This was an interesting year—musically. At the beginning of 2022, my listening habits were largely the same—always in the background. Whether I was cooking, driving, doing chores, or reading, I had music. In February, however, I let more silence into my life. I never used to like the quiet and music filled that void, but this year I’ve come to accept those moments of silence. Where it’s just the humming fridge, rain falling, or my fingers typing across a keyboard. Regardless of the greater influence of quiet in my life, I still listened to new music.
For the past twelve months, I’ve detailed What I’m Listening To. That leaves us with 265 songs, including honorable mentions and Christmas. Not all of them qualified for this annual list, but I still had plenty to sort through. In previous years, my favorite albums were a separate list, but I’ve decided to combine songs and albums together. Many of my monthly WILTs mentioned the albums I enjoyed, so it seems only natural to continue that organization here. With that in mind, I chose fifty songs and ten albums to define 2022.
We have some rules to follow:
- The song does not need to have been released in 2022 but listened/loved by me during this year. It must have earned a spot in a monthly WILT playlist or been an honorable mention. Songs that were initially marked with an asterisk* did not qualify.
- Only one song per artist – an exception will be made for collaborations or features.
- Rather than ordering the songs by release or genre, I’m going to put them alphabetically by artist.
- Instead of a reason (because then this would be really long), I’ll be posting some of my favorite lyrics from the song which might explain why it is here.
- Each song will be marked with the month it initially appeared in WILT so we can see its longevity or if any trends emerge.
What did 2022 sound like?
- “Panic” by Amy Lawton ~ June ~ I figured out how to mirror you as you walked in the door
- “30/90” performed by Andrew Garfield and the cast of tick, tick…BOOM! ~ January ~ Why can’t you stay 29?
- “Strawberry” by Andrew Montana ~ March ~ Clean the blood and never ask why
- “Pool House” by The Backseat Lovers ~ December ~ I’ll risk it all to find a place where I can hear my thoughts
- “Weeds” by Beach Bunny ~ July ~ I let the same old problems steal away my years
- “The 30th” by Billie Eilish ~ July ~ If you changed anything, would you not have survived?
- “Beach House” by Carly Rae Jepsen ~ August ~ And I’m probably gonna harvest your organs
- “My Kink is Karma” by Chappell Roan ~ July ~ You crashing your car, you breaking your heart, you thinking I care
- “Talia” performed by Chaz Duffy and the cast of Ride the Cyclone ~ December ~ I lay my masculinity at the altar of your maidenhood
- “Disaster” by Conan Gray ~ June ~ Is it purely platonic to call me, like, every night?
- “Gilded Lily” by Cults ~ November ~ Always the fool with the slowest heart
- “Two Figures By A Fountain” by Dario Marianelli and Jean-Yves Thibaudet ~ November ~ Instrumental
- “W.I.T.C.H.” by Devon Cole ~ August ~ Tell me, “Why you’re so scared of a woman in charge?”
- “Vegas” by Doja Cat ~ May ~ When you said you live in a dream, we can keep that- asleep
- “engravings” by Ethan Bortnick ~ October ~ Took off everything except these sleeves
- “Them” by FLAVIA ~ July ~ Teach me how to respect your figure
- “Becky’s So Hot” by FLETCHER ~ July ~ Are you in love like we were?
- “Daffodil” by Florence + The Machine ~ May ~ Made myself mythical, tried to be real
- “Be Nice To Me” by The Front Bottoms ~ August ~ There is very little left of me and it’s never coming back
- “October Passed Me By” by girl in red ~ October ~ Screaming at the top of my lungs, I love you, my girl
- “Hands Down” by The Greeting Committee ~ November ~ With you, it’s like I’m coming home again
- “So Good” by Halsey ~ June ~ When you left, I bet you held her body closer
- “Matilda” by Harry Styles ~ May/September ~ But I know that you feel like a piece of you’s dead inside
- “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” by Kate Bush ~ June ~ Let me steal this moment from you now
- “complex” by Katie Gregson-MacLeod ~ October ~ I cry in his bathroom, hе turns off the big light
- “Joanne” by Lady Gaga ~March ~ Every part of my aching heart / Needs you more than the angels do
- “10 Things I Hate About You” by Leah Kate ~ August ~ Three, you still got mommy issues
- “We’ll Never Have Sex” by Leith Ross ~ April ~ Oh, you kissed me just to kiss me
- “Flower Shops” by Lindsay James ~ May ~ To tell him he took the best years of my life
- “Chanson d’une rouspéteuse” by Lisa LeBlanc ~ October ~ J’aime pas mes voisins, ils font trop d’bruit
- “About Damn Time” by Lizzo ~ May ~Oh, I’m not the girl I was or used to be
- “firearm” by Lizzy McAlpine ~ April ~ You had me convinced that you loved me
- “You Might Not Like Her” by Maddie Zahm ~ July ~ That good girl you were was really fucking bad at being real
- “GASLIGHT!” by Maggie Linemann and Siiickbrain ~ Honorable Mentions ~ Leave me lonely or kill you slowly
- “SUPERMODEL” by Måneskin ~ July ~ When you’re not looking, she’s stealing your Basquiat
- “Beachboy” by McCafferty ~ January ~ Grow up now is just what I mean
- “MESS U MADE” by MICHELLE ~ January ~ I thought we’d be better by now
- “A Burning Hill” by Mitski ~ March ~ For you have a way of promising things
- “Devil” by Moon Walker ~ June ~ I’m just a canvas reflecting back what your system’s painting
- “SENSITIVE” by MOTHICA ~ April ~ My fears don’t behave logically
- “This Year” by The Mountain Goats ~ January ~ I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me
- “Mr. Percocet” by Noah Cyrus ~ May ~ You want someone who worship the worst of your mistakes
- “Stick Season” by Noah Kahan ~ July ~ Once called me forever now you still can’t call me back
- “Ok Love You Bye” by Olivia Dean ~ January ~ Could you just put up with me?
- “This is Why” by Paramore ~ October ~ You’re either with us or you can keep it
- “When It Lands” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise ~ January ~ Good friends rolled light on split ends
- “Don’t Tell My Mom” by Reneé Rapp ~ October ~ At least in her mind, hеr daughter is fine
- “Unholy” by Sam Smith feat. Kim Petras ~ October ~ I hear them whispering ’bout the places that you’ve been
- “Olive Branch” by Sophie Holohan ~ November ~ Did I lose my common sense or do I actually miss you?
- “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” by Taylor Swift ~ October ~ Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first
Although Spotify has its own system of tallying my ‘favorite’ songs, this year was mostly inaccurate. I frequently listened to a playlist of early -2000s rock (The Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, etc.) and that skewed those results. Additionally, Spotify obviously doesn’t adhere to my ‘no old favorites’ rule. Still, let’s give a shout-out to “Iris” for making that top five. (Next year, I’m going to rig the damn thing).
My top ten albums of this year follow roughly the same rules: one album per artist, listened to for the first time in 2022, and loved. Instead of writing about the album, I’ll only be including my favorite track suggestions.
- Atonement by Dario Marianelli and Jean-Yves Thibaudet (2007).
- Favorite Tracks: “Two Figures By A Fountain” and “Elegy for Dunkirk”
- Ride the Cyclone: The Musical (World Premiere Cast Recording) by Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond (2021).
- Favorite Tracks: “Noel’s Lament”, “Talia,” and “The Ballad of Jane Doe”
- Girl of My Dreams by FLETCHER (2022).
- Favorite Tracks: “Becky’s So Hot”, “Sting”, and “Holiday”
- Dance Fever by Florence + The Machine (2022).
- Favorite Tracks: “Daffodil”, “Free”, and “Dream Girl Evil”
- Harry’s House by Harry Styles (2022).
- Favorite Tracks: “Matilda”, “As It Was”, and “Boyfriends”
- Special by Lizzo (2022).
- Favorite Tracks: “About Damn Time”, “Birthday Girl”, and “Naked.”
- five seconds flat by Lizzy McAlpine (2022).
- Favorite Tracks: “firearm”, “doomsday”, and “reckless driving (feat. Ben Kessler)”
- The Hardest Part by Noah Cyrus (2022).
- Favorite Tracks: “Mr. Percocet”, “I Burned LA Down”, and “Loretta’s Song”
- Stick Season by Noah Kahan (2022).
- Favorite Tracks: “Stick Season”, “She Calls Me Back”, and “Orange Juice”
- Midnights (3am Edition) by Taylor Swift (2022).
- Favorite Tracks: “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”, “You’re On Your Own, Kid”
Overall, my music this year was still female-oriented and dominated, but more bands snuck in than previously. It’s also unusual that we don’t have any K or J pop, and the only foreign language that appears is French. This year, perhaps more than previous, I stuck to the familiar and favorite with only a few deviations. For some reason, artists with M’s were the majority. The best month for music in 2022 was July; the worst was September.
What will 2023 bring musically? Obviously, more Taylor Swift. I might delve more into Midwest emo. Maybe I’ll seek out more male artists or genres I don’t listen to as often. My tastes will be adventurous, innovative, and daring. Whether it’s an indie artist starting their career or a musician well into theirs, I am here to support, listen, and recommend. 2022 has been an interesting year, and I hope 2023 will be astounding.
Until next year, I’ll keep the hits on replay.
If you’re interested, you can find the complete What I’m Listening To in 2022 here.
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