Every year for more than a decade now, we here at Stereogum have put our collective heads together to compile a list of artists that make us excited about where music is going. There is more music out there than ever, and the amount of it that’s made by newer artists is exciting, and it continues to be invigorating and overwhelming to sift through all of that for our loyal readers (and the not-so-loyal ones, too — welcome).
The usual caveats are in effect. “New” is a subjective term to us. Some of these acts have been around for a bit, but there’s something about what they’ve done in the past year that makes us feel like they’ve reached or are about to reach their full potential. We also stubbornly continue to call this Best New bands, even though (as you’ll see) the list contains rappers, pop and ambient and electronic projects, musicians that are blurring the genre lines between all of those and more. We’re old-fashioned! Doesn’t matter what you call them — all these musicians are doing something that we think is worth hearing right now.
Another reminder: We intentionally run this list removed from year-end season to give these up-and-comers their own spotlight. Resist the urge to chime in “year-end list season already?” or “2022 isn’t even over yet” — we own calendars, we know, thank you for the note. If you’ve been along for the ride, many of these names will be familiar to those who keep up with our daily new music posts and Band To Watch column. We have been doing these lists for a long while, and we’re happy with our past results. Dig into Stereogum’s 40 Best New Bands Of 2022 below, presented in alphabetical order. You can also listen to a playlist of our picks on Spotify and Apple Music. —James Rettig