Crate Skimmers #??: Bresson’s Best of 2022

Owned since: 2022, duh

Where I bought it: Streaming baby

Year: 2022

Crate skimmers awakes from its coma to slowly ease back into it. 2022 hasn’t been my favorite year for a lot of things but for music it might be. It’s like 2021, not really a record that stood out massively above my other favorite music this year. It’s mostly a great note on how good a lot of the music was this year and how much I even missed out on great records that just didn’t pop up on my radar. We’re in the real downwind of records that got delayed through covid this year and even bands that split up in 2016 are releasing new things. It’s a madhouse, so here is my top 25 slightly ranked records of 2022 with a small note by me on them and a bunch more recs. 

#1 SASAMI – Squeeze

Genre: Industrial metal for Mitski fans 

Label: Domino

There’s not a record that I enjoyed this year more than the massive turn that was SASAMI’s second record. The first record by Sasami Ashworth’s solo project was a pleasant mix of indie rock, singer-songwriter stuff and some slight folk influences but Squeeze is a far cry from that. As described by her as ‘appropriating very cis white male music in metal’ and making a mess of it which is honestly how most of Squeeze sounds. Just an endless spiraling serpent, like the Nure-onna on the cover, trying to fight its own tail and endless shifting moods to do so. Some really diverse guest musicians on this also: from Ty Segall to Hand Habits to King Tuff to Megadeth drummer Dirk Verbeuren who all add a lot to the insane palette of sound on here. From country pop, to the loud Godflesh-like Skin a Rat, Daniel Johnston cover Sorry Entertainer to the slowburn Not A Love Song that closes out the album it all is so all over the place while very much still in control. It’s an impressive mood to create even more with songs so good as on this. Just a record that perfectly tackles some serious lyrical themes mixed with showcasing SASAMI as someone who goes against the grain without losing one edge of making engaging music. 

#2 Chat Pile – God’s Country

Genre: Noise rock like it’s 2009

Label: The Flenser 

You’re becoming old when records are coming out that recall stuff you enjoyed being released when you were in your late teens. Chat Pile’s full length debut is full of late 00’s noise rock in the vein of bands like Young Widows and Part Chimp which means loud thundering bass, trash can drums and buzzsaw guitars while a vocalist that sounds like a drunk that lost his voice screams over it. Sounds like absolute hell, but this was the stuff that produced a lot of my favorite music and while this lacks any originality it’s such a solid callback to that time that it’s impossible for me not to love it. 40 minutes of music that sounds like a trash compactor being a drummer for what sounds like 80’s Swans on a day where they feel happy, so still pretty miserable. Throw in a bit of the nihilism Neurosis brought, Young Widows screaming vocals/thundering bass and you got a record that will excite the guy who won’t shut up about Amphetamine Reptile Records and the Melvins. Even the shit titles are back again, looking at you grimace_smoking_weed.jpeg, I nearly made this review just the image of Grimace smoking weed but I chickened out. 

#3 Porridge Radio – Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky

Genre: Stadium rock through a weird post-ironic indie rock filter

Label: Secretly Canadian

What even is a rock band these days? It’s a question Porridge Radio asks on their new record and kind of answers. It’s mostly making a record about small frustrations of not fitting in, your surroundings and packing it in a meticulously produced album made to sing along with. Loads of humor also, the band’s vocalist Dana Margolin lyrics are wry but have a bit of hope in them packed with a lot of scathing observations of her life and surroundings. What really makes this shine for me is how extremely well it all clicks together; the band makes extremely catchy songs that never feel easy and keep me on my feet while never getting lost in self-seriousness while dealing with serious subjects. A lot of the sounds on here aren’t that far removed from big stadium rock bands even, but removed of any kind of plasticness and being played by a band with its heart on its sleeve. An extremely slick, in the best way, record that only gets better on replays. 

#4 Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You

Genre: (A lot) More of the excellent same 

Label: 4AD

After two critically acclaimed records Big Thief returns with, well, two critically acclaimed records. It’s just they are a double album and my general indifference to those is well noted but this might be the best collection of songs they produced yet. Finding a near perfect mix between their more acoustic alt-country stuff and more band based slacker indie folk this shows a band that got extremely refined through the near endless tour their last two record put them on without losing what makes them them. The harsher rock sounds of Two Hands are mostly gone here but not for a moment they feel really missed since the more homebrew folk feel of this all is just a perfect fit for these songs. There’s nothing really new here but when the original is so good why not go further on it and keep the quality on the level. 

#5 Sudan Archives – Natural Brown Prom Queen

Genre: R&B by the way of club music but also a lot of other things 

Label: Stones Throw
Sudan Archives’s whole goal has always been to speak openly/celebrate about black woman culture and its impact, with Natural Brown Prom Queen it’s her best record based on this yet. A joyful mix of club dance music, R&B, art pop and her trademark violin playing all over this gives this a unique feel that even for its nearly 1 hour run time never grows tired and keeps you actively up with its lyrics which is always an expressive feat. It’s impossible to avoid what this album is about and it’s brought with such well tuned samples/vocals that it never misses the mark without it ever feeling overwhelming over the tracks. It all just fits perfectly together even more when the more bass driven dance tracks come up like the 6 minute endless rebuilding ChevyS10 driven by maybe one of the best violin breaks you will ever hear. Daring great art pop music that never forgets the genre it operates in and is so full of catchy hooks it’s impossible to ignore. 

#6 Cloud Rat – Threshold

Genre: Blackened Grindcore

Label: Artoffact

While my years of actively engaging with a lot of punk and metal more extreme sonic corners are long gone I tend to pick up some releases per year still from these wastelands. Cloud Rat is a band that I’ve loved since their self titled debut in 2010 and 12 years later the band is still going strong. Threshold is a marvelous slab of grindcore pushed through various subgenres with crystal clear production that is a delight in a genre that brickwalls their production so much it gives me a headache. It’s a 30 minute burst of energy where the band uses a lot more black metal influences then on 2019’s straightforward but great Pollinator. It’s a great fit for the band that already were always experimenting with grindcore as a start and really adds great dynamics to a sound that makes it sound exciting. To say this is packed with d-beat drums and (old school metalcore) guitars is an understatement and it got me excited for breakdowns in the year of your lord 2022. Punchy is an understatement for this gem. 

#7 Kelly Lee Owens – LP.8  

Genre: Broken ambient techno pop

Label: Smalltown Supersound

After two albums with a brilliant mix of techno and ambient pop thrown in (mostly) song constructs, Lp.8 is a bit of a surprise release. Gone are the easy to get into songs and it mostly exists as long ambient techno sketches that seem endlessly to stop and start their builds into sound art-like tape loops. What remains is Owens’ brilliant use of her vocals as an instrument, glitchy samples hidden in broken drumbeats and sub-bass which slowly gets pushed to background as further the album gets. While I’ve grown for sure past my biggest interest in techno, this is just such an adventurous follow up that endlessly throws you on the wrong path in the most delightful way. For example the 8,5 minute Anadlu which slowly forms into a blissful ambient soundtrack after shaking off the rumbling bass it starts with, with Owens whispering the title over it. The backend of the record where the techno beats mostly vanish into tape loop based piano music are absolutely breathtaking even more through its unique build up on the record. One of my least played records to make this list but every time I put it on there’s new stuff right there which grabs me every time and it is such an easy soundscape to get lost in.

#8 Weird Nightmare – Weird Nightmare 

Genre: Remember lo-fi indie rock?

Label: Sub Pop

After Metz finally released an album I loved last year with the massive Atlas Vending, they booted their EU tour and they seem to go into a bit more quiet period, or well at least for the band, that spent the last 8 years on an endless tour. It was perfect time for vocalist/guitarist Alex Edkins to release his debut as Weird Nightmare, which seems him working together with former Holy Fuck and Big Brave drummer Leol Campbell. Recorded over a bunch of years, this is a 10 song 35 minute rager of a throwback to lo-fi 80’s/early 90’s harsher indie rock without ever failing to be catchy. This got mastered by Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s Mikey Young who does a lot of that stuff for most of the Australian underground and his warm hard-hitting style is all over is like it’s with this year’s also great Vintage Corp record. Just pure uncut great indie rock that gets the blood pumping, smells of stale tall boys and the smoke from the people outside making their way into the lobby of the venue. There’s not a better ‘pure’ rock song released this year then Wrecked which sees Edkins debuting with fellow throwbacks Bully’s Alicia Bognanno but the absolute highlight on this is Lusitania which seems straight to come of an obscure self released 7-inch from 1984 or just early era Guided By Voices. A no frills mess and the better for it.

#9 Jake Xerxes Fussell – Good and Green Again

Genre: Americana?

Label: Paradise of Bachelors

The latest in a slew of great records by Fussell isn’t his most exciting, but it’s by far his most rewarding. More minimal than his masterpiece, What in the Natural World, this is one of those records that really needs time to settle in even how good and well composed it is. With a wonderful backing band including upright bass, violin and Dobro guitars it is an album that really nails a kind of hopefulness mixed with sadness in the past that the lyrics really bring forward also. Like a rainy autumn afternoon inside it gives that kind of sad warmness that is hard to describe. Mostly this is just a beautiful arranged folk record with Fussell’s Piedmont Blues guitar work upfront with his talk-singing voice. Just a record to drink tea to and ponder about things. 

#10 Sadurn – Radiator

Genre: Campfire sadness

Label: Run for Cover

Genevieve DeGroot’s project has been kicking on the fringe corners of what I like to call ‘squat indie folk’ for a couple years already and never really impressed me. Full length debut Radiator sees the project forming into a full band and connects all the missing pieces from the nice but pretty faceless releases before it. Sadurn doesn’t reinvent the wheel here, the sound of bands like Pygmy Lush and the electric folk of Big Thief are clear influences here, but this release is a heartfelt record full of beautiful partly electric alt-country music that just breathes the atmosphere of hanging out with friends around a campfire at 3 in the evening where everything just connects. It’s impressive how the band keeps the fairly monotone sound from getting tired and the mix of the more acoustic songs against the more band based songs is doing masterfully. Lyrical it’s very diary like; extremely personal and clear about what it means. It fits the overall feel of this record very well and deGroot wrote some absolute beautiful lyrics for this about feeling alienated, finding a place where you belong and just friendship. 

#11 Skullcrusher – Quiet the Room

Genre: Slowcore folk music

Label: Secretly Canadian

Secretly Canadian is for sure my label of the year with one record in the top five and two (three, counting the NNAMDÏ one) barely out of the top ten following each other. Even more how much they differ; Skullcrusher’s full length debut is a sparse piano & guitar led affair with endless reverberation on the vocals that feels like a dream. Some small detours through alt-country (whatever fits together) and shoegaze-folk that recalls Jessica Bailliff’s records on Kranky keep the fairly monotone sound interesting but when the sound is as compelling as on here I love to drown in it. This isn’t doing anything new but it does what it does extremely well. 

#12 Stella Donnelly – Flood

Genre: The positive meaning of ‘second album feel’

Label: Secretly Canadian

Stella Donnelly’s debut was full of her lyrics against racists, sexism and a lot of other things on it while not really going deep for subtext. It fit the sparse rock song and solo electric guitar songs well but a second album of it would be a bit overkill and Flood is one of the most impressive follow ups in years. An album that takes what was great about the first one and fills it out with a more band based sound and a lot of more genres. Prettily arranged indie pop, stuff that sounds like the Go-Betweens fronted by Courtney Barnett (lead single How Was Your Day?) and even some post-punk. But mostly it shows a lot of growth in the lyrics; it continues on the previous albums themes but with lyrics that are a lot more about the general feeling of what safety in life means. Which includes some of the best lyrics you will find on a indie pop record this year, ‘Stretching out the leather on your wallet That my lungs are filling up Long live the asbestos on the rental Yeah, it looks alright to me’ of opener Lungs comes to mind. Can’t wait how much the follow up will improve on this great record already.

#13 Nina Nastasia – Riderless Horse

Genre: A bitter yet hopeful return

Label: Temporary Residence Limited

On her first album in 12 years Nina Nastasia comes to terms with the end of an abusive relationship that formed most music she released. It’s extremely outspoken about what she experienced and like her most famous records it’s produced by noise rock legend Steve Albini at his request. Natasia’s biggest claim to fame was the token folk artist on loud noise rock label Touch & Go, championed by the likes of Kim Deal and Albini for her smart homespun folk music with clever often comedic slice of life lyrics. It is what makes Riderless Horse such an impactful album since it’s her first real solo record where her partner/manager Kennan Gudjonsson, who took his life after Natasia broke up the relationship, isn’t there to form her music. It’s a fitting title for an album that very much feels like an album that recalls her old sound but also sounds like a new start. Heartwrenching in the best way and even the way it was produced is extremely sad, it is great Natasia found an outlet in music again.

#14 MJ Lenderman – Boat Songs

Genre: Sparklehorse raised on internet memes

Label: Dear Life

This is the most 90’s record recorded this year by a guy born in 1999. MJ Lenderman’s main claim to fame is playing guitar in the endorsed by me 90’s throwbacks Wednesday and it really shines through in his first ‘studio’ recorded record. Because, while studio recorded, Boat Songs is full of lo-fi sketchy songs that rock back and forth between alt-country and indie rock which recalls Sparklehorse’s Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot but talking about Micheal Jordan’s flu game instead of hearts of darkness. It’s a wonderful loose and short affair where there’s even a sad scuzzy ballad about being depressed relating to Roger Rabbit’s Toontown. There’s quite a big backing band on this including most of Wednesday and a lot of pedal guitar, always a delight, which really makes it shine through how through the layer of garbage this is an extremely well composed jaunt through alt-country’s more freewheeling corners. 

#15 Remember Sports – Leap Day

Genre: Guitar indie-pop

Label: Father/Daughter, Big Scary Monsters

I got to see Remember Sports live on their seemingly quite ill-fated tour of the EU this year which reminded me why I love going to shows. Not that Remember Sports are the most visually interesting or even best live band but their infectiously catchy slacker indie rock that recalls at times the likes of P.S. Eliot really translates well to a live setting. Shame only 12 people were there to witness it but they at least sold like 8 records which says a lot about the band. Leap Day is a 4-song EP which sees the band a bit on a crossroads from their solid 2021 record Like A Stone. It’s more mellow and lyrical, a mix between sadness but also looking forward to better days which fits Carmen Perry’s very well. Heavier use of drum computers also fit in well with the band’s sound and returning to more acoustic songs with the wonderful The One You Wanted really feels like the band is sitting on some really good stuff to come forward in the coming years. So far we got Leap Day which is way too short but an extremely pleasant great little EP.

#16 Prince Daddy & The Hyena- Prince Daddy & The Hyena

Genre: Idk, pop-punk for grownups?

Label: Pure Noise

Prince Daddy & The Hyena’s follow up to their classic, at least to me, Cosmic Thrill Seekers sees the band go further in their raw pop-punk sound that throws back to the past decade but expands a ton on it. Gone are the ear-piercing vocals of Kory Gregory in every song, a hold over from touring, and, even if he still can’t hold a note to save his life, it fits perfectly with the band’s homespun feel. It is the sound of a lineup of the band that finally settled in a groove together, just sound so much more as a band, with some lyrics about death that clearly bear the Jeff Rosenstock influences but they’re so much better then the funny but cringey stuff found on most of their previous records. This is just full of great indie rock songs that are well composed behind the spike of scruff they are behind and while it lacks the energy of Thrill Seekers it makes up for it by just having way better songs to hear loose. 

#17 DOMi & JD Beck – Not Tight

Genre: Apeshit inc/Blue Note

Label: Adult Swim Jazz

As with metal music, I’m horribly out of touch with most things happening with jazz these days but through a Thundercat connection this record did reach me. Not Tight is the duet of internet sensations DOMi & JD Beck who’ve been posting videos for ages online of their spellbinding fast keyboard & drums duo which is the groundwork for this record. It’s really the freshness of it all that makes this so interesting, what the duo does isn’t per se groundbreaking since you hear a lot of fusion jazz and J Dilla-like beat work in this, but it’s how they play with song setups is what keeps this such a good record for the whole run. Just endless skipping around and including a lot of guest vocalists to make it just 45 minutes of impressive jazz. Anderson .Paak is over a lot of this, so is Thundercat and even Busta Rhymes/Snoop Dogg. Somewhere in the middle of free form fusion jazz and instrumental hip-hop, this makes wonderful background and to focus on music. 

#18 Horsegirl – Versions of Modern Performance

Genre: 80’s throwback

Label: Matador

With an average age of around 20, Horsegirl released the best record of 1983, shame it was released in 2022. Joking aside, the influences are way thick on this trio who take the whole wave of post-punk, cherry pick the best bits and make a deeply unoriginal record that is impossible for me not to enjoy. There’s no note on here you haven’t heard before, but who cares when the notes are still great and the band really makes some tremendous songs out of it. Skip the godawful bonus 12-inch that comes with the deluxe vinyl since it’s phone recorded demos and is the worst waste of vinyl this year. 

#19 NNAMDÏ – Please Have a Seat

Genre: Everything

Label: Secretly Canadian/Sooper Records

This was a long time in the making and I’m glad it took so long. NNAMDÏ’s output before this record was full of a unique mix between R&B, electropop, midwest emo music and a ton of other things all captured in shards of songs mixed with comedic interludes. Please Have A Seat sees him finally record in a more hi-fi fashion and make his songs feel less like sketches with one of the most fun records of this year as a result. Endless genre hopping, but never feeling lost this goes from the mumble rap of Amoire to the post-hardcore of Anxious Eater and circles back to hyperpop but played by a band of Smart Ass there is just ideas for days here. All ideas that are wonderfully executed and really put NNAMDÏ’s impressive guitar playing at the front when he wants, but he as easily plays some simple chords to make broken emo-pop on Grounded. Just an endless Ferris wheel of great stuff. 

#20 Nicfit – Fuse

Genre: Japanese post-punk meets noise rock

Label: Upset The Rhythm

Nicfit’s first full length comes out 12 years after they formed, a detour of playing in America and then reforming again in Japan. It might explain why their debut is so full of smart infectious post-punk with a lot of noise rock guitars thrown over it. It’s extremely monotone in the best way and it has those vocals that are always in the record like the mic is picking up the other instruments. If you know what I mean, please check out this record it’s a lot of fun. 

#21 Hurray for the Riff Raff – LIFE ON EARTH

Genre: Electropop by folk musicians

Label: Nonesuch

February might be the worst month to release an album in because everyone is still catching up from last year and the albums from that period tend to get forgotten in the year count ups. Which is a shame when a record is as interesting as LIFE ON EARTH. Long ago Hurray started as an alt-country/blues band but this project of Alynda Segarra long bloomed into something that captures a lot more. LIFE ON EARTH is a deeply personal and political album that is captured in mostly great electropop songs, including Precious Cargo about the immigrant experience. It’s not an easy album but really rewarding with how it uses folk themes in very electronic pop music in exciting ways. 

#22 Whitmer Thomas – The Older I Get the Funnier I Was

Genre: Comedian indie rock, but good

Label: Hardly Art

Comedian Whitmer Thomas’ show the Golden One was one of my favorite things from 2020 and spawned a record with the in-show songs. This is his first standalone record and is produced by Jay Som and it shows. Like her output, this record is a fun mix of full band songs, low key acoustic songs and electropop full of Thomas’ diary-like lyrics about life and his surroundings. 

#23 Gospel – The Loser

Genre: 00’s prog screamo is back

Label: Dogknight Productions

Gospel’s The Moon Is a Dead World was one of those records of the 00’s screamo boom that was very much its own thing. Full of prog rock vocals, mathcore guitars and bravado mixed with a looming screamo filter over it that was unlike anything released at the time, it was the band’s swansong after they broke up in 2006. After a failed reunion in 2009-2010 that just spawned a track the band has now reunited in full with its original lineup and a keyboard player for The Loser; a record that is full of prog rock organ keyboards and mathcore chords that sounds like pure hell but it works extremely well. For sure the most acquired taste record on this list, but it’s impressive how nearly 20 years after the legendary cult full-length the band produces a record that feels fresh without forgetting its past.  

#24 Dehd – Blue Skies

Genre: Post-punk by the way of 3 man band

Label: Fat Possum

Following up Flower of Devotion would be an extremely hard thing to do and Blue Skies isn’t on the same level as Dehd’s amazing 2020 indie rock effort. It’s still the power trio very much doing their lush, surprisingly layered indie rock but turning a bit more inwards sound-wise which was a smart move to do. Less scorching guitar bits like on Flower, but just 13 wonderful, compact, beyond tight rock songs that are full of post-punk bass guitar, some impressive guitar work and of course the eternal Moe Tucker drum setup of just toms giving this all a lovely primal drive. Just a really solid indie rock record.

#25 Sniffany & The Nits – The Unscratchable Itch

Genre: Punk, The British Kind

Label: Prah

I would betray myself if there weren’t 2 punk releases on here at least. Sniffany & The Nits is another post-Joanna Gruesome project, but is a lot more pure punk then the 90’s throwback of Ëx-void. Having kicked a bit around the British scene, this debut is a wonderful slice of British punk music that recalls bands like Rudimentary Peni, Good Throb and a slew of other punk stuff from years past. With lyrics heavily focused on mental health and the lack of care for it which makes it for sure stick out in a sea of mostly hatred for the world these albums mostly go on about. A 25 minute scorcher on a label that only releases experimental electronic music so, yeah, that is a thing. 

No honorary mentions this year because it’s useless to put another 25 great records under this list. Most of those records do have songs in my best of the year playlist or appear on the song list below.

Top 25 songs of 2022

Since 2022 was so full of good music, for my best songs of the year list any record in my top 25 albums isn’t getting on here. Giving more breathing space to what would’ve been the honorary mentions, odd one-offs or great songs from records that I didn’t put on my list though were great.

1. Julia Jacklin – Love, Try Not To Let Go

The second half of Jacklin’s Pre-Pleasure is good but doesn’t live up to the first 5 songs. Second track on the album Love, Try Not To Let Go is a piano and drums driven ballad that sounds part- 60’s girl pop and part-Mitski on the records I like. Just a perfect indie pop song if you ever heard any and a sad reminder I wish I could get more into this record then I did. 

2. Alvvays – Pomeranian Spinster

Barely missing the list, the new Alvvays record has the band going a lot more ways than their usual indie rock stuff. This one is a wonderful jaunty, fast, little, near punk song that has some tremendous car crash guitars and an extremely funny catchy bunch of lyrics. 

3. Grace Ives – Isn’t It Lovely

Bedroom pop 2.0. from one of the most fun pop records this year. Recalls disco, 10’s electropop and a lot of other stuff in barely 2,5 minutes all sewn together with insane precision by Ives. 

4. Soccer Mommy – Don’t Ask Me

Full on throwback to early 00’s teen comedy soundtrack with a bit of shoegaze. Great stuff from an album that never really connected with me but is still very good. 

5. Wednesday – Bull Believer

Wednesday released a fun stock filler cover record this year but their shining achievement is the 8,50 non-album track goodness of Bull Believer. Endless building, escalating and then rebuilding; it’s like all the great shoegaze songs you like but so good it can be like 8,50 minutes

6. beabadoobee – Talk

00’s throwback galore. A whole album of it was a bit overkill for me, but Talk is such a wonderful little throwback to the pop-rock to my youth I can’t not enjoy. 

7.  Rina Sawayama-This Hell

The album left me quite cold but there’s some great songs on it. This Hell is a wonderful love song with a thundering beat and J-pop throwback all over it.

8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Blacktop

Anyone had eternal synth-wave YYY’s on their list? Me neither but glad this exists. 

9. Eerie Wanda’s – Someone’s In My House

Dutch favorite Eerie Wanda’s third record sees them go for a relaxed post-punk style that reminds bands like Young Marble Giants and Broadcast. Someone’s In My House is a wonderful 4 minutes of lo-fi organ and echoing vocals slowly forming to be a really solid near pop song.

10. Courtney Marie Andrews – You Do What You Want

The price song from Loose Future is a wonderful country ballad both with one foot in the old and new which gives great reason for Andrews to really cut loose on her great vocals with some lovely steel guitar backing. 

11. Shygirl – Posion

Ever got down to a midi accordion sample, well now you can on this wonderful club anthem from an album full of them.

12. Richard Dawson – The Tip of an Arrow

The Ruby Cord opens with a 41 minute track which is also the worst track on it. The shorter stuff is so much better and the Tip and an Arrow is a wonderful punchy 10 minute epic by Dawson that does everything the opening track didn’t. 

13. Whitmer Thomas & Al Menee – Best Love Song Ever Wrote

From the EP that preceded the album comes this lovely comedic duet that has Thomas and Menee going about the meaning of a lot of subjects that recall some Magnetic Fields songs. 

14. My Idea – I Can’t Dance

Lily Konigsberg was in my best of list twice last year, and while the My Idea album she released this year with Nate Amos is a lot of fun it just barely didn’t make the list. Luckily I can include the incredibly catchy bedroom pop of I Can’t Dance with its lead acoustic guitar and call-answer vocals. 

15. Weyes Blood – Twin Flame

Lovely ballad with a heavy early drum computer beat running through it, all while Weyes Blood does her best Kate Bush vocals. 

16. Cryalot – Touch the Sun

Sarah Perry’s debut EP was a solid bit of art-pop with Touch the Sun being a nice hard hitting song that is somewhere between her band Kero Kero Bonito’s smart but twee electropop with a lot of thundering drum work and synth stabs. 

17. Library Card – Mirror Factory

Rotterdam’s Library Card are led by illustrator Lot van Teylingen and have one song out which sounds pretty much how Dry Cleaning sounds to people explaining Dry Cleaning to me. Dry, snaky post-punk stuff with deadpan vocals that fit so perfectly with all this stuff. 

18. Guerilla Toss – Zum Herz

From the tribute disc that comes with the recent Neu! reissues, this is a wonderful reworking of Neu!’s ‘motor-beat’ to a wonderful energy emitting track with some wonderful synth work. 

19. Ex-Vöid – No Other Way

It’s Joanna Gruesome! Or, well, the two vocalists from the band in their new band which sounds like a rougher and lo-fi version of the long gone beloved indie rock band. Fun record, but standout wonderful noisy twee effort No Other Way is really by far the best thing on it. 

20. Petrol Girls – Bones

The end song of the political firebrand of an album, Baby, Bones is a 5 minute punk that recalls the best of bands like pretty girls make graves with its endless tempo shifting beat and vocalist Ren Aldridge talking about fragility. 

21. Camp Cope – Say the Line

One of my most played records of this year kind of faded in the void for me when the second half of the year came around. Still, Camp Cope’s third album is full of slick but heartfelt indie pop with Say the Line being the best track on it. 

22. Wombo – Regular Demon

Spiky, wonderful stuff from one of the more playful post-punk records of this year which has some of the best bass work I heard this year.

23. FKA Twigs – darjeeling (ft Jorja Smith and Unknown T)

FKA Twigs’s mixtape released so early this year, it got sidelined a bit. It was what a mixtape is most of the time; messy, experimental and fun. Darjeeling is a wonderful little R&B song with a FKA Twigs sung vocal sample of Olive’s You’re Not Alone

24. Charli XCX – Lightning

Even though Crash did barely anything for me, its first 3 tracks and Lightning are worthy bits to add to the queen of hyperpop’s repertoire. Even more so Lighting, which seemingly escaped from Pop 2 and took a detour through 80’s synthpop with its Casios.

25. The Beths – Expert in a Dying Field

A wonderful way to explain a relationship falling apart, this is, well, more of the same for the Beths. Which means smart layered indie rock with that typical New Zealand guitar The Chills once unleashed on it.