Sparta celebrated the 20th anniversary of their debut album Wiretap Scars this year and released a new self-titled album in October. Sparta was recorded remotely and largely self-produced by band leader Jim Ward and longtime bassist Matt Miller, and it was made with help from members of Thursday, Jim's former At the Drive-In bandmate Kenny Hopper, Kayleigh Goldsworthy, Angelica Garcia, and more. Now, Jim has shared with us a list of his favorite albums of 2022. He says:

I'm so grateful for music. I love so much about it, the bands, the songs, the lifestyle, the inspiration- but I really, really give a shit about is how well a song is written- how do you take the same 12 notes we all know and the same words we all speak and make something that hits different.

Read on for Jim's picks, including Wilco, The Smile, L.S. Dunes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spoon, his collaborator Kayleigh Goldsworthy, and more, with commentary on each pick...

Jim Ward's Favorite Albums of 2022

Anthony Green - Boom. Done.

An absolutely incredible piece of art, The most vulnerable and authentic thing I have heard maybe ever. As perfect a record as I heard all year.

Jason Boland - The Light Saw Me

I love the space between country and rock and roll- the undefined territory looked over by our patron saint Gram Parsons. Jason made a record that is brilliant and interesting and genre defying and I love it.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down

These guys could coast on their catalog and churn out safe records every two years- instead they take their time, reinvent, explore and explode. Nothing makes me more excited than listening to something and then wanting to make something. Brian Chase is the hero on this record- what a talent.

Harry Styles - Harry's House

Endlessly rewarding record and artist. I love watching his journey and I keep finding him more and more inspiring.

L.S. Dunes - Past Lives

When incredible humans make bands together free of ego or expectation the result can be unreal. I love everything about this band and I am over the moon to watch their success.

Spoon - Lucifer On The Sofa

There is a comfort and an excitement to every Spoon release- I have known their music for so long and yet I am continually impressed by the each release. A band I really never tire of. This is arguably their strongest record in a while, and it gives me hope as an artist that there is always songs in us.

Bartees Strange - Farm To Table

The progression of writing from this artist makes me not only love what he is doing now, but love what is to come. A future so bright.

The Smile - A Light For Attracting Attention

I can't imagine a world without music made by the members of Radiohead. This is astonishing. The well of ideas must be endless.

Kayleigh Goldsworthy - Learning To Be Happy

Another artist I discovered this year and can't wait to hear the future. A real talent in both mood and technical prowess- stunning album.

Wilco - Cruel Country

Thank whatever power you believe in for this band. A lineup of the most agile and endlessly creative players surrounding one of our generations best songwriters. If I had to put money on someone I would listen to every record ever released forever- Tweedy would be it.

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