My 2022 Spotify Wrapped
Love it or hate it, over the past few weeks, music enthusiasts everywhere have been flooding social media with their Spotify Wrapped. If you are unfamiliar, the music streaming giant creates a recap or “wrap” of listeners’ music by analyzing their activity through the year. Typically, it includes a person’s top artists, songs, total minutes listened and a few extras like musical aura type. This year, however; Spotify stepped up and added a few new updates to Wrapped including determining your listening personality and “Audio Day,” which walks the user through their music trends through an interactive story. Although not a new feature, they also included more artist video messages, thanking listeners for streaming their music. Typically, I am one of the people who don’t normally share my Wrapped but this year, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and introduce my top five artists of 2022.
For the first time in years, the crown for number one artist was stolen from Surf Curse by a new discovery. I stumbled upon a band called Vacations while listening to (you guessed it) a Surf Curse radio. Their song, “Away,” floated through my speakers and I was instantly captivated. The song was stuck on repeat the whole year and unsurprisingly became my number one played song. Vacations is an indie-pop quartet hailing from Newcastle, Australia comprised of Campbell Burns, Jake Johnson, Nate Delizzotti, and Joseph Van Lier. The band’s sound is an intoxicating mess of bedroom pop, jazz and effortlessly soft vocals that sweep you into a beautiful fever dream. Their unique style has quickly gained them popularity not only in Australia but also overseas with the American indie crowd. This year alone, the band toured North America twice, nearly selling out both times. Vacations has also teased on social media that album three is on the way which has already sparked anticipation and hopes for more shows in 2023. If you find yourself wanting to get lost in your own mind, check out my favorite songs, “Away,” “Day Dream,” and “Young.”
I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed I couldn’t keep the streak going with Surf Curse as my number one Wrapped artist but they’re still in my top five favorite bands of all time. This was a good year for Surf Curse fans as we watched the band go through a musical evolution. Originally founded by members Nick Rattigan and Jacob Rubeck, the lineup expanded to include two more members, Henry Dillon and Noah Kohll. The change also brought a new album which gave me more songs to add to my beloved Surf Curse rotation. I was initially drawn to the surf-rock band because of their grunge, gritty sound dominant in their EP, Sad Boys and debut album, Buds. Another thing that sets the band apart from others in my mind is how much thought and creativity is poured into their music videos. They are gifted storytellers and each of their self- written, shot and directed videos tells a tale that goes beyond the music. Replace the music with a short script and they could easily stand alone as short films. If you want to shake up your playlist with a beachy-rock vibe, check out songs “Heathers,” “Disco,” and “Cronenberg.”
What can I say except that I absolutely love the outlandish, whimsical, and theatrical storm that is Queen. Responsible for so many hits that are ingrained into our culture, it’s not hard to see why the band is one of the greatest to ever rock the planet. The British rock band was formed in London in 1970 by vocalist and pianist Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. In my opinion, their music was much more experimental and unique compared to the typical rock that was saturating the airwaves at the time. The pairing of Freddie Mercury’s out-of-this-world vocals, piano, and opera style composition created something that the world had never heard. I have always loved Queen and I truly believe that Mercury is one of the greatest singers to ever come about. Unfortunately, like so many other great talents, Freddie Mercury lived a life much shorter than it should have been but his legacy continues to impact the world. My favorite tracks from the legendary band include “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Another One Bites The Dust.”
Coming in at number four on my top artists is BENEE, a New Zealand singer with a dreamy voice and catchy alt- pop music. I discovered the singer in 2020 mid-pandemic when she broke onto the scene with her wildly popular hit, “Supalonely.” The playfully, irresistible track has been streamed over an impressive six million times on Spotify and catapulted her into the pop music spotlight. Since discovering BENEE, the artist has solidified a permanent place in my regular music rotation. I absolutely love her delicate vocals and the relaxing yet, refreshed feeling I get after hearing my favorite tracks. This year, BENEE released a new album, Lychee, which gave me my new favorite song, “Beach Boy.” It quickly became the soundtrack to my summer and secured second place on my top five most played songs. If you feel like being swept into a summer daydream, check out tracks “Wishful Thinking,” “Kool,” and “Doesn’t Matter.”
Chance the Rapper
Last but certainly not least on my top five is one of my favorite rappers, Chance. I have a tendency to be very particular about the rap and hip-hop I listen too but there is something about Chance and his free-spirited style that I really dig. The Chicago native has infiltrated the music scene with a diverse perspective, utilizing elements of jazz, gospel and ingenious world play. His music has helped me navigate through some of my hardest and confusing moments in life so I will always have gratitude towards the rapper. My favorite and in my opinion best album from Chance is his second, Acid Rap. Perhaps I have a bias because that album flooded my ears during a difficult time but it has an electricity about it that makes you feel alive and happy. Tracks “Pusha Man,” “Favorite Song,” and “Cocoa Butter Kisses” are a few favorites that get me super hyped.
There you have it! Another year has come and gone but some things never change. Let Traklife know who your top five artists of the year are so we can check them out.