Although it seems like the last two years have been marked by uncertainty and anxiety, there’s hope for 2022. There have already been some exceptional albums released so far this year, and it looks like we’re just getting started. Check out DMNW’s picks for top albums of 2022.
Excision – Onyx, released January 5
If you dabble in bass music, chances are you’ve come across the fifth studio album from Excision. Onyx, released January 5th, delivers some sought-after ID’s as far back as 2019.
Features include Sullivan King, and previously released tracks with Dion Timmer, Kai Wachi, and Kompany. Back to front, the album is well-produced and sure to procure plays from a large number of bass DJ’s this year.
Subtronics – FRACTALS, released January 14
Another huge album for the bass music enthusiasts to start off the year: Fractals by Subtronics. His debut album came out with a bang the same day his tour kicked off with a sold-out show at the WaMu theater.
His debut album has already been highly acclaimed for its top-notch production. With the force of previously-released collabs with Zeds Dead, SLANDER, and GRiZ, the rest of the album molds cohesiveness with complexity in his unique style.
Lane 8 – Reviver, released January 21
Across the electronic music scene, fans were been thirsty for the next album from the Denver-based deep and melodic house producer, Lane 8. None of his previous three solo full-length albums have disappointed, so it’s exciting to dream of what this fourth could contain.
While each iteration of Lane 8 has been distinct in itself over the veteran’s career, the artist shared that this album was a break free from his continuous struggle to reinvent himself. The premise of his revolution delivered wholly, birthing one of his most musically diverse projects.
Following the release of Reviver, he announced an album tour coming to the WaMu Theater in Seattle this October. Find tickets and more information on Lane 8’s website.
Adventure Club – Love // Chaos, released February 11
Following their debut album in 2016, Adventure Club has largely taken the touring and festival circuit while churning out singles. Finally, their massive 25-track album has come to light.
Although many of the tracks had been previously released as singles, they explore the depths of their artistic imagination throughout. Almost all of the tracks are collaborations, showcasing some of the great up-and-coming vocalists and producers in dance music.
Dada Life – Blood, Sweat & Smiles, released March 11
The veteran Swedish DJ duo, Dada Life, also returned this year with their fourth full-length album. True to their upbeat party sounds, Blood, Sweat & Smiles is another step forward in their decade-plus career.
Throughout the breaks between their releases, Dada Life has steadily continued to tour. They’ve done a bit of it all: festival sets, headlining tours, and even a tour performed from a hot air balloon. Although it (likely) won’t be a tour in the sky, Dada Life is coming to Ora Nightclub on June 24th. Tickets and more information can be found on their website.
Crystal Skies – Not Since When, released March 16
Regulars on the Seven Lions-run Ophelia label, and now spearheads for Insomniac’s new melodic bass label Lost In Dreams, Crystal Skies continues their run into 2022 full steam ahead. Their debut album captures the emotional essence of the duo’s melodic bass project.
They’ve also taken advantage of their accelerating momentum, playing festivals under the wings of major artists like Dabin, Seven Lions, and more. Catch them in Seattle at Neumos on June 10th for their debut album tour. Find tickets on their website.
Swedish House Mafia – Paradise Again, April 15
One the whole dance music world has been waiting on pins and needles for: Swedish House Mafia. The behemoth trio of Axell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello has been long silent on social media for the last few years. Without so much as a whisper of new music or touring as the SHM project, they shattered the silence last fall.
Finally, the trio announced a tour (including Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle) and a new album. Their recent releases include a symphony version of One, and collaborations with Sting and the Weeknd. It’s anyone’s guess what to expect with Paradise Again: thankfully we don’t have to wait too much longer.
Alison Wonderland – Loner, May 6
No “2022 Albums to Watch” list would be complete without including the Australian dance music titan Alison Wonderland’s Loner. After her 2018 chart-topping second full-length album, Awake, she’s amassed something of a cult following for her breakthrough production style and transparency about her struggles with mental illness and being a woman in the spotlight of EDM.
So far, we’ve heard four singles ahead of the album. Each promises to bring something unique to the finished Loner product. Her signature trap sound is complemented by her vocals and emotionally outspoken lyrics. Whatever Loner turns out to be, it’s sure to be in running for one of the best albums of the year.
Flume – Palaces, May 20
Few things have generated more anticipation (perhaps tied with the next on our list) than the promise of Flume’s next full-length album. After he released a wildly-produced experimental mixtape in 2019, Hi This Is Flume, the artist had gone somewhat off the grid musically.
The first few months of the year have swirled with excitement over Palaces, set to be released May 20th. Its first single, Say Nothing, is now out and sounds like we’ll be taken for the same ride of forward-thinking sound that Flume’s built an empire off of.
Shortly after Say Nothing‘s release, he also unveiled the first round of shows for the upcoming album tour. Although the PNW is left out for now, it’s not impossible that another date could be added.
ODESZA – The Last Goodbye, July 22
If that wasn’t enough, our local PNW electronica stars will be playing their first live show in three years at Climate Pledge Arena on July 29th. After immediately selling out the first night, and then the newly-added second, the third newly-added show also sold out.
If that doesn’t speak to the anticipation of The Last Goodbye, it’s hard to convey another measure. It does really feel like an album that the whole PNW, much less the EDM community, has been waiting for.
They’ve released 3 singles so far, capturing their house influence from the BRONSON side project collaboration with Golden Features last year. We’ll be counting down the days to hear the product of the Bellingham duo, another surefire contender for best album of 2022.
Manila Killa, unknown release date
One of DMNW’s favorites, Manila Killa Tweeted the 4 words we’d been waiting to hear: “manila killa album 2022.” Since his 2019 debut EP 1993, the melodic dance music producer has delivered a handful of releases that all capture the essence of his project.
Although we don’t yet have an official release date or more information, Manila Killa will be performing at Capitol Hill Block Party this summer. We’re hoping for some more details about the upcoming album in the meantime.
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