2022 — what a year. I made some incredible new friendships and landed my dream gig of selling ski holidays that I’m 99% positive will last many years to come. I also did my first international trip in four years — back to the USA for the inaugural When We Were Young festival and completed the California road trip that’s been on my bucket list since forever. Honestly, it was an outstanding year for me personally and going into 2023, I’ve never felt happier.
On the music front, I nailed some of my favourite writing pieces to date (like a proper deep & meaningful chat with Simple Plan!) and I also decided to step outside my pop punk bubble and dive into some more metalcore and drum & bass, the latter of which has become a daily hit on my regular listening schedule. However, pop punk still reigned supreme with some epic releases from Simple Plan, Avril Lavigne, State Champs, Hot Milk and some fellow Aussies (Stand Atlantic) who are literally taking over the world one pop punk banger at a time…
TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2022
10. The King and Queen of Gasoline – Hot Milk
9. Unwanted – Pale Waves
8. The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit – Architects
7. Daisy Chain – Slowly Slowly
6. TEKKNO – Electric Callboy
5. Love Sux – Avril Lavigne
4. True Power – I Prevail
3. Kings of the New Age – State Champs
2. Harder Than It Looks – Simple Plan
1. F.E.A.R. – Stand Atlantic
TOP 10 SONGS OF 2022
10. ‘Act Like That’ (featuring Mitchell Tenpenny) – State Champs
9. ‘Edging’ – Blink-182
8. ‘F**kboi’ (featuring Conquer Divide) – Electric Callboy
7. ‘There’s Fear in Letting Go’ – I Prevail
6. ‘The Secret to Saying Goodbye’ – Hot Milk
5. ‘Scapegoat’ – Paperweight
4. ‘Van Gogh’ – Stand Atlantic
3. ‘All I Wanted’ (featuring Mark Hoppus) – Avril Lavigne
2. ‘Everybody But You’ (featuring Ben Barlow) – State Champs
1. ‘Ruin My Life’ (featuring Deryck Whibley) – Simple Plan
TOP 5 MUSIC VIDEOS OF 2022
5. ‘Love It When You Hate Me’ (featuring Blackbear) – Avril Lavigne
Honestly, even with Blackbear this video just screams early 2000s vibes…and I’m all about that aesthetic.
4. ‘HURRIKAN’ – Electric Callboy
3. ‘Edging’ – blink-182
2. ‘Pity Party’ – Stand Atlantic
1. ‘Lemon Spiders’ – Paperweight
Shoutout to the best upcoming band in Australia right now who have consistently CRUSHED every single release they put out!! Now that’s a band who are going above and beyond in everything they do…and it’s paying off big time.
TOP 5 GIGS YOU CAUGHT THIS YEAR?
1. When We Were Young Festival in Las Vegas, USA — was Emo Fyre Fest a flop? While day one took a turn because of the windy weather, and we ended up amongst a wave of other elder emos crammed into The Strat casino to catch Hawthorne Heights, October 23 went off without a hitch. Perfect day, perfect weather. I still cannot believe I finally saw AVRIL LAVIGNE live. Actual pinch me moment.
2. The Offspring and Sum 41’s highly anticipated sold out tour
3. State Champs, The Maine, Hot Milk, Paperweight’s Pop Punk Mini-fest
4. Stand Atlantic’s headline tour of the homeland. It was well worth the wait and since they rarely play shows back home anymore, I’m so stoked I got a taste of their US headliner this year as well.
5. Thousand Below opening up for Ocean Sleeper — fun story about this one: I had zero plans of attending this tour, as the Melbourne show was the same night as Hot Milk’s headline gig above. But that show ended early and thanks to some friends who were at the Ocean Sleeper show (shout out to my fellow WOS fam – Adam and Rhiannon) who convinced me to grab a last minute ticket on the door. Honestly, it was the best $50 I have ever spent on a ticket.
FAVOURITE CONTRIBUTION YOU PRODUCED?
Look, anything to do with Simple Plan is always going to be a highlight of my year. But the most fun and laidback interview I did this year was easily with Bonnie Fraser and Miki Rich from Stand Atlantic.
FAV NEW BAND/MUSICIAN DISCOVERED IN 2022
NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACT TO WATCH IN 2023
Local Brissie boys Headwreck are doing siiiick things and I’m so excited to see what becomes of them in the next twelve months.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2023?
Retiring from the international festival circuit after When We Were Young: the Pop Punk Edition and focusing on life at home a little more. I feel like I’ve got it so good right now, there’s not a lot I wouldn’t change. The international travel won’t die for me anytime soon though. I’m pumped to keep that for snowboarding holidays and I am pretty excited to finally visit a country that is not in North America this February… JAPAN!
In terms of music to look forward to in 2023, like every other pop punk kid in the universe, that blink-182 album is very high on my list. I also have a feeling that Simple Plan will be in Australia at some point in the new year, Sum 41 will also have a new record out and while new Paramore hasn’t really tickled my fancy yet, I’ll likely give it a spin. My spidey senses are also telling me that there’s a REALLY GOOD chance that Pierce the Veil will tour our shores soon… what do we all think?
Oh and, for the third year running, a Benji & Joel Madden interview is still #1 on my music journo bucketlist. So at this point a Good Charlotte reunion/comeback in 2023 is IMMINENT.
Words by Tamara May @citylightstam
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