Best Of 2022

1st: Trivium, trivium.org
Even among hardcore Orlando music-heads, we sometimes forget that there are bona fide metal superstars in our midst. But Orlando Weekly's readers did not. Maybe it's because Matt Heafy and crew aren't swanning around town like legends in their own mind, instead keeping their heads down, touring, streaming on Twitch and writing crushing albums that make the City Beautiful's collective hearts proud — and necks sore from relentless headbanging.

2nd: Gargamel!, facebook.com/gargamelorlando

3rd: Fyre Insyde, fyreinsyde.com

Best of Orlando® 2022: Local Music

Best of Orlando® 2022: Local Music

Local Legends: Matt Heafy + Ms. Meka Nism

These two definitely look the superhuman part, but Heafy (Trivium) and Meka (Meka Nism) pack a potent metallic punch too. Sonic screams, infinite hooks, and crushing riffs are deployed with ease by each, and their fans love them for it.

1st: Eola Strings, eolastrings.com

2nd: Baroque Chamber Orchestra (Maitland Symphony Orchestra), pamaitland.org

3rd: Violectric, violectric.net

1st: Angel of Boom, instagram.com/itsoffcialangel

2nd: DJ GAY-Z, djgayz.bandcamp.com

3rd: DJ Magic Mike, djmagicmike.com

1st: Sean Holcomb, seanholcomb.com

2nd: Bryan Malpass, soundcloud.com/bryan-malpass

3rd: Oak Hill Drifters, oakhilldrifters.com

1st: Hayfire, facebook.com/hayfire

2nd: Steeln' Peaches, facebook.com/steelnpeaches

3rd: The Hooligans, instagram.com/hooligansorlando

1st: Circle K, soundcloud.com/circlek

2nd: Phoenix Jagger, soundcloud.com/phoenixjagger

3rd: Yokai, wearetheyokai.com

Best Experimental Act
photo by Matthew Moyer

1st: Bacon Grease, bacongrease.bandcamp.com
We've long been singing the praises of Orlando outsider music stalwart Andrea Knight (Bacon Grease). Recently, no less than NPR Music and the BBC echoed our inky hosannahs. And now Orlando Weekly's readers have joined the chorus. Besides being a champion of local creativity going back many years, Knight's ever-evolving and stellar body of work as Bacon Grease is a delightful web of improvised electronic squiggles that are sure to make every part of your body dance to a slightly different beat. An essential listening experience.

2nd: GOJII, gojii.bandcamp.com

3rd: Nigel John/Kurt Rambus, kurtrambus.bandcamp.com

1st: The 502s, the502s.com

2nd: Jordan Foley & the Wheelhouse, jordanfoleymusic.com

3rd: Terri Binion, terribinionmusic.com

Best Hip-Hop Act
Photo by Matt Keller Lehman

1st: Luscious Lisa, lusciouslisa.bandcamp.com
Ooh, y'all so nasty. But if you like it dirty like that, well, we're down, too. No wonder then that you all voted for these irreverent party-rap locals. While Big Freedia's all about dat ass, Luscious Lisa and crew worship all the sexy parts in graphic, porn-tastic detail. You up?

2nd: E-Turn, e-turnmusic.com

3rd: Swamburger, swamburger.bandcamp.com

1st: The Wilted Chilis, soundcloud.com/wiltedchilis

2nd: Leisure Chief, leisurechief.com

3rd: Shak Nasti, facebook.com/shaknasti