As 2022 draws to a close, we've been asking artists about their favorite music of the year, and here's a roundup of lists from Will Yip's Memory Music label, including Kayleigh Goldsworthy, JR Slayer (mem Blood Brothers), Fantasy Camp, Heart to Gold and Queen of Jeans

Another Memory Music artist, Philly indie/emo band Caracara, also told us about their favorite albums of 2022.

KAYLEIGH GOLDSWORTHY

My top albums are kind of all over the place this year, but I have really been favoring women in pop music in 2022. I also realize that when I'm working on new music I don't listen to a lot, so I leaned heavily on music that made me feel deeply. Upon looking at this list, the theme is apparently "feel deeply sad, but at least the music is uptempo."

1. MUNA - MUNA
I have been in love with this band since I first heard "Winterbreak" in 2016 and have cried to it every listen since. I am so excited to see them exploding the way they are, they deserve every single moment of it. This record is an absolute pop gem.

2. Taylor Swift - Midnights
I would be remiss if I didn't include this record-breaking album on my list. Though I do not believe it will be my favorite Swift record (Red is absolutely perfect, don't come for me Swifties), there is something to be said for the hold she has on the music industry and how she's helping shift the narrative of how artists are treated by mega-corporations. Plus, it's pretty great seeing her shift more into this post-Folklore/Evermore blend of darker pop with some really great collaborations.

3. LS Dunes - Past Lives
I'm honored enough to be supporting them on tour through winter 2023, but this band is on another level and that's why they're on my end-of-year list. Everyone in that band lends something unique to their overall sound, and the songs are fucking gorgeous. Make sure you see them live if you can.

4. Madi Diaz - Same History, New Feelings
I have been crushing on Madi Diaz's songs since I moved to NYC in 2010 and caught one of her sets at Rockwood Music Hall. I have been a devoted follower of hers ever since and hope that one day I have the honor to share a stage with her. This EP (sorry, it's not a full record) is in response to her 2021 record History of a Feeling, where new versions of the songs are recorded with special guests. It gives her already incredible record a new life, and as if I thought "Resentment" couldn't get more beautiful, her and Waxahatchee's voices just slay me.

5. Lizzo - Special
Lizzo has single-handedly figured out how to brighten anyone's day, and this record is 100% that. Also, "2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)" might be my favorite song of the year.

6. Cory Branan - When I Go I Ghost
Cory is one of the best songwriters and musicians I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the years. Every time I listen to his music I feel like I learn a thing or two, and definitely feel like I need to stop what I'm doing and practice guitar. "When In Rome, When In Memphis" is such a perfect driving track as you make your way to the Jersey shore.

7. Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter
This record got me from the first listen. An absolutely beautifully crafted record, from songwriting to production. This record is utterly haunting and I keep coming back to it.

8. Harry Styles - Harry's House
I mean... what else can you say about this record you haven't read in a million other places? It's pop genius, done incredibly well.

9. Wet Leg - Wet Leg
My dad actually introduced me to this band. This record is great and I am super into all these different facets of pop and rock that we're seeing women take more prominence.

10. Hot Water Music - Feel the Void
I just love Hot Water Music. They are such a great band, and effortlessly show their musicianship with some absolutely killer hooks. From the second Chuck's vocals come in on "Another Breath" you're hooked for the whole record. I love how I'm still just as amped as I was 20+ years ago when they release new music.

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JR SLAYER

Cody's Picks:

SHUTUPS - I can’t eat nearly as much as I want to vomit
One of my favorite new bands out of Oakland. SHUTUPS are the perfect mix of abrasive and pop. It is clear that so much thought has gone into all these songs, down to the sequence. There are so many twists and turns that you wouldn’t expect. Their commitment to the unexpected makes the Blood Brother in me very very proud. You must listen to this record start to finish.

Spoon - Lucifer On The Sofa
This feels like a classic Spoon album to me. In true Spoon fashion they deliver with impeccably produced tones and perfect songwriting. They manage to play heavy rock riffs while removing any sense of testosterone, which I always love. So much of this album knows how to harness and utilize empty space. It’s an art form I feel Spoon has always taken seriously.

Death Cab For Cutie - Asphalt Meadows
I gotta give love to the homies from Seattle, Death Cab For Cutie. They really delivered with this record. The production and songs are so solid all the way through. Ben’s voice sounds as strong as ever and the lyrics hit. DCFC forever have one of the sickest rhythm sections and they really shine on Asphalt Meadows. I love how this record stays raw but also sonically puts butter in your ears.

Joyce Manor - 40 oz. to Fresno
I was late to the game on Joyce Manor. This record has bangers start to finish. Such great energy.  I love that it is not even 20 minutes long. I tend to let it loop and listen over and over (one of my favorite ways to listen to an album). I love running to it. The songs keep me going when it gets tough to keep the run up. Also, a special shout out to Tony Thaxton who crushed the drums on this record.

Superchunk - Wild Loneliness
Superchunk continues to deliver after so many years. I always know I can rely on them for solid jams. This record rocks hard and has some of my favorite SC songs they’ve ever written. As always, there are ripping guitar tones and great drum fills mixed with catchy melodies.

Jason's Picks:

Bartees Strange – Farm to Table
It’s so wild to see such a new artist come with a near perfect discography out of the gate. Farm to Table expands on his phenomenal debut by furthering his mix of indie, hip hop, alt R&B, and elements of post punk into a totally original sound that culminates into an album that basically feels like it was made for me personally. That’s where Bartees really shines, he exists in a total meta world that acknowledges our collective interests into a new and exciting sound that’s all him. And, us.

The Weeknd – Dawn FM
In my opinion, no artist has changed the musical landscape more than The Weeknd. It’s difficult now to imagine a time when R&B and hip hop didn’t reference the niches that were once relegated to the punk and alt spaces, but when The Weeknd first dropped with Siouxsie and Cocteau Twins samples I finally heard the sounds that I cherished sound fresh for the first time in my adult life. Dawn FM expands this idea with an incredible OPN collaboration that brings in the breadth of synth pop and electronic music in a way that’s clearly referential but not in a Stranger Things way that slaps you in the face with its influences.

Turnover – Myself in the Way
Turnover and Will Yip have made a truly beautiful album that lives somewhere between traditional psych, chillwave, and the dancier side of post punk. We live in an exciting time where artists who started firmly in genres that were once considered by many to be lowbrow (emo and pop punk,) have the freedom to eb and flow into the bands they want to be and actually have the fans follow suit. We don’t live in the Promise Ring – Wood/Water days anymore where everyone jumps ship at the first sight of creative growth and we’re all better for it.

Soul Glo – Diaspora Problems
Shit, this album is everything that I love in hardcore that until now pretty much only existed in my delusional late-night rants about a scene that rarely actually aligned. It’s heavy and spastic when it should be heavy and spastic ala Botch or Deadguy, grooves like only Coloring Book era Glassjaw grooved, addresses political and social issues with aggression and sass in the vein of Born Against. It’s truly a phenomenal album that will keep hardcore relevant, even if just for a bit longer.

Archers of Loaf – Reason in Decline
Every month it seems like some legendary band that changed my life when I was younger returns to release some nonsense. In fact, the only bands that I can think of that came back from a long hiatus to not just release a watered-down nostalgic mess of an album are My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr, and Quicksand. These bands came back fresh and exciting to release albums that were even better than their classics. Archers of Loaf has done exactly that and show why they’re still the best of the best at mixing jangle pop, noise rock, and hardcore and its pure ear candy.

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FANTASY CAMP

1. Black Country, New Road - Ants From Up There
This was by far my most listened to record of 2022. There's not much I can say about it that hasn't been said already, and deservedly so, but if you're a fan of indie rock in any capacity and haven't heard it, it's a must listen.

2. Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Full Moon Mystery Garden
Semi-biased due to my involvement in this record, but FMMG is already a classic. Completely produced by Garden Avenue, the tape blends familiar and uncharted territory for WPSE. I've spent the majority of my adult life listening to Wicca Phase, and this is truly my favorite project of his thus far.

3. Field Medic - Grow Your Hair Long If You're Wanting To See Something That You Can Change
Another one of my favorite artists and fellow Garden Avenue member, Field Medic has never released an album that I didn't like. This one marks a departure from the DIY / lofi style that FM typically employs, but it still feels extremely warm and close to home.

4. Alex G - God Save The Animals
Pennsylvania legend Alex G delivered what is in my opinion his strongest album yet with God Save the Animals. I've always leaned towards his folk-ier songs, and GSTA offers plenty of them. I'm constantly inspired by his innovation and songwriting.

5. Fontaines D.C. - Skinty Fia
I'll admit I was late to the party on Fontaines D.C. Someone at a bar showed me them and said it had a similar feel to the Stone Roses and Oasis. Those are some big shoes to fill, but I feel like the comparison is fair, especially on this album. "Jackie Down the Line" is one of the best songs I've heard in years.

6. Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter
From the first time I listened, I knew Ethel Cain would be a legend and it was just a matter of when. This record cemented that and I can't think of anything else that came out this year that's as sonically pleasing.

7. Taylor Morgan - Nature Power
Nature Power is a compilation album from producer Taylor Morgan that spans many different genres and styles, blending them together seamlessly for a great listening experience. Taylor has always had his finger on the underground / internet rap pulse, and this project proves that he's one of the best doing it right now.

8. Yeat - 2 Alive
This album was my summer soundtrack. Not too complicated, not too deep - just fun rap music with interesting production.

9. Vein.fm - This World Is Going To Ruin You
Vein.fm's previous album Errorzone still hasn't left my rotation, but this new offering from them is a big step forward and seeing them branch out and try new things on this record makes me wish I never stopped playing in hardcore bands.

10. Anxious - Little Green House
Anxious is a band I've been watching for awhile now and the first time I heard this album I was blown away. It's reminiscent of the bands I grew up on, but also brings a breath of fresh air to the style. I can't wait to see what they do next.

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HEART TO GOLD

Alex G - God Save The Animals
Alex G is one of our favorites to jam as a group. This album had a taste of everything we previously loved from his discography and then some new flavor or new light that that seemed a bit more personal.

Show Me The Body - Trouble The Water
This band will go down in history. I’m calling it right now. Amazing album from an amazing band. Breaking boundaries within hardcore and punk music. Been riding the wave for awhile now and this album is no step backwards.

The Garden - Horseshit on Route 66
We’ve known about The Garden for a while now but it wasn’t until hearing the first half of their latest release that I really caught on to the talent this duo has. The bass, the breakbeats, the energy, insane.

Westside Gunn - 10
I love this batch of songs. I also just enjoy the territory that WG plays within. Still fresh on the ears at all times. Just rad rap music. No gimmicks just getting to it and making dope sounds with awesome lyricism. Also just getting the time of day that a lot of other artists working in this realm don’t get. Seems like he values the core elements that make his sound, his sound.

Duster - Together
Have been a huge fan of Duster for a second now and I think the fact that they’re finding a new demographic of listeners is rad. The internet is rad. This album is great. Long live duster.

Hotline TNT - When You Find Out
Hotline TNT really influences us as a band. I think the power of not folding into the idea of an industry standard for final sound products or source audio is really cool. They have the songwriting side of things down to a science. Everything they make is catchy and in its own lane.

Keep For Cheap - Bundle
Love our friends and Keep For Cheap, and love this record they put out. A perfect blend of that midwestern twang with amazing talent behind everything involved. Beautiful harmonies. Rocking riffs. We enjoy the sounds in the “ya’llternative” vein similar to Pinegrove or Spencer Radcliffe. They put their own spin on that sound and make it their own. It’s awesome.

Field Medic - Grow Your Hair Long if You’re Wanting to See Something That You Can Change
This fella can do no wrong. If you want to feel happy, or cry, anything FM does can bring you there. How else can you describe it? It’s just beautiful and shows the beauty of simplicity and interpretation.

Candy - Heaven is Here
Pretty fresh on this band and happened to come across this new batch of tunes they put out. Really heavy, rad shit. Some new territory as a listener for me (not a huge death metal guy, maybe that’s not even what they’d consider this) but I find this record to be a great product from a really cool band. Great sounds. Hell yeah CANDY.

Origami Angel - Depart
This band will forever be dope. Having light history in a similar circuit helps stay up to date but I would’ve gravitated toward this EP regardless. This band did that. They made a radical shift sound-wise just for the sake of saying “yeah we can do that shit too. Plus we’re a duo” S/O Gami I fuck with ya’ll the long way. The HxC riffs just go.

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QUEEN OF JEANS

Sharon Van Etten - We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong
My favorite Sharon Van Etten album yet. Every song has a mood that’s captivating and a little bit hypnotizing. A great album for a long drive or run - I’ve also cleaned the house to it, with a few air guitar moments in between.

Nnamdi - Please Have A Seat
Listening to Nnamdi makes me feel like I’m in another world, it’s very easy to get swept up in the atmosphere of each song. They’re all so uniquely mesmerizing.

All Away Lou - Things Will Change
We feel very fortunate to know, love and occasionally play music with Lou Hanman. She is one of the most talented artists we know, and this album captures that fact perfectly! Full of beautiful melodies that get trapped in your head, great lyrics and undeniable punk spirit, it’ll keep you moving through both the best and the hardest days.

Oceanator - Nothing’s Ever Fine
This album has it all - incredible musicianship, insane guitar tones and thoughtful lyrics. As someone currently suffering from writer’s block, listening to music from an artist like Oceanator is definitely inspiring.

Grace Ives - Janky Star
Overall, this whole album is just so catchy and gives me such joy to listen to! It’s playful, with thoughtful and fun lyrics. My personal favorite is “Lullaby.”

Smino - Luv 4 Rent
Creative and versatile vocals are at the forefront augmented by a range of tactfully deployed collaborations. Super fun and beautiful album!

Anthony Green - Boom. Done.
We think this is the best album he’s ever made. Beautiful, hopeful and heart wrenching all at once.

Kehlani - Blue Water Road
This album is way more clever than a straight forward pop album. It’s really chill and catchy, we like to throw it on in the van during morning drives.

Camp Trash - The Long Way, The Slow Way
Camp Trash is a real band and they’re making really fun music. We are suckers for smart harmonies & guitar work and Camp Trash has both. Make sure to catch them live too, they’re incredible!

Maia Friedman - Under the New Light
This album just feels like a warm hug. There’s something very soothing and nurturing about Maia Friedman’s voice. I was hooked right away when I heard “First to Love,” and the rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. Just a very meditative, easy listening experience.

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