2022 has been a year of positive change and renewal for me. Musically, it’s been a year of incredible creativity out there. That’s meant that this has been the hardest list to compile ever. The sheer amount of excellent albums that have been released this year has been overwhelming. I’ve been really lucky to have reviewed some of these amazing albums this year. Select the album cover to read my review in full either here or over on the amazing DKFM Shoegaze Radio blog.
Let’s dive in and see who’s made the Top 10 this year.
10/ Fir Cone Children – Today There’s No Tomorrow
This year Alexander Donat delivered a stunning sonic experience with his album Today There’s No Tomorrow. Pacy, punchy and more punk driven than any of the Fir Cone Children releases to date, it was a triumph! From the joyous ‘Pull it Out’ to the frenetic ‘Way Up North’ it’s such a rewarding listen.
I’ve picked ‘No Mercy’ as my album highlight. Alex has a real knack for hooks and the chorus in this track is exceptional.
9/ Alvvays – Blue Rev
Blue Rev surpassed all our expectations when it dropped. Song writing was super tight and melodies and hooks were next level! Whilst I had really liked their previous two albums Blue Rev I loved. The song structures have become so beguiling and interesting that its impossible not to find yourself lost in the music. I’ve picked the album opener ‘Pharmacist’ as my album highlight. It takes a really confident band to put a song this strong up front. They have the songs to back up that decision thankfully.
8/ DEHD – Blue Skies
Any thoughts we had that Flower of Devotion couldn’t be topped melted away within minutes of dropping the needle on this one! Song after song oozing with class and confidence. My album highlight was a real no brainer for me. If I was doing single of the year “Bad Love” would be vying for that top spot! The change into the chorus makes me smile every time. What a song!
7/ Idi Et Amin – Candy Suck
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to this album now. It’s everything I love about Shoegaze. Heavy, melodic and dynamic! Quality control is high here. Track after track of gazey goodness washes over you. If ever there was an album due a vinyl press it’s this one! Please!
My album highlight is ‘More Than Much’. It’s like Billy Corgan and Kevin Shields got together and had a lovechild.
6/ Blushing – Possessions
Blushing have been favourites of mine for a good number of years now. They sit way up there on my “need to see live” list! This year they treated us to their stunning album Possessions. I think it’s telling that Miki Berenyi from Lush is involved, lending her vocals to a track! That’s how highly thought of Blushing are. It’s that very song I’ve selected as my album highlight. This band are only getting stronger with each release. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
5/ EEP – Winter Skin
When listening to EEP there is always an abundance of heart in their music. You can always make an emotional connection as they sing about topics we can all identify with. On Winter Skin they continue that trait in fine fashion. The music has evolved too. Venturing more into psychedelia and soul baring lyrics. For my album highlight I’ve selected ‘No Inbetween’ which i think captures those two aspects of their music perfectly.
4/ The Stargazer Lilies – Cosmic Tidal Wave
The Stargazer Lilies are a truly unique sounding band. They inhabit this otherworldly realm that I find myself getting lost in every time a stick one of their albums on. Cosmic Tidal Wave carries on that tradition whilst adding elements of bossa nova and trip hop. Picking my album highlight was nigh on impossible as I love every damn song on here. Here’s ‘Bending The Lines’ with its infinitely cool video.
3/ Horsegirl – Versions Of Modern Performance
Horsegirl create a noise that is completely new to your ears whilst being comfortably familiar at the same time. In Versions Of Modern Performance the band filter the influences of their collective consciousness into something quite sublime. The way they layer their vocals in particular makes the overall effect quite striking. I’ve picked ‘Billy’ as my album highlight but it easily could have been any of them.
2/ Spacemoth – No Past No Future
Part space pop, part technicolour psychedelia Maryam Qudus has crafted another world in the grooves of this record! There’s undeniable influence from Stereolab and Broadcast for sure but there’s songs in here that Beck or The Flaming Lips would kill for! There’s a real timeless quality to this album which means we’ll be listening to it for years to come! I’ve gone for ‘Pipe and Pistol’ as my album highlight. Love the video for this one!
1/ Just Mustard – Heart Under
Where to start? I’ve loved this band since their debut album Wednesday came out. I couldn’t understand how they were making the sounds they were using guitars ! I caught them live in Glasgow this year. I watched them create these sounds with my my own two eyes. I’m still none the wiser! What do they sound like? This is just one of those bands I’d say….. go listen. Make your own mind up. I’m guessing you’ll be as enthralled and as much in awe as I am. A worthy winner of my album of the year!
So there it is. My Top 10 for 2022. I’d love to hear about your top 10 for the year. Drop a comment under this blog or over on Facebook or Instagram.
To all my readers, thanks so much for all your support this year. I’m so lucky to have the best folk ever following this blog. Have a wonderful new year when it comes and here’s to a brighter 2023 for us all.