33 of my favorite songs released in 2022, hand-sequenced in an unranked fashion.
Recent singles that have become stuck in the memory banks…
Impossible not to fall under the spell of this understated and groovy mood on “The Florist” from Abby Sage.
New Hand Habits, “Greatest Weapon,” with an epic chorus: time is the ruler of my hell.
Cate le Bon‘s latest is dark and cracked. Singular and consistent.
Funky fuzzed production on the new Laundromat track. There’s cowbell.
Guilty pleasure pop of the month: Gretel Hanlyn.
Over the past two years, Fire Talk Records has become a trusted go-to source for finding great new artists. They’ve curated a tight roster of acts who fall across a wide spectrum of post-punkish indie style rock. Rack em’ up: Deeper, Cola, Dehd, Mamalarky, and Bnny to name a few – but it’s been Wombo, a power trio out of Kentucky, that has most captured my imagination over the past year. While they have two albums prior that are wide sprawling in ideas and performance, it’s on last year’s excellent “Keesh Mountain” EP where they leaned into a decidedly more angular and Dada approach. Their new album Fairy Rust builds on top of that in layers, pushing further on their ability to veer from math rock to pop hooks and finds them hitting a solid stride in carving out a sound all of their own. It’s a clean sparse production that puts their tight instrumental interplay front and center, with bassist/singer Sydney Chadwick’s detached and eerie voice tying the time-signature shifting skronk together in ways that belie the cacophony often going on underneath.
100% peak Cronenberg, with all of his historical body horror themes cranked up to eleven (bio-mech transhumanism, mutation vs evolution, fetishization of body trauma). If you are a long-time fan, you likely will not be disappointed. He’s not been as weird, gory, and pseudo-political as this since Videodrome 39 years ago and the entire film has a surreal subconscious dream feel, akin to Existenz. The cast is fantastic in inhabiting and selling this dark bizarre world, and while it’s purposefully pretentious satire in portions and is not for the squeamish, it’s so absolutely strange and singular in its vision that it lands as a true return to form. Go in blind, let things unfold of their own accord, and good luck.
33 of my favorite songs from 2021, hand-sequenced in an unranked fashion.