13th Floor Top 10 Albums of 2022: As selected by Marty Duda

13th Floor’s Marty Duda has been busy going through this year’s new albums and he’s finally come up with a top 10…just in time for New Year!

Alrighty, let’s get right into it.

Aldous Harding10. Aldous HardingWarm Chris (Flying Nun/4AD) Released March 25, 2022

Following up on 2019’s Designer, Warm Chris is not as immediately accessible, but its still Aldous. Her quirky charm shines through and has you can see from the review posted earlier this year, I christened Aldous the “Anna Delvey of Rock & Roll” How very 2022!

9. Cate Le BonPompeii (Mexican Summer) Released February 4, 2022. This sixth album from the Welsh songstress follows up 2019’s Reward and, like most of this year’s entry’s is a “Pandemic Record”, which might be why the album is named after a city in ruins. With the assistance of horn players Euan Hinshelwood and Stephen Black, Le Bon channels Berlin-era Bowie and Talking Heads while making music that is uniquely her own  So, as Cate proved at her show at Auckland’s Hollywood Avondale, there is a up-side to the pandemic.

Mel Parsons8. Mel ParsonsSlow Burn (Cape Road) Released September 16, 2022 Mel’s another one who played a beauty of a show at Hollywood Avondale. Her fifth album, Slow Burn, is  career highpoint, coming after the Mitchell Froom-produced Glass Heart (2018). This time around Mel gets help from cousin Jed along with Josh Logan. Listen to that voice and tell me this isn’t one of the year’s best!

Click here to watch the 13th Floor interview with Mel Parsons

Beth Orton7. Beth OrtonWeather Alive (Partisan) Released September 23, 2022. One week after Mel’s Slow Burn we were also treated to Beth Orton’s Weather Alive. This is Beth’s 8th album and her first since 2016. The 52-year-old artist has made a record about “middle age discontent” and so, the roughness in her voice help convey the message in her songs making this her best album so far.

Anthea de Milo6. Anthea De MiloThe Vicar’s Daughter (Self Released) Released December 2, 2022. Her press release calls her “clown/goddess, mama, saint/sinner/singer and soulful songwriter”. If you check out the 13th Floor interview, you’ll find her friends call her “Pipes”. Anthea hails from Christchurch. This is her first album under her own name (she was with Runaround Sue & Saint Satori) and Elmore Jones and Adam Hattaway produced to give us the country-noir sounds we crave. She covers Willie, sings from the hymnal and rocks like Jerry Lee when she wants to. My current fave is Prettier Than Morphine. 

Click here for the 13th Floor Album Review

Wet Leg5. Wet LegWet Leg (Domino) Released April 8, 2022. Is there a cooler band this year than Wet Leg? I don’t think so. Hailing from that great rock & roll melting pot…The Isle Of Wight, Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers got everyone’s attention last year with debut single Chaise Longue. The album proves they are no one-hit-wonders…and they are a lot of fun!

4. Sharon Van EttenWe’ve Been Going About This All Wrong (Jagjaguwar) Released May 6, 2022. After seeing Sharon perform at The Civic this month, I can’t resist popping her newest album into the top 5. What a show, and what glorious songs…most of which came from the new record. Recorded at home in LA, this is another wonder Pandemic album you can’t ignore.

Tami Neilson3. Tami NeilsonKingmaker (Neilson) Released July 15, 2022. The Toronto-born, NZ-based artist has taken her career to the next level with Kingmaker. Tami takes on the patriarchy in Country Radio while simultaneously making the best album of her career. And if that’s not enough…Willie Nelson guests on a song co-written by Delaney Davidson. Magnificent!

Dry Cleaning2. Dry Cleaning Stumpwork (4AD) Released October 21, 2022. This is the British band’s second album, but somehow their first, eluded me. One listen to Florence Shaw’s sultry, deadpan delivery and I was hooked. Then I saw them perform at The Tuning Fork and realized that this really is a band and these folks can play. I suppose I’d better check out last year’s New Long Leg now…or is that another Wet Leg? So confusing!

Click here for the 13th Floor alum review

  1. Weyes BloodWeyes BloodAnd In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow (Sub Pop) Released November 18, 2022. A late entry, but well worth waiting for. This is the 5th album for Natalie Mering’s Weyes Blood , and what a beauty it is. Again, for me, its all about the voice and Natalie sounds like a hipster Karen Carpenter. According to her the songs are, “my personal response to being in the thick of it”. Yep, another Pandemic record. Lushly orchestral, I highly recommend starting each day being seduced by Weyes Blood.

Marty Duda

Angel OlsenAnd if that’s not enough…check out the new one from Angel Olsen. Its called Big Time (Jagjaguwar) Released June 3, 2022. In it we find Angel going back to the country and she sounds right at home. I got this one for Christmas and its now on high rotation around The 13th Floor.