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The Daily Reader

lot of music sites published their “best albums of 2022” listicles this week; I feel like I’m still catching up on everything I want to hear that came out this year.  As I’ve done in prior years, I’ve cataloged nearly every album and EP I’ve listened to in its entirety in 2022 that I hadn’t listened to before, regardless of the year it came about. It’s an incomplete list. I keep forgetting to add $ilkMoney’s recent album since I’ve listened to it a bunch while exercising, because, well, I’m not about to stop running to enter data into a spreadsheet. But it’s a longish list anyway; so far this year, I’ve listened to 832 albums and EPs that were new to me. I expect that list to grow by at least 100 before January 1.

I have a far less organized way of keeping track of music I still want to hear. I’ve got a running playlist on a streaming service I use infrequently, so sometimes I forget about it. Anything I hear that piques my interest on Bandcamp I drop on my wishlistβ€”and since there’s a lot of music that qualifies, there are still plenty of albums I’m catching up with on there. Discogs allows me to keep track of bizarre private press LPs from bygone eras I come across on eBay that I might fancy. My email takes in a lot of digital promos I don’t always have time to hear.

My attitude toward listicle season has shifted in recent years. I still don’t care for critical consensus, and I can still get exhausted by how these lists saturate my social media and take up a lot of oxygen about music. But I appreciate seeing what other people loved enough to include on a collaborative list; I spend so much of my listening hours glued to Chicago that even those efforts that re-order critically adored albums have the potential to remind me of a full-length skipped over. And I relish individual year-in-review lists even more these days. I still find critics with distinctive tastes who can introduce me to an artist or song that can knock my socks offβ€”shout out to Reader contributor Joshua Minsoo Kim for recently bringing Jim Legxacy’s “dj” into my world. And I imagine I’ll continue refreshing the Anti-Gravity Bunny site till it publishes its “top drone records” list for 2022. 

I write all of this as I whittle down my “best music” list. If you’re familiar with what I usually contribute to the Reader‘s Year in Review issue, I imagine you might already know what I’ll be focusing on. And if you’re curious about what I’ll include, I just hope you’ll find a new song or album you like.


 “Christine McVie brought romantic optimism to Fleetwood Mac by Annie Zaleski (NPR Music) 
 “Interview: Macula Dog,” by John Chiaverina (John’s Music Blog)
 Stay True by Hua Hsu

 King AGee, MR 007 Side A 
 Obe, EP

 North Americans, Lost Tracks
🎚 Leor’s playlist for “best albums of the year” week

Manasseh teases a new collection of psychedelic soul with a full-band MCA show
Plus: FromChicagoToTheWorld and Real Ones host a Cole’s Bar showcase of emerging R&B-influenced singers, and young indie rockers Friko drop a new video and headline Metro.

by J.R. Nelson and Leor Galil
Drone legends Sunn O))) bring their new concept, Shoshin Duo, to Thalia Hall for one bone-rattling night
by Shannon Nico Shreibak
KikΓΉ Hibino, Steven Hess, and Haruhi reprise their sonic salute to late artist Gregory Bae
by Hannah Edgar
Jake Xerxes Fussell brings songs from the south to the Old Town School
by Bill Meyer


Cast your ballots for the Reader‘s Best of Chicago 2022!


Issue of
Nov. 24 – Dec. 7, 2022
Vol. 52, No.

Download Issue (PDF)

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