While we are a community focused on games and how they intersect with our lives, we’ve never shied away from exploring and discussing other media critically and enthusiastically. It only seems appropriate, then, that our End of Year event offer up a space for us to share our own “Waypoints” from 2022.
This topic is dedicated to anything that you listened to. That means both podcasts and music are welcome in this thread! Have a new favorite podcast, or a podcast that covers really important subjects? Got a new favorite album, full of bangers or full of ballads? As long as it delighted your ears, it’s welcome here!
I guess this could have been best video game music too, but I don’t want to give Cyberpunk 2077 the game any credit since I think it’s not a good game. I didn’t realize how much I loved this song until the Edgerunners anime anyway, when it went from “the one good song on Cyberpunk’s radio” to “holy shit, this truly slaps”, so giving this to I Really Want to Stay at Your House by Rose Walton & Rose Coggins:
It’s probably the one song I’ve listened to the most this year.
Music wise we got a new My Chem song this year, what more do I need to say? And it was good!
Podcast wise I got way into A More Civilized Age this year. Andor was a big part of that but I also just started going for a lot more walks this year and hearing those lovely people talking about a children’s cartoon was a very fun accompaniment to those.
Tragically, I spent most of this year becoming a prog rock guy. A resentful shout out to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure for making me go “I should check out King Crimson,” because now I have listened to ‘Epitaph’ hundreds of times. Sometimes I just spend an hour listening to it seven times in a row. I’m listening to it right now. It’s a problem.
But I was briefly released from my requiem when Muse put out a new album, Will of the People. There isn’t a song on the album that I’d skip if it came on shuffle, though the singles are definitely my highlights. ‘Kill or Be Killed’, ‘Compliance’, ‘You Make Me Feel Like It’s Halloween’, and ‘We Are Fucking Fucked’ - all bangers.
A friend got me onto the Narcissist Cookbook, too, ‘Gendering Teddy’ is a vibe.
2022 was an excellent year for music!!! There was a good mix of great new tracks from musicians I’ve followed for decades, and killer music from newer artists. Here are some highlights:
(High key the best song ever recorded to feature backing vocals from a chorus of howler monkeys!)
All in all, I listened to a lot of good music this year. Over the past decade or so I have been spending more time listening to podcasts than music, but this year I reversed course on that in a big way! I finally got around to getting all my digital music together in the same place. This has allowed me to start listening to music while playing games on PC. It’s been great!
While I did pick up some new music, I spent a lot of this year reconnecting with some of my favorite albums from the past 15 (lord) years. It was such a pleasure to rediscover bonefide classics like Sufjan Steven’s Illinoise and Frightened Rabbit’s Midnight Organ Fight. Personal favorite Kishi Bashi still hit like he did when I first discovered him, and his 2016 Sonderlust is a top five album of that decade. Freelance Whales Diluva was maybe the most rewarding visit; I hadn’t put in on in maybe ten years and was happy to find I like it even more now than. Its a confident, sprawling album exploring the relationship between the sublime and the human with a wonderful spaced out sound. Kero Kero Bonito’s library also remained a mainstay.
For new music this was the year of blissing out. Starting in the summer I went though a hell of a discovery run starting with Mort Garson’s Plantasia
This album for plants, by people set the vibe for the next three months. I went down the rabbit hole of Japanese ambient albums with artists like Takashi Kokubo
and jazz artists like Gábor Szabó
before getting into folk/psychedelic music like Linda Perhacs’s Parallelograms
and finally discovering my album of the year, Vashti Bunyan’s Just Another Diamond Day
A wistful, dreamy exploring passage, perspective, and the romance of travel, blending with the sounds of street performers and traffic outside it was perfect for a terribly hot summer.
For new music from 2022 nothing topped Beabadoobee Beatopia
Bea takes a nostalgic late 90s/2000’s sound and absolutely makes it her own. This is a full on sing-along, jump like a dope, drum on the table instead of working rock masterclass.
Last thing! I didn’t listen to many new podcasts this year, but what I did discover is hands down one of my fav of all time. Hit Parade ostensibly tells the stories of musical artists or genre’s through their Billboard Hot 100 statistics, but really the chart is just a framework for larger narratives of industry trends, artist biographies, and pop culture phenomena. Chris Molanphy’s reporting mixed together with a curated collection of songs from the episode topic that makes for perfect late night listening.
Hudson Mohawke returned! With a happy hardcore infused banger that rocketed to the top of my most played at the end of the year. The whole album is euphoric though. Lonely Days one of the saddest but uplifting tunes of the year. 3 Sheets to the Wind rounding it off.
Daniel Avery came back with the first album that for me hit the heights of 2013’s Drone Logic. The last minute and a half of Chaos Energy is among the strongest of the year for me.
CW: Strobes and flashing lights for this
Finally, so cool that Hikaru Utada, the person who did all those Kingdom Hearts tunes that low-key go off, released the chillest house banger of the year.
2022 had some of my favorite bands release new albums.
Drug Church’s new album was quite good. They are slowly perfecting their Hardcore-but-not-really-but-also-kinda style. Probably the album I spent the most time with this year.
The Mountain Goats never fail to change it up album to album, and Bleed Out is no different. Not sure if I would throw it up as one of my favorites from them, but it definitely had some standout songs. Who doesn’t want to shout “WAGE WAR, GET RICH, DIE HANDSOME” at the top of their lungs?
My favorite thrash metal band, Municipal Waste, released another banger. Their records are always so much fun. They always bring me back to slumming it up in my early 20s, living on cheap beer, rice, and beans.
Finally, the Beths probably released my favorite album of the year. I am such a sucker for a sweet melody and, boy, this album is full of 'em. I think I found out about this band from this forum, which is also super cool.
I didn’t listen to a whole lot of new stuff this year, BUT, one thing I did keep on repeat was Kendrick Lamar’s new album Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. It’s been five years since DAMN. and this new album was well worth the wait, my guy showing us once again why he’s one of the greatest to do it. This album, which heavily focuses on mental health throughout, also hit me at the right time, as it was around when I was trying to take a more active role in looking after my own mental health.
But I think the thing I most appreciate about the album is the no-bullshit way Kendrick touches on so many topics that we tend to shy away from in the Black community (which to be clear isn’t a first, but it’s SO apparent and nearly impossible to ignore). Everything from abusive relationships to toxic masculinity to homophobia and transphobia to domestic violence, and how when we ignore these issues we continue to knowingly/unknowingly pass them down to successive generations. Fair to say, I think this one’s gonna be in the rotation for a looong time.
Late entry for 2022, but I’ve been playing SZA’s SOS on repeat since it came out earlier this month. I didn’t think she could top her last album, Ctrl, but this is a clear step up from even that hallowed record.