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NPR Music 2022 Staff Picks: Nikki Birch

Nwaka Okparaeke
Courtesy of the artist

Reducing my musical year to 10 songs and albums is excruciating. There are, to my mind, innumerable artists whose songs made an impression on me. (According to Spotify, that figure is actually 6,644.) For me, it was a year of revisiting soul balms and discovering the artists, old and new, who became the soundtrack to my reflections, periods of mourning and, of course, celebrations. To choppily paraphrase Levar Burton, there is no common thread that ties the unranked songs or albums on my list together, other than the fact that I love them and I hope you will, too.

Top 10 Albums of 2022


• Koffee, Gifted
• Tanerélle, 82 Moons
• Frida Touray, Mending
• Alison Shearer, View From Above
• Babyface, Girls Night Out
• Takuya Kuroda, Midnight Crisp
• KingKlavé, KingKlavé
• Latto, 777
• Samora Pinderhughes, GRIEF
• Methodman, Meth Lab Season 3: The Rehab

Top 10 Songs of 2022


• Patrice Roberts, "Mind My Business"
• Endea Owens, "Where the Nubians Grow"
• Clueso (feat ELIF), "Mond"
• Marco Bernardis, "Discover We Can Fly"
• Nova Twins, "Cleopatra"
• Thee Illusions, "Thunderstorms and Earthquakes"
• James Casey, "Christmafunk"
• Ciara (feat. Coast Contra), "Jump"
• RuPaul, "Show Me That You Festive"
• Pharell Williams (feat. 21 Savage and Tyler, The Creator), "Cash In Cash Out"

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Nikki Birch
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