KCRW Reveals Best of 2022
Santa Monica, CA (December 14, 2022) — KCRW has revealed its Best of 2022, the coveted list of the year’s best albums, songs, and artists. From experimental hip-hop to jazz electronica, post-Instagram post-punk to neo-discodelia, futurist salsa dura to pop renaissances, these are the sounds that defined KCRW’s year in music.
Personal picks from each individual KCRW DJ, the Top Ten Today’s Top Tune(s), the most played songs, the first-ever Listener’s Choice, as well as the Best Reads from the team at Life Examined and Pantry Favorites from the team at Good Food are currently online at the Best of 2022 website.
KCRW’s Best 22 Albums of 2022
2022 marked the first full year of art born in the “after” — the progeny of time spent off schedules and outside of expectation, deep within ourselves and together in existential freefall. As we venture into whatever it is that comes next, chaos may not be going anywhere, but it does make for some damn fine company. These are the albums that defined our year.
- Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers (tied at number 1)
- Wet Leg – Wet Leg (tied at number 1)
- Toro y Moi – MAHAL
- Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul – Topical Dancer
- Automatic – Excess
- Danielle Ponder – Some Of Us Are Brave
- Say She She – Prism
- Robert Glasper – Black Radio III
- Panda Bear & Sonic Boom – Reset
- Spoon – Lucifer On The Sofa
- Thee Sacred Souls – Thee Sacred Souls
- Stromae – Multitude
- Kikagaku Moyo – Kumoyo Island
- Beyoncé – RENAISSANCE
- Sudan Archives – Natural Brown Prom Queen
- Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – When the Lights Go
- The Comet Is Coming – Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam
- J.Rocc – A Wonderful Letter
- Silvana Estrada – Marchita
- Meridian Brothers – Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento
- Bill Callahan – YTI⅃AƎЯ
- Nick Hakim – COMETA
- Leikeli47 – Shape Up
KCRW’s 2022 Breakthrough Artist – Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul
Belgian duo Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul have enjoyed the kind of year that most artists fantasize about. After a string of increasingly well-regarded singles, the duo dropped their full-length debut, “Topical Dancer,” in March 2022. First and foremost, it’s a banging electro-pop record: released on the boutique label of fellow producers/mentors Soulwax, it shares that duo’s uncanny knack for skating on the bleeding edge of minimalist avant-house. Tracks like “Ceci n’est pas un cliché” and “Blenda” bump along on sweat-inducing grooves that invite total dancefloor hedonism. The album’s lyrics are the real spike in the punch, a consideration of the personal and political that pegs the zeitgeist without succumbing to didacticism. It’s relevant that Adigéry and Pupul are the children of immigrants raised in a stew of unexamined colonialism, but their approach is more open-hearted than polemical, inviting listeners to dance and think in whatever proportion suits them. It’s that combination of vibes – sexy and sardonic, uplifting and aware, rapturous and wry – that makes Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul such perfect agents of our shared historical moment.
As KCRW’s 2022 pick for Breakthrough Artist, Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul join the distinguished list of former honorees: Gabriels, St. Panther, Black Pumas, Rosalía, Anderson .Paak, and Tom Misch.
KCRW’s Favorite Songs of 2022 (listed alphabetically by artist)
A great song can beckon you onto the dance floor or deep into your feels; inspire you to stand up or throw a middle finger as you walk away; shout along to the words or just get lost in effable sound. These are our favorite tracks of 2022 — unranked and individually selected — they helped us get up in the morning and fall asleep (or stay awake) at night. Or sometimes we simply played them on repeat, because you never need a reason to hear your favorite song.
- Boy Harsher – “Machina (Feat. Mariana Saldaña)”
- Braxe + Falcon – “Step By Step” (Feat. Panda Bear)”
- Danger Mouse & Black Thought – “Aquamarine (Feat. Michael Kiwanuka)”
- Danielle Ponder – “Fray”
- Gabriels – “Angels & Queens”
- HAAi – “Baby, We’re Ascending”
- Helado Negro – “Ya no estoy aqui”
- Hope Tala – “Stayed At The Party”
- Horsegirl – “World of Pots and Pans”
- Lisa LeBlanc – “Dans l’jus”
- Madam Bombs – “Get Me Out”
- Nilüfer Yanya – “stabilise”
- Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation – “Let The Sunshine In”
- JJ & The Mood – “How Many Times”
- Jorge Drexler – “El Plan Maestro”
- Omar Apollo – “Evergreen”
- Robyn Hitchcock – “The Man Who Loves The Rain”
- Samora Pinderhughes – “Kingly”
- SAULT – “Angel”
- Shervin Hajipour – “Baraye”
- Steve Lacy – “Bad Habit”
- Tokischa – “Delincuente”
- TSHA – “Time”
- Yard Act – “100% Endurance”
- Warpaint – “Stevie”
Be sure to tune in today, Wednesday December 14, to KCRW’s flagship music program Morning Becomes Eclectic, co-hosted by Novena Carmel and Anthony Valadez for a three-hour special show highlighting KCRW’s Best of 2022.
For more information, please visit: kcrw.com/bestof
Laura Cohen, LC Media, firstname.lastname@example.org
About KCRW Music
KCRW’s hand-picked music programming is thoughtfully curated by actual people, not algorithms. It encourages real music discovery and delivers a truly eclectic listening experience. KCRW Music is helmed by Program Director of Music, industry veteran Anne Litt and a team of influential tastemaker DJs – Anthony Valadez, Chris Douridas, Dan Wilcox, Francesca Harding, Henry Rollins, Jason Bentley, Jason Kramer, Jeremy Sole, José Galván, LeRoy Downs, Nassir Nassirzadeh, Novena Carmel, Raul Campos, Ro “Wyldeflower” Contreras, Scott Dallavo, SiLVA, Travis Holcombe, Tyler Boudreaux, and Valida. KCRW DJs are given one directive: “play what you love.” KCRW has hosted radio debuts and album celebrations for countless artists. Now household names, KCRW has been influential in helping launch the careers of such luminaries as Adele, Alabama Shakes, Anderson Paak, Angel Olsen, Beck, Billie Eilish, Brett Dennen, Coldplay, Eels, Fiona Apple, Gabriel Garzon Montano, Garbage, Gillian Welch, Janelle Monae, Jenny Lewis, Juana Molina, Kamasi Washington, Mac DeMarco, Natalia Lafourcade, Ray LaMontagne, Sofi Tukker, and Tame Impala, among many others. KCRW Music offers a robust array of music programming and content including nearly 100 hours of on-air music every week and a continuous curated stream of music, Eclectic24.
KCRW creates and curates a unique mix of content centered around music discovery, NPR news, cultural exploration and informed public affairs. KCRW is driven by the spirit of LA and delivers in innovative ways – on the radio, digitally and in-person – to diverse, curious communities around the corner and around the world. A community service of Santa Monica College, KCRW can be found on the air in L.A., Santa Barbara, Ventura, Mojave, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, and worldwide via the KCRW app or online at kcrw.com.