Best 20 Dance & Electronic Albums of 2022

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This year marked—perhaps most importantly for electronic music fans—a true return to the dancefloor. 2020 was a wash, and while 2021 sparked hope for resolution, virus variants had other plans. 2022 was the first time in a very long two years that we could confidently take off our masks, step inside a densely packed venue, and let the music take us away.

That’s why we’re extra excited to share this year’s list of the best dance and electronic albums. Several artists on this list chose to divert from their usual methods to create cathartic dancefloor moments like Bonobo, Tourist, Sango, and Daphni (Caribou’s club-focused side project). Some who already thrived in that realm continued to do so, like Fred again.. and Honey Dijon. And some decided to lean the other way, like Ivy Lab and Kelly Lee Owens.

If you’re still a bit hesitant about returning to a nightlife scene that you perhaps fell out of love with, maybe these albums will change your mind. You can check out our list of the best dance and electronic from 2022 below. Enjoy!

20. What So Not – Anomaly

What So Not has been relevant for so long that it’s no surprise that he’s making this list once again. Emerging from the booming trap scene in the early 2010s, he’s responsible for helping to put Australian bass music on the map. He’s always been open to evolving and modifying his sound, and Anomaly is yet another unique addition to his already diverse portfolio. The album dives deeper into the pop realm than prior releases while still showcasing his unrivaled production skills. What So Not experiments with more vocals than ever before and has guest features on every track on all but one, but we’re most happy when What So Not’s production takes center stage.     — Mike Ali


GOVI was one of our favorite new artists that we discovered earlier this year. While still perfecting his production chops, it was shocking to hear such a fresh face deliver such emotion on his debut album, WHERE DO WE FALL. The young Toronto talent prefers deep, sci-fi-inspired synths, and he uses them in every which way, from deep house to drum & bass. Following this project, GOVI was tapped by Drake for production on his heavily dance-influenced album, Honestly, Nevermind. He’s already playing sold-out shows in Canada, too. The stage is set for GOVI after year, and we can’t wait to see where he goes next.     — Reid BG

18. Sango – Great Lakes Influence

One of the most impressive things about Sango’s Great Lake Influence project was the fact that he was just sitting on it. After Drake dropped Honestly, Nevermind, Sango tweeted: “Imma release my house / techno album then.” And that he did. Ten days later, he shared with us one of our favorite projects of the year. It’s surprisingly cohesive for something that was released on an impulse. Great Lakes Influence is both a switch in sound for Sango and a comprehensive homage to Sango’s upbringing in Chicago, where his father witnessed the birth of house music firsthand as a “real N Halsted St. legend.” For someone who blew up from the beat scene, this project, full of dancefloor rhythms, makes us wonder how Sango’s career would look if he went in a different direction.     — Reid BG

17. Kelly Lee Owens – LP.8

Kelly Lee Owens’s third album, LP.8, marked a stark departure from the dance-ready tunes of her previous projects. The experimental album was a study in balancing hard industrial concepts with a zen-like ambiance. Tracks like the sensory overloading “Release” inspire almost guarded anxiety, while others like “Anadlu” channel meditative melodies to calm the mind. The heavily instrumental project demonstrated the power of music production to insight a raw feeling within us.      — Austin Miller

16. Bonobo – Fragments

Bonobo is your one-stop shop for mellow bangers. On his eighth studio album, Fragments, he’s turned up the energy level higher than he ever has before, yet still retains a graceful, organic vibe. He’s created some accessible dancefloor moments on “Closer” that the youngest or oldest dancers can latch onto with ease, as well as mesmerizing downtempo chill-out offerings with real string instruments like on “Elysian.” While it may be a bit too relaxed for serious ravers, Fragments certainly got a ton of plays from us this year for good reason.      — Reid BG

15. Mall Grab – What I Breathe

Mall Grab’s debut studio album perfectly encapsulates his sonic journey up to this point. He caught his first flicker of fame with foggy lo-fi tunes, evolved into a techno and rave-obsessed fire-starter, got experimental with Turnstile, started singing on his own tracks, and more. What I Breathe gathers up all the creative moods he’s shifted through along the way, polished them up a bit, and wrapped them up into a neat body of work. Through house, techno, breaks, drum & bass, and hardcore, Mall Grab re-introduces himself as a multi-faceted artist capable of anything. What I Breathe is thoroughly enjoyable, whether at home or on the dancefloor, but it still feels like the beginning of something bigger.     —Reid BG

14. Ivy Lab – Infinite Falling Ground

Ivy Lab, with their first studio album as a pair instead of a trio, said themselves that Infinite Falling Ground marked a significant shift in their sound. In some ways, the departure is obvious—the spacier, more emotional side of Ivy Lab came out rarely in the past—but according to the duo, they wanted to get themselves out of the DJ booth-fixated headspace of creating. The album is a slow burn, so be prepared for a steep climb, but once you’ve hit the plateau around the halfway mark, everything comes into full focus.      — Reid BG

13. GRiZ – Chasing The Golden Hour Pt. 4

GRiZ has been one of the busiest producers and entertainers in recent years. When he’s not making genre-defying bass music, he’s playing his own festivals in the biggest arenas in the country. His Chasing The Golden Hour series has been his opportunity to take a step back, soak it all in and smile. Chasing The Golden Hour Pt. 4 is brimming with the usual laidback, groovy energy to set just about any mood right. The album features the usual cast of ProbCause & Chrishira Perrier to help elevate the vibes, but it’s GRiZ’s unmatched production mastery that takes CTGH4 to another level. The album later received a visual treatment along with a continuous listening experience to enhance the psychedelic listening journey even further.     — Mike Ali

12. Hudson Mohawke – Cry Sugar

Hudson Mohawke’s Cry Sugar contains a whopping 19 tracks that span a wide range of genres. In addition to the trap-flavored bangers that originally introduced us to him, Cry Sugar also features techno, IDM, and gabber-leaning tracks that will make your head spin. This album is a delightfully unhinged journey from the bottom to the top. This contrast is best represented by album standouts “Dance Forever,” a UK garage track dominated by saturated drum machines and crunchy bass lines, and “Stump,” a dramatic four-minute, twenty-one-second musical saga.     — Austin Miller

11. O’Flynn & Frazer Ray – Shimmer

If tech house gripped the electronic music scene in the late 2010s, the early 2020s are all about garage. Of all those who have contributed to pushing UKG onto the mainstream map (like Fred again.., Bicep, and Overmono), none have put out a finer pure UKG project than Londoners O’Flynn and Frazer Ray. They get extra funky on Shimmer with wobbly tracks like “Love Fading,” and then show us the emotional side of the genre with the four-to-the-floor stylings on “Satyr.” This is simply a masterclass in UK Garage, and be ready for some heavy drum & bass to round it out.      — Reid BG

10. HAAi – Baby We’re Ascending

HAAi, although always a talented producer, was perhaps better known for her energetic DJ sets before this year. In May, however, the producer made herself known as one of techno’s most innovative artists with the release of her debut album, the unforgettable and boundary-pushing Baby, We’re Ascending. On this album, HAAi invites us to take everything we thought we knew about techno and throw it out the window. While her work does feature the heavy, pulsing beat typical of techno, there’s also a dazzling lightness woven throughout, resulting in something ethereal and wholly original. Even within a single track, listeners can hear downtempo, D&B, and electronica sonic influences. Intentionally named, listening to Baby, We’re Ascending feels like reaching electronic nirvana.      — Laurel Barkan

9. TSHA – Capricorn Sun

TSHA has proven to be one of the immutable up-and-comers in dance music in 2022. Her debut LP, Capricorn Sun, sees the new talent embody the term “sonic explorer” as she traverses a myriad of sounds under the umbrella of dance music. House, breakbeat, big beat, progressive house, indie dance, and garage all coalesce in twelve tracks of euphoric sensation that simply will not be denied. The standout single for us, “Power,” first put TSHA on the radar of many dance music aficionados in 2021, but this 13-track project informed the world that she is no one-trick pony. With Capricorn Sun, TSHA catapulted from head turner to headliner.      — Austin Miller

8. Shades – From a Vein

Earlier this year, Alix Perez and Eprom publicly submitted their second collaborative album, From a Vein, to be considered for a Grammy. Looking at the nominations this year for the Best Dance/Electronic album, it’s clear that the Recording Academy is not ready for them. We are, though. Alix Perez and Eprom have always been a brutal pair together as Shades, but From a Vein mainlines listeners directly into a dreadful, dystopian, machine-dominated world. The eerie vocals and horror-inducing sound design that seamlessly flow through the project could have set the stage for a noisy concept album (like on “Against The Sun,”) but instead, it plays out like a live set, with absolutely devastating bass drops around every dark corner (beware of “Into Stone”).       — Reid BG

7. Flume – Palaces

Released a full six years after his sophomore album, Flume’s third LP, Palaces, was well worth the wait. The producer demonstrates his melodic intuition, dynamic sound design, and synth mastery all in one blissfully intense package. Flume’s experimental flair makes its way through the album, adapting even the simplest of elements to his own style. At some points, the music appears to take on a life of its own, and at others, it is deftly harnessed by Flume. The Aussie has boldly shown on Palaces that his creativity will not be bounded by the need to sell records.       — Molly M

6. Vegyn – Don’t Follow Me Because I’m Lost Too!

Vegyn has one of the most unique, signature production styles of any artist we know. His tracks can be bubbly and experimental, moody and skeletal, dreamy and dizzying, anything but mundane. Don’t Follow Me Because I’m Lost Too! serves as something of a sketchbook for his clever beatsmith work, with tracks ranging anywhere from less than a minute to nearly four. It’s the second time he’s done this in his career, and while we still prefer a more structured format like with Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds, we cannot deny the brilliance of these 75 tracks. Vegyn has shown that he is overflowing with talent, and he just needs to get it out there. We’ll gladly accept it in whichever way it is shared.      — Reid BG

5. Fred again.. – Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022)

Fred again.. has been unable to do any wrong in the past couple of years. His meaningful songwriting style of attaching real-life memories to each track has yet to get old. It feels abundantly human, and that, at its core, is what Fred’s Actual Life series (and he himself) seems to be about. We’ve been heartily enjoying his emotional, UKG-tinged sound, and it’s still prevalent on Actual Life 3. Fred earned success at every turn in 2022, and we’re eager to see his creativity branch out in the future to develop a new format of storytelling, as this album feels like an appropriate conclusion to a significant chapter of his career.      — Reid BG

4. Daphni – Cherry

It would seem hard to push boundaries with such few elements at one’s disposal, but Dan Snaith works magic with minimalistic grace on Cherry. It’s his first studio album as Daphni in five years, and it’s pure unadulterated fun. Cherry is full of upbeat, bubbly, and trippy cuts that will lure you onto the dancefloor with its hypnotic repetition, slowly shifting to keep you guessing. Just when you feel an element begins to run its course, Snaith moves you along to the next section of the track with impeccable pacing. It’s not much of a departure from his work as Caribou, but it’s a perfect side quest that reminds us of his love for the dancefloor. The record also has a sort of carefree feeling to it that adds to the charm.        — Reid BG

3. Tourist – Inside Out

Similar to Fred again.., William Phillips has serious experience in writing songs for pop stars. His solo project, Tourist, is where he gets to really shine, though, wooing us with his soaring, melodic tracks (and consistently making our year-end lists). It took him four studio albums to do it, but Phillips finally delivered a club-focused Tourist project, Inside Out. Through crispy clean breakbeats, heart-wrenching vocal samples, and rich synths, he focuses in and out on deeply personal and emotive moments on the dancefloor. While he has mostly lent himself to ethereal, head-in-the-clouds music in past Tourist projects, Inside Out shows us that Phillips longs for the occasional groove. And his moves are surprisingly stylish.      — Reid BG

2. Honey Dijon – Black Girl Magic

For someone who has been in the dance music scene for over a decade, it’s about time that Honey Dijon starts getting the respect she deserves. The commercial success of her second studio album may have gotten a bump after the co-sign from Beyoncé, but it’s no coincidence that Black Girl Magic is her best, most cohesive project to date. This is house music in its purest form, and it’s only proper that it comes from a Chicago-born individual (the same place where house music originated). There’s a featured vocalist on each and every track, filling the fog-filled, sweaty dancefloor space that Honey Dijon holds for us to find our next love, whether it’s just for the night or forever. The passionate energy is high on Black Girl Magic, which listens like the soundtrack to the perfect night out, when everything goes your way.     — Reid BG

1. ODESZA – The Last Goodbye

The Last Goodbye leaves little doubt of ODESZA’s status as one of the top electronic music acts in the industry. The project, which came after a four-year hiatus for the duo, builds on the classic electro-orchestral ODESZA sound that fans have come to know and love while also expanding it. This comes in the form of the darker house influences established on their BRONSON side project (a collaboration with Golden Features) that are clearly present here. This album also shows off the duo’s penchant for finding obscure samples and breathing new life into them, as they did on the titular track and “Behind The Sun.” All the while, The Last Goodbye sees the duo at their most personal and vulnerable to date, interspersing memos from therapy sessions and vocal samples from family home videos, which craft the album’s unifying theme of connection and memory. By turns triumphant and sentimental, it’s by far the best album they’ve made yet.      — Laurel Barkan