Instagram Soundcloud Spotify

DARKSWOON EVER CRASHING – 2022’s Best Darkwave Releases from Victor Montes and Dave Cantrell (PLUS 2022’s Single of the Year!)

Written by:

Yes, here we are, at that time of the year again, the time for that sort of select reckoning that every critic, writer, or listener greets with a curious mix of love and dread. Love because of the joy in reliving still another thrilling ride around the dizzying darkwave merry-go-round that this suddenly dying year has again offered us, a ride that only the phrase ‘freewheeling insanity’ might adequately define, dread because, due to 2022 being as bulgingly abundant with head-turning, mind-blowing, pulse-quickening albums as any previous year if not arguably more so, how does one choose one’s favorites without risking one’s sanity and/or standing? We’ve covered the absurdity-bordering-on-inanity of this whole process frequently enough in these pages that we thought we’d let that aspect rest this time but believe us, we thought about tip-toeing past the whole prospect and if it weren’t for the weight of expectation we likely would have. That said, in the end, it is kind of our responsibility and damn it if it wasn’t indeed a great pleasure to rediscover the extravagant spill of dark gems that kept piling in through the door all year long. Read quick, as 2023 is already breathing down your neck…[and remember, support these artists to the extent you can. The level of work and love that goes into these projects is a daily source of humbled inspiration to those of us that live and breathe it as Victor and me and countless others across many publications and blogsites do; also, both Victor and I included albums that just missed each of our top 20s, and wherever there was overlap I’ve eliminated that so as to include as many titles as possible] [LAST NOTE: We both almost certainly missed albums/artists that we meant to include had we remembered them. A not unsurprising consequence of trying to account for every drop of a winter’s storm-sized wave, we’re both aghast and self-forgiving and hope you can forgive us as well]


1. SRSQ “Ever Crashing” (Dais Records)

2. The Soft Moon “Exister” (Sacred Bones)

3. Just Mustard “Heart Under” (Partisan Records)

4. Coatie Pop “Deathbed” (self-released)

5. Sacred Skin “The Decline of Pleasure (self-released)

6. The Ire “What Dreams May Come” (Ire Records)

7. Minuit Macbine “24” (Synth Religion)

8. Conjunto Primitivo “Morir Y Renacer” (Chicago Research)

9. ESA (Electronic Substance Abuse) “Designer Carnage” (Negative Gain Productions)

10. blood club “current lust” (self-released)

11. Puerta Negra “Costo Humano” (Detriti Records/self)

12. Spike Hellis “Spike Hellis” (self-released)

13. Soft Crash “Your Last Everything” (Bite)

14. silver walks “various positions” (Distortion Productions)

15. High Vis “Blending” (Dais Records)

16. Secret Shame “Autonomy” (self-released)

17. Lesser Care “Underneath, Beneath Me” (à La Carte Records)

18. Pablo Bozzi “Ghost of a Chance” (Dischi Autunno)

19. Poisoned Point “Poisoned Gloves” (self-released)

20. Locust Revival “Your Delusions Are Not Mine” EP (self-released)


1. Darkswoon “Bloom Decay” (Icy Cold Records)

2. SPECTRA*paris “Modernism” (Dependent)

3. Kristeen Young “Beauty Shop” (self-released)

4. Thus Love “Memorial” (Captured Tracks)

5. Kill Shelter “Asylum” (Metropolis/Manic Depression)

6. London Plane “Bright Black” (self-released)

7. We Are Waves “Cave” (self-released)

8. Datura “Arcano Chemical” (self-released)

9. postlooperish “Wistful” (self-releaed)

10. Don’t Get Lemon “Hyper Hollow Heaven” (à La Carte Records)

11. Incirrina “Lip Led Scream” (Cold Transmission)

12. SRSQ “Ever Crashing” (Dais Records)

13. Farba Kingdom “Piece of Art”(self-released)

14. Lesser Care “Underneath, Beside Me” (à La Carte Records)

15. IAMTHESHADOW “The Wide Starlight” (Cold Transmission)

16. This Cold Night “Are We Immortal Yet?” (self-released/Young and Cold)

17. The Stave Church “We Are The Machines” (self-released)

18. Conjunto Primitivo “Morir Y Renacer” (Chicago Research)

19. Curse Mackey “Immoral Emporium” (Negative Gain Productions)

20. Suburban Spells “Split Levels” (self-released)

21 – ∞ (in alphabetical order)

blind seagull “personal decay”

CIERŃ “The Emperor Rx”

Crying Vessel “Before Life Was Death”

Dry Wedding “Sway”

European Ghost ““No Peace, No Sleep, No Shelter”

Ex-Hyena “Moon Reflections”

Fading Signals “Fading Signals”

Forever Grey “Sympathy Garden”

Grimdeluxe “Donker”

Jason Priest “For Your Consideration”

Je T’Aime “Passive/Aggressive” (2 albums)

Lea Torn “Shadow Prayers”

M!R!M! “Time Traitor”

Misfortunes “Brilliant Endings”

Navigator Project “Breathe”

The New Arctic “VAULT”

Non Plus Temp “Desire Choir”

Panic Priest “Psychographia”

Paradox Obscur “Morphogenesis”

Plague Pits “Transnecropolitan”

Psychic Guilt “Midheaven”

The Serfs “Primal Matter”

Shad Shadows “Prismatic”

Social Station “In The Fallout”

Soft Kill “Canary Yellow”

Soma Cake “Senza”

Then Came The Rain “Ravage”

This Eternal Decay “Nocturne”

Visions in Clouds “Are You Still Watching?”

Wet Leg “Wet Leg”

(and, conceivably, a thousand others)…

Single of the Year: “City Song” by Coatie Pop