21 Dec My Top 10 Favorite Rock Songs of 2022
by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
So much great music flooded my ears over the last 12 months. But while I loved some of the big pop hits that made the Billboard Top 200, here are my 10 favorite rock n’ roll songs of 2022:
# 10: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” (Listen here)
The first single off Cool it Down, “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” is darker and heavier than dystopian-hit standards like Billie Eilish’s “All the Good Girls Go to Hell.”
#9: Seth Adam, “The Blood, it Runs” (Listen here)
Connecticut-based indie-rock songwriter Seth Adam’s latest full-length solo record, Fits and Starts and Stops is a truly impressive body of work, considering he created it with very little help. But it’s this song, “The Blood, It Runs,” that I absolutely cannot get out of my head, with its twangy, spaghetti western guitars, rock beat, and vocal fury. It’s a critical rallying cry against the NRA and legislators who think thoughts and prayers will cure our ails.
#8: Shame Penguin, “Sam Jackson” (Listen here)
New Haven, Connecticut, indie rock band Shame Penguin’s January 2022 single “Sam Jackson” blends funk, garage rock, and gravely, powerful vocals in a song that’s got swagger, pomp, and emotional depth and is amazing to see performed live.
#7 Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Black Summer” (Listen here)
After several decades of delivering brilliant tunes to the world’s earspace, the rock gods in the Red Hot Chili Peppers haven’t missed a beat. It was such a treat to see them this summer, too (check out my review on MyAmpMusic) where they played tons of legacy material (including my favorite, “Give it Away”). Their single “Black Summer” is one of the best on their recent album, and harkens back to the Californication era, with its shimmery, surfer vibes.
#6 Suzi Moon, “Dumb and in Luv” (Listen here)
I became a Suzi Moon fan after hearing her first two EPs — Call the Shots and Animal (Pirates Press Records) — so it’s no shocker that I’m obsessed with the title track of her brilliant full-length solo debut. This song is punk rock fire, with its hilarious, ballsy take on modern romance (and how stupid it can make us).
#5 Change Today, “Trauma Baby” (Listen here)
When my band Trashing Violet scored a coveted opening spot for Change Today, punk vet and ex-TSOL frontman Joe Wood’s band, I was ecstatic! So many tracks on the 2022 LP “I Am” truly pop, especially the goth/psychobilly punk tune “Trauma Baby.” I must’ve listened to this song 200 times in 2022.
#4 Pinkshift, “I’m not crying, you’re crying” (Listen here)
Pinkshift, a young rock band from my home state of Maryland, is the byproduct of three Johns Hopkins science students who loved ’90s rock and ‘00s emo and started a band for kicks (it isn’t easy entering your twenties in a masked-up world). And their timing was truly serendipitous. Pinkshift is the quintessential Gen Z band that really gets the pains that their peers are feeling — mental health challenges, political strife, gun violence, student loan debt, dating — in a way that other generations don’t.
#3: Jax, “Victoria’s Secret” (Listen here)
Technically, it’s a pop song, but it’s so lyrically on point and there’s a big, rock chorus, so well, it’s worthy of inclusion in my 2022 “top rock songs” list. The f*ckin’ pressure I was under to lose my appetite! Good God, Jax gets it! I will forever crank this tune up every time I hear it. Every single time. I’m probably going to cover it, too, at some point. Hope that’s cool.
#2 Demi Lovato, “29” (Listen here)
I’ve always liked Demi Lovato’s music, but once I heard the first few tracks on her most hard-rock album yet, Holy Fvck, I fell in love. The album is heavy, dark, and deep, infused with melodic metal tones and distorted chord progressions, underneath Demi’s soaring, epic vocals. But the confessional “29” — about the weirdness of being an adult looking back on a former relationship she had at 17 with a man 12 years her senior — truly stands out, staying with the listener long after the last note.
#1 The Interrupters, “In the Mirror” (Listen here)
My favorite ska-punk band outdid themselves on their 2022 full-length record In the Wild, which is 1,000% the “Record of the Year” in my book. But is anyone who knows me really surprised? As singer Aimee Interrupter reminds me in this poignant, personal track about not being able to escape your true self, “no matter how far I run, I always end up back here.”