Our Favorite Albums of 2022

Post by
December 14, 2022

As 2022 comes to a close, we reflect on our favorite albums of the year.

Big Theif - Dragon New Warm Mountain

Big Thief,
Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You

On my Substack, I have an essay in draft mode that is entitled Is Big Thief the Best Band in North America or Is It Destroyer? (Actually It’s Lambchop.) The essay isn’t finished yet, but its title tidily sums up my three favorite albums of the year.

This Big Thief double-record is an endlessly big, brilliant, open-hearted, shambolic mess of genius and vulnerability. I love love love to lose lose lose myself in it.

Bonus: on something of a whim, back in April my 18YO son and I shot up to Michigan to catch Big Thief at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. It was incredible; they turned a 1700-capacity standing-room-only venue into a giant crucible made of paper-thin glass.

— Matt

Death Cab for Cutie - Asphalt Meadows

Death Cab for Cutie,
Asphalt Meadows

This one took me a few listens to really get into, but I found myself going back for another listen, and then another. Their tenth album (25 years in) feels new but also familiar, with all the elements you expect from a Death Cab album. I can tell I’ll be going back for another listen for quite a while yet.

— Jonathan

Destroyer - Labyrinthitis

Destroyer,
Labyrinthitis

Destroyer’s Dan Bejar (my second-favorite Bejar) writes inscrutable art-pop songs that sometimes hang on a single line; in one memorable moment on the band’s stunning new album, a phone just. won’t. stop. ringing. Finally, Bejar answers it, cups his hand over the receiver, and whispers to the listener: “Tintoretto, it’s for you.” Two beats later, all musical hell breaks loose. Play it loud loud loud.

In an interview with Pitchfork, Bejar says of the song: “it’s a vague recollection of me throwing around Tintoretto as a painter I liked in my 20s; just such utter bullshit.” DB and I are pretty much the same age—so I get it.

Best of all are the closing two songs, “The States” and “The Last Song,” with its unshakeable refrain, “You wake up, you stand up, you move to L.A.; you’re just another person that moves to L.A.”

— Matt

Harry Styles - Harry'sHouse

Harry Styles,
Harry’s House

I had the pleasure of going to Harry’s House, and it was absolutely mind-blowing. Okay, so I didn’t go to his actual house, but I did spend one of my best weekends of 2022 at his concert in Chicago, with one of my besties and a pink feather boa. His energy on stage is so dynamic—he’s one of the best performers I’ve ever seen! And it was almost as good as hanging out at his house.

— Bridget

This album made me a fan of Harry Styles, and while I’m late to the game I’m proud to say I’m fully on the bandwagon now.

—  Erin

Kendrick Lamar - Mr Morale And The Big Steppers

Kendrick Lamar,
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers

Likely safe to say when Kendrick drops an album, it’s making some sort of favorite list. Kendrick finally dropped Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers following a long break in solo work. Like any Kendrick album, there’s a lot to digest. This album also had my favorite song of all of 2022 which is Rich Spirit.

— Zach

lambchop - the bible

Lambchop,
The Bible

Two-and-a-half decades in, Lambchop remains the most brazenly inventive, beguiling and inspiring act on the planet.

“So There” is song of the year and a hymn that will last generations; I can only listen to it about once every three weeks because that’s all my heart can take:

To be simple, to be gentle,
to be honest, to be kind;
To welcome the unexpected
with an unsatisfied mind…

Bonus: on something of a whim, my 18YO son and I shot up to MPLS to catch The Bible’s release show at Walker Arts Center, curated by Liquid Music, and it was one of the most memorable concert experiences of my entire life.

— Matt

Maggie Rogers - Surrender

Maggie Rogers,
Surrender

I rarely listen to the radio, and when I do find new music, it’s usually an unfinished demo on TikTok. The Sonos at OLG has quickly become one of my favorite methods for discovering new music. Maggie Rogers’s album Surrender plays often, and it has really grown on me.

With my late 20’s just around the corner, I can relate to her desire to let go of things that are outside of her control and embrace feelings as they come—good and bad. After kicking off my career in the middle of a global pandemic and constantly feeling overwhelmed by the state of the world, her concept of “joy being an act of rebellion” is truly inspiring.

— Angie

mazie - the rainbow cassette

Mazie,
The Rainbow Cassette

Fun, quirky and sassy. If you like Lily Allen, you will definitely enjoy this album!

— Angie

Rivals - Dangerous

Rivals,
Dangerous

If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, Rivals will make you feel like a force to be reckoned with.

— Angie

sabrina carpernter - emails i cant send

Sabrina Carpenter,
emails i can’t send

Pop singer-songwriters have a death grip on my heart.

— Jasmine

taylor swift - midnights

Taylor Swift,
Midnights (3am Edition)

After waiting in the queue for 5 hours to get tickets, how can this not be my favorite album of 2022?! I haven’t been a fan since day 1, but with every new album Taylor Swift has grown on me. Midnights is perfect for any mood, and I can’t get enough.

— Zoe

Love how this album has a mix of bops and rip-your-heart-out songs, but what I admire the most are the hidden meanings and references throughout the lyrics. I catch something new with every listen, and love how she’s able to tell a story through her work.

—  Erin

The Regrettes - further joy

The Regrettes,
Further Joy

The Regrettes put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot of shows)—I love their energy, and I am entirely obsessed with this album.

— Jasmine

the weekend - dawn fm

The Weeknd,
Dawn FM

I always enjoy anything The Weeknd releases, and especially loved DawnFM. I have really enjoyed his exploration into the 80’s synth-filled nostalgic sound in multiple albums since Starboy.

— Zach

westside boogie - more black superheroes 2

Westside Boogie,
More Black Superheroes

Shady Records’ Westside Boogie and his album More Black Superheroes is my favorite album of 2022. This album is packed with varied production, intimate writing and songs with strong replay value. I also feel Westside is one of the best artists at writing a rhythmic melody for a hook in the same track that can get you pumped up in the gym.

— Zach

Wet leg

Wet Leg,
S/T

This album played on the Sonos during my first week at OLG, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I enjoy music that makes you feel like dancing, and Wet Leg does not disappoint. This album is perfect for an early morning energy boost, adding some pep to weekend cleaning and setting a vibe for late night drives with friends.

— Angie

Check out the highlights on our Spotify playlist!

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