Music Year-End List || Dennis’ Favorite Singles and EPs of 2022

We previously shared our lists of favorite albums – here‘s Niek’s and there‘s mine – but there were also some shorter format releases that I noted as wantlist worthy. Below you can listen to the Top 50 singles and EPs that I enjoyed the most last year – quite an eclectic selection, but imho all pretty cool. I’ve excluded releases with songs that also appear on my AOTY overview, and also left out individual songs. Links point to Discogs or Bandcamp (the headings), and to previously posted reviews (in the body text) – add to your wantlist (or collection) what you like!

1. NOBRO || Live Your Truth Shred Some Gnar
[Punk Rock, Canada || Big Scary Monsters / Dine Alone Records] As soon as I heard this one 10 months ago I knew it would be hard to beat. Each and every one of the 7 new songs from this kick-ass all female band are hits – raw and energetic, powerful and infectious, fun to the max. Much appreciated that these have been brought together with their previous equally great Sick Hustle EP on vinyl LP.

2. The Dogmatics || Drop That Needle
[Garage Rock, US || Rum Bar Records] The lyrics of the title track say it all: “Drop that needle on the 45 // I wanna hear that record one more time.”

3. The Mochines || Catch Me
[Garage Rock, South Africa || Rum Bar Records] Energetic and catchy, dirty and gritty, cool and infectious. Hits.

4. Bodega || Statuette On The Console
[Indie Rock, US || What’s Your Rupture?] The New York punk outfit recorded the standout track from their Broken Equipment LP in 9 different languages. A nice idea and well executed, because whether you hear it in the original English version, or in Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or Ukrainian, the “celebration of shedding other people’s ideology” remains a great song

5. Slack Times || Carried Away
[Indie Pop, US || Meritorio Records] The Birmingham-based jangle pop band released 6 melancholic new songs – the Carried Away EP – and brought them together with their previous 2021 EPs At The Blue Melon Rendezvous and Up Here on a must-have vinyl LP. Delightful and immersive music.

6. The Laughing Chimes || Zoo Avenue EP
[Jangle Pop, US || Slumberland Records] I can’t get enough of these fresh jangle pop tunes from teenage brothers Evan and Quinn Seurkamp.

7. Dead Chic || Bastion Session
[Heavy Soul, France || Upton Park] Impressive, raw and dark songs – recorded live – with a clear sound, clever poetic lyrics and awesome gritty vocals, that hit me hard and give me goosebumps.

8. Meltheads || Na​ï​ef
[Post-Punk, Belgium || Mayway Records] Powerful, urgent, furious and impressive. An instant classic.

9. Green/Blue || Worry / Gimme Hell
[Post Punk, US || Feel It Records] Putting out two fine full-length albums and then having such good tracks left over, Jim Blaha and Annie Sparrows pull it off. Irresistible.

10. Mimi and the Miseries || Mimi And The Miseries
[Garage Rock, UK || This Could Prove Fatal] Cool debut EP featuring 4 uplifting songs that echo 60’s girl groups, with raw vocal harmonies to sing along to and awesome organ melodies to dance to.

11. Cyanide Pills || The Kids Can’t Be Trusted With Rock ‘n’ Roll
[Punk Rock, UK || Damaged Goods] The names of the band, the single and the label raise high expectations, and they are fulfilled effortlessly.

12. Crones || Laugh Freely, Laugh Often
[Garage Rock, Canada || Mystic Turnip Records] The art punks from British Columbia always put your expectations to the test in these 4 raucous, infectious and cheerful tunes. Opening track Big Head Baby rivals Blur’s Song 2.

13. Bones and Jones || My Friend
[Farm Rock, Australia || Bonsai Records] Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint why certain music resonates so much, like with this single.

14. Tramhaus || I Don’t Sweat 
[Post-Punk, The Netherlands || Subroutine Records] The Rotterdam 5-piece grew into a live sensation in no time, and more of the hypnotic tracks that do so well during sultry concerts have now also been released in studio versions. The first cut is the deepest, so I choose the debut single here.

15. The Jack Cades || Something New / Chasing You
[Garage Rock, UK || Outro Records] The infectious A-side (written and sung by Mike Whittaker) has alluring guitar melodies and catchy harmony vocals, the B-side (written and sung by Elsa Whittaker) is slightly less energetic but just as convincing and addictive.

16. The Umbrellas || Write It In The Sky
[Indie Pop, US || Fastcut Records / Meritorio Records / Slumberland Records / Tear Jerk Records] The San Francisco 4-piece prove to have more classics up their sleeves with this follow-up to their successful self-titled 2021 debut album.

17. Natalie Sweet and Brad Marino || Second Time / Over My Head
[Power Pop, US || Reta Records / Rum Bar Records] Two of our heroes joining forces? It turns out as good as hoped and tastes like more.

18. La Perra Blanco || Won’t You Come On
[Rhythm & Blues, Spain || FOLC Records] Energetic and fast, tough and danceable.

19. The Bug Club || Intelectuals
[Indie Rock, UK || Bingo Records] Obviously, the Wales trio can do little wrong in my ears, that also applies to this single. I was confused when I saw the atypical playing time of 10:42, but actually Intelectuals (sic) consists of five tracks recorded in one take. In terms of pace and progress, this could be part of their live show, if only they wouldn’t keep breaking strings.

20. Continental Lovers || Dale Arden Vs The World
[Garage Rock, UK || Snap! Records Spain] Catchy and sleazy rock ‘n’ roll in a glittering glam suit, very attractive.

21. The Sparks || Heartbreak Songs
[Power Pop, US || Self-Released] Despite the title, these are songs that make me happy, thanks to the strong riffs and powerful vocals. My brain is unsure whether to make my head nod or my feet stomp.

22. Erin Harland || As Long As We Make It
[Jangle Pop, US || Self-Released] Smart structured, jangly melodies, angelic vocals, and entertaining storytelling that reflects hope, forgiveness and nostalgia. It’s impossible not to fall for it.

23. The Umbrella Puzzles || On The Meadow
[Jangle Pop, US || Subjangle] It seems so simple what singer-songwriter Ryan Marquez does, but few have the gift to create song after song so strong.

24. Skegss || Stranger Days
[Slacker Rock, Australia || Loma Vista Recordings] It still takes some getting used to that these party dudes are also getting older and wiser, but as long as they manage to package their mature insights in such an infectious way, you won’t hear me complain.

25. Fast Color || Fast Color
[Slacker Rock, US || Self-Released] Entertaining and laid back debut EP, for fans – like me – of The Growlers, The Strange Boys, Kurt Vile and Dead Ghosts.

26. Joey Valence & Brae || The Underground Sound
[Old School Hip Hop, US || Self-Released] We never write about rap music, but sometimes tunes come along that spark the excitement of the heyday of Beastie Boys, Eric B. & Rakim and Jurassic 5. So I really need to share this one: it has cool raps, addictive melodies and scratches in the right places, but above all it’s full of energy. If you watch the video for their latest single Club Sandwich, you’ll understand why this fits our blog: it’s almost punk.

27. Great Joy || Bang Bang
[Pop Punk, The Netherlands || Self-Released] Enthusiasm and fun splash from the 4 energetic tracks here, which are full of clever hooks and uplifting melodies.

28. Bubblegum Lemonade || Never Have I Ever
[Indie Pop, Scotland || Matinee Recordings] A celebration of the summer, as infectious and uplifting as we are used to from this sympathetic band.

29. Honk || Grand Opening
[Trash Can Country, UK || Fuzzkill Records] Ramshackle country with a punk feel, raw en lo-fi but swinging music that will make you happy.

30. Humanga Danga || Watusi Peak
[Surf Rock, Belgium || Self-Released] Entertaining melodic guitar tunes with tons of reverb and tremolo: “Tew Tiew! Te-ueng! The De De Dum Tweng!”

31. The Leonites || Twang Bang
[Surf Pop, Germany || Self-Released] Popcorn-esque surf music, a bit cheesy but with some unforgettable melodies – 19 minutes of dancing fun.

32. ME REX || Pterodactyl
[Indie Emo Rock, UK || Big Scary Monsters] Despite the catchy sing-along “woo-hoo” choruses, this is quite complex music with clever lyrics – dynamic, theatrical and larger than life. Within the same concept, the Plesiosaur EP was released a few months later, not bad either.

33. The Pagans S.O.H || Le Coq EP
[Crossover, UK || Rare Vitamin Records] If one band can keep the 90s crossover sound of rock and rap and more alive, it’s The Pagans S.O.H (Shepherds of Humanity).

34. Michael Des Barres and Prima Donna || Ain’t Nothing You Can Do About It
[Garage Rock, US || Wicked Cool Records] A catchy rock ‘n’ roll party in the here and now with the quality of the past.

35. Nile Marr || How We Drift 
[Indie Rock, UK || Park The Van] The title track is a powerful, up-tempo track with some great hooks, but the quieter Only Time Can Break Your Heart on the B-side is the one that persuaded me.

36. The Special Pillow || Mind Wipe
[Psych Folk, US || Self-Released] Surprising and fascinating baroque pop with a 1960’s feel but a 2020’s connection.

37. The Holiday Crowd || Party Favours
[Indie Pop, Canada || Shelflife Records] Dark and danceable tunes that represent the best of the 80s.

38. John McCabe || No One Ever Says
[Alternative Rock, US || Shelf Talker Music] The 3 songs here aren’t forgotten R.E.M. classics, but John McCabe originals that grab you from the first note.

39. Pinkmail || 1954
[Twee Pop, US || Self-Released] There are never enough of these perfect pop songs. Why don’t you hear this on the radio?

40. Hidden Pictures || Randi
[Jangle Pop, US || I Love Doby] Guitars jangle fine melodies under appealing lyrics (“You never cared much for power pop // Put on Big Star and your face would drop”), hand claps and “yeah’s” included.

41. The Shadracks || Time Slips Away
[Garage Blues, UK || Sub Pop] Two rock solid songs as a contribution to Sub Pop Singles Club, produced by Billy Childish.

42. Sarah Mary Chadwick || Flipped It
[Indie Pop, New Zealand || Kill Rock Stars] Some music is so intimate, vulnerable and raw, that as a listener you almost feel burdened that you are witnessing it. Press play and you know what I mean. Heartbreaking.

43. Frida Kill || EP 1
[Punk, US || Insecurity Hits] Heavy guitar noise with an urgent message.

44. Spit City || Carpe Demon 
[Folk Punk, US || Self-Released] Both musically and lyrically heavy stuff, but also pretty good.

45. Saloon Dion || Pressure
[Punk-Funk, UK || Nice Swan Records] Another single where the A-side is good and the B-side is great: Hey Hey is full of memorable hooks, powerful harmony vocals and cowbell.

46. JUMBO || World As Bad Idea
[Indie Pop, UK || Self-Released] Rich orchestration and layered harmony vocals – with this music you don’t feel alone.

47. Human Interest || Desire Paths
[Indie Rock, UK || Kissability] The first 4 songs by London-based duo Cat Harrison (vocals, guitar) and Tyler Damara Kelly (bass) have a New York sound with a nice raw edge – versatile, refreshing and appetizing.

48. The Sorels || Love Your Rock N’ Roll
[Power Pop, Canada || Reta Records / Surfin’ Ki Records] Jo Jo Rodriguez (vocals, bass, sax), Jennifer Alexander (guitar) and Jill Lynott (drums, vocals) live up to the title of the EP, with heart and soul, and with an amazing big sound.

49. Baits || Bring Your Friends
[Indie Rock, Austria || Noise Appeal Records] A high-energetic mix of beach grunge and pop punk that deserves a large, jumping festival crowd.

50. Big Donut || Five Songs
[Garage Rock, US || Tokestones Records] Tragi-comic stories about illustrious figures in grotesque guitar tracks.

From 45 of these 50 singles or EP’s you’ll find 1 track in this Spotify playlist, or 44 of them in this TIDAL playlist.

Niek will announce his favorite singles and EPs next week, so stay tuned (update: you’ll find it here).

3 thoughts on “Music Year-End List || Dennis’ Favorite Singles and EPs of 2022”

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