Genre-defying Philly hardcore band Soul Glo have had a great year, from the release of their remarkable new album Diaspora Problems to bringing their killer live show on the road to the multiple awesome music videos they put out this year. They've also stayed busy keeping up with all the other music coming out this year, and with 2022 coming to a close, vocalist Pierce Jordan and drummer TJ Stevenson each made us lists of their 10 favorite albums of the year.

Soul Glo's lists are just as genre-diverse as their music, with superstars like Bad Bunny and The Weeknd, Jersey Club rapper Bandmanrill, hardcore band Warthog, Griselda rapper Armani Caesar, post-punks Special Interest (who Soul Glo play some shows with this month), grindcore from Cloud Rat and Knoll, death metal from Artificial Brain, reunited prog-screamo legends Gospel, influential metal titans Meshuggah, and much more. Pierce and TJ also provided commentary on each pick. Read on for their lists...

Pierce Jordan's Favorite Albums of 2022

Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin Ti

Oftentimes really good pop records are still inextricably just pop records that have songs that are undeniable hits. The amount of money spent on the project and effort spent on outsourcing the work to various producers and musicians is impossible to ignore, even though the result is something with so many fingers in it, it can't help but sound unique. Un Verano Sin Ti is all of these things, yet is still greater than the sum of its parts. Each song has a minimum of 2 to 3 different (Latin) genres smashed together, yet none of it is annoying, contrived, or anxiety-inducing. I have never in my life heard someone mix cloud-like pop with merengue like on "Despues De La Playa" or violently wedge a hard techno shift into a song with traditional Caribe percussion the way he does in "El Apagón," only to then put a fucking documentary about land theft and white gentrification of Puerto Rico's coasts at the end of the video. The record-setting $158m in tour revenue for a Latin artist touring mainland USA is nothing to sneeze at, either. I'm trying to be conservative but I truly have no shortage of good things to say about this album.

The Weeknd - Dawn FM

I considered myself a casual Abel listener until quarantine when I found myself unable to enjoy anything like I did his previous release, After Hours. While that's still my favorite work of his, there's still quite a lot to be said for the emotional growth his lyricism shows that analyze the way men, young and old, exist in intimate relationships (both romantic and sexual) on Dawn FM. The fact that he got Quincy Jones, who is basically the architect of 20th century pop culture, to give such a personal insight to his own journey of healing and positive functionality in love is a feat on its own, but then there's still the songs Take My Breath, Out Of Time, Here We Go…Again, Best Friends, and Is There Someone Else? which will undoubtedly prove to be classics in his catalogue.

Bandmanrill - Club Godfather

He's 18 years old, has the NYPD on his back, and has still yet to miss on any of the singles or tracks on his new album. It's arguable that artists like him, Cookiee Kawaii, 2rare, Ishowspeed (yes I know he's also a streamer), Lil C4, producer Project X, and of course an endless number of DJ's in the northeast are responsible for the current club rap wave that artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Cochise are now latching onto, but Bandmanrill is a unique force who mixes drill and trap music with club beats to create some of the most infectious and compelling songs I've heard this year. Get sturdy or die.

Persona - Free Your Mind

Learning about Persona was such a fun process. I'm getting high in my living room watching a vid of them performing at St. Vitus in NYC, and I'm blown away by the drumming, which reminded me of another Rotten Apple band I had just been impressed by called 80HD. After watching some more, I realized that one of the guitar players of Persona looked an awful lot like my friend Kemba, and after posting a video of the performance on my instagram asking for more info (at the time they had no recordings) Kem messages me to tell me that it was in fact them, and their drummer Sasha, was also the drummer of 80HD and apparently is a producing wizard. Just listen to this shit if you like really fucking good and really fucking fast d-beat influenced hardcore punk.

Warthog - Warthog 2022

Yes, I know this is an EP, but it's still far and away better than most of the punk albums I've heard this year and it seems like the rest of the hardcore punk scene agrees. People love this band. I love this band. The breakbeat shift toward the end of "Four Walls" alone was enough for this release to make my list.

Ghais Guevara - There Will Be No Super-Slave

If you don't know North Philly's Ghais Guevara yet, it's okay. Keep sleeping. You'll be awakened in some form or fashion soon enough. This man's usage of sampling of classic soul songs and Spongebob excerpts would make him one of my favorite producers I've heard in the last bit of time, but then he also comes out with some of the most hilarious and true lines in his raps that I have ever heard. I can't wait to meet him IRL.

SRSQ - Ever Crashing

SRSQ had to be on this list almost from the first moments I listened to her new album Ever Crashing. I checked her out after seeing she was on tour with Ceremony and I was immediately visited by some of my favorite aspects of dream pop. It's pretty rare for me to wholeheartedly enjoy most new music on my first listen, but she cut straight through all my bullshit, specifically with the songs "Dead Loss" and "Abyss." Her transcendent voice and unbelievable range and skill as a singer compliment songs that remind me of my favorite moments from the band Asobi Seksu and the artist Spellling, providing a perfect soundtrack to the approaching cold months ahead.

PeZ - Consumer World

So far, punk and hardcore have shown me their best sides when coupling humor and innovation. Pez, or PeZ(?), have this mentality down pat. From the way they promote some of their more guerrilla shows, one of which I have been fortunate enough to share with them at last years Fest in Gainesville, FL, to the way they thematically and sonically reference cyber-culture is truly refreshing and fun to witness. Many people who mention Refused when alluding to a sound of punk that feels without limits would definitely love this band.

Special Interest - Endure

I mean foreal, if you don't know Special Interest at this point, you really need to be trying harder. Another band that doesn't miss with anything they do, Endure has some of their best work yet, specifically the soulful "Midnight Legend" (which lowkey reminds me of Tituss Burgess' "Peeno Noir," real ones know) that sheds Alli Logout's sharp yell for a revelation of the fact that homie can SING, and the dark-as-fuck "Kurdish Radio" which feels like a perfect distillation of the vibe they've been crafting since the beginning. Simply their best work yet.

Armani Caesar - The Liz II

Armani Caesar revealed herself to me as the crown jewel in the growing Griselda empire with this album's predecessor The Liz. With that album's sequel, she gave us more of what her fans loved about her from the start; ice-cold flows and effortless rhymes that sound like she recorded every verse from a chaise lounge that probably has diamonds or rhinestones on it, but she really, really, didn't need to do it to us with the Beatking and Queendom Come featured "Sike" the way she did, which is simply a nod to the nations strippers to let them know she's for them too. I love it.

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TJ Stevenson's Favorite Albums of 2022

Cloud Rat - Threshold

Another classic from Michigan grind legends who seem to effortlessly top themselves over and over again.

PeZ - Consumer World

Gainesville computer punks give us this very unique full length that expounds on life under capitalism in the digital age. Join today! (952) 800-3312

Meshuggah - Immutable

I don't think Meshuggah will ever miss. This record grew on me a lot this year and seeing them sealed the deal.

LustSickPuppy - As Hard As You Can

Breakneck, savage electronic music for people who want to be angry, horny, and vulnerable simultaneously.

Artificial Brain - Artificial Brain

Melodic death metal with blistering displays of blasting. Chicken soup for the extreme metal soul.

Gospel - The Loser

The Moon is a Dead World was a very influential record for me when I was younger. Very happy to find Gospel's hifi return is on par with their previous material. Prog screamo pioneers did it again.

Prison Affair - Demo 3

I am utterly stumped to describe this band succinctly. Whimsical chain punk ruminating mostly on (seemingly) literal romantic affairs in prison.

Knoll - Metempiric

Crazy ass death grind band from Tennessee. What I imagine the escalator to hell sounds like. Insane drumming on this record as well.

Backslider - Psychic Rot

Local Philly grinders oscillate between sludgy riffs and tight grind. Check them out with Triac on the West Coast this December if you get the chance. Love these guys!

Nanoray - Toybox

Nanoray always makes me feel like I'm winning 150cc Rainbow Road and I feel like that alone is a compelling reason to check this out.

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Soul Glo's shows with Special Interest include NYC's Bowery Ballroom on December 8, and they also play The Front Bottoms' Champagne Jam in Philly later this month, Atlantic City's new Adjacent Festival next year, and more.

Pierce was also just announced as a guest on the new Zulu album.

Soul Glo -- 2022/2023 Tour Dates
12/8 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY w/ Special Interest
12/9 Foto Club Philadelphia, PA w/ Special Interest
12/17 The Fillmore Philadelphia, PA (The Front Bottoms' Champagne Jam)
5/27-28 Adjacent Festival Atlantic City, NJ
6/8-11 Download Festival Leicestershire, UK
6/23-25 Outbreak Fest Manchester, UK
6/24-7/1 Roskilde Festival Roskilde, Denmark

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