As life went back to normal (or as normal as it can get) after the pandemic, and with live gigs and festivals making a full return, we could define 2022 as a comeback year for music bands/artists.

From exciting debuts to highly-anticipated returns, 2022 was full of incredible records (there’s also been a bunch of amazing EPs), spanning post punk (as we saw it coming last year, this genre has had a strong presence and will also lead next year), indie rock, indie pop, new wave, coldwave, synthwave, dream pop, shoegaze, electronic, techno, psych, art-punk, etc.

With more than 400 great records to choose from, these are Kool Rock radio’ staff 100 favorite albums of 2022, listed in alphabetical order:

  1. Active Decay ‘Face To Face’ (Lolipop Records) [experimental/synth-pop]
  2. ADULT. Becoming Undone‘ (Dais Records) [electro-punk/synth punk]
  3. Art d’Ecco After The Head Rush‘ (Paper Bag Records) [glam-rock]
  4. Atmos Bloom ‘Flora’ (Spirit Goth) [bedroom pop/lo-fi/dream pop]
  5. Aus! Funkt Turn To Rust’ [art-disco/post punk/electro]
  6. Automatic  ‘Excess’ (Stones Throw Records) [avant-garde/post-punk/synth punk]
  7. Baby Strange World Below‘ (Icons Creating Evil Art) [indie rock/punk]
  8. Bentley Browning ‘Pop Anthemica’ [pop/rock]
  9. Beverly Kills Kaleido‘ (Welfare Sounds & Records) [indie pop/post punk]
  10. Bloc Party  ‘Alpha Games‘ (Infectious/BMG)
  11. Blushing Possessions‘ (Kanine Records) [dream pop/shoegaze/bedroom pop]
  12. BODEGA Broken Equipment‘ (WYR?) [art-rock/punk]
  13. BRACCO ‘Dromonia’ (Born Bad Records) [mega wave/punk/noise]
  14. Buzz Kull Fascination‘ (Avant!) [darkwave/synth pop]
  15. CASTLEBEAT ‘Half Life’ (Spirit Goth Records) [dream pop/lo-fi]
  16. CD Ghost  ‘Night Music’ (Born Losers Records) [dream pop/synth wave/indie pop]
  17. Cinemascope  ‘A Crack on the Wall’ (Wave Records) [dark wave/post punk]
  18. Closed Mouth ‘The Four Walls’ [post punk/coldwave]
  19. Crying Vessel Before Life Was Death‘ (Cleopatra Records) [post punk]
  20. Curses ‘Incarnadine’ (Dischi Autunno) [nu-disco/house/techno]
  21. Deathtrippers ‘Passion & Fire’ (Young & Cold) [goth/psych/space rock]
  22. Dendrons 5-3-8‘ (Innovative Leisure) [post punk/alt]
  23. Desire Escape‘ (Italians Do It Better) [electronic/synthpop]
  24. Dina Summer ‘Rimini’ (Audiolith Records) [electronic/new wave/techno]
  25. don’t get lemon  ‘Hyper Hollow Heaven’ (à La Carte Records) [heatwave/post-punk/electronic]
  26. Donzii ‘Fishbowl’ [no-wave/post-punk]
  27. Dream Dali ‘Letters From The Light’ [dark wave/psych]
  28. Eades Delusion Spree‘ (Heist or Hit) [garage rock/post punk]
  29. Editors EBM‘ (Play It Again Sam) [indie rock]
  30. EKKSTACY  ‘MISERY’ [indie/alt]
  31. EMF ‘GO GO SAPIENS’ [indie/alt]
  32. Fake Palms Lemons‘ (Hand Drawn Dracula Records) [post punk/lo-fi/dream punk]
  33. Fiasko Leitmotiv ‘Humblekids’ [cold wave/minimal synth/post punk]
  34. Flying Moon In Space Zwei‘ (Fuzz Club) [krautrock/psych]
  35. Foals  ‘Life Is Yours’ (Warner) [indie rock]
  36. Fontaines D.C. Skinty Fia‘ (Partisan Records) [indie rock/rock]
  37. Fujiya & Miyagi  ‘Slight Variations’ (Impossible Objects of Desire) [electronic/art pop]
  38. Gabe Gurnsey Diablo‘ [electronic/dance music]
  39. Gemma Cullingford ‘Tongue Tied’ [electronic/dark disco]
  40. GIFT  ‘Momentary Presence’ (Dedstrange) [neo-psychedelic]
  41. GLOVE ‘Boom Nights’ [indie rock/new wave/synth wave]
  42. Goiter ‘Dead Sea’ // ‘Backroads’ [darkwave/postpunk/synthpunk]
  43. High Vis Blending‘ (DAIS Records) [post punk]
  44. Howless  ‘To Repel Ghosts’ (Static Blooms Records) [noise-pop/shoegaze]
  45. Interpol The Other Side of Make-Believe‘ (Matador Records) [indie rock/alt]
  46. Jogger  ‘BRD Noir’ (CUT SURFACE) [bedroom-rock/post punk]
  47. John Crawford And Robin Simon (ultravox/berlin) ‘Arclight’ (August Day) [synthpop/electronic/pop]
  48. Johnny Hunter Want‘ (Cooking Vinyl Australia) [post punk/alt]
  49. Johnny Marr Fever Dreams Pts. 1-4‘ (BMG)
  50. Kittin & Hacker “Third Album” (Nobody’s Bizzness) [electronic]
  51. Lesser Care Underneath, Beside Me‘ (à La Carte Records) [post-punk/shoegaze]
  52. Life  ‘North East Coastal Town’ [indie rock]
  53. Local Suicide  ‘Eros Anikate’ (Iptamenos Discos) [electronic/dance/techno]
  54. Los Colognes  ‘The New World’ [indie rock/pop]
  55. Melting Palms ‘Noise Between the Shades’ [dreampop/shoegaxe/post punk/alt]
  56. Metro Verlaine Funeral Party‘ (Le Cèpe Records) [post punk]
  57. Minuit Machine ’24’ (Synth Religion) [dark/electro/wave]
  58. MOTORCADE ‘See You in The Nothing’ (Idol Records) [rock/pop/new wave]
  59. Old Moon  ‘Cities of the Plain’ (à La Carte/Love Chain Tapes) [post punk/jangle pop]
  60. Other Voices ‘Under Control’ (SwissDarkNights) [darkwave/post punk/synthwave]
  61. Pale Blue Eyes Souvenirs‘ (Full Time Hobby) [indie rock/indie pop]
  62. Palm Ghosts Post Preservation‘ [dream pop/new wave/post punk]
  63. Paradox Obscur Morphogenesis‘ (Metropolis Records) [minimal synth/cold wave]
  64. Peppy Pep Pepper ‘Decline’ (Modern Tapes) [minimal synth/synthwave/post punk]
  65. Placebo  ‘Never Let Me Go‘ [alt-rock]
  66. Planet Information Overload‘ [indie rock/pop]
  67. Plastic Estate  ‘Plastic Estate’ (Avant! Records) [new wave/synth]
  68. Possible Oceans  ‘Death by Misadventure’ [indie rock]
  69. PVA BLUSH‘ (Ninja Tune) [electronic/dance]
  70. S.C.A.B. S.C.A.B.‘ [indie rock/jangle pop/post punk]
  71. Sacred Skin ‘The Decline of Pleasure’ (Synthicide) [new wave/post punk/synth pop]
  72. Same Eyes ‘Deesperate Ones’ [synthpop/synthwave]
  73. Sea Girls Homesick‘ (Polydor Records) [indie rock/alt]
  74. Secret Attraction  ‘Replica’ (Stratford Court) [dream pop/lo-fi]
  75. SHAD SHADOWS ‘PRISMATIC’ [dark electronic]
  76. Silent Runners Statues & Ornaments‘ (Cold Transmission) [post punk/dark synth]
  77. Simple Minds  ‘Direction of the Heart‘ [new wave/rock]
  78. Soloist Anti Pop Totalization ‘In The Beginning Of A New World’ [electronic/minimal synth]
  79. Spike Hellis  ‘Spike Hellis’ (Over-Pop) [electronic]
  80. Stephen Mallinder tick tick tick‘ (Dais Records) [electronic/experimental/techno]
  81. Suede Autofiction‘ (BMG) [alt rock]
  82. Sugar For The Pill ‘Wanderlust‘ (Shelflife/Make Me Happy) [dream pop/shoegaze]
  83. The Districts Great American Painting‘ (Possum Records) [indie rock]
  84. The Haunted Youth Dawn Of The Freak‘ [dream pop/indie rock]
  85. The Present Moment Enough To Drive You Mad‘ [cold wave/minimal synth/electro]
  86. The Secret French Postcards ‘Life Got Claws’ [post punk/dark wave]
  87. The Serfs ‘Primal Matter’ (Dream Records) [punk]
  88. The Vacant Lots Closure‘ (Fuzz Club Records) [electro post punk]
  89. The Wombats Fix Yourself, Not The World‘ [indie rock]
  90. Then Comes Silence Hunger‘ (Nexilis and Metropolis Records) [post punk/dark wave]
  91. These New South Whales  ‘TNSW‘ (Damaged Music) [punk]
  92. Thus Love  ‘Memorial‘ (Captured Tracks) [post punk]
  93. Vincent Christ ► ‘Truant’ [indie rock/new wave/glam/post-punk]
  94. Vision Video Haunted Hours‘ [post-punk/goth/new wave]
  95. Visions in Clouds ‘Are You Still Watching?’ (Icy Cold Records) [indie pop/new wave/synth]
  96. Vitalic  ‘DISSIDÆNCE’ (Clivage Music) [electronic]
  97. Wet Leg Wet Leg’ (Domino Records) [post punk/alt]
  98. Whimsical  ‘Melt’ (Shelflife Records /Through Love Records) [dream pop/shoegaze]
  99. White Lies As I Try Not To Fall Apart‘ [PIAS] [indie/post punk]
  100. Working Men’s Club ► ‘Fear Fear‘ (Heavenly Recordings) [post punk/new wave]

►►►Keep supporting the bands and labels by buying their records and merchandise.

Previous Year-End Lists here.