What a challenging year 2022 has been. With all that’s happened, I don’t feel like the same person that entered the year. It’s 12 months I’ll never forget but I’d love to. As always music played a crucial role in keeping some form of grounding to my life. The first half of the year was spent listening to an ever evolving playlist on Spotify called All Farewells Are Sudden, based on the A Winged Victory For The Sullen (AWVFTS) tune. AWVFTS feature every so often in the playlist. The tunes I heard formed the basis for my annual ambient mix of the same name.
The summer was long and helped push the earlier part of the year to the back of my mind. The albums I ended up buying were mostly not ambient but were returns by old favourites and also first time reissues on vinyl. I discovered a few artists, as is so often the way, well after they became established. Artists such as Julia Kent and The Soft Cavalry spring to mind. I also rekindled my love for Supertramp and early Genesis. I’d forgotten how much I loved Crime of the Century and Selling England By the Pound. Also, the band EAT from the early 90s and their album Epicure became a favourite again. Time spent listening to bands from that era (specifically 1992) gave way to a playlist. That was a golden era in music.
Here’s my best of for 2022. It wasn’t drawn from a massive pool but they are all albums I’ve grown to love. Apologies to Kathryn Joseph and The Smile.
10. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Fire Doesn’t Grow On Trees.
It’s unusually been a couple of years since their last album. This is high quality psychedelic rock as always. There was talk of another album as a single was released. Maybe next year.
9. Suicide – Surrender.
One of the bands that influenced Spacemen 3. Not everything on this retrospective is easy to listen to but it shows what a great band they were. The title track will likely be familiar.
8. Loop – Sonancy.
It’s like they’ve never been away. A proper Loop album start to finish. I’ve went back and listened to A Gilded Eternity a few times of late – pure class.
7. Fontaines DC – Skinty Fia.
Another outstanding album. Watched their sets at Glastonbury and TRNSMT (on the telly) and they are excellent live. Maturing nicely.
6. Spiritualized – Everything Was Beautiful.
Still churning out great albums after all these years. It was May and the sun was out. We played this as we cleaned the house ready to move back home. I’ll forever associate it with that time ❤️
5. Tears For Fears – The Tipping Point.
Released back in February. 3 singles were released before the album which whet the appetite. An older TFF but still great songwriting and vocals. I’ve always loved Roland Orzabals voice.
4. The Dead Texan.
Taking liberties with this given it was released in 2004. This year saw its first vinyl release. One of the great ambient albums. Really pleased to have this in my collection finally.
3. Federico Albanese – Before and Now Sounds Infinite.
Another beautiful album made all the sweeter by an appearance by Ghostpoet. Federico Albanese never puts a foot wrong. One of Mrs W’s favourites so it still gets played a lot.
2. Andy Bell – Flicker.
The first album I bought in 2022. Every track is quality across both bits of vinyl. It’ll forever remind me of a difficult time but that doesn’t take away from how good it is.
1. Nils Frahm – Music for Animals.
This stands head and shoulders above everything else this year. I’ve played at least one disc daily. I’m sure I read it was music to watch leaves rustle. I love an album with no surprises. He’s created so many great albums but none as ambient as this. A thing of beauty.