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Phoenix Staff Picks of 2022

  • Post category:Culture


On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (2019)
Heartbreaking poetic prose that might just lead to daydreaming, creating, or even hope. - Diana

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson (1998)
This YA novel had me crying in a coffee shop. It's heartbreaking, beautiful, and eternally relevant. - Presley

The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg (2018)
This beautiful novel was pleasantly precise, and its topics range from grief to the innerworkings of horror movies to the uncertainty of truly knowing the people around us. - Sadie

Lapvona by Otessa Moshfegh (2022)
Otessa Moshfegh has been one of the favorite contemporary authors releasing novels in the last few years. I think her writing is beautiful and grotesque, a contradiction which is difficult to achieve. I would recommend her to anyone who enjoys being disgusted. - Case

The Complete Memoirs by Pablo Neruda (1974)
Published posthumously, the Chilean poet, pacifist, hopeless romantic and senator with a target on his back still manages to outsmart his audience and subvert expectations. - Diana


Ada Limón and Natalie Diaz, "Envelopes of Air" (2018)
A series of 8 letters written in the form of poems as a correspondence between the 2 poets from January to September of 2017. Free to read on The New Yorker's website! The language throughout is beautifully simple in a way that is inviting and approachable without sacrificing nuance or depth. Go read right now!! - Max

Diana Khoi Nguyen, "Ghost of" (2018)
I will not shut up about this book. I also refuse to do it the injustice of attempting to summarize or describe it here. - Max


Ants from Up There by Black Country, New Road (2022)
I would recommend this album to literally anyone. It's a delightful mix of baroque pop ballads, chamber rock songs, orchestral arrangements complemented by jazz drumming, all including phenomenal lyric writing. - Case

Renaissance by Beyoncé (2022)
The transitions alone deserve a nod. She killed it. - Sadie

Beatopia by Beabadobee (2022)
This album invokes feelings of nostalgia as it's filled with guitar riffs and melodies reminiscent of the soundtracks of movies from the early 2000s. Indie rock never fails!! - Raina

Dance Fever by Florence + The Machine (2022)
Witchy Florence Welch has done it once again. - Diana

Preacher's Daughter by Ethel Cain (2022)
One of my favorite musical releases of the year. Terrifying throughout. If you enjoy the Southern Gothic/Appalachian aesthetic, you will love this album. Haunted and haunting. I can't get "Ptolemaea" out of my head in both the worst and best way. - Max

Janky Star by Grace Ives (2022)
Highly infectious and danceable pop record that I loved from start to finish. - Sadie

Dawn FM by The Weeknd (2022)
This album uses the sounds of 80s synth-pop, dark disco, and funk while the lyrics of the songs reflect on the concept of death and eternity. I love having an existential crisis and dancing at the same time, it's really fun! - Raina

by They Are Gutting a Body of Water (2022)
I think this was the best album to come out of the American shoegaze revival scene this year. It capitalizes on all of the coolest elements of traditional shoegaze while incorporating new elements like breakbeat and hyperpop. - Case

Boat Songs by MJ Lenderman (2022)
The perfect combination of twang and punch, MJ tells stories of the mundane and ridiculous without overstaying his welcome. - Sadie

Andrew Bird
One of my favorite artists this year. A master violinist and a shocking lyricist, his songs always leave me clutching my heart out of both grief and laughter. - Presley


White Noise (2022) dir. Noah Baumbach
Noah Baumbach captured the feeling of reading this novel perfectly. The casting was absolutely wonderful, and the ability to transcend the confines of genre was amazing! - Case

Barbarian (2022) dir. Zach Cregger
My favorite horror movie of the year. Yes, I take it over X and Nope. The last time I remember being that scared in a theater was The Conjuring 2, and that was over 6 years ago. - Max

306 Hollywood (2022) dir. Elan and Johnathan Bogarin
You've never seen a documentary with so much magic and chutzpah. - Diana


I Think You Should Leave (2019)
The most quotable show I have ever seen and infinitely rewatchable. - Max

The Sex Lives of College Girls (2021)
Almost a guilty pleasure, but it's undeniably adorable. - Sadie