SRSQ, the art-pop project of Kennedy Ashlyn, released their sophomore album Ever Crashing in 2022, four years after their debut and still reckoning with grief, mental illness, and more. Kennedy lost close friend and collaborator Cash Askew in the deadly 2016 Oakland Ghost Ship fire, and she has since shaped the tragedy into a creative outlet, writing the densely textured and lyrically moving songs that appeared on 2018's Unreality and this year's Ever Crashing. SRSQ--comprised of Kennedy, bassist Mark Gilmore, and lead guitarist Chaz Costello (also of Choir Boy)--shared with us some of their favorite albums, EPs, and singles of 2022 with commentary, including Fontaines D.C., DITZ, Caroline Polachek, Sunflower Bean, Alex G, Morrissey, and more. Read on for their list...

SRSQ's Favorite Releases of 2022

Kennedy Ashlyn:

DITZ - The Great Regression

It’s very rare for me to find an album that I'm truly excited about, and this record absolutely hits that mark. It’s full of life and energy, at times manic, at times blasé, at times it feels like it’s about to fall apart. Which like, same. DITZ really knocked it out of the park with this release, breathing new life into the post-punk genre.

Donzii - Fishbowl

Donzii is low key a perfect band. Their music feels timeless, not quite like anything else, but instantly classic. Sonically Fishbowl is a continuation of their prior releases, but leveled up. It’s a total vibe. I get a strong sense of their punk ethos through their music, which is something that seems to be drying up in a world full of industry plants and brand-centric bands. It’s a fuckin cool album and it makes me feel excited to be a musician.

Caroline Polachek - Welcome To My Island EP

This is an immaculate release, start to finish. And aptly named: the world-building here is so strong… it’s Caroline’s universe, and we’re just lucky enough to be invited in. This may be my favorite pop music of all time. Her vocal work, especially at the top of track one, is immaculate. She effortlessly traverses octaves/timbres/moods in a single run without sacrificing precision or emotional intensity. She is clearly a master of her artistry and craft.

Crushed - "waterlily"

This feels like the kind of song I’m ALWAYS looking for, but you definitely don’t come across gems like this every day. Exquisite mood. Bre is one of the best vocalists out there right now, her voice is addicting to listen to and this performance feels intimate and enrapturing. Definitely a band to watch out for.

Vincent Christ - "I See Jets"

I love a song that’s just fucking undeniably cool, and this aptly fits the bill. All of his singles are killer, but this is the one I had on repeat this year. Instant classic.

Sunflower Bean - "Who Put You Up To This"

Talk about a hook, dude. The chorus to this song is downright addicting and is frequently stuck in my head. It’s one of those melodies that feels like it should exist already, like it’s familiar and comforting upon first listen, but still feels very fresh. Her voice is one of my current favorites. I’m also a huge fan of when songs repeat a vocal line on another instrument, it really brings me into the world of the song.

Mark Gilmore:

Sally Dige - “I Will Be the Sun for You”

Like absorbing the warm glow of the sun setting over a mountainscape and letting it become you. This single by Sally Dige is heartfelt and nourishing. A further dive into acoustic instrumentation while retaining that new wave danceability. Sally doesn’t disappoint.

Fontaines D.C. - Skinty Fia

Front to back a truly fantastic and powerful album; I’ve had it on repeat most of the year. A brooding self reflection that meanders through human fallibility and clamoring despair. Just listen to it again and again, it’s brilliant. It will haunt you.

Chaz Costello:

Morrissey - "Rebels Without Applause"

I know I’m not allowed to like Morrissey anymore but I do. And this is him at his best. Hitting the ground running with an acceptance of the past it would seem. Massive cemetery gates vibes on this song with impeccable production and his voice sounding off in top-form. This song is so good that it doesn’t even bother me that 2 members of Red Hot Chili Peppers played in it.

Alex G - "The Runner"

This became the tour anthem for the choir boy EU tour this year. An absolute summer jam and I’m sure on so many lists but rightfully so. A contemporary rock classic. Incredible composition & charming lyrics - a simple but not easy thing to do.

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