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CHIRP Radio writesCHIRP Radio’s Top Ten Albums of 2022

CHIRP Radio Best of 2022

This December, as we are inclined to do every year, CHIRP Radio has been sharing our thoughts on the albums that captured our attention in 2022.

The records listed below are just a small sample of the 250+ albums our volunteers cited for this year, but they are the most-mentioned ones, and for very good reasons.

Amidst a great collection of newcomers and veteran players, the top spot on this year’s survey goes to a duo from the Isle of Wight that formed in 2019 and whose debut album has got people paying attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

Best wishes from all of us to all of you for 2023 and beyond!





#1 Wet Leg by Wet Leg (Domino)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Wet Leg Wet LegThis album is packed with catchy, droll earworms that made me feel happy and clever just listening to it. The music videos are fantastic. I want to hang out with Wet Leg. I want to know what the Isle of Wight is like. They are a culmination/reflection of so much great post-punk and pop that it's NO WONDER it ended up being my favorite release of 2022.

The nonsense opinions swirling around that this band is somehow fake and didn't write their songs because they emerged fully-formed is 100% misogyny. No one would say that about a male-identified-fronted outfit. So if that's you, look within. Meanwhile I'll be over here partying with Wet Leg in the living room, dancing on the chaise and pretending to drink warm beer. --Matt Garman










#2 Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You by Big Thief (4AD)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Big Thief Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in YouThis is Big Thief’s fifth and most experimental album to date! While there are still plenty of traditional indie folk tracks on here, the band also delves into full-blown country, trip hop, and avant garde music reminiscent of Animal Collective.

This experimentation feels natural and compliments the band’s strong folk instincts. Andrienne Lenker and Co. have come a long way since I first saw them (and danced with her!) at the Empty Bottle in 2016 a couple months before their debut album, Masterpiece, was released.

I am so glad that they have become one of my favorite bands for the past 6 years! Favorite Tracks: Time Escaping, Blurred View, Red Moon, Simulation Swarm, Love Love Love --Eric Wiersema










#3 Blue Rev by Alvvays (Polyvinyl/Transgressive)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Alvvays Blue RevAlvvays waited five years between Antisocialites and Blue Rev, and the result is proof-of-concept, plain and simple.

A post-breakup mood board of romance, lust, pain, twee, and shoegaze fuzz, Blue Rev sparkles as it bounces from three-minute nugget to three-minute nugget of pure pop bliss. "Belinda Says" was 2022's best song, too. --Austin B. Harvey

















#4 Natural Brown Prom Queen by Sudan Archives (Stones Throw)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Sudan Archives Natural Brown Prom QueenOMG BRITT this album is fire! It’s so catchy and fun. Sudan Archives (aka Brittney Parks) the LA, by way of Cincinnati, self-taught violinist and experimental electronic artist’s sophomore record combines her fierce violin skills with R&B and traditional African music.

The combo is like nothing you’ve ever heard before. The opening track, “Home Maker” is a danceable gem with great lyrics that, as an avid gardener, I immediately fell in love with.

She starts the song with: I just gotta run up on my plants and hoping that they'll thrive around the madness Won't you step inside my lovely cottage, Feels so green, it feels like fucking magic/ Only bad bitches, and mad trellis And baby, I'm the baddest. The production throughout the record is fresh and engaging.

Check out the track “Freakalizer” for an example of the quick beats, synth and style that is all her own. --Danielle Sines










#5 The Overload by Yard Act (Island)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Yard Act The OverloadYard Act is doing a thing: loud, sarcastic, political, spoken-vocal post punk you can dance to. This is not new, coming out of the UK, but Yard Act just does it better.

This is an album you expect to like, but then you love it… and then you get to track 9, “Tall Poppies”, the story of the ordinary life of a handsome man who “never left the village,” whose life takes a tragic turn, and then unexpectedly you are almost crying at the gym in between chest presses. “He wasn’t perfect, but he was one of us.” Good stuff. --Tony Breed















#6 Malign Hex by Meat Wave (Swami)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Meat Wave Malign HexMeat Wave has been doing this a long time — a decade, in fact, if you're going by the self-titled debut recorded wherever The Kitty Box in Algonquin and Joe's garage were in Chicago at the time.

Though the trio has always been great at the kind of gritty, rhythm-forward post-punk at which they've honed their trade, Malign Hex felt more like a spiritually aligned hex coming out on John Reis' Swami imprint. The ghosts of Hot Snakes and, to a lesser extent, Drive Like Jehu ("Jim's Teeth" breaks five minutes, the first time the band has done so on record that I can recall) really shine through here, and though the pandemic delayed its release, the wait was worth it.

I knew from the from the first play of "Honest Living" that this one would be up there and am pleasantly unsurprised it landed on top. Great cover, too. --Patrick Masterson










#7 Topical Dancer by Charlotte Adigery & Bolis Pupul (Deewee)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Charlotte Adigery & Bolis Pupul Topical Dancer This Belgian duo mixes techno, R & B and funk with witty and incisive topical lyrics to make music you can think to and dance to at the same time. It never becomes strident, because it’s laced with humor, sometimes silly, often cutting.

At various times, I heard things that reminded me of Laurie Anderson, LCD Soundsystem, and (an admitted influence) Talking Heads. This is all topped off by the infectious personality of Adigéry , whose singing is extremely compelling. --Mike Bennett














#8 God Save the Animals by Alex G (Domino)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Alex G God Save the AnimalsI’ll be honest and say I wasn’t sure about this album when it first dropped. Maybe it’s because I’m holding out for something reminiscent of DSU, or maybe it’s because myself and superfans alike hold Alex G to such high standards.

Ultimately it took seeing Alex perform the God Save the Animals live at Thalia Hall to convince me of its beauty. As someone typically in tune with the instrumentation of a song, I let the profound, contemplative lyrics of this record pass me by upon first listen.

As the title eludes, this record shatters Alex’s narrative patterns of childhood and recurring characters with themes of fatherhood and questioning a higher power. The highlights of this record for me (Runner and Miracles) paint the myriad of emotions that come with growing up and moving on - quickly becoming all-time Alex G favorites for me.

So while this record is far from my favorite of his discography instrumentally speaking, it's his lyrical complexity that challenges me to approach music listening in a new way. --Sydney Cramer











#9 Blue Skies by Dehd (Fat Possum)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Dehd Blue Skies"Reliable" sounds like faint praise for a rock band, but over four albums, this Chicago trio has repeatedly delivered, easily moving between styles, sometimes dreamy, sometimes beachy, sometimes full-on rocking, but always worth a listen from start to finish. --Shawn Campbell
















#10 Expert In a Dying Field by The Beths (Carpark)

BUY: Reckless / Amazon

The Beths Expert In a Dying FieldElizabeth Stokes wears her angst on her sleeve, but somehow manages to make relationship troubles, insecurities, and loneliness sound so catchy. The songs on Expert in a Dying Field perfectly balance sweetness, propulsion, crunch, melody and humor. -- Al Gabor











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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2022

Next entry: CHIRP Radio Weekly Voyages (Jan 23 - Jan 29)

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