The Top 10 Aussie Albums of 2022
Alt-country, indie-pop, hip-hop, garage rock, funk, experimental jazz, genre-fusing electronic music and more all get a look in
With 2022 feeling like the first (kind of) back to normal year for music, seeing the opening of borders and return to live gigs and festivals, we were blessed with some incredible Australian albums (some of which had been on hold for some time) - here are our 10 faves.
10. Stephen Bailey - G.G. Ryder
Crosby, Stills, Nash…. & Bailey?! While we’re still getting over the fact that local psych lords Mt. Mountain are no more, we can take solace in the fact that their members will continue to make incredible music - including former frontman Stephen Bailey, with his masterful alt-country & folk-rock as heard on his beautiful fourth solo record.
9. Stella Donnelly - Flood
Three years on from her breakthrough debut album that took one of W.A.’s finest musos to the world, Stella overcame the sophomore slump with her brilliant record Flood that built on everything we’ve come to know and love from her music… and leave us very excited for album number 3.
8. King Stingray - King Stingray
With a string of amazing singles preceding its release, the hype for King Stingray’s debut album of “Yolngu surf rock” was palpable, and it did not disappoint. Packed full of catchy hooks, King Stingray’s energy and spirit is palpable on their debut album.
7. Party Dozen - The Real Work
Sydney’s foremost “experimental doom jazz duo” delivered an album that’s as challenging as it is addictive, proving to be one of the most unique listens of 2022 - and with a Nick Cave feature, no less.
6. HAAi - Baby, We’re Ascending
It’s been five years since Teneil Throssell AKA HAAi dropped her debut EP of luscious, downtempo deep house, Be Good, and we’ve been waiting for a full length album ever since, which we got this year. Baby, We’re Ascending takes the listener on a journey through a range of electronic styles but with more of a “song” structure compared to more straightforward “dance tracks”, making for a danceable album that’s perfect for home or headphone listening.
5. Methyl Ethel - Are You Haunted?
Jake Webb’s fourth album saw him asking us a rhetorical question to ponder upon listening to this fantastic record of indie-pop-electronic experimentations. Managing to sound fresh while still signature Methyl Ethel, Are You Haunted? struck a perfect balance of pushing new directions while still retaining the elements of their music existing fans have grown to cherish.
4. Body Type - Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing’s Surprising
Recorded in eight days back in early 2020 but put on hold due to COVID, Body Type’s debut record is the album-form of “good things come to those who wait”, with the Sydney-based four-pieces addictive take on indie-garage-rock paired with witty, biting, feminist lyricism proved to be a winning combo.
3. Harvey Sutherland - Boy
The funkiest man in Melbourne, Harvey Sutherland’s long awaited debut full length saw him bring his self-described “neurotic funk” to the album format in fine style. Funk, disco, Japanese city pop and even post-punk are all represented in a swirling mix of a myriad of synths and drum machines.
2. Sampa The Great - As Above, So Below
Marking the next chapter in The Great Journey, Sampa’s second album was recorded in two weeks on a trip to her home country of Zambia which was also a big source of inspiration, as the record combines elements of traditional and modern Zambian music, Kwaito & Amapiano (styles of African house music) with modern trap, hip hop and r&b styles in a unique and alluring manner. Featuring guests including Denzel Curry, Joey Bada$$ and Angelique Kidjo, As Above, So Below keeps the star of the show front and centre - Sampa’s inimitable rapid fire, tongue-twisting, brain bending rhymes.
1. Julia Jacklin - PRE PLEASURE
Julia Jacklin’s third album, PRE PLEASURE, takes all the deep, tender lyrical content and masterful musicianship and dials it up to 11. Sounding both nostalgic and instantly emotionally effective, Jacklin showcases her lyrical wizardry, managing to be intimately relatable as she grapples with a myriad of themes from the human experience including parental and romantic relationships, religion, porn, and kind of a little bit of everything in between those extremes.