The Top 52 Montreal Songs of 2022

Marci, Kaytranada, Pierre Guitard

The Top 52 Montreal Songs of 2022

With the return of live shows and festivals, tons of great local artists and their fresh tracks jumped onto our radar in 2022.

Finally, a year for Montreal music (mostly) undisrupted by COVID! The musical climate in 2022 has been a stormy one at times, given how much attention has been brought to artists’ increased struggles with touring (and its impact on their finances and mental health), the continued underpaying of artists by streaming giants like Spotify and venues taking a cut from artists’ merch sales. Nevertheless, going back to shows and festivals at full-strength was something I eagerly awaited ever since the pandemic started, and tons of great local artists — and especially their tunes — have jumped onto my radar this year as a result.

Though many songs on both the anglo and franco side of our musical landscape were in the running, I unfortunately had to make some heartbreaking cuts. Having said that, the final list is one I’m proud of, and full of artists who truly deserve the coverage and accolades. 

Here are the 52 songs — one for each week of a calendar year — by Montreal-based acts that hit my ears hardest in 2022. Let’s hope the new year brings even more great local music to come! (Many thanks also to erstwhile Cult MTL contributor Erik Leijon, who’s given me his blessing to continue the list he started!)

52. Pierre Guitard, “Pourtant”

The sound of sitting from the top of a Plateau building at nighttime and gazing at the surrounding skyline.

51. Gus Englehorn, “Tarantula”

The sound of using very few words to hijack one’s eardrums with. TARAAAAAAANTULAAAAAAAAA!

50. Ariane Roy feat. Lou-Adriane Cassidy, “Fille à porter”

The sound of two chanteuses expressing their desire to feel like more than someone’s accessory.

49. Niall Mutter, “Maybe”

The sound of a new Montrealer combining the best of both country and bedroom pop, set to a waltz tempo.

48. Yves Jarvis, “Bootstrap Jubilee”

The sound of a fellow Montreal-via-Calgarian’s dizzying musical trajectory writ large.

47. Waahli, “Te revoir”

The sound of how to flawlessly and stylishly rap while jumping between Créole, English and French bars.

46. Distraction4ever, “Whatwasthatwine”

The sound of a local duo mashing post-punk guitars and modern rhythms together refreshingly.

45. Backxwash, “VIBANDA”

The sound of Backxwash being Backxwash — with a haunting Mozart sample, to boot.

44. Skiifall, “Fam Without Blood”

The sound of NDG’s brightest young star continuing his hot streak and further proving he’s ready for the big time.

43. TOPS, “Janet Planet”

The sound of cuddling next to your summer fling while lying on the Parc Mont-Royal grass at dusk.

42. Maryze, “Emo”

The sound of our April cover girl swapping glittering synths for an acoustic guitar (with a song title paying homage to a musical era I remember quite fondly), and still sounding every bit as convincing.

41. Planet Giza, “Das U”

The sound of walking down Bernard Ave wearing the slickest new clothes you just bought from Artgang, Dime and/or JJJJound (also, shoutouts to the group for using my Maryze cover story issue as a prop in the video!).