It’s the Bon Jovi point, people! You already know what it is! Let’s venture forth with another incredible batch of 20 showstoppers from 2022. But first! You’re already caught up on Part One and Part Two, right? Of course you are, you’re so smart – I just linked them there so I could test you.
60. Paramore – This is Why
Alternative title: How Hayley Got Her Groove Back. After a much-needed solo venture at the start of the 2020s, pop-punk’s premier frontwoman returned to the fold of Franklin’s finest to give the trio another Madonna-like reinvention. For the lead-off and title track to their sixth album, the band have mixed a new romance with new wave’s New Romantics with a fresh batch of modern dystopia to weave into its barbed lyricism. Having spent the first part of the decade wrapping herself in petals for armor, Hayley Williams now finds herself sticking flowers into the barrels of guns. Why? Why not.
59. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – It Doesn’t Change Anything
Growing up surrounded by religion, River Shook has often let this unique part of their upbringing weave into their sobering and heartfelt songwriting. Never before, however, has Shook’s barroom country felt quite so biblical in nature. “The Devil on your shoulder/Is your only friend,” they sing to open this Nightroamer highlight. Bad habits have caught up, and the impending threat of Catholic guilt isn’t the preventative measure it once was. As the drums scuttle beneath the distinctive pierce of pedal steel, Shook proclaims that “God is dead and Heaven’s silent”. The scariest part? They’re probably right. Here endeth the lesson.
58. Megan Moroney – Fix You Too
Every square-jawed country bro has compared something or another to his truck – so what’s stopping Megan Moroney from paralleling her relations to her renovations? Not a damn thing, that’s what. Recalling the understated balladry of platinum-selling platinum blondes like Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, ‘Fix You Too’ allows Moroney’s smoky husk to let the picture be painted through its increasingly compelling lyricism. With Sugarland‘s Kristian Bush overseeing production, the tasteful arrangement gives an impression on the moon rising as the sun is clearly setting on a dilapidated romance. By pulling these broken fragments together, Moroney creates something truly whole.
57. Future Teens – Same Difference
You never wanted to admit Bowling for Soup were right… like, about anything. However, when they said “high school never ends”, they accidentally made an excellent point. Exhibit A: This reflection on halcyon hall-room days, from Boston’s self-described “bummer-pop” merchants Future Teens. Even after you take your Vitamin C and shake your principal’s hand, that sense of longing in tandem with hopes for belonging never truly goes away. Neither does that confusion around relationships, and the inevitable demise that follows. Across striking, earnest American-made pop-punk and a chorus worthy of pencil case etching, Future Teens emerge top of their class.
56. Full Flower Moon Band – Trainspotting
Choose life. Choose a band. Choose Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Choose three guitars. Choose a fucking big riff. Choose Stooges grooves (‘Down on the Street’, thank you very much), driving beats, pedal harmonies and tasty licks – also with pedals. Choose Full Flower Moon Band, and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose dancing at that gig while watching hip-swivelling, ball-busting garage rock bands, sticking junk food into your mouth. Choose playing Diesel Forever with the volume up to 11 to celebrate the selfish, fucked up brats you always wanted to be. Choose your future. Choose life.
55. Cash Savage and the Last Drinks – Push
Consider Cash Savage like Frank Grimes, seeing morbid stupidity laid at her feet like a straw breaking the camel’s back. The pressure builds on her first newie since 2018’s game-changing Good Citizens, and by the time Savage is barking “I’m not feeling too hot today” like a reverse affirmation she’s at boiling point. The Last Drinks, as always, soundtrack the fever-pitch with stabbing dynamics, shredding violin and a seasick 6/4 time signature. When ‘Push’ comes to shove, Savage and co. are ready to let the electricity flow through their veins. Here’s hoping 2023 has more Drinks to keep us hydrated.
54. The Whitlams – Nobody Knows I Love You
For a band that has been so heavily reliant on the nostalgia circuit for nearly 15 years, it was anyone’s guess what a new Whitlams album would even sound like after so many years away. The end result, Sancho, answered fairly confidently that it was essentially more of the same – but that’s perfectly fine when you consider the calibre of what’s come before. On this tasteful centrepiece of the record, Tim Freedman sings of a rekindled casual dalliance (“a long-forgotten duet”) amidst jazzy saunters and striking strings. It’s gracefully aged, distinctly vintage and utterly charming. Quite an affair, indeed.
53. Beyoncé – BREAK MY SOUL
Beyoncé became the singles artist of the 2000s, then became an artist the redefined the album format in the 2010s – all on the back of only two solo albums. So, what does the 2020s have in store? If ‘BREAK MY SOUL’ is anything to go off, another radical reinvention for this child of destiny. A glittery love-letter to early 90s deep house and the club bangers of the era, the Big Freedia-assisted track was a guaranteed disco inferno whenever and wherever it dropped. No matter what your stance on the Queen Bey is, you’ve got to show her love.
52. Hot Chip – Down
You ever hear a sample with such distinct flair that you’re amazed it had never been prominently lifted before? Behold, the crossover event you didn’t know you needed: The UK’s evergreen Casio-kissing electronica nerds Hot Chip flipping some long-lost funk from the Universal Togetherness Band’s ‘More Than Enough’. By the band’s own admission (on the same album, no less), it’s hard to be funky – and yet, within this ingenious tweak to fit their own image, they lay down what’s arguably their best single since ‘Huarache Lights’. There’s more than enough on ‘Down’ to get you ready for the floor.
51. Parquet Courts – Watching Strangers Smile
Originally packaged as a B-side to ‘Black Widow Spider’, this keyboard-driven jangler served more as a Trojan horse. The song’s major chords and indelible doo-doo-doo melodies are roses, but there’s plenty of thorns beneath as Andrew Savage lives up to his surname in both his barbed lyrics and belligerent delivery. What’s next for these scarily-consistent garage rockers? Anyone’s guess. Just consider this: The fact that they went on Ellen – again – to perform both this and a blistering seven-minute ‘Stoned and Starving’ are proof Parquet Courts leave the house with half a dozen fucks and they return with six.
50. Wet Leg – Too Late Now [Soulwax remix]
Nearly 30 years in, Soulwax are still finding ways to reinvent the dancefloor as they see fit – with the assistance of whomever is game. When it comes to Wet Leg, the Isle Of Wight duo must figure they’re already somewhat unconventional – why not double-down on a double-drop that sees their album closer smashed to pieces? Only the mantra-like bridge remains from the original, with the band’s churning guitars set aside in favour of walloping 808 snares, chopped-and-screwed vocals and chest-rumbling synth-bass. Too many DJs would drop the ball here, but 2manyDJs? They’ll get those wet legs moving, guaranteed.
49. Full Flower Moon Band – NY – LA
Full Flower Moon Band wanna rock & roll. Normally it’s a long way to the top, but on this barroom blues brawler the Brisbane band send it coast-to-coast in a drug-induced instant. It’s a surgical dissection of brown-nosing industry bullshit from the depths of the Brown Snake; a worm gnawing its way through the rotten core of the Big Apple. That’s all soundtracked by guitars so fuzzed out and nasty, they sound like they’re being played through the amp Dave Davies cut open for ‘You Really Got Me’. You can either get on board or fuck off. Choice is yours.
48. Tigers Jaw – Old Clothes
At this point, Tigers Jaw are just showing off. Dropping one of the best singles of the year in the form of a song that was left off their last album is the equivalent of throwing a basketball over your shoulder and scoring a three-pointer. Much like game-six Jordan, the Scranton natives are all business – especially when they take that shit personally. A slick, propulsive emo banger, ‘Old Clothes’ spins their unmistakable harmonies and home-truth lyricism into a woah-oh belt-out and an unbelievably great chorus – accentuated by Teddy Roberts’ killer syncopated cymbal hits. Tigers don’t change their stripes.
47. Cry Club – Somehow (You Still Get to Me)
Glam and hair metal always had something intrinsically queer about it – even if many of its dolled-up proponents were high-order chauvinists. Enter Cry Club, a motley crew of twisted siblings that deliver a kiss-off (or KISS-off) that you may as well jump to. A journey through Journey mixed with a lethal dose of Poison, ‘Somehow’ rocks hard but feels its feelings even harder. By the time Jono Tooke is in front of the wind machine playing a face-melting guitar solo, this cosplay morphs into a full-scale time warp. Beware, rockstars: Anything you can do, Cry Club can do better.
46. 1300 – Rocksta
Nearly every 1300 live set to date has begun with the instantly-recognisable synth bounce of ‘Rocksta’. It’s a dog whistle – those who know are alert and at the ready, while the average bystander is about to get t-boned by oncoming traffic. With their idiosyncratic flows, seemingly-endless chemistry and their uncanny ability to fire on all cylinders for minutes on end, ‘Rocksta’ may be the quintessential display of 1300 as a collective unit. Put it this way: The fire emoji probably had no understanding of what exactly its purpose in life was prior to this song coming out. Rocksta rocksta.
45. dust. – The Gutter
The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter. The gutter.
44. Darren Hanlon – Freight Train from Kyogle
There comes a time in every man’s life – as you’re no doubt aware, given it’s a very well-known fact – where he must write, record and release a 10-minute epic folk song about dreaming of becoming a travelling hobo and the near-deadly saga that ensues when that dream becomes a nightmarish reality across a nearly-750km journey with a complete stranger in tow.
This is a 10-minute epic folk song about dreaming of becoming a hobo and the near-deadly saga that ensues when that dream becomes a nightmarish reality across a nearly-750km journey with a complete stranger in tow. Enjoy.
43. Kendrick Lamar – The Heart Part 5
In one of his greatest misdirects, Pulitzer Kenny let the world know Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers was coming – but didn’t say another edition of his freeform saga ‘The Heart’ would be arriving too. Not only was the track easily the most realised and accomplished of the ‘Heart’ songs, it also wound up the best Kendrick song of 2022. Its jaw-dropping music video certainly assisted, but even if we never saw Lamar transform into the late Nipsey Hussle for the breathtaking final verse it would still hit home like an absolute tonne of bricks. A true, unquestionable culture-shifter.
42. Mitski – Love Me More
Mitski once sang of being a geyser, bubbling from below. ‘Love Me More’ is what happens when that geyser erupts – a turbulent force of mother nature, awe-inspiring but simultaneously terrifying. When she howls the titular phrase in a spiral against cascading keys and red-level electronic drums, it feels like a true descent into madness – even beyond her usual profound theatricality. Through stunning dynamics and the vocal performance of a lifetime, Mitski maintained her forefront status amongst the indie giants. Laurel Hell may have arrived early in 2022, but ‘Love Me More’ ensured it stayed to the suspenseful end.
41. WAAX – Dangerous
In the red corner, Marie DeVita: a frontwoman who wears her heart on her sleeve on account of tearing it directly from her chest. In the blue corner, Linda Perry: the woman who screamed at the top of her lungs before bringing defiant beauty to turn-of-the-century pop. Together, they forged ‘Dangerous’ – a surreal encounter between two minds that have been through their own wars and lived to tell the tale, openly challenging those that attempted to do away with them. Across haunting piano, restrained guitar and darkened ambience, the quietest WAAX song to date became their most loudly resonant.
Listen to the DJY100 thus far in the Spotify playlist below: