NN PRESENTS: Our Favorite Records From 2022
We haven’t been posting much in 2022, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to talk about our favorite records from the year that was! Joining me today will be my friend Cadillac Young who plays guitar in Shitfire who I consider to be one of Louisville’s finest and most electric current bands. Their latest EP Howdy Bitch is out now on cassette via Never Nervous Records. In case you weren’t aware, this is one of my favorite releases of the year. Well, now you are aware. So go buy the damn cassette, there are only a couple left.
As we have in the past, we talk about 5 records from Louisville, and 5 records from NOT Louisville AKA anywhere else.
DISCLAIMER: This was put together for fun, so please don’t get angry with us because your favorite band or artist isn’t included.
PHIL’S LOUISVILLE PICKS:
SHITFIRE – Howdy Bitch! | As I’ve mentioned before, this is hands down my favorite release out of Louisville from 2022. Singer Hannah Blakeman & crew seem to have mastered their formula for up-tempo trash punk, as evidenced on all five excellent songs on this EP. My #1 track is the opening track “Loose” that slowly starts off with a pulsing build-up that leads to a rockin’ diddy that puts Blakeman’s killer vocals front and center. Can’t wait to see what Shitfire does in 2023!
BLIND SCRYER – Controlled Burn | I’m not typically one to listen to much “stoner metal” or whatever the hell you people are calling it these days. BUT, this EP from Blind Scryer just fuckin’ rocks. All three songs are full-on rock and roll experiences complete with badass riffs, a big rhythm section, and gliding vocals from the always amazing Blair Yoke.
SHERI STREETER – That Shadow Too Am I | I know this album took a long time to finally come together and get released. Maybe that’s why it sounds so complete and intact as every song is fully developed and realized to perfection. Sheri’s voice has never sounded better, and the production from Dave Chale is phenomenal. Recommended for fans of Big Thief.
WOMBO – Fairy Rust | The latest from Wombo kinda sounds like early Talking Heads mashed up with Alvvays, and if you ask me, that fuckin’ rules. There’s a raw, art rock sensibilty complete with toe-tappin’ beats and singer Sidney Chadwick’s wonderful voice that floats just above the surface.
SAVAGE MASTER – Those Who Hunt At Night | Ahhh yes, now THIS is my kind of metal. Badass riffs, driving drum beats, and fierce vocals from singer/frontlady Stacey Peak. Thematically, this record has the perfect mix of fantasy and sacrilege, but the presentation isn’t silly. The band doesn’t seem to be winking at the audience, and I appreciate that.
PHIL’S NOT LOUISVILLE PICKS:
CHAT PILE – God’s Country | It’s easy to compare Chat Pile to bands like The Jesus Lizard, Buildings, and Young Widows. But this album sets them apart with their own take on noisey post rock that sounds more like Godflesh than anything else. Like Godflesh, this is “feel bad” music, not for the faint of heart. Looking for a bad time? This record is for you.
PATRIARCHY – The Unself | Looking for some goth infused synth pop? The latest from Patriarchy has you covered with one of the best records of the year. Singer/frontlady Actually Huizenga is one of the fuckin’ baddest presences in music right now with her deceptively ominous voice. The arrangements and production with each track is top notch, and while every song is unique, the album as a whole maintains a creepy toe-tapping vibe.
DANIEL AVERY – Ultra Truth | The fifth album from Daniel Avery may be his finest work yet. Ultra Truth is full of dense, atmospheric soundscapes that will make you feel weightless and contemplative. Looking to drift away for a while? This is the record for you.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – Unlimited Love | I’ve been a fan of this band since I was a kid, and while I do enjoy the majority of the band’s catalogue, I wasn’t really into them anymore when John Frusciante left the band (again) in 2009. Now that Frusciante is back, the band managed to make their best record since By The Way. There are a few misses, but I really like the majority of Unlimited Love.
THE CHATS – Get Fucked | What is it about the simplistic punk anthems from The Chats that is enduring and addictive? It’s hard to say exactly, but the band continues to roll out quality punk tunes year after year. The songs on Get Fucked are generally more of the same, but every damn track is just so fucking fun! The entire record makes me wanna party myself into a hurling fit.
CADILLAC’S LOUISVILLE PICKS:
WOMBO – Fairy Rust | They got a little more accessible on this record and I’m here for it. They still have funky parts and odd things happening but they mix in a good amount of just beautiful melody and catchy riffage. The drums are always one of my favorite parts of this band and this album did not disappoint.
SUNSHINE – Sunshine | I’m biased. They’re one of my favorite local bands to watch live. These songs are chaotic and catchy and pretty and awesome. I’m not usually into mathy stuff but they do it in a way I really dig. They DIY’d the hell out of this release and that makes it even cooler.
INCLINATION – Unaltered Perspective | This might be a surprise pick if you know me. But it’s SO GOOD. And it’s straight edge. You picking up that I’m full of bias yet? I’ve known Tyler since we were high schoolers and I think this is the most he’s stepped out of his comfort zone while sounding the most at home.
TOWNSEL TURNER – Felt Like An Eternity | I’m bending the rules a bit here. Townsel is from Lexington but that’s close enough. I spun this record WAY too much to not have it on my AOTY list. It’s so smooth and catchy. I was captivated from the first note played. It’s super chill but I find myself putting it on at the gym a lot.
BELUSHI SPEED BALL – What Us, Worry? | This record is so fun. Thrashy, silly, creative. And if you listen to the right version of the record, loaded with fun skits. Their live show is where this band shines the most but it’s oftentimes so wild, I can’t decipher all the parts as well as I’d like, so then I go home and spin this and take it all in. I’d also like to note, Chase Bensing killed the production/engineering/mixing of this album.
Honorable Mention: Shitfire – Howdy Bitch — This is my band. So I figured I shouldn’t pick it. But according to Spotify, I listened to more of this EP than any other thing this year. 🤭
CADILLAC’S NOT LOUISVILLE PICKS:
CHAT PILE – God’s Country | This album is brutal. Every song is deprived of joy and just DRIVING fueled by disgust for the world. It kind of reminds me of a Conor Oberst led Ministry.
FLASHER – Love Is Yours | This was THE record for me this year. It’s chill as fuck. A lot of Smashing Pumpkin’s “1979” vibes throughout this album. I love the way they introduce an instrument or a lead line and then it sinks to the back of the mix as something else walks to the forefront. This album breathes a lot but never stops moving.
BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD – Ants From Up There | This was the one that took me by surprise. I had heard BC,NR and thought it was really okay. But this one is awesome. So dramatic and orchestral and bigger than just a “rock record”. It makes me feel the way listening to Fevers and Mirrors and Defiance, Oh did when I was in high school. (I swear I’m not obsessed with Bright Eyes. 😂)
NILÜFER YANYA – Painless | I had never heard of Nilüfer until this year. I’m in a group chat with some folks where we share new music and that’s where a lot of the records I enjoy come from. This one stood out to me because it’s kinda weird but also super catchy. It’s poppy in the same Radiohead is poppy. I’m not a smart musician so I can’t really explain that anymore but it’s awesome.
Royal & The Serpent – Happiness is an Inside Job | This one felt like a weird pick and also a very sensical one. It’s grungy. It’s dirty. It rages with the best of them. But it’s also poppy and full of modern production. I feel very disconnected from the emotions that she’s singing about but enjoy the art nonetheless. It’s in the same vein as Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR and that was a top pick for me last year.