Since arriving in the city 30 years ago, Richmond has had a thriving indie music scene. From wild house parties and tiny stages in tiny clubs to headlining gigs at places like The Broadberry, many indie bands around Richmond stood out with their great music this year.
Of course, before we go any further, we have to clarify one thing — what do you mean by indie? Straight rock’n’roll and mainstream are more nebulous spaces that include things that, while he’s not pop, are far from being considered punk or experimental. Bedroom pop, steely gothic post-punk, psychedelic slowcore, electro retro new wave, and introspective emo pop could all be somewhere on this list. You may not agree that everything listed here counts as indie, but there is one thing you must agree on. This is all great local music released in 2022.
By the way, I’m not saying this list includes all the great indie releases coming out of Richmond this year. I’m listening to the earth, but I’m just a human — I miss things. So if there is anything you think I need to know that is not on this list, please contact me. [email protected] And forgive me – even if I’ve missed your favorites, chances are there are at least some great songs on this list that you haven’t heard.
coconut palm“Cut the White”
Palm Palm EP
J. Roddy Walston broke up The Business some time ago. This is his new crew. He strays a bit from his Southern rock persona, preferring a more indie-adjacent vibe. But don’t get too hung up on it and miss the songcraft here.
A somewhat mysterious collective that has been on the fringes of the local scene for several years, Black Plastic finally emerged from behind the curtain this year with their self-titled full-length debut. Nearly a dozen of his perfect slices of cool, mysterious indie waves like “Victoria” have him in rotation all year long for me. One listen and it will be in your rotation.
Led by singer-songwriter and frontwoman extraordinaire Jordan Scott, the indie duo finally released another full-length album this year. In fact, this is his big trend for 2022. Power-pop choruses, Robert Smith-esque lead guitar melodies, and piercing lyrics about the dangers of being vulnerable in relationships. Approachable.
hot pit“Wane Mouth”
Melting point EP
The quartet’s first of three singles to be released in 2022, ‘Wane Mouth’ is hauntingly poignant with its strong yet subtle sense of melody and vivid, crisp lyrics. I’m not sure it’s more fair to call this group emo, slowcore, or whatever, but I’m sure we’ll be listening intently to see what they have in store for us in 2023.
age“alliteration of names”
must be nice
Adrienne Shurte has been making great music in Richmond for 20 years. I learned long ago to pay attention to any new projects she has. It brings together members of her former band, Magnus Rush, and other talented Richmonders to create yet another masterpiece of taut, wire-tight post-punk, complete with subtly beautiful vocals. You know, there’s very little to expect from Adrian at this point.
see in the light
Okay, okay, this single premiered in November 2021, but the EP it was based on didn’t come out until April 2022, so we’re counting. Honestly, Kate Bollinger totally creeped me out this year.
Deau Eyes second album? of course! Ali Thibodeau’s another talented singer-songwriter has been making waves in and out of Richmond since she came onto the scene. With Legacys, she continues to push her sound to new heights, integrating more influences and textures, while easily avoiding her sophomore slump. Gotta love it.
Lucy Dacus“Home Again”
Home Again/It’s Too Late Single
Richmond’s most famous indie musician didn’t release a new album this year, but released two singles of Carole King covers. tapestry, and the A-side is a beautifully pensive take on the classic that stands out on its own when a forest of acoustic guitars is swept away during the bridge. I love it.
love to love to love
This year really was the year that some incredibly talented singer-songwriters came out of nowhere and blinded me with masters of power pop, and Catie Lausten might be the one I’m most impressed with. Writing a very catchy song about being attacked by a rich old man features the chorus, “I just want to be easygoing, maybe do something stupid.”
heart racer“Edge of My Heart”
Single “Edge of My Heart”
The Cosby Brothers haven’t released an actual new album in a decade, but in the meantime they’ve become a reliable purveyor of great ’80s retro synth-pop singles. It honestly makes me uneasy. ‘Edge Of My Heart’ is a discography highlight of pop classics and one day, if there is justice in the world, it will be the soundtrack to some of teenage cinema’s most dramatic moments. . Don’t wait for that day, listen now.
This melancholy pop ballad has a bit of Dolly Parton-esque country tone woven into it, but Anna Leonard adds the 60s textures of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound Girl Group classics and the same Lee Hazelwood’s ruched I have also incorporated a little.Charming Lana Del Rey was soaked in circa ultraviolet raysBasically, this woman is a scholar of pop and we all benefit from her hardworking and brilliant approach.
This is jungle strong. Born to address the isolation faced by all music lovers over the past two years, Rikki Rakki simultaneously evokes Hop Along and Mazzy Star vibes on her five-song EP. They spun pure gold from here.
10 pound snail“Hot Dice”
Depending on how you count it, there are different years that count as different years, but I try not to take such things too seriously. Enjoying the indie goodness. They go beyond their slowcore origins on this epic single and indulge in an all-out rave-up in his final third of the song. total explosion.
If you want to see these guys as outright rock, I have no objection to you, but for me, alongside early ’90s alternative era classic bands such as Urge Overkill, this combo is a There’s an obvious indie sensibility that slots into. I can only hope that his full album will be released in 2023.
basement dweller“who are you?”
“Who are you?” Single
The kind of pavement-ish slacker-rock this Richmond band has come up with is befitting of their internet presence, spotty and a little hard to pinpoint. That’s part of what makes it so great — plus a lot of killer bass work — so let’s hear it again.
Zach Benson“Panic! At the House Show”
miles to sleep
My boss pitched me about this amazing example of queer indie tunes, which is kind of embarrassing. I’m glad you’re here to enjoy this bouncy, intimate tune about the same kind of anxiety that often hits me in public.
I only found this math indie group as they were having a local show on Monday night, but after doing all the strides to track down their album, I googled “Sheetrock band Richmond VA”. and got the exact result (it’s harder than I thought) and kept coming back again and again. There’s definitely some New Lions/early Manatree vibes going on here, with a memorable chorus and unpredictable songwriting to keep your attention throughout.
Believe it or not, I have at least this many indie tunes to share with you from Richmond in 2022. The problem is that this article has become completely too long. Tomorrow we’ll show you the second half of this list. And there’s still a hardcore/punk/metal list and a list of everything that didn’t fit into his first three categories, so stay tuned for next week’s list!
Top photo via thebroadberry.com