Favorite EPs of the Year 2022

Next up is my favorite EPs of the year. I guess one could argue that few here are albums and some just singles. My apologies if you feel like I’ve misplaced your release. I guess what matters is that I really like it. I did put the numbers there this time around, but it’s kind of arbitrary. I could easily move EPs up or down 5 spots and be probably just as happy with the list. Music is love, not a competition.

The 2nd of December release date kind put me in trouble, because a lot of my faves released new EPs that day. It was hard to decide whether to feature them or not. On the other hand, they are too good to not include, but then I also worry about recency bias and should I include something I just heard a minute ago. In the end I did include several of them. Didn’t have time to listen them all enough.

Not a whole lot of writings and descriptions, because I don’t have the time and well does anybody really care about that. The records are what matters. And yeah, definitely possibility I forgot something and a fact that there’s stuff I haven’t even heard. This is just a one man hobby spare time operation.

There’s a playlist at the bottom if you are into such things. An easy way to give an introduction, but remember to buy music too if you are able to do that. But don’t worry if you aren’t. Food and rent comes first no matter how much you want to support the arts.

FAVORITE EPs OF THE YEAR 2022

30. Ryan Dugre – Look See (Ruination Record Co)

Kicking things off in New York with some beautiful solo guitar work from Ryan Dugre.


29. Stephen Simmons – Honey from a Spoon

Next stop Nashville, Tennessee and some gorgeous folk/americana storytelling from long time favorite Stephen Simmons.


28. Reilly Downes – Spent

Next up some Chicago folk/country by songwriter Reilly Downes.


27. Glory Daze – Honey, I (Plastic Records)

I don’t know too much about Glory Daze from Louisville, KY, but somehow I found this moving folk EP and instantly fell for it. Especially the last song Every Aching Memory something special.


26. Gina Leslie – No, You’re Crying

New Orleans, Louisiana and some lovely lonesome vintage jazz meets americana heatbreak from songwriter Gina Leslie. Love that title too.


25. Jake Balzer – Never Better (Natural Blue)

Jake Balzer tried to lured his way out of this year end galore by releasing his wonderful americana EP on the 31st of December 2021. Not that easy Jake. We are going to bend the rules, because it’s too good to leave out.


24. Sequoia – Bullfighter (American Standard Time)

Bullfighting should be left in the history books. Or songs because Sequoia from Richmond, Virginia wrote a captivating story so well with that title track. A mighty good EP as a whole too. Full of gorgeous down-to-earth folk ballads.


23. Marjorie – Doesn’t Exist (Whatever’s Clever)

Back in New York for some lovely dreamy indie pop vibes. Throw some 70s there too like Margo Guryan and you might get close. Enchanting.


22. Skinny Dyck – Palace Waiting (Sound Asleep Records)

Classic country from Alberta, Canada on the legendary Swedish label.


21. Ryan Necci & The Buffalo Gospel – Battle Cry

Ryan Necci & The Buffalo Gospel has a steady presence on my year end lists and let’s not make 2022 an exception. Again a great collection of songs.


20. Have Gun, Will Travel – Silver Sounds

A long time faves from Florida are back with a fabulous EP. Cardiology for example is some classic Matt Burke. Takes me back to the Salad Days.


19. Mt. Misery – The Time it Takes (Quiet Crown)

Hartlepool UK, indie pop from Mt. Misery including a great cover of 90s pop classic You & Me Song (The Wannadies). Own material rules too.


18. Layten Kramer – Eye to Eye (Nice Guys)

One of the late gems. Canadian soft pop wizard Layten Kramer made the cut on the album list a year back and now followed it with another gorgeous playful pop treasure.


17. Skyway Man & Andy Jenkins – Nothing No. 1 (Mama Bird Recording Co)

A soft psych folk-rock collaborative EP from Skyway Man & Andy Jenkins. Molly Sarle also has a major role by delivering beautiful guest vocals.


16. Thorsten Nesch – Only Strangers + others from the monthly series (Polterzeitgeist Records)

Thorsten Nesch has a monthly EP series going on. This place is sort for all of those, because not one has significantly risen above the others. I put in Only Strangers as example, because it has my favorite song The One I Tried to Love. But I also love songs from other EPs. For example Brothers for A While and Death, Jail or Janitor would be on my dream EP.


15. Shoulder Season – Not the Time

Halifax indie rock / punk / power pop. Damn how I love the song Dominoes. Instantly fell for it after getting the promo mail and feeling remains the same after dozens of spins.


14. Elk Hound – Wordless Shore (SonaBLAST! Records)

Another one that maybe could be on the album part too. I think I’ve even seen themselves referring to this sometimes as an EP and sometimes as an album. But what matters is that it’s a damn good release from this Louisville Kentucky band. Gives be some Songs:Ohia / Jason Molina vibes. Why not Crazy Horse too.


13. Partner – Time is a Car (You’ve Changed Records)

Very fond of this new EP from Partner too. Especially Fear That Closes the Heart is just fantastic 80s kinda pop hit. Should be a hit at least.


12. Michael James Tapscott – Michael, The Worst (Royal Oakie)

Another last minute entry, but it’s not like an I can leave this out from the list. Another atmospheric folk beauty from Michael James Tapscott.


11. Clara Mann – Stay Open (sevenfoursevensix)

Next over to Bristol, UK to meet up with the winner of last year’s ep of the year award Clara Mann. Not quite as high place this time around, but I still love her beautiful folk songs.


10. Gus Clark & The Least of His Problems – Some of My Songs (Plastic Pistol Records)

A couple of reasons that this release from country crooner Gus Clark shouldn’t be here a) The bandcamp release date is 2020 and I heard and shared some of these songs back then b) 7 songs is approaching album length. But these are overruled by the fact that he did release it elsewhere in March 2022 and most importantly it’s a fantastic collection of real classic country songs.


9. J.E. Sunde & Dory Bavarsky – Songbook Vol. 1 (Full Color Sound Records)

One of my favorite songwriters in the world J.E. Sunde collaborating with Dory Bavarsky to create songs in the tradition of the Great American Songbook. Yeah, I know that will rule even without listening and oh my I’m going to listen a lot.


8. Terry’s Paradise – Postmodern Doowop

Third awesome EP of postmodern doowop by Terry’s Paradise from Portland, Oregon.


7. Mila Webb – Lucky Nights (Perpetual Doom)

Mila Webb released an very impressive debut EP. All four songs are pure gold.


6. The Reds, Pinks and Purples – Slow Torture of an Hourly Wage (Burundi Cloud)

There’s so much music coming from Glenn Donaldson that it’s hard to keep up with all of it. It’s not a problem though, because it’s all high quality indie pop. The title track here is one of my favorite songs of the year. A good soundtrack for my factory day job.


5. Heather Valley – Eternal Rest

A moving three song collection from Hamilton, Ontario based americana / country songwriter Heather Valley. That last song Jim Hanlon is absolutely marvellous.


4. The Lostines / Nick Shoulders & the Okay Crawdad – Heart of Night Split EP (Gar Hole Records)

One of the last minute entries is this split between The Lostines and Nick Shoulders. Girl groups meet country heaven going on in here. Absolutely love it.


3. Josienne Clarke – I Promised You Light (Corduroy Punk Records)

An early 2022 favorite was this beautiful EP from UK singer-songwriter Josienne Clarke. She also released an excellent cover EEP late in the year.


2. Kassi Valazza – Highway Sounds

Thought about sharing that first place, because I love this so much. Kassi Valazza from Portland, Oregon has become one of my favorite songwriters during the past few years and it was so great to get new music from her. Country, desert rock, psych folk and what not. What a beautiful collection of songs.


1. Ivy Wye – Hope’s Convenience

The EP of the year is Hope Convenience by Ivy Wye. This beauty from Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Hardy would rank high among the albums too, because it’s one of the releases I loved the most during 2022. Such a wondrously beautiful 70’s influenced folk EP that follows the path of Vashti Bunuan, Sibylle Baier and Linda Perhacs. I have nothing but love for this.


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Favorite Finnish Albums of the Year 2022

The year end routine starts with the Finnish albums of the Year. A good year of Finnish music again and even though the list is fairly long, I still had to leave out some good albums. I did put the numbers there this time around, but it’s kind of arbitrary. I could easily move albums up or down 5 spots and be probably just as happy with the list. Music is love, not a competition. There’s a playlist link with one song each on the bottom, if you are into such things. An easy way to give an introduction, but remember to buy music too if you are able to do that. But don’t worry if you aren’t. Food and rent comes first no matter how much you want to support the arts.

Not a whole lot of writings and descriptions, because I don’t have the time and well does anybody really care about that. The records are what matters. And yeah, definitely possibility I forgot something and a fact that there’s stuff I haven’t even heard. This is just a one man hobby spare time operation.

FINNISH ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2022

30. Kytäjä – Kolmos (Panama-Levyt / Joteskii Groteskii)

A welcome return from the instrumental duo. Kolmos is a good guide for exploring the musical cosmos.


29. Mara Balls – Maranormaali ilmiö (Stupido Records)

Catchy bluesy rock with good songwriting.


28. Henna Emilia Hietamäki – Maja (Soliti)

Down-to-earth folk minimalism with moving songs and heartfelt atmosphere.


27. Antti Autio – Kaikki talot huojuu (Soit Se Silti)

A new Antti Autio album is always something to love and cherish.


26. Samae Koskinen – Viima Vie (KHY Suomen Musiikki)

I’m an indie kid (well indie middle-aged man) and therefore too much stuck in the golden Sister Flo days. Thankfully I’m not completely lost and can appreciate this excellent Samae Koskinen album. Marketin rappuset is a big personal favorite.


25. Rosita Luu – Maaginen Elävä (Playground)

More heartfelt and catchy pop/rock greatness from Rosita Luu on a new label.


24. Samanna – Sinisellä Sametilla (Humu Records / Hillotehdas)

Light and lovely jazzy breeze but not without depth.


23. Hexehexe – Midnight Zone

Spooky alternative rock from Pori.


22. Bad Sauna – POTSLOJO (All That Plazz)

New indie rock monster from Bad Sauna.


21. Joni Ekman – EkMania (Soit Se Silti)

A new rock’n’roll beauty from Joni Ekman.


20. Itä-Hollola Installaatio – Velipuolet (KHY Suomen Musiikki)

Songwriter Robert Ensio Niemistö is household name on the onechordnet year end lists. This time with the wonderful new Itä-Hollola Installaatio album.


19. 22-Pistepirkko – Kind Hearts Have a Run Run (Bare Bone Business / Universal)

The legends show how its done.


18. Message Field – New Meadow (Soit Se Silti)

A moving finale to Message Field’s album trilogy.


17. Knife Girl – Uniform (Soliti)

World class genre-hopping indie blender from Knife Girl.


16. Tamara Luonto – Honeymoon (Humu Records / Hillotehdas / Lempi & Sylvi Discs)

The last minute entry to the list is the long-waited rock blast from Tamara Luonto. Too early to tell where it should be on this list, so let’s drop it here in the middle. Kristiina Tuhkanen was one of my favorite songwriters of the year and if there will be a songs of the year list too, Neiti B from this album will take place #2 and it will be closely followed by the solo single Hai.


15. Punomo – Punomo (Solina Records)

Turku retro soul in Finnish. Well count me in for sure.


14. Puhelinseksi – Vieraita toisillemme (Svart Records)

One of my favorite punk rock bands with a new slice of melodic punk heaven. Also loved the concert on a very rainy summer night at indie-iltamat festival.


13. Joose Keskitalo & Mystic Revelation of Teppo Repo- Orfiset laulut V & VI (Helmi Levyt)

New double-headed behemoth from Joose Keskitalo & Mystic Revelation of Teppo Repo can share this spot on the list. Joose was again prolific and also had collaboration album with Paavoharju early in the year. That had moments I really loved too, but overall wasn’t exactly my kinda album. This one is.


12. Bobby Oroza – Get on the Otherside (Big Crown Records)

New heartfelt soul beauty from Bobby Oroza.


11. Litku Klemetti – Asiatonta oleskelua (Is this Art!)

A new Litku Klemetti album is an event and this one is even a bit more my cup of tea than the few previous ones. I have a feeling this one will be a grower too and I need to start sending hate mail to myself for not putting it a lot higher.


10. Heta Narkaus – Liian ohutta ilmaa

A new find of the year. I had no idea who Heta Narkaus was some months ago, but I think it was Viitasen Piia who shared the debut single when it came out (so credit to her). I listened and instantly loved the combination of folk and dreamy pop. Further advance singles and this album were equally great.


9. Amuri – Ettei kukaan tuntisi pimeää (Helmi Levyt)

A new beauty from one of my biggest faves of recent years. Maybe also a bit filler this time around, but I love 3/4 of it. Also check out their awesome cover album Minä olen muistanut.


8. Rock Siltanen Group – Rock’n’rollin voima (Rockia ja sporttia)

Rock’n’roll entertainment and a song about the Lahti doping scandal. What’s not to love.


7. Jukka Nousiainen & Kumpp – Matkalla kotiin (Jukan Musiikki)

High end small beer country from one of the finest in the country. Well that didn’t make sense, but the record does.


6. A.Reikko – A.Reikko (Karhuvaltio Records)

Long time fave Antti Reikko that you might remember from Koria Kitten Riot and Johnny Superhero made a great solo album in Finnish.


5. Mikael H – Optimisti

Beautiful solo folk album from another long time favorite Mikael H.


4. Jani Matti Juhani – Maailma palaa raiteilleen (Ainoa Productions)

Jani Matti Juhani released a wonderful album of his own material after a couple of Elvis cover albums. Very fond of this one.


3. Sur-rur – Entisyydestämmekinköhän (If Society / Joteskii Groteskii / Roku Records)

The legendary Finnish band still in great form. Absolutely love the first half of this. Pure (should-be) hit galore there. This 14 song and 75 minute monster fades a bit towards the end, but that’s hardly an issue, if the first half is 6/5 and the second is 4/5.


2. Teini-Pää – Maailma kyllä odottaa (Soit Se Silti)

Fabulous super catchy teenage dream melodic punk rock from one of my favorite bands Teini-Pää. Sometimes I feel like this could have been even better, but that’s kinda pointless nitpicking because I love every second I spend listening to it.


1. ITE EEROLA – On tullu mietittyä kuolemaa ja semmosta (Panama-Levyt)

And the Finnish album of the year is On tullu mietittyä kuolemaa ja semmosta by ITE EEROLA. In fact, it’s the release I loved the most during 2022 and would have been #1 even if there was not an own category for international albums. The song Tilaa mulle taksi is also by far my favorite song of the year. Despite the grim album title, this folk album is not doom & gloom. I would say it’s more like warmth & empathy. A kindhearted shoulder to lean on, if life throws too many curveballs at once. A treasure of an album.


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Favorite Songs of the Year 2021

And last but not least the favorite international songs of the year. Just quickly doing these songs lists, because I badly need some kind of Christmas break from the blog stuff. So just like the Finnish one, this is mostly a mega long playlist of favorite songs from the year. I’m sure there’s something important missing, because such a long playlist becomes an uncontrollable monster at some point and I have no idea anymore what I already added. So something might be missing solely because I already thought it was there. Most of my favorite songs of the year already have been mentioned on the album list, so I just thought I highlight a few non-album tracks that I loved wholeheartedly and then select a top three.

Kelly Sloan – I Wanna Wake Up / Tangled / Worse Way To Go

Absolutely loved this beautiful run of timeless singles from Canadian songwriter Kelly Sloan. Sorta goes into Carole King, Carly Simon territory and does it ever so beautifully.

Keven Louis Lareau – Not All Songs Have Been Sung

This beauty from Keven Louis Lareau also takes me into the 70s, but more in the west coast folk rock type of surroundings. Thanks to New Commute for the introduction back when this came out.

Anna Tivel – Two Dark Horses (Fluff & Gravy Records)

Anna Tivel is one of my absolute favorite songwriters in the world and I still feel bad for leaving out her wonderful album from the album list. I love all the songs on that record and new piano-driven versions were oh so beautiful but I’ve also heard them before in some shape or form and therefore gave that spot to albums with completely new material. I can make a little bit of amends by adding the only brand new song to this song list.

Katy Kirby – Portals (Keeled Scales)

Another one that could have and maybe should have been on the album list. This Katy Kirby album was one of the last few cuts, but I can also make amends here by putting the song I love the most on this song list. Portals is such a special song.

Jeffrey Martin – I Know What I Know (Fluff & Gravy Records)

A new Jeffrey Martin song is always something to love and cherish and this quietly powerful new song is not an exception to that simple rule.

CARLENE – Time Passes / Looking Out My Window

These two beautiful folk singles from Canadian songwriter Carlene were among the music I loved the most during this strange year. There’s a full album on the way in 2022 and I can’t wait to hear it. Carly’s dog Ruby also delivers my favorite music video performance of the year in that video below. Pure gold.

3. Isaac Vallentin – Diane in the Morning Light / The Ballad of Nunangat

These two masterful folk songs from Canadian songwriter Isaac Vallentin can share the third place here. Beautiful, moving and captivating storytelling.

2. Will Stratton – Infertile Air (Bella Union)

Next Will Stratton’s softly monumental song about state violence, family separation and the people who are interpreting inhuman laws on the field. First you get hooked into a sweet melody and soon you’ll find yourself in a gut-wrenching story. Such a beautiful song about such a heavy subject. A song you won’t easily forget from one of the finest albums of the year.

1. Melissa Carper – I Almost Forgot About You (Mae Music)

And my favorite song of the year is I Almost Forgot About You by Melissa Carper. This comes as no surprise for anyone who is following my social feeds, because I’ve probably mentioned it a few times already that it’s going to be this one. Such a sweet softly swinging old time country beauty and I just fell in love with the first time I heard it and the feeling is the same after listening to it countless amount of times. Simply the song I loved the most during the year and therefore fully worth the song of the year title on this little blog. Below you’ll find the bandcamp link and the Western AF video. Please do visit the the Western AF youtube channel, because it’s probably the best place there is on this internet thing-y.

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