Let the Top 22 Tracks of 2022 begin!
First up is a corker of a track from those Sunshine, Queensland lads The Chats. Holy crap does this song cook!
The Boss is back with a massively awesome tribute to soul music. Only The Strong Survive is deeply felt effort for music that is truly American through and through. We all love soul music as much as you do, sir, and it really shows on this record!
One of my faves...
They might hail from Stockholm but they sound like they are from West Virginia. First Aid Kit is the very essence of great folk music. Their latest record is called Palomino and it's completely wonderful. I hear some Brill-building sound on it in addition to all the great folk tropes.
Here is one of my faves...
The ever-prolific Melbourne lads known as King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have released their third album...in October of 2022! Changes comes hot on the heels of Laminated Denim and Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava. Being a massive fan of this psych-pop band I highly recommend all three records.
Changes is my favorite of the lot because it has a funkier groove to it. Here is one of my faves from the record...
London's Palace is back with a dreamy, shoegaze delight. Shoals is pure bliss and the perfect salve for the longer nights at this time of year. The record creates its own magical world of wonder.
Here is the opening track...
The north woods may have a fresh coat of snow and be showing much evidence of winter but I'm still thinking about autumnal music. A perfect soundtrack for that sentiment is Skullcrusher's Quiet The Room.
It's the first full length record for Helen Ballentine and the Tarrytown, New York native delivers an evocative and haunting piece of music. It's perfect for the quickening pace of darkness falling across the land.
Here is one of my faves...
NYC's Michelle released their sophomore effort earlier in the year and it finally managed to make its way to me (via my son). After Dinner We Talk Dreams is the kind of pop/soul music I used to listen to in the 80s. Mostly I was an indie guy but there were certain artists (Anita Baker, Al Jarreau) that couldn't help but love.
Michelle reminds me of those artists and with the added bonus of that 21st century vibe. Here is the opening track...
The 1980s are filled with bands that were one-hit wonders. Oslo's A-Ha wasn't quite one of those bands. They did a Bond title track after their big hit and they made several fantastic records over the last nearly 40 years. But most folks just remember "Take On Me" and "The Living Daylights."
Well, they are going to remember True North.
Epic. Fucking. Album.
It's clear where Keane got a lot of their influence in terms of style and theme. And what a grand idea to record the whole thing north of the Arctic Circle to give it a frozen, haunted sound that somehow manages to sound jubilant. Seriously, this may be the album of the year.
Liverpool's own The Lightning Seeds are back with yet another psychedelic pop treat. See You In The Stars is an absolute treasure from start to finish.
Here's an example, with a nod to early Floyd!
If had a time machine radio that magically tuned into the year 1985, it wouldn't be a surprise to hear music that sounds like Betty Who. The Sydney, South Wales, Australia native has just released her fourth record and it's called Big! And wow is it ever!!
Here is one of my faves...
The 1975 is back and the lads from Manchester are in fine form. Being Funny In A Foreign Language is another great record that perfectly synthesizes 80s pop with synth funk.
Here is one of my favorite tracks on the album...
Sheffield's own Arctic Monkeys are back with a positively stunning record called The Car. It's a leveled up verson of their last record (Tranquility Base and Hotel Casino) with even more heartache, regret, and deep yearning. Though the themes of the tracks suggest a continued failure to achieve one's goals, musically the lads are at the top of their game. Their style has evolved in unexpected ways, pushing the boundaries of pop music.
The orchestral lounge is open again and serving even better cocktails than on the moon!
Another year and another great record from Leicester's own Easy Life. Their latest offering is called Maybe in Another Life and it sees the lads diving deeper into diversity. Some of the tracks have a Beach Boys-like sound. Others sound like the house band at a Chi-Chi's lounge. All are amazing!
Check it out!
The fall of 1982 was a wondrous time in my life. My sophomore year had begun and much of that adolescent awkwardness was falling away. I felt confident and it was glorious to be alive.
I was a cross-country runner and that autumn I met one of the people that would musically change my life in the most profound ways. I distinctly recall the first time seeing him walking up to our squad on that first day of practice wearing a Tommy Tutone shirt. He had ridiculously mod hair and it was quickly apparent that he knew his shit when it came to music.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Steve introduced me to a plethora of amazing records. This was the guy who turned me on to Paul Weller, the artist who is now second only to John Lennon for me. I'll never forget listening to Sound Affects by The Jam and having a whole new world of music opened up to me.
One of the big records during this time period was The Lexicon of Love by ABC. It had come out the previous June but for me, it will always be a fall record because we obsessively played it on the bus ride to our cross-country meets. Sony Walkmens=Represent!
The key track for me has always been "Many Happy Returns." The lyrics are brilliant and it has all of my autumnal tropes. The keyboards echo off into windswept, multi-colored leaves and swirl forever, keeping that time always around my shoulders like a warm blanket...
It's nice to hear that bands like Bush are still out there making thumpin' rock and roll. The latest from these London lads is called The Art of Survival and it's theme is perfect for our world right now.
And the style is BOSS!!