In The Belly Of The Empty Night: Halfway Through 2022

It took some time (mostly due to Adrianne Lenker’s plaintive, unassuming vocals), but I finally “got” indie folk-pop quartet Big Thief with their fifth album, a 20-track, 80-minute-long behemoth that nonetheless proves they can do nearly everything. I’ve spun it more than any other album on this list including Spoon’s fellow February release, a back-to-basics rock record that also suggests a way forward with its closing title track, as languorous and wistful as late Roxy Music or Steely Dan.

Also, happy to report that “Chaise Longue” is no one-off, even if it’s still the undeniable highlight of Wet Leg’s s/t debut. The Angel Olsen and Father John Misty albums are the first of each of theirs that I’ve unreservedly liked; the first album in five years from Stars may not do anything new, but it is a neat summation/reminder of everything they do well–don’t be shocked if it makes my year-end list.

Favorite 2022 Albums So Far (in alphabetical order):

Andrew Bird, Inside Problems

Angel Olsen, Big Time

Big Thief, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You

Cate Le Bon, Pompeii

Destroyer, Labyrinthitis

Father John Misty, Chloe & The Next 20th Century

Hatchie, Giving The World Away

Spoon, Lucifer On The Sofa

Stars, From Capelton Hill

Wet Leg, Wet Leg

After Yang

Now that I’m working full-time again, my movie viewing is down just a bit; I’ve also only made it to one film festival so far (IFF Boston, where I saw A Love Song and Girl Picture.) After a second viewing, Kogonada’s After Yang is near the very top of this (alphabetical) list, followed closely behind by Benediction, Terence Davies’ second poet biopic in a row and maybe his best film in three decades.

Favorite 2022 Films So Far:

After Yang

Anne At 13,000 Feet

Benediction

Drive My Car

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Girl Picture

A Love Song

Memoria

The Worst Person In The World

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