40. Shadow Universe
– Don’t Look at It and You’ll See It
Something of a slow burning affair, this second track on the Shadow Universe debut combines neoclassical tones with a post-rock structure, and the results are beautiful and electrifying. The entire album deserves more attention.
39. Rioghan – Summer
Atmospheric and tightly composed with a fantastic song structure, I love this closer from the debut Rioghan album. The lyrics are clever, and riffs are expressive, and the chorus will bury itself in your mind.
38. Rashida Prime – Nebula Temple
Spacious, atmospheric, and like an echoing chamber of light, this beautiful track from the equally beautiful Rashida Prime record Chroma expresses exactly why I love this artist. It is both a surreal and golden feeling that arises from ambient electronic music like this.
37. Breaths – The Wayward
This is a tough song to experience. The song is about the artist’s older deceased brother, and the emotions are decidedly mixed between admiration and blame. It really affected me because my own older brother recently had cancer, and there were some days when the emotions within this song felt very, very real to me. It’s difficult to listen to this with dry eyes.
36. Major Parkinson
– Behind the Next Door
While the full album didn’t sit well with me, this track really did. I love the vocal melodies and sense of anticipation, not to mention the synth twists and darkly curious moments. The final minutes of the song are glorious and amazing.
35. IONS – A Terrible Mistake
What a song this is! IONS hasn’t released an album yet; in fact, I don’t even know if there is a plan to do so. But this single absolutely rocks with some amazing rhythms and a giant hook. Reminds me of a more technical Dead Letter Circus.
34. Thy Listless Heart
– When the Spirit Departs the Body
Thy Listless Heart’s debut really speaks to me, and this ambient, ethereal track is one of the best on the album. I love how spiritual and hopeful it feels; it always raises the hairs on my neck.
33. Big Big Train
– Welcome to the Planet
This regal, theatrical closer on the recent BBT album feels so luxurious and so melodic on one hand, while also feeling ever so slightly macabre and maybe even Bohemian in its style. There are hints of cinematic and musical theater throughout, and the interplay between David and Carly is truly something meant to be. The song may feel like pure atmosphere and introspection at times, but it soon rises with a jangling piano rhythm that just feels right, even though it is quite different. This song defines everything the band has been and also what they have become.
32. Dance with the Dead – Hex
This eerie track has haunted my dreams for months. It works a spinetingling build up into its structure, and the chorus spills and overflows with excellent guitar work. The whole thing is a bassy, flowing piece that I can’t get enough of.
31. Torn Between Two Worlds
– The Woman That Never Was
What an amazing song this is. TBTW released an exciting EP last year, and I’ve listened to it countless times. This song hits at the midway point, and it just destroys my emotions. I love how Sarah sings it almost entirely inside her upper range, and so the unique inflections she uses end up feeling abstract and poignant and perfect.
30. Lonely Robot
– Species in Transition
This might be one of the best Lonely Robot songs yet. Its slow-burning style might take a few moments, but soon emotive guitar solos and explosive portions really take it somewhere interesting.
29. Messa – Serving Him
The closer on the latest Messa album, “Serving Him” puts on full display Sara’s excellent vocals. Between its pleasant pace and spectacular chorus, it feels perfectly composed and quite meaningful. I like how the song and album ends with Sara’s gentle vocal musings.
28. Collective Soul – Rule No.1
I honestly can’t get enough of this song. I love the lyrics and saucy rhythms. The final few minutes feature a rising orchestration that is truly beautiful, and it just feels like one of the most complete and layered songs they have ever made. I want to hear more Collective Soul songs like this one.
27. Allen/Olzon – All Alone
This song is like candy. In fact, both Allen/Olzon albums are. This is an over-the-top, energetic piece with such spirit that I can’t help but sing along with it.
26. Hermyth – Aeon
This is such a gorgeous song. I love the synth tone used on it, and Therese’s voice comes in with such confidence and endowment. It is so life-giving and encouraging.
25. Darkher – Immortals
One of the many highlights on this record, “Immortals” is a lumbering and bold statement in the middle of an ambient, atmospheric album. It feels meaningful and will leave you with otherworldly sensations.
24. Pure Reason Revolution
– Scream Sideways
This is one of those songs that uses its 10+ minute runtime to great effect. Transition after transition resides here, from electronic rockscapes to cinematic portions to pensive interludes to gigantic guitar barricades. It is a truly satisfying song, hitting so many notes perfectly.
23. Brandon Boyd
– Two Months and a Day
I have grown to love this song deeply. It is a slow-burning masterpiece with an excellent chorus, one that I’m constantly singing to myself. It gives way to an escalating, cresting melody near the end that always lifts my heart right with it.
22. Nordic Giants – Faceless
This band is no stranger to expression, but this track really brings some fiery feelings. It builds confidently and gorgeously into a soaring mountain of melody, guitar, and burning emotions. It gives me goosebumps every time.
21. IANAI – Khaalo
This is the culminative track on Sunir for me; one that brings the melodies that only flitted around the edges earlier, and fleshes them out clearly and concisely. I love how circular and humming and ethereal it feels.
20. Esthesis – Amber
This opener hooked me immediately. It has a deliciously dark, jazzy groove with quick-paced piano and little rhythmic elements that are subtle, yet powerful. I love it.
19. Michael Whalen
– The Journey to LightsEdge
This ethereal track builds and swells into such a masterpiece. With cosmic, enlightened ideas, it can leave me feeling hypnotized, and I like how cinematic and bold it becomes.
18. Lucifer Ascending
Former vocalist of Sybreed, Benjamin D. M. Nominet, has released a few songs for his new project, Lucifer Ascending. This one released in 2022, and it became part of my regular rotation. It has a fantastic chorus and plenty of spacious industrial elements to keep me coming back.
17. Tangerine Dream
– You’re Always on Time
While the entire album didn’t jive with me, this particular Tangerine Dream track grabbed me. I love the subtle hook and the luscious atmosphere. The album version is, of course, the superior one, so seek that one out, too. I’ve found myself humming this piece countless times.
16. Mother of Millions – Orbit
With appropriate pomp, this song leads the charge in the return of MoM. Its searing riffs and hovering ambience are only outdone by its deep sense of emotion. Flashy but authentic, I can’t wait to hear more like this from the band.
15. Borealis – Burning Tears
Featuring the phenomenal vocals of Lynsey Ward of Exploring Birdsong, this song was destined to be a favorite of mine. Matt and Lynsey interact marvelously, and both of their voices shine. I absolutely can’t get enough of this ballad.
14. Lo Moon – Digging Up the Dead
This slow, methodic song really spoke to me last year. It reminded me of some of my own skeletons and memories that I keep digging up, and the goodness inside me that those I love keep digging up within me. It was a motivation to be and get better mentally. And the catchy-ass hook really solidified the deal.
13. Charlotte Wessels – A Million Lives
This is quite a song. With its cautious and building melody, the song really hits humongous heights near the end. I love the high end of Charlotte’s vocal range, and this song really delivers that, along with orchestrations and a sense of theater.
12. Tears for Fears – Rivers of Mercy
There are so many great songs on this record, such as “My Demons” and “End of Night”, but this one buries itself the deepest in my mind. It is a gentle and hopeful tune, one with a rich melody and utterly beautiful execution.
11. Deserta – Far from Over
Right from its enthusiastic and hazy beginning, this song is mesmerizing. There are other amazing songs on this album, such as “A World Without” or “Goodbye Vista”, but this song really takes the cake with its humming beat and dynamic electronic fireworks in the second half. I can’t get enough of this, or the entire album.
10. Selenic – Lone
I was sold on Selenic after this single. The ferocious guitar work, the energetic rhythms, and the sincere vocals are all just so good. And I love the incredibly catchy chorus that emerges right at the end. Such an amazing song, just like so many other songs on this debut.
9. Devin Townsend – Equinox
This song best represents the new Devin album in my mind. The whole album is amazing, but the concise and luxurious rhythm that forms its core is hypnotic and full of heart. The song is a harmonious affair, and a solid foundation for the theatrics on the other tracks.
8. Silent Skies – Fallen from Heart
Here’s another album with so many good songs, like “Leaving”, “Let It Hurt”, “The One”, and more. And for most of 2022, one of those other tunes was my favorite here. However, I soon realized how much I love this opener: it has all the winter, sadness, and nostalgic memory that makes me love the whole record. Every time I put on the album, this song is the introduction to a rich musical experience.
7. Nothing in Writing – Virtual Fall
This song hooked me in 2022. I love how infectious and beautiful it is. It’s not a complex song, but it is deeply effective, and I’ve listened to it so many times.
6. Galahad – Blood, Skin and Bone
This has become one of my favorite Galahad songs on any of their albums. It has the soothing edge that Galahad does so well, and its glorious chorus immediately stayed with me. I love the background female vocal harmonies, almost Middle Eastern in style, and there’s just something slightly gritty and macabre about the song that really highlights it for me, especially the spoken word portion from Stu in the second half.
5. AA Williams – Pristine
This potent track feels like a dialogue with a hurting person, and its slow burning arc is so hypnotic. The final minutes, though, are magnificent as A.A. adds layers of melody and texture; and, when she finally adds her vocals back into the mix, the emotions are truly devastating. I adore this song.
4. Oceans of Slumber
– Red Forest Roads
With so many amazing songs on this record, this one might get a little lost. However, for me, this infectious and arresting tune never fails to deliver. It takes its time, giving us plenty of time to savor and relish before it launches into a superb chorus that is simply stunning. The vocals are out of this world.
3. Stabbing Westward – Push
This song set the bar so high last year. Stabbing Westward is capable of some amazing work, but this takes it to the next level. It is completely soaked in a soothing, ethereal synth atmosphere for almost half of its runtime. It really sets the tone well with its glorious keys and subtle guitar touches, almost like being in a trance. The lyrics, too, are fantastically written and bring tears to my eyes. Between the excellent chorus, otherworldly sound, and emotional vocals and lyrics, this song is a pure dream.
2. Remina – Icarus Signal
I love every single song on this album; they all seem like companions of mine. Over time, this song overcame other songs, like “Dying Sun”, “The Endless City”, and “Back in Time”, to become my absolute favorite. Its rich chorus, science fiction lyrics, soothing vocals and atmosphere, and subtle key strokes all sound fantastic, and the burst of energy near the end seals the deal.
1. Evergrey – Ominous
For most of 2022, there was one song that ruled over the others. It had competition on its own record, such as “Save Us”, “Heartless”, and “The Great Unwashed”, but nothing could dethrone it. “Ominous” is just that good. It is a brilliant, weird, and addictive song with rhythms that are completely outside the box. I love the hypnotic background voice at one point which reminds me of something from Recreation Day, and the song overall feels like trying to find your footing on the cusp of something that will change your life forever. At its core, though, “Ominous” is a hyper-melodic, expressive song, one that uses all these elements to feel limitless and deeply personal. Every time I hear it, I still can’t believe how good it is.
Hope it’s ok, I made a Qobuz playlist of these songs. A couple of songs wasn’t on Qobuz.
Thank you for compiling your top songs of 2022. I created a Spotify playlist from your list. Here’s the link: