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NPR Music 2022 Staff Picks: Bob Boilen

Michelle Yoon
Courtesy of the artist

Lyrics and sound drive my love of music more than beats and hooks. As much as I love the words and story in a song, it isn't always a narrative that grabs me. What I love best is when the lyrics seem woven right into the tone or atmosphere of a song. You'll hear that in most all of the selections below.

Among the artists who made my list of 2022 favorites are quite a few new to me, including the charming, sometimes goofy, catchy debut album from Wet Leg, but it was also a year in which past favorites made better records than ever; maybe the time away from touring during COVID shaped richer, more introspective sets of songs.

Below you'll find my 10 favorite albums and my top 10 songs of 2022, but of course there's so much more worth hearing, and I made a playlist that stretches to 100 songs (listen on Spotify or Apple Music) that will hopefully help you discover some gems you may have missed.

Top 10 Albums of 2022


1. Tomberlin, i don't know who needs to hear this...
2. Big Thief, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You
3. Wet Leg, Wet Leg
4. Florist, Florist
5. Curse of Lono, People In Cars
6. Regina Spektor, Home, before and after
7. Saya Gray, 19 MASTERS
8. Lizzy McAlpine, five seconds flat
9. Aldous Harding, Warm Chris
10. Kevin Morby, This Is A Photograph

Top 10 Songs of 2022


1. Regina Spektor, "Up The Mountain"
2. Curse Of Lono (feat. Tess Parks), "So Damned Beautiful"
3. Tomberlin, "stoned"
4. Big Thief, "Spud Infinity"
5. Porridge Radio, "Back To The Radio"
6. Florist, "Red Bird Pt. 2 (Morning)"
7. Lizzy McAlpine (feat. Ben Kessler), "reckless driving"
8. Hurray for the Riff Raff, "PRECIOUS CARGO"
9. Madi Diaz, "Hangover"
10. Spiritualized, "Always Together With You"

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
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