Andrew Stewart Poop 2022

BEST: 2022

  1. Buy Archers of Loaf / Reason in Decline New or Used via Amazon
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    Archers of Loaf / Reason in Decline: Admittedly, I never understood this band when it mattered: their screechy, muddy sound was a bummer. With low expectations (but interest piqued by Eric Bachmann’s excellent Crooked Fingers catalog), this “comeback” album hit like a ton of bricks. Here Bachmann is in full-commit mode, sounding on the edge of insanity about half the time, the other half spent delivering beautifully-crafted, shimmering, muscular indie rock moments.

  3. Buy XXXX New or Used via Amazon
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    Dead Tongues / Dust: As close to magic as it gets, Ryan Gustafson weaves an atmospheric tapestry of psychedelia-inflected country rock, with threads of Townes Van Zandt and Chris Whitley woven in. His short opening set at Levon’s was eye-opening. One on the rise.

  5. Buy Aldous Harding / Warm Chris New or Used via Amazon
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    Aldous Harding / Warm Chris: A charmingly weird album from this NZ artist that just wormed its way in and never left. Sharing a vibe with this year’s far-more-challenging Cate LeBon album, this one’s warmer and funnier and a good hang, as contagious as a smile.

  7. Buy Ty Segall / Hello, Hi New or Used via Amazon
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    Ty Segall / Hello, Hi: Why bother to fight it? Every single thing he does is interesting, and he does a lot of things. This one’s mostly spare and mellow but so expertly sequenced, so nicely dolloped with jams, it rises to the top again – like all the other Segall stuff.

  9. Buy MJ Lenderman / Boat Songs New or Used via Amazon
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    MJ Lenderman / Boat Songs: Sounding like a broken, dusty J Mascis if he were sitting in with Lotion, here the Wednesday frontman forgets his day job and goes all in, and wins. Sounds even better on vinyl.

  11. Buy Dehd / Blue Skies New or Used via Amazon
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    Dehd / Blue Skies: More haunted-house Roy-Orbison shit, a little slicker than their last. It seems with Dehd you either love the sound immediately or else can never be convinced of their greatness. But here’s the thing: their greatness is real. Everyone else is wrong.

  13. Buy Vince Staples / Ramona Park Broke My Heart New or Used via Amazon
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    Vince Staples / Ramona Park Broke My Heart: Keeping it real, Vince once again offers a powerful, unvarnished look inside his mind, this time through the lens of his youth. It’s bleak, but once your eyes adjust you see things more clearly than before.

  15. Buy Wet Leg – Wet Leg New or Used via Amazon
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    Wet Leg / Wet Leg: A fun frolic from this UK duo, saucy jump-up-and-down vibe-pop that follows the signal noise from last year’s “Chaise Lounge” breakout and just gets better and better. Top-notch songs, endlessly entertaining videos, great fun.

  17. Buy Fontaines D.C. - Skinty Fia New or Used via Amazon
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    Fontaines D.C. / Skinty Fia: Fellow Dubliners U2 are a fair reference point, though Fontaines get weirder and swing a bigger dick. That makes this their “War,” and that idea fits. Does muscular, anxiously doomy noir-rock work for you? Fall in line, or fall behind.

  19. Buy S.G. Goodman / Teeth Marks New or Used via Amazon
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    S.G. Goodman / Teeth Marks: Quiet, sparkling and deep, this one will stir your mind, tackling heavy issues with delicacy and fearlessness in equal measure. The combination of her Lucinda-like lyrics and sandpaper vocals is a pure dopamine rush.

  21. Friendship / Love The Stranger: Full of shambling, rambling, weirdo songs about small moments and big issues, this is minimalist country that puts an arm over your shoulder and leans in close; listen carefully and you might sense the ghost of David Berman nearby.
  22. Yot Club / Off The Grid: Relentless Sirius play of their lead single almost (almost!) dented my love of this electrifying, guilt-inducing Strokes-meet-Car-Seat-Headrest Casiotone jam-a-thon. Forget the doubters. It’s a home run.
  23. Kevin Morby / This is a Photograph: Memory, mortality and Memphis are the holy trinity on this slightly uneven album that nonetheless offers a few songs that are as good as anything he’s ever recorded. Whatever he’s into, he goes deep and gives his all. Sold.
  24. Alex G / God Save The Animals: Exceptionally gifted, Alex G never lets you down. This bright, clean pop sounds amazing, but lyrically? Well…a little less of the Lord here would have gone a long way. It’s not exactly dance music. You sing what you know, it seems.
  25. Florist / Florist: With this set of songs that evolved from screen-porch improvisations while cloistered in the Hudson Valley, this band does here what Big Thief apparently no longer can: write inventive, delicate, kaleidoscopic songs that get better with repeated listens.
  26. Dust Star / Open Up That Heart: With their hearts set on fun, this duo traffics in straight-ahead power-pop, their pure-adrenaline three-chord rockers glowing with sunburst choruses that light up the sky.
  27. Aoife Nessa Frances / Protector: Sophisticated moody folk from this Irish alto spins a magical shroud of sound, the clean, clear production and haunting lyrics evoking small waves lapping endlessly at the shore, stirring the stones of your mind.
  28. Orville Peck / Bronco: Way more fun than it should be, this one is a love-or-hate it thing. His over-the-top vocal style, simultaneously celebrating and sending up the tropes of classic country, is absent of cynicism and bursting with joy. A cool little magic trick.
  29. Bartees Strange / Farm to Table: This should have been the one that broke him out and made him famous, but…that’s just the way it is. Swinging for the fences on these hearty, ambitious rock songs, he’s taking another step on the road to what feels like inevitability.
  30. Toro y Moi / Mahal: Beatlesesque, lo-fi, synth-heavy: use whatever mix-and-match adjectives you like, but these grooves are magical. While it all blends together a bit, the overall effect is of dappled sunlight on the water, a dynamic and deconstructed beauty.
  31. The Smile / A Light for Attracting Attention: It should not take much convincing if you’ve heard this that it’s the best thing Yorke’s done outside of Radiohead since The Eraser. Propulsive, desperate, gloomy tracks seethe with alien beats and, finally, again, rage.
  32. Ethel Cain / Preacher’s Daughter: A powerhouse debut with epic tracks stacked like massive granite slabs, an unrelenting gothic swamp sound shot through with timeless questions about faith, identity and the meaning of love (self- and otherwise).
  33. Anxious / Little Green House: Underrated chord-heavy throwback emo-rock hits all the notes you’d expect, getting your heart pumping and elevating your mood; it’s there for you when you’re ready, bottled but ready to explode.
  34. Black Country, New Road / Ants From Up There: Schizophrenic art-rock songs are somehow also saturated with soul, making them far more moving than they should be; imagine Jon Brion covering early Pink Floyd and you’re in the right neighborhood.
  35. Night Shop / Forever Night: Morby sideman nearly outshines the boss on his second solo shot, more fleshed out and far more sophisticated than before, stories of downtown hangouts and cool friends shining like the city at night, in the rain.

Marina Allen / Centrifics: these warm, breezy canyon songs sound like Carole King
Alvvays / Blue Rev: too washed out and muddy to justify the out-of-proportion praise
Arctic Monkeys / The Car: mature, sophisticated; but I liked them better when they rocked
Bad Bunny / Un Verano Sin Ti: he’s a powerhouse, delivering again with this expansive set
The Beths / Expert in a Dying Field: fantastic songs neutered by a flat, drab production
Big Thief / Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe: it’s not them, it’s me – but I’m bored
Kate Bollinger / Look At It In The Light EP: a herald of bigger things, this is pure pleasure
Bonny Light Horseman / Rolling Golden Holy: too cloying to connect, but Eric Johnson rules
Built to Spill / When The Wind Forgets Your Name: Martsch still does the thing, and it’s OK
Quinn Christopherson / Write Your Name in Pink: so appealing I never stopped smiling
Sam Cohen / Slow Fawn: top dog producer gets a little too dreamy on his second solo shot
Color Green / Color Green: for fans of Jerry’s second set emergences, this is great stuff
John Fulbright / The Liar: smart, straight-ahead country songs with a little Tom Waits color
Good Looks / Bummer Year: unheralded but excellent alt-country band out of Austin
Horsegirl / Versions of Modern Performance: confident, edgy punks are young and loud
Hovvdy / Billboard For My Feelings EP: four great songs from a stalwart country-folk band
Julia Jacklin / Pre-Pleasure: like a more-introspective alternate-timeline Courtney Barnett
Joyce Manor / 40 Oz. to Fresno: bite-size emo-punk songs with a distorted 80’s hue are great
King Hannah / I’m Not Sorry: spooky moor-rock mist-drifts, with heartbeat footsteps
Steve Lacy / Gemini Rights: that goddamn single wouldn’t quit; lots more great stuff here
Kendrick Lamar / Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers: another no-sweat heavy lift from the king
Cate Le Bon / Pompeii: she’s a genius, and I’m not smart enough to get it, but I like it anyway
Tony Molina / In The Fade: one gear works, if that one gear is perfect two-minute pop songs
The Mountain Goats / Bleed Out: another flawless, literate album full of intense, epic songs
Nnamdï / Please Have a Seat: funny, smart, candy-coated R&B is ridiculously entertaining
Angel Olson / Big Time: like a great novel, you appreciate it in hindsight but it takes work
Options / Swimming Feeling: fuzzed-out minor-chord rock, unfairly unheralded but: wow
Panda Bear & Sonic Boom / Reset: sunny Beach Boys stuff, chopped, mixed and blended
Phoenix / Alpha Zulu: an unexpected return to excellence after we’d all written them off
Plains / I Walked With You A Ways: more Waxahatchee than we wanted this quickly, it’s OK
Porridge Radio / Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky: I like it weird, like this
Pusha T / It’s Almost Dry: he’s got one gear, but he goes fast and hits hard, and it’s good
Rico Nasty / Las Ruinas: wild-eyed, inventive, intimidating rap propelled by dancefloor beats
Rosalia / Motomami: Blade Runner grooves and methamphetamine flow, sprinkled with sugar
The Sadies / Colder Streams: a favorite-ever band reaches their premature end with grace
Sessa / Estrela Acesa: Brazilian jazz-folk with bossa nova influences will warm your soul
Sarah Shook / Nightroamers: a lean, desperate, nearly-flawless rock diamond in the rough
Silverbacks / Archive Material: daredevils straddle the line between madness and perfection
Spoon / Lucifer on the Sofa: self-consciously groovy album sounds like Spoon goes to Vegas
Stay Inside / Blight EP: not to be ignored, this band only writes relentless, heavy rock songs
Surprise Chef / Education and Recreation: music for Tarantino’s Crocodile Dundee remake
Sylvie / Sylvie: peaceful and evocative 70’s AM radio throwback collective is a breezy favorite
Taper’s Choice / Choice Tapes Vols. 1-4: endless psychedelic Dead-indebted jams, pure gold
Sean Thompson / Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears: if Willie dropped LSD and wrote a musical
TOLEDO / How It Ends: sweet midwestern indie stuff, soft but friendly, with hints of doom
Kurt Vile / (watch my moves): sadly, it feels like he’s run out of ideas, interesting enough
Wayne Graham / ISH: this “band-not-a-guy” band from Kentucky feels ready for fame
Wilco / Cruel Country: a return to a gentle version of their earlier form, but it drags and lags
Nilufer Yanya / Painless: another not-quite-there soul-pop hybrid, but there’s brilliance here
Neil Young & Crazy Horse / Toast: lost 2001 album burns like a forest fire out of control

Beach House / Once Twice Melody
Dry Cleaning / Stumpwork
Jockstrap / I Love You Jennifer B
Mitski / Laurel Hell
Soul Glo / Diaspora Problems

Andrew Stewart
Rhinebeck, NY