These are our 10 absolute favourite singles from the year that's been.
Adelaide’s best music releases of 2022
Angela Skujins’ picks.
Ricky Albeck — ‘Hollywood’
The amygdala, the part of your brain associated with emotion, is extremely sensitive to sound. This could explain why I have such visceral reaction to ‘Hollywood’ by alt-county wunderkind Ricky Albeck. The personal feeling is an emotional hunger to taste the great wide world. We think this voracious appetite, as demonstrated in the lyrics of this stunning five-minute single released in May, is something Ricky shares. But the refrain, “Hollywood” — sung over and over again, over a carefully plucked guitar riff that rolls like never-ending mid-western mountains — lends itself to imagery of “wide open spaces” and the possibility of actualising this idea. For a moment, while we’re in the thick of the song, we’re transported into this reality.
Sour Sob — ‘New Wood, Old Ashes’
The slow, sleepy November-released ‘New Wood, Old Ashes’ is one of the most memorable songs of 2022. Apparently, this is an opinion shared by most community radio stations, too. In the week the dynamic dreamy single dropped by alt-rock four-piece Sour Sob, a band we’ve tapped as one of the most exciting emerging city outfits of late, it came in at number four on the Amrap Metro Chart list. A stark juxtaposition to loud and fast Big Pub Energy of alt-rock currently taking the postcode 5000 by storm, this song percolates in piano keys, whispered singing and sentiment surrounding loss and change.
Laitsi — ‘In And Outta Love’
‘In And Outta Love’ by emerging hip-hop rapper Laitsi — one of the musicians participating in the 2022 WOMAD x NSS Academy — clocked in 94,089 Spotify listens. We can’t speak for all the other listeners, but the gentle hi-hats, drum claps and deep bellowing bass, backdropping Laitsi’s lovelorn lyrics, is an exemplar of work from an Adelaide pop-star in the making. The upbeat rap, tinged with a broken heart, for this May release makes us think of Drake, but this local does it with his own flavour and colour-blocked ‘fits.
Infinities — ‘LOSTMYWAY’
No local does emo-trap like Infinities, aka Bianca Nilsson. ‘LOSTMYWAY’ ricochets in cheesy maxims – “put my heart in a bag of rice” and “a bag of rice won’t fix my heart”— and swirling production, with the song’s bright spots featuring distorted guitar slides and booming kicks. It’s a sincere, swooning anthem for millennials by a millennial, who is also busy building a budding music empire, Renegade Records.
Travis Cook — ‘headknocker’
The underground reigning king of the remix, Travis Cook, has finished off 2022 with the explosive ‘headknocker’. Melding sliced-and-diced samples from cult-favourite Alex G’s ‘Blessing’ to vocals from Icelandic-singer Björk’s ‘Undo’ to Missy Elliott’s party ballad ‘Lose Control’, this November release demonstrates the local experimental music producer’s wide tastes. Every time we listen to ‘headknocker’ we think we’ve got stable footing. But the song – mixing ghettotech and alternative-rock — delivers on its namesake.
Johnny von Einem’s picks.
Workhorse — ‘No Photographs’
There’s not a lonely, dusty highway on earth I wouldn’t wander down if I’d find Workhorse playing at the end of it.
Hindsight — ‘Low Hanging Fruit’
There have been a lot of songs released in the last two years that have taken me back to days spent wiling away afternoons playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, then jumping on early-days YouTube to watch skate videos until my DSL home internet conked out – that brash punk of the late ’90s and early ’00s. Hindsight does it better than anybody.
Elsy Wameyo — ‘River Nile’
Elsy Wameyo is the most exciting artist to come out of Adelaide this year. The River Nile EP was a revelation – a blossoming of an artist who has found her voice.
Colourblind — ‘Soak’
I’m an absolute sucker for nostalgia. Listening to Colourblind takes me right back to the all-ages tour of Gyroscope, After The Fall and Kisschasy I attended in Naracoorte (or thereabouts) at age 15 (or thereabouts), mixed with a dash of …Trail of Dead.