"As is widely known, I have the correct music taste," Ezra Furman says, tongue perhaps in cheek, in presenting us with her list of favorite music of 2022. "Other people are in error. For example, the number one album of 2022 seems to be something called Mind-Nights by Tailor Swift. The most talked-about artist of the year is Conye West, who very clearly said 'slavery was a choice' in 2018, giving decent people reason to ignore him forever, and yet he is still selling lots of records and commanding the public eye. Meanwhile the transgender rock’n’roll artists creating the great classics of our era (Alex Walton, Asher White, Harmony’s Cuddle Party) go mostly unheard and unheralded."

Ezra goes on to say: "Needless to say this is a mass delusion. I will not pay attention to pop stars or their 'music.' Instead I have been responding to the situation of public psychosis by been amassing musical resources in my underground compound twenty miles below Boston, Massachusetts. Here listed alphabetically are my five favorite records from Pope Gregory’s latest Christian year-unit, 2022."

Ezra's list is not quite as left field as her into might suggest, and includes albums by Big Thief, Angel Olsen and more. Check out her list with commentary for each, below.

You can catch Ezra Furman on tour in 2023, including a Brooklyn show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 23. Before that, she'll close out 2022 with an L.A. holiday show at Largo on December 22. All dates are listed, along with a stream of this year's terrific All of Us Flames, below.

EZRA FURMAN'S - TOP FIVE RECORDS OF THE YEAR

Big Time by Angel Olsen
When one of the best vocalists of our era is tasked with healing a broken heart, the results are undeniable. Angel lays the human emotional situation as bare as she’s ever laid it. Perfectly executed, terribly moving, catchy and haunting and unforgettable.

Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You by Big Thief
I have long struggled with my addiction to the 2017 album Capacity by Big Thief. For a time it eclipsed all other music, including two wonderful subsequent Big Thief albums. Even all-time classic songs like “Shoulders” (2019) just kept sending me back to Capacity, desperately clinging to the high it provided. You might say I was chasing the dragon. At last this quartet snapped me out of my drooling obsessed reverie with a dragon of a record fearsome enough to go tooth to tooth with that other one. If it’s imperfect, it’s only because they were so generous. Twenty tracks of gorgeous music. This is an album to get lost in, spiritually honest like nothing else I’ve heard this year, and (thank God) as bizarre as we deserve.

Intelectuals by The Bug Club
Okay y’all. It’s The Bug Club. Best new band I’ve heard in years. They put out a fantastic full-length this year called Green Dream in F#, but I have to choose this January release as the crown jewel of the year, both for the songs and the sheer chutzpah of the format. Because listen. It’s five absolutely brilliant songs, names not listed anywhere I can find, recorded in a single take, no overdubs, no track breaks. So yeah, track one: 10:42. The second and final track is called “Intelectuals (Money Version),” and is three minutes long, a nod to the reality that some paltry sum is coming their way if they can bow to the streaming format just a little bit. Anyway. None of that would matter in the least if the music weren’t what it is: perfect. By my subterranean bunker standards, anyway. It scratches every musical itch that I hadn’t realized was plaguing me. Off-the-wall poetry, everything distorted to a sublime toasted-muffin crunch, impeccable garage rock instincts instrumentally, screaming “pick me like a flower in the rain” over and over. Thank you Bug Club you’re just what I needed.

LIFE ON EARTH by Hurray For The Riff Raff
Each age needs earnest anthems. This is not an easy need to fill. Usually you sound silly or too optimistic or too pessimistic. I know, I’ve tried it. Alynda Segarra pulls off the impossible and I feel so lucky for it. The title track is the most elegant encapsulation of this moment for those of who hate the present state of society while still understanding that there is a future coming that is ours to build together. “Wolves” makes you want to kickstart your whole life and change everything. “Pointed at the Sun” should have been the biggest hit single of the year. “Saga” makes me want to cry in a way that I’ve really needed to cry for a long time now. With a fist in the air.

PRE PLEASURE by Julia Jacklin
This came out the same day as I put out my own record: August 26th. I wanted everyone to pay attention to my album that day, so I thought it was only fair that I should try someone else’s out. I was blown away. I hadn’t heard Julia’s debut (as mentioned, I live very deep under the ground), so I kind of got sucker-punched. Some of the smartest, tensest, most empathetic songwriting I’ve heard in a long time. It’s about all the parts of love and sex and selfhood that are very real and very intense and yet nobody seems to sing about. I’m glad Julia is. I wish I wrote "Ignore Tenderness," I can only be amazed at "Lydia Wears A Cross."

God bless you every one.
-Ez

EZRA FURMAN - 2022/2023 TOUR DATES
Dec 22 - 7:30 PM - Los Angeles Largo at The Coronet
Mar 22 - 7:30 PM - Boston The Sinclair
Mar 23 - 7:30 PM - New York Music Hall Of Williamsburg
Mar 25 - 7:30 PM - Philadelphia Underground Arts
Mar 26 - 7:30 PM - Hamden Space Ballroom
Mar 27 - 7:30 PM - Providence Fete Ballroom
Apr 15 - 7:30 PM - Charleston High Water Festival
Jun 1 - 5:00 PM - Barcelona, ES Primavera Sound
Jun 5 - 7:30 PM - Porto, PT Hard Club
Jun 6 - 7:30 PM - Lisbon, PT Teatro Capitolio
Jun 8 - 5:00 PM - Madrid, ES Primavera Sound

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