Our Favorite Austin Songs of 2022

Maile Carballo / KUTX

We asked the KUTX staff to share three of their favorite songs from the past year and compiled their picks HERE. Scroll down to see the songs from Austin artists that made the cut!

Adrian Quesada’s Boleros Psicodélicos

“Idolo” ft. Angelica Garcia

Adrian Quesada has been shaping my musical tastes since I was a college student sweating it out at Grupo Fantasma shows in the early aughts. Now, 20 years later and he’s still turning me on to artists and sounds I never would’ve heard otherwise. Angelica Garcia’s otherworldy vocals on “Idolo” bring the burning passion of the bolero back to life in the best way possible.

Peter Babb

Of all the tracks on Quesada’s spectacular Boleros Psicodelicos, this one is the most arresting. Garcia sings like a woman on the verge of madness – La Llorona haunting the banks of Quesdada’s moody composition.

-Jacquie Fuller

“Mentiras Con Carino” ft. iLe

A highlight from Adrian Quesada’s groundbreaking Boleros Psicodelicos album. The mixture of these Latin ballads with eclectic production – each helmed by a guest artist – is intoxicating. Quesada is one of the great visionaries in Austin music history. It was great to see this project take flight, with performances on Stephen Colbert, at the Austin City Limits Festival and with an ACL TV taping in the can as well. And it was a privilege to have the first live performances from the album performed on KUTX

Jody Denberg

Caramelo Haze

“Window Seat”

If it’s got understated dynamics, does that prevent it from being a “banger”? If so, this is one of the heaviest “head-bobbers” out there. A panorama of groove perfection throughout, my personal favorite bits of “Window Seat” are when that falsetto “Funky Worm”-style West Coast synth comes in. Instant grin.

Jack Anderson

This is a refreshing piña colada on a sunny yachting tour of the Caribbean. It gives me great hometown pride knowing that it was made in Austin by Beto Martinez & John Speice of Grupo Fantasma/Brownout/Money Chicha along with members of Dos Santos and MAKU Sound System. If you have a poolside playlist, put this on it!

Rick McNulty

“Caramelo Haze”

This is what cumbia sounds like when Austin gets its hands on it: psychedelic as a triple digit, asphalt-melting day.

Art Levy

Daniel Fears

“Keep On”

Fears’ velvety voice has all the coziness of a blanket fresh out of the dryer, but this track pairs it with guitar that feels, for lack of a better word, aquatic. The result is both warm and cool, comforting and disorienting, irresistibly melancholic. It’s the textbook definition of wistful.

Jacquie Fuller

Because I love an R&B slow jam and this one is so catchy and feels so right.

Trina Quinn

Deezie Brown

“Malice at the Palace”

First off, I have to send all the respect to Deezie for going after the rights for the sample for this song – who knew that the Fugees sampled Enya’s Boadicea?? Deezie is one of my favorite hip-hop artists around precisely because of how ambitious he is as an artist. And yes, this song definitely makes me want to move.

Elizabeth McQueen



Austin resident Fennec has the sound of his sample-based House music dialed in to perfection. His skilled layering of eccentric, dusty samples reminds me of early Avalanches releases, and his 2022 album A Couple of Good Days stands out as one of the most cohesive electronic albums to come out of Austin this year.


Flora & Fawna

“Never Mine”

Give this Austin outfit a record deal already.

Deidre Gott

“Long Shot”

Like I said, I want a song that compels me to dance, and this song does just that. Flora & Fawna is not afraid to write a pop gem. And y’all,  I’m such a fan of Lili Hickman’s voice.

Elizabeth McQueen

Good Looks

“Vision Boards”

The Austin band provides some meaningful bite to their steady rock and roll. Tyler Jordan sings from the trenches of indie rock, where “following your dreams” is much more dangerous than advertised. I love how the song explodes in the outro, transcending all the failure and anxieties Jordan sings about.

Art Levy

So much for me in this song. The struggle of the human condition captured.

Trina Quinn

Kalu & The Electric Joint

“Garden of Eden”

I don’t know that I’ve heard a tune quite like this one in a long time, if ever. Its space-y, pop-y, kinda blues-y, and sweet. The guitar work is a vibe, and Kalu’s vocal layers are lovely.

Rene Chavez

The Living Pins

“Oh Yeah”

Last year, this duo, featuring veterans from Austin 90’s outfits Sixteen Deluxe and Ursa Major, scored with their “Freaky Little Monster Children” EP. This year it’s a double A-side single (which received international airplay). With fun, smart lyrics set to psychedelic garage rock dabbed with a touch of T. Rex, “Oh Yeah” jumped out of the radio with authority and a wink.

Jody Denberg

Luna Luna

“Talk Too Much”

All I really want is a song that leaves me no choice but to dance, and this song does just that. It’s a banger from the word go, and I’m here for it! I’m grateful that the band moved here from Dallas, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Elizabeth McQueen

Melissa Carper

“Ain’t A Day Goes By”

A veteran of Austin’s all-female acoustic trio The Carper Family, Melissa followed her 2021 solo debut with another gem of an album featuring this single, which she wrote for her dog Betty. Singer/songwriter/bassist Carper could get tagged as a revivalist, but this song speaks to us in the moment beyond genre.

Jody Denberg



Big shoutout to Confucius and Fresh for putting this Austin-born artist on my radar this year. Smooth bars, a Miami dance energy, and a sultry attitude wrapped in leather and latex make this banger the perfect addition to your Cuffing Season playlist. 

Taylor Wallace


“Lucifer on the Sofa”

I knew something was up when Tyler Mahan Coe, host of podcast Cocaine and Rhinestones and not an easily impressed music lover, tweeted that Spoon’s latest album was the best this year. Somehow, in the darkest corners of my brooding mind, hearing the title track always leaves me speechless. It’s not a song. It’s a damn mood.

Laurie Gallardo


Maybe it’s not fair to include this in my 2022 list – it’s not a new song. But it’s new to wax and one of the most magnificently-arranged tracks on an album (Lucifer on the Sofa) already stuffed with solid songs. “Satellite” takes the earthy swagger of the band’s 2000-era “Chips and Dip” and blasts it to new heights.

Jacquie Fuller

“The Devil and Mr. Jones” (Adrian Sherwood Reconstruction)

Britt Daniel has periodically injected elements of dub into various Spoon songs over the years.  Here he dives in headfirst with iconic dub maestro Adrian Sherwood of On-U Sound fame on the new album, Lucifer on the Moon, a spacey, psychedelic, dub-wise treatment of Spoon’s Grammy-nominated, Lucifer on the Sofa.

Jay Trachtenberg

“On the Radio”

As a late in life Spoon fan, this album & song was my turning point. In fact, I think I heard this song & quite literally never looked back. I remember back during SXSW this year, I saw the announcement for their Antone’s show & I made it my goal as an 18 yr old stuck in Small Town, TX to find a friend to buy tickets in person & secure one of the very few spots for us- & I did!! Since then I’ve seen Spoon three times & almost cried not the first, but the SECOND time I saw Britt Daniel just walking around like a normal dude near me. Call me a nerd, because I fully submit to it. Anyways- Spoon is going nowhere but up & I will be waiting very very patiently for the day I meet them as well as the release of their next full album.

Maile Carballo

Urban Heat


This track is a big mood. It’s dark, but up-tempo with rich synths that remind me of ’81-’87 era Depeche Mode. And Jonathan’s baritone vocals sinch the whole thing together nicely.

Rene Chavez

“Have You Ever?”

As a child of the 80’s, this is sonic comfort food. Like a lot of retro-sounding songs, it gets dismissed for borrowing from a previous generation. Lyrically, this kind of reminds me of Talking Heads’ “Once In A Lifetime”, so the 80’s vibe comes full circle. 

Matt Reilly



Part of the Austin Music Experience, Electronic/synth duo 10pmtoclose recruited R&B artist Jonny Jukebox and Houston rapper Rocky Banks for this banger of a track.

Deidre Gott

Listen to the full playlist!

Support KUTX’s ability to bring you closer to the music.

Donate Today