We've made it through another year. 2022 was a year of ups and downs with more of the latter I'm afraid. But throughout it all there was music and for that I'm grateful. So, it is only natural that I mark the end of 2022 with a remembrance of the music that came to me during the year. My Top 40 Songs of 2022 list is built from any song released on any physical media in 2022 that I added to my library. If I don't own a copy of it, it wont be on my list. Covers are excluded. Releases on compilation albums or retrospectives are excluded as well. With that criteria there were 1,656 new songs to choose from. Here is a ranked list of my favorites. I don't claim that these are the best songs of the year, just the ones that I enjoyed the most.

Top 40 Songs of 2022:

40. "The Year of Getting High" by Let's Whisper (Fika Recordings)

Colin Clary and Dana Kaplan of The Smittens move their former band's twee into a world where things aren't all sunshine and lollipops. That slide guitar is downright melancholy and this song tugs at my heart.

39. "Let's Pretend We're Not in Love" by The Reds, Pinks & Purples (Slumberland)

This project of SF's Glenn Donaldson may have released 10 albums this year, but this jangly and gauzy lo-fi track has nailed the dangers of love. Pay heed and "Don't find out more than you want to know."

38. "Dirty Secrets" by Why Bother? (Feel It Records)

What a wonderfully spooky song! Whether it's the kinky lyrics, the slow pulsing synth, or the soulless vocals, something about this track is going to suck you into its dark world.

37. "The Stars Go Round" by The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness (Bobo Integral)

It's a fresh breeze of jangly guitars and power pop. No matter what mood you're in, put this one on and you're going to float away to a summer day.

36. "Gr8 Timing!" by fanclubwallet (AWAL)

This pop song pushes and grows, reaching a dangerous saturation point where dancing with Hannah Judge is simply unavoidable.

35. "Hey Christine" by Supercrush (self-released)

This song is a warm hug from the '90s power pop era. Such a smart song and such lovely production. Thank you Supercrush.

34. "White Collar Gold" by Fime (Forged Artifacts)

There is something for you in this song. There's something for everyone. For me, it's the positively EXPLOSIVE chorus, that makes me want to jump up and down and scream in a dive bar.

33. "Malnutrition" by Cheap Cassettes (Rum Bar Records / Cassettes on Records Records)

You like R&R? Then you like this song. There's swagger and hooks and you can feel the sticky floor of band's local in that guitar solo.

32. "My Opinion of Above Ground Pools" by B.A. Johnston (Transistor 66)

Sure, he knows in-ground pools are better, but Canadian Tire isn't going to take one of those back. Enjoy the oboe solo and don't even try to wipe the smile off your face.

31. "Churchyard" by Ex-Vöid (Don Giovanni)

When the chorus is this good, you just start the song with it. There's so much fun in the dense and ringing guitars here, and I totally air guitar the solo with every listen.

30. "Conundrum & Bass" by The Creepy Jingles (High Dive Records)

The song is a swirling explosion of paisley indie rock. Go down the rabbit hole with this one and you'll come out a better person.

29. "Modern Convenience" by Public Opinion (Convulse Records)

This huge riff makes me want to break things, but that little wood block hit in the chorus may just overshadow it. It's garage. It's rock. It's punk. It's a pit filler. Just go off.

28. "Only Wanna See U Tonight" by Young Guv (Run for Cover)

Whether your power pop kink is '90s or '70s, this song is going to do it for you. And if that chorus doesn't take your happy place, then just wait around for the guitar solo.

27. "Pop Quiz" by The Photocopies (Subjangle)

Sean Turner gives us this 100mph C86-styled indie pop explosion about that guy you don't want on your pub trivia team. At 1:17 you can dance hard to this one and not be (too) winded.

26. "Gary Borthwick Says" by Neutrals (Static Shock Records)

No matter what Gary says, this is a post-punk gem with infectious chiming guitars and a good stomp stomp in that chorus.

25. "No Room For The Sun" by Cozy Slippers (Kleine Underground Schallplatten / Subjangle Records)

Just an amazing lithe indie pop song that owes as much to Sunshine Pop as it does twee. They don't write 'em like this anymore. Except they just did!

24. "Bummer Summer" by Colleen Dow (Count Your Lucky Stars)

It's a delightful pop song with great production as well as a lyrical mirror for the anxious. I feel it both ways.

23. "Sunday" by Sea Lemon (Spirit Goth)

There was a time in my life when an effervescent dream pop song like this would have made me so happy. That time is now. Now is that time.

22. "Low Life" by The Melmacs (Wanda Records)

Here's some punk & roll straight from the garage and into my heart. The keyboard is a lovely surprise, but that dumb rhythm guitar is my everything.

21. "I Love Everybody In The Whole Wide World (Except You)" by Simon Love (Tapete Records)

Whether it's the choice piano, the lush strings, the jaw dropping guitar solo, the Golden Girls reference, or the petty petty lyrics, everybody in the whole wide world should love this pop/rock tune.

20. "Out of Time" by The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness (Bobo Integral)

This song can turn anyone into a jangle pop fan. The hidden leads are great, the solo makes me smile, and those vocals are the pillow that I could take a thousand naps on.

19. "Mannequin Man" by Panic Shack (Brace Yourself Records)

The combination of hook, melody, and energy combine to make this the indie earworm you're most likely to be humming all week.

18. "I Don't Think About You" by Tim Kasher (15 Passenger Records)

The winner of the 2022 Song Most Likely to Gut Me Award. This tumbling acoustic song is a specific yet universal look at loss. Damn you Tim.

17. "Bee Sting" by Cozy Slippers (Kleine Underground Schallplatten / Subjangle Records)

When you're feeling blue and hopeless, this is the song you should put on. It's a summer dream pop bop full of joy. Ice cream trucks should play this.

16. "Rain" by Beechwood (Alive NaturalSound Records)

Somewhere in NYC there is a garage that exists outside of time and trend, where all noises sound beautiful, and influences blend perfectly. That's where this song comes from.

15. "Baby, Does Your Heart Sink?" by Martha (Specialist Subject Records)

Did you hear that guitar line? How did these DIY indie popsters write the meanest guitar lick of the entire year? Rewind it, I need to hear it again.

14. "Soup for My Family" by Pigeon Pit (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)

Teach this folky one to your kids and let's sing it around the campfire next spring when we're heating up some tomato soup, feeding the hungry, and smashing the fascists.

13. "Wet Dream" by Wet Leg (Domino)

The combination of a funky bassline, disco beats, and naughty lyrics might give you a Rick James song, or it might give you this indie bop that still gets everyone out on the dance floor.

12. "We Need a Bigger Dumpster" by Cheekface (self-released)

Question: Does 2022 have a theme song? Answer: Yes, this is it. Witty and fun half-spoken lyrics set the table before a climbing bridge delivers the "Everything is fine" goods.

11. "L-O-T-H-A-R-I-O" by Simon Love (Tapete Records)

For 7 minutes Simon shares the story of a one-night stand that wasn't. Its lyrics are literate, heartfelt, and whimsical. And it's also a brilliant indie pop song that name checks Murder She Wrote.

10. "Young and Stupid" by Belle and Sebastian (Matador Records)

The Glaswegian band returns to its chamber pop roots with a nostalgic look at youth. Sway to that violin and dance like when you were young and stupid and alone in your room.

9. "Nigel the Gannet" by The Burning Hell (You've Changed Records)

If you're a synth pop-loving ornithologist, then this is your song of the year. If you have a heart and know the difference between being lonely and being alone, it still makes your top 10.

8. "Never Git Drunk No More" by Dropkick Murphys (feat. Nikki Lane) (Dummy Luck Music)

There must be a million duets between apologetic drunks and their lovers, but few are this good. Maybe it’s the words by Woody Guthrie, but this Celtic reel gives me all the feels.

7. "Junk Man" by Jon Spencer & the HITmakers (In the Red Records)

A Jon Spencer song with an amazing riff is nothing new, but the nasty riff on this psychobilly hit is all Farfisa. This missile comes from the garage, and it's headed for your loins.

6. "The Last One" by Dropkick Murphys (feat Evan Felker) (Dummy Luck Music)

Woody Guthrie wrote a lot about the plight of workers. Over 70 years ago he penned these lyrics now set to music by the Dropkicks. Every last word is even truer now.

5. "Shake the Reaper" by Ravagers (Spaghetty Town)

Here's a sleazy punk & roll song bleeding denim, leather, and hooks that’s guaranteed to get your blood pumping. Pull on your fingerless gloves and learn this hot as hellfire riff.

4. "Chaise Longue" by Wet Leg (Domino)

It's an international smash for a reason. Driving motorik percussion, wiry guitar, and witty lyrics delivered with an irresistible indifference combine for perfection.

3. "Daytona Sand" by Orville Peck (Columbia)

This is big, John Wayne galloping across the desert in VistaVision big. Vintage production builds this surf-tinged torch song to a heavenly chorus crescendo that ends too soon. I suggest putting this on repeat.

2. "Messing with the Settings" by Craig Finn (Partisan Records)

Craig tells the best stories. They're full of highs and lows and the truths in each. The piano and strings push this one over the top and the refrain marks time brilliantly. Damn.

1. "Kwenchy Kups" by Dry Cleaning (4AD Records)

It's the droll and expressive dialogue where a rise in pitch says everything. It's the band playing for extra credit. Things are sh*t in 2022 and I wanna see the otters so effin bad.

Every year I hear from people telling me about the albums and songs I missed. Because you all have such wonderful taste, I buy a lot of them and give them some love the following year. So here are the top three from 2021 that I didn't hear until 2022 but deserve a place on my top songs lists.

"Best Behavior" by Gustaf (Royal Mountain Records)

This post punk gem combines both funky and twitchy with winsome lyrics creating a song that deserves a spot in any year's best tracks.

"Dodger" by Kiwi Jr. (Sub Pop)

How did I miss this bouncy masterpiece? All the piano and other little production bits that weave in are so much fun, and that hook has been stuck in my head all year.

"Helicopter" by The Shebangs (Fabcom! Records)

It's most embarrassing when I miss a song this good from a local band. Everything is big and clumsy and wonderful about this garage rocker, and it makes me want to dance and occasionally run into people.

And there we go. Are your favorite songs on my list? If not, let me know and maybe they'll make the addendum to my 2022 list.

You can hear me talk about tracks #7 through #1 on Too Much Rock Podcast #630.

And while you're here, why not check out my Top 50 Albums of 2022 or my Favorite Local Releases of 2022.