My issues with year end lists are best summed up in my 2021 mixtape writeup. In years past I poured a lot of energy into lists but was never able to shake the feeling that I was posturing. This year I decided that I wanted to write about only one album but eventually expanded that scope to two. I reached for these two albums regularly and they always felt fresh. So with that out of the way here are two albums that came out in 2022 that I really liked.

Ex-Vöid - Bigger Than Before

Ex-Void - Bigger Than Before

"I get so bored"

I discovered Ex-Vöid's album via a show on Mixcloud. Mixcloud is a really awesome idea that falls apart for me in practice. I imagine the system would work better for me if I invested in a tier above the free level that I use. However, I've never been sure that I'd use the service enough to warrant a new subscription. A very 2022 problem to have.

I mention this because with the free level they do something clever and that is they put limits on how many times you can rewind. A clever move to get you to move to a 'Premium' level and maddening if you're out on a bike ride trying to figure out who sings the song you just heard. This was me in the woods in early 2022 after hearing the Ex-Vöid song "Churchyard" for the first time.

I remember hearing the refrain of 'I get so bored' in the song Churchyard and instantly felt a connection. After some Mixcloud tinkering and internet sleuthing I found the band and pre-ordered their full album. I also discovered that several of the members used to be in a band called "Joanna Gruesome" which is an incredible name.

Now I'm not one to say that things were better when when they were hard to find. However, I enjoyed the path I'd been sent down and perhaps it felt a bit reminiscent of time spent in massive bins of cds. Additionally old habits die hard so part of me was wondering "do I like this because I had a hard time finding it?!". What a weird 90's concept.

In my young 'indieboy' days I remember discovering the band Heavenly. I was confused that this band that created delightful poppy songs was on a label that I thought was reserved for only punk output. I had so much to unlearn. Discovering Ex-Vöid jogged similar feelings... where were these pretty songs coming from?!

Anyways, after listening to 'Bigger Than Before' over and over I find myself only falling deeper in love with it. Thank you Mixcloud for providing just enough friction to make me feel like I worked toward something.

Ex-Void - Churchyard

You can find songs from 'Bigger Than Before' on the following mixes: The Chronicles Of Amber Volume 1, Felt Emo Might Delete Later and 122222

Bartees Strange - Farm to Table

Bartees Strange - Farm To Table

"This past year I thought I was broken"

Bartees Strange's 'Farm to Table' was an album that I was anticipating. I was such a big fan of Bartees Strange's "Live Forever" that I could not wait for new songs. However, I was also nervous. I can't help but think that following up a flawless album would be difficult.

"Heavy Heart" was the first song I heard from the album and it simply floored me.

I don't think there is anything I can add to the Bartees conversation that hasn't already been said. I will say this though, I am very grateful to occupy the same world and timeline with him. What a gift.

Bartees Strange - Heavy Heart

You can find songs from 'Farm to Table' on the following mixes: Just trying to help, Felt Emo Might Delete Later and 122222

Larson Holgers 12.23.2022