Tildes Pop-Up Music Event: Feelin’ ‘22
Pop-Up Event: Feelin’ ‘22
Task: Listen to an album featured in any end-of-year music list for 2022 and let us know what you thought of it. Also, tell us what list you got it from, as well as why you chose it.
Time Period: Saturday, November 10 through Sunday, November 18
Help from Our Staff: Need a place to start? Try one of these:
- AOTY’s list of lists for the best albums of 2022
- RateYourMusic’s customizable chart builder
- Tildes’ very own Year in Review for music
Uh, what is this exactly?
Check out the previous Pop-Up, Ludonostalgia!, over in ~games to get an idea.
I'm going to cheat. I've followed the rules and selected an album I had never heard of/listened to off of Pitchforks top 50 but I'm also going to give a little shoutout to my favorite album of the year.
I picked Rayvn Lenae, Hypnos from the Pitchfolk list. I had never heard of her before and wanted to start with a clean slate, no prior bias. I really enjoyed the album. It has slow jams that put me right back into the heart of awkward middle school dance nostalgia. The 90s are back and this album is just more evidence of that. It mixes in a little bit of the feeling of Boy II Men or Alicia Keys with more modern pop stars like Chloe and Haley or Jorja Smith. This could easily join my other favorite slow jam/getting heavy ;) records. It also has an interesting range across the album. Venom is a little synth-y, Mercury feel like the love child of Kali Uchi and the XX, and Satellites is more of a hybrid of Mariah Carey and ...a zelda track? I tried to pick a favorite but just found myself bouncing around saying "ok, cool, this one... wait no, this one... um, nevermind, this one". It's a really solid album.
The other album I want to highlight is from the Arctic Monkeys, The Car. I think the Arctic Monkeys direction since Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino has been a bit contentious but I love the direction they went. TBHC took a while to win me over but it's become my go to record for when I'm feeling melancholy. The Car feels like a natural successor. It's dark. It's moody. It almost feels like an album made for a James Bond movie starring Roger Moore or Timothy Dalton. It feels like the you might hear it playing near the end of Las Vegas's golden age. This year was a bit odd for me personally so maybe it's the album that speaks to me right now, but I guess that's the point of these little retrospectives. It's a great album start to finish.
Thanks for posting this Kfwyre, I wouldn't have checked out the Rayvn Lenae album otherwise.
I used the rateyourmusic custom chart generator to find the site’s highest rated albums from 2022 that fall somewhere under the umbrella of the “pop” genre and include the descriptor “LGBT” (list here).
I then looked through the list with the intent to find something that was both enough in my lane that I was likely to like it but also far enough at the edge of that lane that I’d be unlikely to pick it up if not for something like this.
I settled on: Topical Dancer by Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul, mostly because I liked the album art but also because the album’s descriptors seemed interesting: sarcastic, conscious, female vocals, humorous, political, playful, deadpan, introspective
The opener was charming — a sort of “voicemail” track that was just a bunch of hellos and greetings over and over again and all together. The second track, “Esperanto”, helped me realize that the “Topical” of the title was quite purposeful and illustrative: the album is loaded with woke vibes and anthems directly related to our current culture.
That sounds both heavy and tense, but the album is surprisingly light and chill — even funny in places. In “Esperanto”, Adigéry critiques surface-level acceptance and political correctness not backed by genuine sentiment or action. The song ends with a series of misguided “corrections” for common social offenses
I chuckled, which isn’t really something I expected to do when I sat down to listen to this. Unfortunately, I think on repeated listens any novelty and humor would wear off quickly. The problem with anything really topical, I feel, is that it fits so squarely into a specific period of time that it almost never ages well — like when fiction authors include pop culture references in their books.
Not everything on the album is this overtly topical, and some of it was in French which I can’t really evaluate lyrically because I don’t understand any of it. Musically I did vibe with the album — it had a cool, chill quality to it — but the album won’t be added to my library and I won’t be coming back for repeat listens. Overall, I got exactly what I wanted from this event: something at the very edge of my musical lane.