debut full-length is a subtle and vulnerable masterpiece, and it is one of my favorite records out the entire year. The band has said it represents “…the amalgamation of joy, sadness, pain, relief and everything in between.” I sound like a broken record at this point, but this record truly did not receive the acclaim it deserved when released – it’s an underlying gem, one you can spin and then show to all of your friends, who’ll surely not have heard it before. — EM


★ HOLD THE GIRL — RINA SAWAYAMA

Self-healing and self-love are the mantra’s of Sawayama’s new album Hold The Girl. A change in direction from her first critically acclaimed album SAWAYAMA, she goes on a journey amongst genres and production. From industrial- hyper pop to a sing-along country tune, Sawayama has never been afraid to be undefined by genre or labels. An album that is soul healing after a rough few years for everyone. — BJ


★ ALOHA SOUL 1 — ELI SMART (EP)

Also a For Fans Of feature alum, Smart’s music has held us all here at Buzzkill captivated for as long as we can remember. Aloha Soul 1 is a careful compendium of the work that showcases his incomparable talents and sound – and it’s only a little over fifteen minutes long, so it’s perfect to pop on for the drive to Trader Joe’s. Trust me; it’ll brighten your day, enough to have you thinking you can really smell the salty ocean air. — EM


★ GULP! — SPORTS TEAM

The energy of a Sports Team live show has been impossibly pressed into their second studio album, Gulp!. With lyrics laden with cocky pessimism alongside calculatedly chaotic instrumentation, Gulp! shines in the spotlight Sports Team has deservedly gained since the release of Deep Down Happy in 2020. Gulp! packs a strong punch; it’s weird, it’s loud, and we absolutely love it. — EE


★ DEAR DIARY — SPYRES (EP)

Spyres’ 2019 single “Otherside” was my anthem when it was first released, and keeping up with them these past few years has been such a thrill. When they announced they were putting out an EP, I was so relieved that this wasn’t another band that would put out one of my favorite songs of all time and then we would never hear from them again – and Dear Diary lives up to every expectation I’ve ever had for Spyres. Another example of a breakout band building on their momentum, and I cannot wait to see what else they have in store. In the meantime, if Dear Diary slipped past you last summer, give it a spin! — EM


★ MY OTHER PEOPLE — TV PRIEST

It’s no secret that we love TV Priest here at Buzzkill. The group had a tough act to follow after the release of their debut album, Uppers, back in 2021, but did so with a wholehearted bang! with the release of My Other People. The album is TV Priest to their core, it’s unique, genre-defying and pouring over with emotion. My Other People is unconventionally beautiful, and full of experimentation while staying rooted in the noise of traditional post-punk. — EE


★ WET LEG — WET LEG*

Ah, the long-awaited full-length debut from Wet Leg. Was it everything we dreamed it’d be and more? Yes. Yes, it was. Note the restraint it’s taking me not to make a “Wet Dream” pun right now. I honestly think Wet Leg are in a league (and a genre) of their own at this point - no one is doing it quite like them. They’re an enigma, but the really endearing kind. — EM


★ CUB — WUNDERHORSE*

Wunderhorse is a standout act of 2022 for me, and their debut record Cub outdid any expectations I had based on its singles, which is a feat considering “Leader of the Pack” is hands down my favorite song of the year. The band, fronted by Jacob Slater – who was also in Dead Pretties, a band once poised to take over the scene in the late 2010s – is now standing on the precipice of something akin to fame, having just opened for Fontaines D.C. on a few of their runs, both in the UK and overseas, and they put on a hell of a show. I don’t know how else to put it except to say that we here at Buzzkill are all sort of holding our breath to see what they do next – they impressed us when we saw them supporting Fontaines and during their set at Primavera Sound in Los Angeles, proving that they’ve got the bite to back the bark. It seems they’re capable of pretty much anything, honestly, and I’m really hoping to see them out on a headlining tour very soon to push this record. — EM


★ THE OVERLOAD — YARD ACT*

There’s something oddly charismatic about Yard Act. Witty tongue-in-cheek lyrics fuse with alternative grooves and riffs to make something truly unique. The Overload’s release this past January blew Yard Act onto the scene, and even led to a well deserved nomination for this year’s Mercury Prize. The Overload is like nothing you’ve heard before, with grooves reminiscent of early 2000s alternative (Beck, Cake, and the like) and lyrics that playfully sting with societal critiques, Yard Act have created a timeless debut, and we’re excited to see what comes next. — EE

63 views0 comments
bottom of page