Local albums and books appear on best of the year lists

Picks include albums by Bartees Strange and Ari Lennox, and a novel about Jackie Kennedy

James Kirchick’s novel Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington was included in The New York Times list of the 100 Most Notable Books of 2022. Photo by Jeff Elkins

Towards the end of the year, the media releases their roundups of the best albums and books of 2022. And some of the year’s top picks come from DC artists and writers. Here are the ones we’ve spotted so far.

Best Albums of 2022

Bartees Strange

From the farm to the table

(New York Times, Rolling Stone)

The rapidly rising indie singer-songwriter defies all genres on his second album. He wrote one of the tracks, “Hold the Line,” as a tribute to George Floyd’s daughter, who was just six years old when her father’s murder was filmed and posted online.

Pusha T

It’s almost dry

(Rolling Stone, Billboard, Time)

The rapper, who hails from Washington occasionally, received critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for his fourth studio album. The album also features guest appearances from Ye, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, and other hip-hop icons.

Best Books of 2023

Ari Lenox

Age Gender Location

(The alarm clock, vulture)

Ari Lennox’s soulful second album, featuring R&B singers Jazmine Sullivan and Summer Walker, was released this fall. Her song “Pressure” became the DC American’s most successful solo single, peaking at number 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Brent Faiyaz


(complex, billboard)

A native of Columbia, Maryland, today he is known not only for his singing with GoldLink’s “Crew”. The singer finally secured his first-ever chart-topping album, with Wasteland debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

April White

The Divorce Colony: How Women Revolutionized Marriage and Found Freedom on the American Frontier


Atlas Obscura’s senior editor explores Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s role as a “divorce colony” through the stories of four 19th-century celebrities who flocked to the remote town to take advantage of the state’s lax divorce laws. These women, along with thousands of other divorcees, later changed the country’s attitude towards divorce.