Artist News CMU Playlists

On The CMU Stereo 2022

By | Published on Wednesday 21 December 2022

Kendrick Lamar

It’s the end of another year, so once again it’s time to round up our favourite tracks of the last twelve months. It’s always tough to get this end-of-year playlist down to 40 tracks, but this year it was absolutely agonising.

Maybe it’s because this was the year we finally came out of COVID restrictions, but there was a hell of a lot of great music released in 2022. So our starting point was a great deal larger than the final list. Some outstanding music was lost. Then added back in again. Then cut once more. And then we’d remember a track we’d forgotten and be back at square one.

We did it though, you’ll no doubt be pleased to hear, and have compiled a 40 track playlist representing a wide array of artists and genres. There are tracks you will definitely know on there, and others you almost certainly won’t. It’s great. So great.

You can listen to the whole playlist on Spotify here, or YouTube below, and read on to find out more about each of our selections.

Yard Act


We start with Rolo Tomassi’s ‘Closer’, probably the calmest track from their ‘Where Myth Becomes Memory’ album, which elsewhere is punishingly heavy. They are a band who really stand alone in heavy music and their sixth album shows that off perfectly.

Next up are Belief – a collaboration between producer Boom Bip and Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa – with ‘I Want To Be’, the first single from their eponymous debut album, which arrived in July. From there we have King Hannah’s ‘Big Big Baby’, one of the many great tracks from their brilliant debut album ‘I’m Sorry, I Was Just Being Me’.

Yard Act are a band who have had a pretty meteoric rise over the last couple of years, which saw them go from being “that new band who sound a bit like The Fall” to “the band who sound a bit like The Fall who’ve just recorded a single with Elton John” in a matter of months.

I think they also proved that there’s more to them than just sounding a bit like The Fall too. Their own idiosyncrasies have revealed themselves more over time, and will continue to do so. And their debut album, ‘The Overload’, is one of this year’s real standouts.

Kathryn Joseph’s ‘What Is Keeping You Alive Makes Me Want To Kill Them For’ quietly seethes with rage. Its disarmingly gentle sound adding huge weight to the powerful lyrics, this track is a great example of why Joseph is such an impressive artist.

And speaking of impressive artists, Wesley Joseph (no relation) introduced his next album with the track ‘Cold Summer’ back in February. I played it to a lot of people and raved about how he was in album of the year territory with this track. That album is yet to arrive, but that gives us something to eagerly look forward to in 2023.

A definite contender for our album of the year is Tomberlin’s ‘I Don’t Know Who Needs To Hear This’. Her second LP, it is packed full of finely crafted songs, which as a collection create an intimate atmosphere and emotional depth.

That was only amplified by a show down in the Margate Caves – actually a more than 200 year old chalk mine – which was one of the most memorable performances I think I will ever see. Here we’ve selected the the album’s second single, ‘Happy Accidents’.

Next up is Nilüfer Yanya with ‘The Dealer’, from her second album ‘Painless’, another of our favourites this year (also a contender for later in this playlist was her amazing cover of PJ Harvey’s ‘Rid Of Me’).

Then we’ve got ‘In My Head’ by Lights – a massive star in her native Canada and someone who consistently turns out interesting pop music – a trend continued on her fifth album, ‘Pep’, this year.

Finally in this first batch of ten tracks on this year’s playlist is ‘I Want A Love Like This’ by Everything Everything. On their sixth album the band collaborated with an AI bot called Kevin, which wrote a portion of the record’s lyrics, as well as designing artwork and promotional images. Far from being the downfall of everything, the introduction of the technology helped the band turn in yet another great album.

Here are the ten tracks on our winter playlist:

Rolo Tomassi – Closer 
Belief – I Want To Be 
King Hannah – Big Big Baby 
Yard Act – Rich 
Kathryn Joseph – What Is Keeping You Alive Makes Me Want To Kill Them For 
Wesley Joseph – Cold Summer 
Tomberlin – Happy Accident 
Nilüfer Yanya – The Dealer 
Lights – In My Head (feat Josh Dun) 
Everything Everything – I Want A Love Like This

Wet Leg


Oh, we’re on a roll now. Today we unveil the second part of our On The CMU Stereo 2022 playlist, bringing together our ten favourite tracks released back in the spring. I’m excited for you, because I know what’s on it already. Like our winter selection, it’s another testament to just how much great music has been put out this year.

We kick things off with Wet Leg, whose rise to fame has been nothing short of astounding. Let’s not forget that they only released their debut single in June last year, now they’re nominated for four Grammys (five if you include the one Soulwax received for their remix of ‘Too Late Now’). The song included here – ‘Ur Mum’ – is a stand out from both their debut album and live sets this year, not least because of its fantastically mean opening line. Plus, screaming is fun.

From there we head to ‘There Are Good Times Coming’ by Sinead O’Brien, which delivers a message I think we could probably all do with hearing at the moment. Then there’s ‘Purpose’ by the reunited Fyfe & Iskra Strings, which features a great vocal performance from Ghostpoet, who has otherwise been fairly quiet on the music front this year.

Choosing which Ethel Cain song to include on this playlist was no easy task, because her debut album, ‘Preacher’s Daughter’, is so full of brilliant ones. The album has an atmosphere of its own, pulling it all together as she goes from playing Americana to sounding like early Weeknd, under a shroud of lyrical darkness. ‘American Teenager’, a single in April, is a great example of why we’re so enamoured with the record.

The next track on the list is a cover. With ‘Rise Above’, Ibeyi takes a 40 year old Black Flag song about the early 80s hardcore punk scene and expertly recontextualises it as a Black Lives Matter protest song, featuring a guest verse from Berwyn.

P Money and Whiney first teamed up for a grime versus drum n bass showdown on last year’s ‘Buss The Red’. This year two more tracks followed, including ‘Sorry I’m Not Sorry’, which is the next track to make our playlist. A whole album is on the way next year, which is very exciting indeed.

Now, no 2022 playlist would be complete without something from Kendrick Lamar. And here we have ‘N95’ from his ‘Mr Morales And The Big Steppers’ album. His first LP for five years, it more than stood up to the anticipation awaiting it, and he then exceeded all expectations with his incredible Glastonbury headline set and tour show.

Caterina Barbieri continued to expand her analogue synth sound on her latest album, ‘Spirit Exit’, which gave us the track included here – ‘At Your Gamut’. Rina Sawayama also returned with an outstanding second album, which was introduced with the brilliant ‘This Hell’.

And Daniel Avery turned in possibly the best album of his career – a high benchmark – with ‘Ultra Truth’, our favourite track from which is the Haai and Kelly Lee Owens featuring ‘Chaos Energy’.

Here are the ten tracks on our spring playlist:

Wet Leg – Ur Mum 
Sinead O’Brien – There Are Good Times Coming 
Fyfe & Iskra Strings – Purpose (feat Ghostpoet) 
Ethel Cain – American Teenager 
Ibeyi – Rise Above (feat Berwyn)
P Money & Whiney – Sorry I’m Not Sorry 
Kendrick Lamar – N95 
Caterina Barbieri – At Your Gamut 
Rina Sawayama – This Hell 
Daniel Avery – Chaos Energy (feat Haai and Kelly Lee Owens)



As we all sit trying to resist turning the heating on, staring out at the snow, what could we need more than a summer playlist? Well, thankfully, we’ve made it to part three of our 2022 end-of-year playlist and the tracks that got us through the warmer months.

First on this collection of ten songs is ‘Break My Soul’ by Beyonce, which was everywhere this summer. As you would probably expect from the first single off a new Beyonce album. It also helped that Beyonce’s first foray into house was really great and something that stood up well to repeat listens.

It was also interesting from a nerdy industry perspective too, as the track contains elements of Robyn S song ‘Show Me Love’. That track’s original writers, Allen George and Fred Craig McFarlane, get co-writing credits on the Beyonce song.

However, what she lifted were synths added in Stonebridge’s 1993 remix of ‘Show Me Love’ – the better known version of the track – that were not present on the original version. Delve further into that whole thing on this edition of the Switched On Pop podcast.

Next up is ‘Je Te Vois Enfi’ by Christine And The Queens in his new “suave and sophisticated” alter-ego Redcar, which was the first single from his third album, ‘Redcar Les Adorables Étoiles (Prologue)’.

Then it’s Nnamdi, with ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Famous’, from his ‘Please Have A Seat’ album – his first for Secretly Canadian – which sees him grappling with what ‘success’ actually means. If it means putting out consistently great music year on year, then he’s definitely winning.

Nnamdi kicks off a run of tracks from rappers with very different styles. Relatively new artist Luci released her debut single, ‘Ash & Dust’, in June and it instantly blew us away. It’s still a very exciting three minutes of music all these months on, with no signs of that rush waning.

After that, it’s BTS’s J-Hope with ‘More’ – the first single from his ‘Jack In The Box’ solo album – which surprised us with its pretty hard-edged sound. Then it’s Loyle Carner with ‘Hate’, taken from his third album ‘Hugo’, which is similarly quite a departure for him (perhaps not quite as stark as J-Hope), finding him brimming over with anger and anxiety.

Next we get a short sharp burst of The Chats (all bursts of The Chats are short and sharp) with ‘I’ve Been Drunk In Every Pub In Brisbane – a bold claim that frontman Eamon Sandwith admitted upon the track’s release in July is not actually true.

“I reckon there would be 900 or so pubs that you would have to hit, and I have actually been to a good chunk of them, but if you were go to all of them, it would be hard to even remember which ones you’d been to”, he said.

Following that, probably the least summery track on this playlist, ‘Pamela’ by Chat Pile. Their debut album, ‘God’s Country’, won them a lot of fans this year – rightly so, as it’s a brilliant record – but it’s a pretty bleak affair, mixing real-world and fantasy horror stories over slow, sludgy metal. Glorious.

Once you’ve made it thought that, it’s back to rap with ‘Strangers’ from Danger Mouse and Black Thought’s excellent ‘Cheat Codes’ album – a retro-feeling record made by two absolute masters, and joined on this track by A$AP Rocky and Run The Jewels.

And finally, we end with another big hit – and our second K-pop track on this part of the playlist – ‘Pink Venom’ by Blackpink. The track has broken all sorts of streaming records since its release. And if you’ve somehow managed to avoid it thus far, get ready to think, ‘Huh, yeah, that seems entirely fair”. What a track.

Here are the ten tracks on our summer playlist:

Beyonce – Break My Soul 
Christine And The Queens – Je Te Vois Enfi 
Nnamdi – I Don’t Wanna Be Famous 
Luci – Ash & Dust 
J-Hope – More 
Loyle Carter – Hate 
The Chats – I’ve Been Drunk In Every Pub In Brisbane 
Chat Pile – Pamela 
Danger Mouse & Black Thought – Strangers (feat A$AP Rocky and Run The Jewels) 
Blackpink – Pink Venom

Gold Panda


We’ve done it, guys. We’ve made it to the fourth and final part of our end of year playlist. That must mean it’s nearly time for a well-earned Christmas break. And now you have a playlist of 40 absolutely brilliant tracks to listen to on a loop throughout all of it. No Christmas music for us this year, only these songs.

I said it back at the start of all this, but it’s worth repeating: it was so hard to get this playlist down to just 40 tracks. This has been truly amazing year for music. It’s been painful leaving off a lot of the songs that didn’t make the cut. Some things we’ve loved haven’t made it into the final playlist, but we also couldn’t imagine losing anything that is on it either.

For this portion of the playlist, we reach the most recently released tracks – things that came out over the last few months. Obviously we haven’t lived with these songs for as long as the tracks back at the start, but every single one of them has quickly found a place in our hearts. And some of them are exciting glimpses of things to come in 2023.

First up, it’s Gold Panda with ‘The Corner’ from his new album ‘The Work’. The sample is lifted from Dean Friedman track ‘Lydia’ and, the producer says, the line he cut out – “I’m down here on the corner” – jumped out because he was watching ‘The Wire’ at the time. The track harks back to his early work, but also shows a clear progression in his sound too.

Next is one of those exciting glimpses I was talking about. Anna B Savage recorded one of our favourite albums of 2021 and has recently put out the first two tracks from the follow-up, ‘in|FLUX’, which is set for release in February and is shaping up to be another fantastic and deeply personal collection of songs.

The Comet Is Coming released their fourth album, ‘Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam’, in September – an incredible addition to their psychedelic jazz catalogue of which the track included here, ‘Pyramids’, is a real standout. Meanwhile, Francesca Pidgeon – aka Dilettante – released her second album, ‘Tantrum’, in October, preceding it with ‘Surrogate Lover’, which shows off her incredibly sharp songwriting and guitar skills.

One of the newer – though not newest – artists on this section of the playlist, Yemrot released his debut mini-album ‘The Sunken Garden’ in October – something we were already eagerly awaiting, having seen this incredible live version of the track we’ve chosen for you, ‘Big Tree’.

Another release we’ve been keenly anticipating was the second album from Night Works – although this wait was longer than any other here, with ‘Tongue & Groove’ arriving nearly a decade after his debut, ‘Urban Heat Island’. Thankfully, the wait was very much worth it. Also of note, a track from that debut was sampled on fellow playlistee Loyle Carner’s new album, ‘Hugo’, earlier this year.

Next we’ve got an act for whom there is rarely any great wait, but who always deliver music of incredibly high quality. Sault released their sixth album, ‘Air’, in April this year. Then, just over six months later, dropped five more out of the blue for free on their website. Taken from one of those albums – ‘Untitled (God)’ – we’ve selected ‘God Is Love’.

Now, I promised more new stuff, and this next act is certainly fresher on the scene than any other here. O – saxophonist Joseph Henwood and drummer Tash Keary – released their debut single ‘Ogo’ last month and instantly had us hooked. Their ability to immediately turn casual observers into fans has served them well over the last few months, not least securing them a place on Black Midi’s recent European tour.

Our penultimate track is from Duval Timothy, whose name has become more prominent this year thanks to his production work on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Mr Morales & The Big Steppers’ album. But his latest solo album, ‘Meeting With A Judas Tree’, sees him taking the minimalist piano instrumentals that have drawn the attention of other artists wanting to sample him (Solange and – once again – Loyle Carner being notable examples) and warping them with effects and field recordings. In doing so, he creates a mysterious and intriguing world, which the song here, ‘Wood’, definitely demonstrates.

Speaking of intrigue, we’ve reached the final track on our playlist. Who is occupying it? Well, it’s another new artist who we’re looking forward to hearing more from in 2023.

Caitlin LM began working on music as a solo act during lockdown as a means of working through grief. She emerged from the pandemic with a collection of tracks that brilliantly blend electronic and classical instruments. Her third single – released earlier this month – is ‘Root’ and it has been on hard rotation around here in recent weeks.

Here are the ten tracks on our autumn playlist:

Gold Panda – The Corner 
Anna B Savage – The Ghost 
The Comet Is Coming – Pyramids 
Dilettante – Surrogate Lover 
Yemrot – Big Tree 
Night Works – The Divine Right Of Kings 
Sault – God Is Love 
O – Ogo 
Duval Timothy – Wood (feat Yu Su) 
Caitlin LM – Root

Listen to the full playlist on YouTube, or on Spotify here:

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