2022: a playlist for you
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. When we gather with friends and family, near and far, to celebrate that most important of traditions: making year-end lists of our favourite music.
Each member of our team shared their favourite song from 2022 (interpreted broadly) for our first-ever studio-wide playlist. From smash pop hits and throwback black metal rippers to road-tripping soundtracks and scene-setting soundscapes for Dungeons & Dragons, this is a list that comes straight from the heart.
Take a spin—then get ready for an even bigger music project from the gang at Goods & Services in 2023.
Listen up, here
by Charley Crockett
On Sunday evenings throughout the summer, I’d make my way back to the city after spending time visiting my wife, daughter and dog up on the Bruce Peninsula. Following the maze of backroads dividing farmer’s fields, windows down on a warm summer’s eve, with the sun setting in my rear-view mirror, Charley always provided the perfect soundtrack to my drive home.
“2 Wrecked 2 Care”
While a lot of great music was released this year, “2 Wrecked 2 Care” encapsulates a lot about 2022, so it rises to the top of my choices.
The first factor is the song’s topic of general sleeplessness (for some of us, caused by early-2022, mid-Omicron, post-lockdown anxieties).
The second is CMAT’s lyrical approach to country music. She writes with the sense of humour (but not novelty-song humour) and tangible details that Loretta Lynn perfected. What better way to honour the year that Loretta left us? She’s updated Loretta’s sassiness with a bit of cussing, though (with lyrics such as “Two hours sleep, I’m a hateful bitch”), in case you aren’t into that sort of language. But there’s also a shout-out to Dolly Parton in the video (inducted this year into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame), so what’s not to love?
The third reason is because, in this song’s delivery, CMAT (uncoincidentally an Irish artist) channels the lavish Celtic vocal acrobatics of Anglo-Irish genius Kate Bush, not only one of my all-time favourite musicians, but also herself a major music newsmaker in 2022, with a newfound appreciation via whatever that Netflix show is called (just kidding; I binge-watched it, too).
by The Lumineers
This past summer, a few friends and I went camping in Killbear Provincial Park and then ended the weekend at the Lumineers concert in Toronto. In the months leading up to the show, the Lumineers were on repeat, so our anticipation of the concert was at an all-time high—and let me tell you, they put on one hell of a show.
I’ve seen them perform a handful of times over the last decade, and they never disappoint. Whenever I hear their music, it reminds me of great times with great friends.
by Pawandeep Rajan
The lyrics—about being intoxicated by love—the feelings, the tune and the notes: all ingredients for a great song, one that not only pleases your ears but also your soul.
by Taylor Swift
At the tail end of the pandemic, with twin six-year-olds in my life, I crave music that allows me to account equally for a minor breakdown or a dance party at any given moment. This song more than accomplishes both. Fun fact: it is also one of the songs that helped Taylor make history as the first artist with the entire Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
This song has been on repeat so long that I have ignored the rest of my playlist. A great and lively beat, it lends itself to all moods, whether you are happy and want to dance, or sad and want a pick-me-up; whether you are walking to work or just cooking in the kitchen.
I chose this song because it represents for me an important milestone in 2022: my move to Canada!
Joji released “YUKON” just two months before I moved, so I ended up listening to it over and over again throughout the planning and packing. Fun fact: I learned, after falling in love with the song, that Yukon is actually a place in Canada—everything makes sense!
Now when I listen to it, I look back fondly on preparing for the move, being on the plane and spending the first days in this new country.
It’s sparkly and fun, if you’re into that kind of thing.
“Taxman” (2022 reissue)
by The Beatles
As a cynic, I find it easy to relate to the sentiment of this 55-year-old song and apply it to modern life—especially with the outrageous cost of living this year. Though I’m not a member of the super-rich, nor being taxed 95% of my income like George Harrison was, no one appreciates parting with their hard-earned coin for a government they don’t agree with.
Above all else, though, “Taxman” was already one of my favourite Beatles songs and was written by my favourite Beatle. The remastered version brings details I’ve never noticed to the fore.
by The Chats
I took quite a few road trips in 2022, and I’m a sucker for anything resembling a driving song. These Aussie punks soundtracked more than a handful of those days on the open road.
Invoking the primitive ardour of yesteryear’s black metal, “Ohne Licht” (meaning “without light” in German) carries forward the torch of the mid-90s sound, a throwback to those cold and sparse sonic landscapes carved out by early Darkthrone and Burzum. “Ohne Licht” evinces that same raw power through bottom-of-the-barrel production and a flurry of cold tremolo picking. It’s form over function and it SOUNDS LIKE A HAMMER FROM HELL!
A thousand other bands released albums in 2022 that tried to do the same thing … a few were really good, some were okay and most were unfulfilled copycats trying their hand at black metal. Ara’s Gurre stood out head and shoulders above the rest. “Ohne Licht” was the first track I heard from this grimy record, and the first 45 seconds were compelling enough to make me backtrack and listen to the album’s entirety front-to-back, twice … alright, three times. Tune in, freak out, get beaten.
by A Tergo Lupi
You see the gnoll warrior crane his neck to the sky and let out a terrible squeal. You feel the rumbling before you hear it—trees miles away quivering and snapping, birds and critters scattering. “He’s calling in a horde,” your companion whispers, reaching for her dagger. The gnoll in front of you picks up his battleaxe and smiles hungrily, canine fangs glistening. Roll initiative.
I discovered this song early this year when I was prepping for my first D&D campaign as dungeon master. Over the past year, my music-hunting priorities changed from looking for workout or relaxation music to finding tracks that would be just right for the various (planned or unplanned) situations that my players would end up in. Nowadays, no session is complete without the dramatic chords and thrilling beats of Nordic-inspired songs such as this one. And bonus: they work great as focus music too.
“La Pared (Govt. Wall Blues)”
by The Black Angels
I’m a sucker for a track that pairs perfectly with highway driving at night, coffee in hand. When the new Black Angels album dropped late this year, this song quickly became a psychedelic earworm, an uninvited party guest that you’re actually happy to see.
“Alive Ain’t Always Living”
by Quelle Chris
Quelle Chris’s “Alive Ain’t Always Living” is a paean to getting by, to taking it “day to day, plate-to-plate, two-piece and fries.” After two years of false starts and furloughed hopes, the Detroit MC/producer reminds us that, even if we don’t have nearly as much control over the forces that shape our lives as we had thought, friends and family will see us through. It sounds trite, but coming from one of the sharpest pens in hip-hop, the message can knock the wind out of you:
“Here’s some notes, need to make some bold decisions
Call your folks while they still living, let them know you right here with them
Don’t go ghost, hold tight that love you been given
Takes work to hang ribbons in the sky, now why you gon’ let that go up in smokes?”
Emotional responses aside, the song just hits so many of my musical notes. The dusty keys/Rhodes sample that hearkens back to an older era of Detroit music. The way Quelle Chris soulfully sing-raps his way through the hook. The relaxed, Andre 3000–inspired second verse that demonstrates how much harder it is to rap slowly (or play bass, or piano, or do anything in music, really) while staying in command of the song than it is to do so quickly. Maybe that’s a message worth taking through to 2023.
“Playing with My Emotions”
by Tedeschi Trucks Band
This band’s typical style of blues isn’t usually my cup of tea. But I love anything with a Motown sound, so this song really stood out in 2022. I’m convinced that Susan Tedeschi can sing anything; her vocals are so great here.