Queen City Sounds
By Tom Murphy
Published Issue 108, December 2022
Here are 40 of the most re-listenable albums in one of the best years of music in recent memory.
ADULT. – Becoming Undone
Discordant industrial dance tracks of catharsis and resistance.
A Place to Bury Strangers – See Through You
A true fusion of industrial shoegaze scorch and emotionally earnest synthpop.
Author & Punisher – Krüller
Kinder not gentler soundscape contortions of late capitalism’s unevenly rapid decay.
Blacklist – Afterworld
Hard rock infused folkloric post-punk pushback against doomerism.
Blushing – Possessions
Entrancing labyrinthine waves of transporting melodies and joyful melancholia.
Charli XCX – Crash
“Beg For You” is the glitch/bedroom moody pop banger of 2022.
Chat Pile – God’s Country
An unsettling and thrillingly devastating sonic mirror held up to the eviscerating consequences of America’s especially insidious brand of capitalism.
Cloakroom – Dissolution Wave
A heavy space rock prophecy for the great civilizational reset to come.
Deserta – Every Moment, Everything You Deserve
Hazy tonal doorways to reconnecting with the life you thought you wanted to leave.
don’t get lemon – Hyper Hollow Heaven
Gorgeously lush, despair-laden, Future Islands-esque Neo Wave.
Drowse – Wane into It
A pastoral folk drone meditation on the unmooring effects of the loss of mystery.
Enumclaw – Save the Baby
Emo grunge post-punk songs on the redemptive power of unsentimental nostalgia.
GGGOLDDD – This Shame Should Not Be Mine
Harrowingly vivid, heavy industrial exorcisms of buried personal trauma.
Gus Englehorn – Dungeon Master
Wonderfully eccentric storybook of colorful dreams, fantasies and nightmares.
Holy Fawn – Dimensional Bleed
Black metal musique concrète shoegaze suspended in luminous ambient soundscapes.
Hooveriii – A Round of Applause
Urgent, unabashedly bombastic psychedelic prog brimming with irresistible hooks.
Hulder – The Eternal Fanfare
Seething, orchestral black metal paired with deep woods tranquility.
Jon Spencer & the HITmakers – Spencer Gets It Lit
Spirited melding of early Devo and The Nation of Ulysses.
Kal Marks – My Name Is Hell
Desperate testimonials to the on the edge precariousness of modern human existence.
Lesser Care – Underneath, Beside Me
Dream-like post-punk poetic reflections on loss, healing and acceptance.
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – IV
Bittersweet, twee shoegaze guitar melody perfection.
Lowertown – I Love to Lie
Hopeful avant-pop in the face of and against a bleak future.
Meat Wave – Malign Hex
Melancholic desperation channeled into cathartic bursts of noise rock.
Molly Nilsson – Extreme
A vital synth pop dance deconstruction of the destructive nature of power in our lives and the reclamation thereof for our collective benefit.
Moore Kismet – UNIVERSE
A relentlessly creative, colorful and luminous update of electronic dance music.
Nancy Mounir – Nozhet El Nofous
Brilliantly layered production of archival recordings of early 20th century Egyptian popular music and modern ambient arrangements.
No Age – People Helping People
Engrossing contrast of joyful exuberance and blissed-out introspection.
Otoboke Beaver – SUPER CHAMPON
Ferocious none more punk dismantling of misogyny, consumerism and conformity.
Palm – Nicks and Grazes
Art pop band leans into the weird with forays into the techno psychedelic avant-garde.
Panda Riot – Extra Cosmic
Vibrant tonal colorings and driving guitar grit augment the veteran shoegazer’s transporting dream pop.
Patriarchy – The Unself
Gloriously lurid and irresistible industrial disco synth pop.
Peel Dream Magazine – Pad
Shades of Tropicália, library music and psychedelia inform this journey into self-re-discovery.
Porridge Radio – Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky
Punk pop crackling with riveting authenticity and vulnerability.
PROBLEMS – This Is Working Out
Post-meta, surreal, maximalist 16-bit video game techno.
Secret Shame – Autonomy
Heartbreaking, radically vulnerable, confessional post-punk.
Sound of Ceres – Emerald Sea
Washes of modern classical inform this dream pop concept album of cosmological proportions.
The Serfs – Primal Matter
Politically-charged post-punk imbued with Red Lorry Yellow Lorry-esque visceral urgency.
Viagra Boys – Cave World
The most astute, vital and irreverently unironic set of socially critical songs on one album of 2022.
Vision Video – Haunted Hours
Refreshingly earnest New Wave-inflected post-punk swimming in uplifting melodies.
VR Sex – Rough Dimension
A caustic and gritty noise punk search for meaning in a world filled with too few meaningful choices.
For more see queencitysoundsandart.wordpress.com
Tom Murphy is a Denver-based music writer and science fiction/fantasy/horror creator. He is also a musician, historian and itinerant filmmaker.