Every year, the Nashville Scene graciously survey’s “Nashville’s finest rockers, rollers, rappers, bookers and more” to get their take on the best happenings of the year for their Annual Rock ’n’ Roll Poll. We are humbled to be invited to partake in this poll and put forth a conscious effort to be inclusive of as many of the great things we heard and saw over the year as we can. The results are always an entertaining read and I suggest you spend some time with it. The results are also, understandably, edited. Not everyone’s full answers can be included nor should they be. The Scene has to make some cuts along the way and that’s perfectly fine! However, it’s an opportunity for We Own This Town to share their full answers – just for the sake of transparency, clarity and general fun of sharing.
All that said, below you’ll find the prompts from the Scene and my complete answers to each one. I tend to be somewhat verbose but tried my best this year to scale back my answers. I want to be perfectly clear, I struggle with the notion of “Best Of” anything. These kinds of lists are completely subjective and no one person could have heard everything released in a calendar year to be able rank it against anything else. It makes sense that the Scene gathers these insights in aggregate to see what bubbles to the surface. These are just one person’s opinion and I feel it necessary to caveat these answers with the fact that I can’t possibly even remember everything that impressed me in a year. That’s a compliment to the Nashville music scene as a whole; there’s so much of it, it’s literally impossible to track.
All that hand waving aside, here are my answers…
Michael Eades – Curator at yk Records & We Own This Town
What local artist/band ruled Nashville in 2022?
Twen, Negro Justice, Total Wife, Wulven, Six One Tribe, Mike Floss, Volunteer Dept, Bez, $avvy, Sean Thompson, Caitlin Rose – way too many to name. It was an absolute avalanche of great music this year.
What local artist/band is going to rule in 2023?
Sugar Sk*-*lls, New Man, KMQ, Zook, Venus & The Flytraps, SuMo Dope, Ron Obasi, Jordan Xx, Thomas Luminouso, Anna Orchid, Heaven Honey. Oh, and I’m confident a blast from the past will excite folks in 2023.
What’s your favorite discovery this year, musical or not?
Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” contains a resonant frequency that can crash laptop harddrives.
What’s your favorite story in music — local or not — in 2022?
The blossoming of both WNXP and Third Man’s Blue Room has been an undeniable boon to Nashville. Seeing the onslaught of coverage from No Country for New Nashville, Nashville Indie, Nashville Show To-Go, and everyone else covering local music is stunning.
What’s one thing you hope we leave behind in 2022?
Embracing pessimism above all else. Change is hard (and unfortunate at times) but Nashville’s future is bright!
What’s one thing you hope to see in Nashville music in 2023?
Can we revive Next Big Nashville already? Please? If that’s not possible, I’d love to see more local music coverage in the fine pages of the Nashville Scene. How about a weekly article of 5 new worthwhile releases?
Who in Nashville deserves more coverage than they got in 2022?
So many! Lawndry, Crave On, Sundaes, Gardening Not Architecture, STACIAN, faster is faster, Sonatore, Amber Woodhouse, vast ness, Brainweight, bloopr, Love Montage, Virghost, BeHoward, Peachy, cosmic collective, Trash Man.
What’s your favorite local record of 2022?
Negro Justice: Chosen Family
Twen: One Stop Shop
Total Wife: A Blip, Forget Cassettes: Salt (Reissue)
Namir Blade: Metropolis
The Medium: For Horses
Again, the list is long – don’t pick just one!
What’s your favorite local song of 2022?
There’s no way to pick ONE!
Joe Kenkel “Sweeping”
Berlue “Going Nowhere”
Erin Rae “Modern Woman”
Negro Justice “No Throwaways”
Twen “One Stop Shop”
Namir Blade “Mephisto”
Venus & The Flytraps “Boys are Cuter When They’re Crying”
Ron Obasi “VILLELIKEMOOKIE”
What’s the best performance you saw this year?
Lucy’s Record Shop 30th Anniversary show at DRKMTTR was as bonkers as it was heartwarming; big time on both counts.