Best Ambient Music of 2022

Here are some ambient releases that caught my ear in 2022 (2020 here and 2021 here). But first, here’s a little end-of-year awards:

  • Album of the Year: Lorraine James (both of them)
  • Song of the Year: Choose To Be Gay (Femenine) by Lorraine James
  • Artist of the Year: Lorraine James, of course
  • Label of the Year: Seil Records (as usual)
  • EP of the Year: William Basinski “ . . . on reflection”

With two excellent albums this year, the experimental and usually-dance music oriented artist from London is my ambient artist of the year. Although not fully ambient, they are close enough, and fully worth of your time and ears!

Lorraine James | Whatever the Weather and Building Something Beautiful For Me

Album of the year so far. I kind of had that feeling by the 3rd track (which goes a bit into jungle territory). By the end of the album (and also now at the end of the year) my hunch was correct. A remarkable piece of work.

It’s impressive that she came out with not one but two ambient leaning albums this year. All in addition to her usual left-field club oriented singles. I really appreciate an outsiders take on the genre.

William Basinski | “ . . . on reflection “

I’ve heard the name plenty before but it was only until now that I had a chance to dive in and understand what makes him special. Piano-driven, melancholic but not, it allows you to get lost in whatever you’re doing – truly transportive stuff. Impressive output a age 64 nonetheless.

Skee Mask | ISS007

Two years since his last ambient EP and well worth the wait. Basically a mini-album clocking in at 8 tracks. Coming from a techno background, his ambient sounds unlike anyone else out there. Released on the excellent Ilian Tape.

Sweatson Klank | Postcards

Discovered this in the beginning of 2023 and what a find. A bit of jazz, some percussion, and a fresh sound. The custom vinyl coverart is a really cool idea. Always great to discovering an exciting artist with a healthy back catalog.

Fogweaver | Labyrinthine

This Coloradan artist writes ambient music inspired by fantasy novels, in particular the Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin. It definitely feels like you’re reading a novel! Evocative stuff.

Jogging House | Weight

The bossman of Seil Records, perpetual Label of the Year. Two years ago I mentioned his music would sound great with some 808s or 909s in the background. Lo and behold you have a few 4/4 backdrops here. I love that this one was “Recorded Straight to 1/4″ tape in single takes.”

Olli Aarni | Loput

Starting the year our right. The laaps label from France is well worth checking out. Two twenty minute tracks of watery, textured, ethereal ambience, washing over you in soothing, repetitive waves from the Finnish artist.

KMRU | epoch

KMRU is always worth a listen, and this was my pick of the albums that he released this year. One great reason that Seil always tops my Label of the Year is that they offer their albums for free during the first month of release.

Green Wall | wreath

It’s nice to discover something from my home state of Virginia, written out in the woods nonetheless. I write the majority of my music out in nature so it’s cool to see others doing the same. The building key switch in this track below is sublime, like a big sigh of relief after a stretch of uncertainty.

awakened souls | Night Songs

VA | Music For Freedom – A Fundraiser for Ukraine

Suso Saiz | Resonant Bodies

Inquiri | Seven

Earthensea | Ghost Poems

Mary Lattimore | Collected Pieces

raays | Innervzm

Velvet Rope | Where the Floor Starts to Fade

Hainbach | Core Memory

Sam Prekop | Saturday Sunday

Francis Harris | Thresholds

halftribe | Elegant Golden

Gylden | Island Friend

.foundation | the azure sun suite

Violet Light | Sonora


Sebastiano Carghini | As Long As I Go

Released on Total Stasis (LA)

David Lackner | Waiting For Sunday

Released on Total Stasis (LA)

Hilyard | A Wake In Shadows

Released on Total Stasis (LA)

Ulla Straus | foam

Josh Richardson | Painting Music

Tomoyoshi Date | 438Hz As It Is, As You Are

North Americans | Lost Tracks

SPECIMENS | Intersections







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