Singaporean indie rock trio Sobs released their sophomore album, Air Guitar, this year on Topshelf Records. Their distinctive sound is an amalgamation of art pop, new wave, classic indie, and more; that vast variety is reflected in Sobs' favorite albums of 2022, which they shared with us. Celine, Jared, and Raphael all contributed to and commented on the list, which features MUNA, Momma, 2nd Grade, Alvvays, The 1975, quannnic, Hikaru Utada, and more. Read on for Sobs' list, with commentary on each pick.

Sobs are also gearing up for a North American tour in February and March, leading up to SXSW. That hits Brooklyn's Baby's All Right on March 12. All dates on the tour poster below.

Sobs' Favorite Albums of 2022

Hikaru Utada –「 BADモード」/ Bad Mode

This was the first album on heavy rotation for me this year. J-pop royalty Hikaru Utada is constantly in flux, and consistently great. Despite a drastic turn towards heavier, lush electronic production, live instruments still breathe softly in the background. The twelve-minute-long closer “Somewhere Near Marseilles” goes crazzyyyyy. — Celine

2nd Grade – Easy Listening

The guitars are crunchy and the hooks are non-stop… This album soundtracked many a 35-minute commute this year for me. I’m so grateful I got to see them live this year when my other band Subsonic Eye got to play with them, and “Strung Out On You” has been stuck in my head since then. — Jared

RYUTist – 「(エン)」/ (en)

A sub-30-min art pop journey engineered for sonic efficacy from idol group RYUTist, crafted by the brightest sparks of Japan’s indie sphere. Crisp, organic textures accompany the sophisti- pop stylings of Tokyo’s leading alt-pop minds Shun Ishiwaka and Satoko Shibata’s contributions. There’s a moment in the album that straddles 10s SoundCloud electronica into a moment of power pop release, but quickly returns to a lush, hush dance banger from prolific experimental composer Shuta Hasumuna. It’s fascinating to hear idol pop filtered through the zeitgeist of contemporary Japanese indie. — Raphael

CURB – Hope You’re Doing Well, Michaela

Full disclosure: I mixed and mastered this album, but I’ve been obsessed from the moment they sent me the stems. They’re my favorite new Singapore band, so fun to watch live. Also, Singapore’s best drummer Lucas Tee plays guitar in this band. — Jared

閃閃閃閃 [The Shine&Shine&Shine&Shine] – Shiori

00s’ Taiwanese cult indie-pop band 閃閃閃閃 make their return after 11 years without losing a glimmer of pop perfection. My favorite parts of this album are when they tug on my nostalgic heartstrings through sharp, witty twee power pop that feel effortlessly candid. — Raphael

Muna – Muna

One of my favorite bands ever. I have always been a huge fan of their production and writing, and this album delivered as usual. A good mix of dancey and ballad-y tracks, with delicate lyricism – pure pop euphoria. — Celine

Momma – Household Name

I haven’t listened to much Western indie rock this year – but aside from the sublime Alvvays album – Momma’s “Household Name” is an album that I go back to religiously. The gold standard in indie rock in 2022. — Raphael

quannnic – Kenopsia

Indie rock melodies glimmering with autotune over a gloomy hyperpop-meets-shoegaze backdrop. Perfect record for the post-internet music consumer (me!). — Celine

Alvvays – Blue Rev

One of those bands that make me want to pick up my guitar every time I listen to them. I don’t really have anything to say about this album that hasn’t already been said. Once again, the guitars are crunchy and the hooks are non-stop. — Jared

The 1975 – Being Funny In A Foreign Language

This one really crept up on me way more than I expected it to – but the polish and production of the project is undeniable. Another album where there’s nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, but this album has convinced me that they are the torchbearers of modern day alternative pop. — Raphael

Sobs
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