Pool Kids' self-titled sophomore album is one of the best emo albums of the year and it's already been landing on multiple people's year-end lists, and we also asked Pool Kids what's on their year-end list this year. They made us a top 10, with picks and commentary from all four members, and it spans from Soul Glo to Alvvays to Kendrick Lamar to Ethel Cain to The Callous Daoboys and beyond. Read on for their full list and what they had to say about each pick...

Pool Kids' 10 Favorite Albums of 2022

Soul Glo - Diaspora Problems (Andy’s pick)
Another classic from the genre-bending hardcore titans. Heavy, catchy, anthemic, groovy, and some of the best, most scathing, honest, and downright timely lyrics in the game… I mean, seriously, what can’t they do? One of the few bands everyone in our crew get behind. Can’t wait for them to be the biggest band in the world. With the consistency and relentlessness they’ve already displayed, it’s only a matter of time.

King of Heck - Kingo (entire band’s pick)
We all love putting this record on in the van, every time we listen we all walk away with a new favorite song. There is something so truly unique, original, catchy, and downright addicting about these songs. This record is really something special.

Alvvays - Blue Rev (Nicolette’s pick)
I have been waiting for this record my entire life. It’s clever, it’s nonstop fun, it makes my heart ache at points, it’s beautifully mixed and produced, and you can tell that an unbelievable amount of care went into this album. I’ll be listening to it forever.

Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers (Christine’s pick)
This is my favorite Kendrick record. Every time I listen I find a different song that is my new favorite. I also keep finding new little sounds in the mix that I didn't catch on the previous listen that keep me hooked. I ran to this album for months and was lucky enough to see him perform these songs live at the United Center in Chicago!

Their / They’re / There - Their / They’re / Three (Andy’s pick)
I feel like I’ve been waiting for this album forever! This one’s got virtuosic playing without sacrificing catchiness or “pop sensibility.” T/T/T has been hugely inspirational for my own playing and songwriting for many years, and I’m just so delighted that their first full length delivers as much as it’s got. Matt Frank is definitely one of my all-time favorite guitar players, so I’ve of course been studying these riffs like crazy, Evan is killing it as always, and their new drummer Jared is just a beast. I was pretty surprised how heavy this album gets but I’ve gotta say, it works really well for their style of play. It’s stellar. Their set at Fest 20 was unreal and I can’t wait to see them live again one day soon.

Ethel Cain - Preacher’s Daughter (Caden + Christine’s pick)
This album ruins my day in the best way. I have made the mistake (several times) of listening to this record at my day job in the middle of the day. It’s the type of record that completely transports you into another world. Once I dive in, it’s hard not to listen to the whole record because my whole mood shifts and I’m not ready to leave the world she’s crafted until the album properly ends. When it does end and I take my headphones out, it feels like when I leave the theatre of a movie that has totally captivated me for a few hours and it takes a minute to adjust back to my normal life.

The Callous Daoboys - Celebrity Therapist (Caden’s pick)
The Atlanta based septet gleefully push further into the greater unknown on this record. It is dark, humorous, chaotic, extremely frightening, all while serving up earworms and production flourishes that make me keep coming back. Unbelievably executed and just makes me more excited for the things to come from this band.

Sweet Pill - Where the Heart Is (Christine’s pick)
I found this band around 2019 when someone compared them to us (Pool Kids) on a math rock Facebook page, and I was immediately hooked and shouting their praises. This album was everything I anticipated and more, and I am flattered that people are constantly comparing our music, haha. They know how to balance instrumental technicality with hooks and catchy melodies, which is something we also strive for in our songwriting.

Altars - Ascetic Reflection (Andy’s pick)
I have been really digging this style of death metal as of late; super progressive without being self-indulgent, and psychedelic while still maintaining the nasty riffing I live for. It honestly kinda blows my mind that Altars are a 3 piece cause their arrangements and vision are are absolutely massive. I’m also a big fan of the production. Not to knock any other artists out there, cause I certainly don’t think it’s a problem, but some of these types of albums really struggle to capture both tight punchiness metal albums require and a sense of grand atmosphere to instigate spookiness. These guys nailed both, and it gives the album such an unsettling, ethereal, evil, and overall unique vibe and sound. I love it.

Perspective a Lovely Hand to Hold - Phantasmagorialand (Nicolette’s pick)
Knowing that this is the last one from this band breaks my heart, but damn this album and whole band’s career was one hell of an accomplishment. I recommend it for maximalists that wanna know what it would probably feel like to have a meteorite slam into the side of their head.


Pool Kids just wrapped up a tour with Origami Angel and Insignificant Other (read our review of the NYC show), and they're doing a Europe/UK trek with La Dispute and Oceanator next year.

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