Friday, December 23, 2022

Albums of the year 2022

With 2022 drawing to a close, the Music is to Blame team reflect on the last 12 months of music and compile a list of their favourite album releases of the year. 

Including everything from Yard Act, to BC,NR and Sorry the team have handpicked records from an exceptional pool of candidates.

Yard Act - 'Yard Act'

Brimming with sardonic wit, political jabs, and fantastical lyrics, Yard Act's debut record, released in January of this year firmly stamps their sound on the indie rock scene. Standout tracks 'Pour Another' and 'Payday' highlight the talent of the band in the most spectacular year.

- Lana Williams


Black Country, New Road - 'Ants From Up There'

Early as it was into 2022, Black Country, New Road’s chamber-post-rock opus ‘Ants From Up There’ is undoubtedly its masterpiece, with perhaps the greatest half-hour of music on record – the trilogy of ‘The Place Where He Inserted The Blade’, ‘Snow Globes’, and‘Basketball Shoes’While obviously being deeply personal to departing vocalist Isaac Wood‘Ants From Up There’ is a record that has provided me with great comfort over the year, and will take some knocking off the top of my – and many others’ – all time lists in the future. 


- David Harrold  

Dexys Midnight Runners - 'Too-Rye-Ay' (as it should have sounded - re-release)

Free from the constraints of the record companies, the re-engineered, re-produced, re-released box set is a fully self-indulgent celebration of Kevin Rowland's dream. Whether you love or hate Kevin Rowland, you can't fail to be impressed by his journey of self-discovery and his commitment to his craft.

- Peter Freeth

Sorry - 'Anywhere But Here'

Atmospheric, finely tuned, and visceral at the same time, Sorry's second album builds onto the foundations laid in their 2020 debut '925' by getting more personal and yet more ambitious. Stepping away from the occasional jazzy vibe of its predecessor, it is in turn intimate, sultry, frantic, exhilarating; when it tries something new or experimental, it does so seemingly without effort. There is a feeling that the band loved making this record, and their enjoyment is infectious. More than maturity, there is a commitment to 'Anywhere But Here', a love for every single track that is impossible to ignore and which makes this one of the most intriguing, most immersive records of the past year.

- Chiara Strazzulla

Warmduscher - 'At The Hotspot'

My album of the year is Warmduscher's 'At the Hotspot'. This is because it's real, it's honest, it's authentic. Most importantly, it's weird. I love the versatility of the album, from the adlibs to the raw grungy sounds, to the idealistic synth being used throughout. I also like the reactive nature of it, trying to ( and accurately doing so) comment on the socio-psychological states of being we find ourselves in this post-covid reality. This normally showcases a degree of frustration; with unexpected glimmers of hope?

- Matthew Hulse

Harry Styles - 'Harry's House'

'Harry’s House' is such a fun and eclectic album that it’s no wonder why it’s home to the year's most streamed songs. Harry Styles seems to be growing with every album and he’s not afraid to try different sounds and definitely is succeeding in doing so. 

- Georgia Eyles

Black Thought and Danger Mouse - 'Cheat Codes'

This unexpected collab of two legends, accomplishes creating a perfect hip-hop album by using amazing samples, featuring great artists, and including immaculate lyrics. It manages to involve the most important elements of hip-hop music and Black Thought and Danger Mouse prove that their strong chemistry is matchless. 

- Birgül Daş

Fontaines D.C. - 'Skinty Fia'

Fontaines D.C.’s third album, the irrepressible ‘Skinty Fia’, was inspired by Chatten’s move to London, a city in which he feels ostracised, whilst also feeling a sense of shame in the idea he has abandoned Dublin and the Irish culture that inspired the band's early career. In return, we get the band at their best. With brooding guitars, intricate storytelling, and a headfirst dive into the world of shoegaze - it’s easily the most exciting album of 2022.  

- James Ogden

Taylor Swift - 'Midnights'

My album of the year is ‘Midnights’ by Taylor Swift. Aside from the fact I’m a huge Swiftie, the concept of this album is super unique; things that have kept her up at night. The songs and overall content of the album as a whole feel like an ode to her past eras, mostly emanating the same vibes from the ‘Reputation’ and ‘Lover’ albums. ‘Midnights’ is the perfect album to round off 2022! 

- Sienna Norris

Spacey Jane - 'Here Comes Everybody'

My nomination for Album of the Year is ‘Here Comes Everybody’ by Spacey Jane released in June 2022. The Aussie soft rock band release another indie wet dream of an album earlier this year. They explore all the positives and negatives to love and share everything in between with their emotion filled lyrics such as ‘‘I’m the consummate lonely’’. A topic everyone can relate to. The album has been produced perfectly with crisp guitar, sharp vocals and a sublime track listing. I haven’t stopped listening to this record since it’s release which makes it my perfect nomination for Album of the Year.

- Alice Mason

Dream Window - 'Dream Window'

For me the best album of the year has to be (drum roll?) ‘Dream Widow’. For those who are unaware this is the self-titled debut album from the fictional thrash metal band Dream Widow, brought to life by the world-renowned Dave Grohl. The album strays away from the Foos beloved anthemic rock and instead features tracks like the frantic ‘March of the Insane’ which displays beastly vocals from Grohl or ‘Lacrimus dei Ebrius’, a hard-hitting ten minute instrumental piece which goes in any and all directions. 

- Maebh Springbett

Harry Styles - 'Harry's House'

Harry’s House’ sees the best elements of its predecessors all rolled into one. Using both the heartfelt, emotive expressions of his self titled 2017 debut and the jazz-funk experimental side of ‘Fine Line’, the 3rd album from the stadium-selling pop star is effortlessly oozing with fun, charm, charisma as well as personal deep cuts. 

- Rachel Feehan

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