Here we are again! We made it!
Despite the efforts of the world, we’re still here and still cranking it up as loud as possible. I think it’s safe for me to speak on behalf of the entire Music Savage gang when I say that we feel honored and humbled that you choose us to be part of your music journey again and again. Thanks for helping us feel like what we’re doing has some meaning in this mixed-up, multi-colored sphere we’re all on.
If you’ve been here a while, you know how we feel about lists and trying to order favorites. If you’re new here—it’s an excruciating, hair-pulling process for us as so many artists deserve more attention than they’re getting. But since the world at large loves a good listicle, we oblige!
As has become tradition, below is a list of some of my favorite releases from 2022—each with a 50-word review—and a playlist of the individual songs that accompanied me throughout the year. Maybe you’ll find something that grabs you, comforts you, excites you, or makes you smile. Hopefully, you’ll find a little of all of that.
I mention this every year, but it bears repeating: PLEASE support your favorite musicians by purchasing music, merch, and anything else they may be into. Do not hesitate. They need us as much as we need them.
Cheers to a year filled with love, kindness, and a lot less of everything else!
See you up front!
Best of 2022 Playlist
Twilights — Jesper Lindell
Lindell’s second album is a sonic throwback to classic rock and roll. Jesper’s smooth and powerful voice is chock full of emotion that carries throughout the record. From opener, “Westcoast Rain,” to closer, “Into the Blue,” these ten tracks are a perfect example of how some things are simply timeless.
2022 — Josiah and the Bonnevilles
Josiah’s latest album “2022” should be considered an example of “singer-songwriter” at its finest. The smoky, alcohol-soaked collection of songs has a gritty, soulful sound matched only by the vocals of Josiah himself. Clever lyrics, undeniable hooks, and even a Taylor Swift cover—what more could you possibly ask for?
(self-titled) — Marcus Mumford
From first listen, “(self-titled)” was bound to end up on this list. This mix of folk, country and rock is different than anything you think of when you hear the name Mumford. The Blake-Mills-lead production is incredible and when combined with Marcus’ powerfully tender vocals, must-hear musical magic is made..
Floating On A Dream — Avi Kaplan
Avi Kaplan’s “Floating On A Dream” is an album that took me completely by surprise. It’s an earthy, roots album that delivers raw emotion and captivating melodies from start to finish. The former Pentatonix bass also shows off a rarely-discussed vocal range that allows these tunes to hit and stick.
Lighten Up — Erin Rae
With its timeless sound and Rae’s silky-smooth vocals, this album may make you want to go out on an adventure or curl just up with your favorite mug of tea—and either one totally works. Witty, wise and wonderful, Erin Rae should be on the top of your listen list.
El Bueno Y El Malo — Hermanos Gutierrez
“El Bueno Y El Malo” is an evocative journey through a beautiful soundscape that only the brothers Gutierrez could conjure. A contender for my own personal soundtrack of 2022. With its perfect blend of traditional and modern sounds, it’s the perfect album to close your eyes and get lost in.
Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven? – Tyler Childers
Childers is no stranger to risk taking, so why not publish 8 songs, three different ways and call it an album? What this release lacks in depth, it makes up for in soul and creativity. And I agree, if I can’t take my hounds to heaven, I ain’t goin’ either.
American Heartbreak – Zach Bryan
Zach Bryan—no relation to Luke—seemingly came out of nowhere with a 30-track mega-album to introduce himself to the “mainstream” country music world. The former Naval Petty Officer Second Class had been writing and playing music in his spare time until one viral video broke open the dam. Damn!
they only talk about the weather – Árný Margrét
This record almost helps you feel what it must be like to grow up in what can be considered a harsh and isolated landscape. Powerful and intimate, Arny’s voice soars over the fantastic songwriting and production to produce an album worthy of your early morning routine or your lazy Sunday.
Dust — The Dead Tongues
“Dust” is a resonant, beautiful album that entrances you from the first note. With its intricate instrumentation and mix of folk and blues elements, this record offers an experience that’s both captivating and peaceful. It’s a must-listen for anyone looking for something new to add to their collection. More, please.
Want to hear some of our favorite singles of 2022? Check out The Music Savage Show from a few weeks ago!