Albums Of 2022

 2022  was the year when two unimaginable things happened: war returned to Europe and Gary Barlow revealed he was working on his first new material in five years. The rise of populism and misinformation continued unabated and the Conservative Party, despite producing some of the most morally bankrupt political lightweights in living memory, providing a revolving door of completely inept prime ministers with all the gravitas of Mr Bean, continued to cling to power. #Smalldickenergy reared its tiny flaccid little head with the likes of Elon Musk and Vladamir Pution attempting to assert their manhood. In the music and entertainment arenas toxicity abounded with 90s Britpop males who should have remained long forgotten revealing themselves to be abusive gaslighting stalkers and worse, whilst the likes of Kanye took toxicity to a whole new level. 

   After feeling battle weary in the wake of the havoc wreaked by Covid across the globe (which still continues – see China), things began to open up again. Live music returned and despite what may have looked like a successful relaunch the unsustainability of working in the music industry full time soon became apparent with many artists cancelling tours due to their financially unviability.

The music industry is a strange , strange place often one that presents itself as progressive yet behind the scenes embraces the very worst explotative Tory business practices (this happens at every level, the old boys club is alive and kicking). You can call it aspiration, I’ll call it being a c**t .  As ever it’s the artist who is all too often the last to be paid. Personally being able to go to gigs again induced a weird mix of euphoria and anxiety , some were genuinely joyous experiences such as Wolf Alice and Confidence Man, others didn’t quite connect in the way I might have hoped. Of course that may have been down to my own apprehension, but I often felt a vague dystopian undercurrent, which isn’t that surprising given the times we are living through. Not so much the new normal, more a not so normal normal. 

With the clusterfuck of Brexit making it even more difficult for touring musicians to break even(never mind make a profit) and a cost of living crisis that has bared its teeth and is set to sink them deep in 2023 it’s certainly a hugely challenging time to be a musician.  And yet despite all these challenges they continue to produce music to immerse yourself in . So before I go off on a huge, lengthy and ultimatey pointless rant about the Tories let’s refocus on the music that made my 2022 more bearable. 

Despite the challenges mentioned this year, some great new artists emerged to release classic debut albums while others released career bests.  This year I used the complex and innovative formula to calculate this list called “TAILB” Aka “the albums I liked best”. It features artists new and old, big and small and I really must apologise for not picking the most obscure artists or albums nobody else has heard in a fruitless attempt to assert my intellectual credentials by virtue of my own good taste, as I possess neither the former nor the latter.  

Here’s the list , with some links to reviews I’ve written for Under The Radar over the last year.  Enjoy or don’t. It’s fine.   

1.Sharon Van Etten – We’ve Been Going about This All Wrong

2. Wet Leg – Wet Leg 
Review –

3.Sunflower Bean – Head Full Of Sugar 

4.Annie Hamilton – The Future Is Here But It Feels Kinda Like The Past

5.Taylor Swift – Midnights 


6.Alvvays – Blue Rev 

7. Weyes Blood – And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow

8.Metric – Formentera 


9.Pit Pony – World To Me

10.Let’s Eat Grandma – Two Ribbons 

11.Hatchie – Giving the World Away 

12. Nilufer Yanya – Painless


13.The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cool It DOwn


14. First Aid Kit – Palomino
Review :

15. Yard Act – The Overload 

16.Mattiel – Georgia Gothic  

Review :

17.Suède – Autofiction

18. Body Type – Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing’s Surprising
Review :

19.Julia Jacklin: PRE PLEASURE

20. Warpaint Radiate Like This

21.Katy J Pearson – Sound Of Morning 


22.Phoebe Green – Lucky Me
Review :

23 Blood Red Shoes  – Ghosts on Tape
Review :

24 Confidence Man – Tilt 
Live Review :

25 Mitski: Laurel Hell
Live Review :

26 Tess Parks: And Those Who Were Seen Dancing 

27. Dehd: Blue Skies 

28 Horsegirl: Versions of Modern Performance 

29 Camp Cope: Running with the Hurricane 

30 beabadoobee: Beatopia 

31 girlpuppy: When I’m Alone 

32 Jockstrap: I Love You Jennifer B

33. Violet Skies 
Review :

34 Editors EBM

35 Tallies: Patina 

36 The Big Moon: Here Is Everything 

37 Porridge Radio: Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky 

38 Just Mustard: Heart Under

39 Maya Hawke: MOSS

40 Half Man Half Biscuit – The Voltaral Years

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