Today I’m counting down my top 5 Spotify Bands of the Year per Spotify Wrapped 2022.
Each year, Spotify does a “Wrapped” series which looks back at your year in stats. Now, if you didn’t already know, I track my vinyl plays in Discogs. I’m a total stats nerd! Furthermore, as someone who’s career is centered around digital marketing and has experience with Tableau, I definitely geek out when it comes to compiling the numbers and analyzing them from multiple vantage points.
This countdown includes, to no surprise, bands that released some of my favorite albums of the year. That countdown will come later.
Below you’ll find my long-form coverage of my countdown, but if you’d rather watch, hit PLAY on the video below:
Before I jump into the countdown, let’s look at the numbers.
- My total play time was 88,516 MINUTES OF MUSIC, which Spotify states that MORE THAN 98% OF US-BASED LISTENERS.
- Additionally, I listened to 9,898 SONGS on the platform across 96 GENRES.
- I spent OVER 10,000 MINUTES LISTENING TO PODCASTS.
- Not to mention the aforementioned vinyl plays, which is quickly closing in on a count of APPROXIMATELY 1,300 VINYL SPINS across about 8-900 different records and singles.
OK. Enough geeking out. Let’s look at the top 5 artists of the year per my Spotify Wrapped 2022 countdown.
#5. Belle And Sebastian
I’ve been a fan of Belle And Sebastian for longer than any other artist on this list. In fact, we’re talking decades now. I consider their 2022 album A Bit of Previous to be their best release since 2006’s The Life Pursuit. And it’s what led Belle And Sebastian to be my #5 Spotify artist of the year.
They truly are among my favorite bands and, given that, I’m kind of surprised this is their first appearance on my Wrapped list.
My top track off A Bit of Previous was “Talk to Me, Talk to Me,” the official video for which you can see below.
#4. Arcade Fire
Upon its release, I was pretty certain Arcade Fire’s 2022 album WE was going to be a top 5 album. I spent quite a lot of time traipsing through the woods earlier this year, listening to “End of the Empire I-IV” and “Age of Anxiety.” The songs hit a nerve as I, along with many others, stepped out of the Covid isolation mindset and attempted to once again find a new normal among others. It was uncomfortable, scary, and really fucking nerve wracking.
Additionally, the geopolitical landscape and everything else going on in the world just drove this weird divide home, and those songs seemed so indicative of what I was seeing and feeling at the time.
Here’s “End of the Empire I-IV”
The content is there for it to be a top album of 2022, and it’s poised to be one of Arcade Fire’s best albums at that! But like many, I’ve struggled with it and the band since some of the allegations regarding frontman Win Butler arose late this past summer. It certainly has tarnished my view, and their presence as a regular on my playlist and turntable became almost non-existent in the months that followed.
I’ve been a Spoon fan for closing in on two decades, but their 2022 album Lucifer on the Sofa truly blew my mind! It quickly became my all-time favorite Spoon record — a pinnacle it continues to hold. You can say that after just discovering an album, but the question is whether it has the power to stay beyond the initial hype. Well it’s been a good 10 months, and my opinion hasn’t changed. I think it’ll stick around.
Early this year, I did a brief unboxing of my copy, which was the Amazon Exclusive Retailer pressing. You can check that out below.
Songs like “Held” (which entered my Wrapped Top 5 Songs at #4) and “The Hardest Cut” and “My Babe” and “The Devil & Mr. Jones” — the whole album is just packed with greatness! “Astral Jacket” and “Satellite” seem almost like afterthoughts, but aside from those two, Lucifer on the Sofa is pure gold.
Here’s the video for “The Hardest Cut”
This is one I definitely recommend picking up on vinyl.
#2. Kevin Morby
Kevin Morby was my #1 Spotify artist the past two years running, with Sundowner being my #1 album of 2020. With his album 2022 This is a Photograph, I knew he’d be in the running for that top spot again this year.
My guess is that he just fell short, and not by much. Why? Because his songs “This is a Photograph” and “A Random Act of Kindness” were my #1 and #2 songs, respectively, on Spotify for 2022.
In September of this year, I went all in on revamping and revisiting FensePost and my YouTube Channel, and one of the first videos I did upon the resurgence was my pressing of This is a Photograph, which was the Dead Oceans Exclusive. Check that out below.
While that pressing has long sold out, it’s available on black vinyl at a reasonable price.
Morby also holds another spot in 2022: the only artist I saw perform live. I caught him back in October at House of Blues in Dallas. No surprise, his performance blew me away!
“This is a Photograph” was my #1 song of the year per Spotify Wrapped 2022. Here’s the music video for the song:
#1. Big Thief
For not having truly given Big Thief my ears until late 2019 or early 2020, they’ve certainly come to dominate my Spotify list AND my turntable spins. Having earned a top 5 place in both 2020 and 2021, they now get the coveted #1 spot on my top Spotify Artists of the 2022, and a lot is due to Dragon New Warm Mountain, I Believe In You.
The band leaked a number of songs off the double-LP in late 2020 and early 2021 prior to its official release in February 2022.
One surprise is that the lone song to enter my top 5 songs of the year from Spotify Wrapped was actually “Blurred View” as opposed to “Change,” “Certainty,” or “Spud Infinity.” The song came to dominate in about mid-2022, but the other three were mainstays for far longer.
My copy of the record is the Eco-Mix Recycled Vinyl version, which I covered on the FensePost YouTube Channel in late November. Check that out below:
Because it was in my top 5 songs of the year, take a listen to “Blurred View” below:
In the coming weeks, I’l be counting down my Top 10 albums of 2022, and come to turn of the year my Top 10 Vinyl Spins of 2022, so make sure to subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss them. Additionally (or alternatively), you can jump over to my YouTube Channel and subscribe as they’ll be getting video treatment before blog coverage.