This year has already given us a slew of excellent releases, including breakthrough debuts, quality follow ups and thrilling, adventurous new offerings from artists of all kinds.
Still quite fresh off their own captivating release of “Waiting for the End to Begin”, our Texas friends from OVERO join us today to share their best picks for most excellent new works of 2022, an eclectic, forward-looking selection of albums, narrowing down the endless amount of music released during the course of a year to the essentials.
Soul Glo – Diaspora Problems
Soul Glo has consistently been the most exciting band in punk. When most front-men in hardcore seem to be humorless folks with their backs to the crowd, Pierce is more in the lineage of H.R., Jello Biafra, and Henry Rollins with incredible charisma, personality, and even wit. Even as he writes about dead-serious issues, Pierce will have some linguistically playful lyric. The vulnerability in expressing both rage and a sense of humor I think cuts through the brooding persona most punks use to insulate themselves. Just one of a bunch of reasons Soul Glo rules.
Sadness – Tortuga
In the first half of 2022, Sadness–a prolific one man, atmospheric blackgaze project–has put out seven releases, including two full length albums, an ep, a split lp, and two compilations of unreleased tracks. If you’re a fan of melancholic music spanning all genres with a lo-fi, DIY aesthetic, it’s all worth a listen, but my favorite 2022 Sadness album (so far?) is Tortuga. Post-Rock, blackmetal, shoegaze, emotional hardcore, and just about every other bummed out genre is all here.
40 Watt Sun – Perfect Light
This is easily my most listened to album of 2022 so far. 40 Watt Sun has always appealed to me as a softer approach from a musician more often associated with doom metal, yet before this album I was more of a casual fan. However, Perfect Light sees Patrick Walker fully embracing acoustic guitar, piano, and drum brushes, and I’m haunted by these songs and lyrics.
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Football, etc – Vision
Yes, Overo shares members with Football, etc. But long before I started a band with Lindsay and Mercy, I was a huge fan of Football, etc. Before it was ever announced that they were writing a new EP, it was already one of my most anticipated albums, and it doesn’t disappoint. What I am most impressed about these tracks is that it sounds like an updated version of their band without trying to retread old-ground. It’s no wonder why they are one of the bands from the emo revival that never left my rotation.
Morrow – The Quiet Earth
I’ve been following Morrow for a long time, ever since Alex CF of Fall of Efrafa announced his return to emocrust with violins. Their first two records are really good, yet The Quiet Earth sees the band (really more of a collective at this point) really hitting their stride. The quiet parts are quieter. The heavier parts are heavier. Also, I’m a sucker for concept albums, and the fact that this is the 7th album in a story that spans three bands is the nerdy, ambitious artistic commitment that I find really inspiring.
Gospel – The Loser
This album only came out a couple of weeks ago, a reunion record after Gospel broke up in the mid 2000s. Gospel was always an interesting band because they were in the emotional hardcore scene yet they had tendencies towards prog-rock. But if in 2005 Gospel was 80% screamo and 20% prog-rock, those ratios have totally reversed on The Loser. I’ve never been a big prog-fan myself, but it still sounds enough like Gospel I loved as a screamo kid so I’m just kind of along for the ride. Sign me up for some 1970s dad-rock organs and blast beats.
Haru Nemuri – Shunka Ryougen
In general, I have very narrow interests in music, basically only listening to various subgenres of punk, metal, and singer-songwriters. But a couple of years ago my algorithms led me to Haru Nemuri. Her music is pretty difficult to describe, somewhere between j-pop, spoken-word, experimental music, yet there is an aggressive edge you often don’t find within pop music. Her new record takes that to the extreme, which to me feels less like a collection of songs but an album that shows all the strengths of a multi-faceted artist.
Jimi Tenor – Multiversum
Jimi Tenor is a Finish producer, composer and band leader who’s been making “Neo-Lounge” music since the 1990’s. This new album was recorded at home using only tenor sax, flute, and various drum machines and synthesizers. Carefully sampled drum loops and ambient backdrops make for a moody, hypnotic listen with flourishes of jazz-funk, afrobeat, electro and downtempo. Fans of jazz, electronic or even some indie (particularly Stereolab, the High Llamas, etc) might fall deep into this strange, funky universe of retro futurist soundscapes.
Alabaster DePlume – Gold – Go Forward In the Courage of Your Love
International Anthem is a Chicago based record label that has been putting out some of my favorite records of recent years and this was yet another fantastic release of genre-defying music. DePlume is a composer, saxophonist, activist and orator. This album mixes spoken word poetry with spiritual jazz improvisations. I found this to be incredibly unique, intimate and immediate. The song “Don’t Forget You’re Precious” is a stunning reminder to the listener, as meditative as it is alarming.
Lady Wray – Pieces Of Me
This is definitely one of those albums that’s perfect for the summer time. Nicole Wray, known as Lady Wray, is an Contemporary R&B vocalist and singer-songwriter. This album gets nostalgic with boom-bap drum sounds and funky basslines, a pleasing fusion of 70’s soul and 90’s R&B. Even with a bit of nostalgia, this record manages to avoid cliches of throwback soul and feels uniquely contemporary. Producer Leon Michels is a perfect compliment to Lady Wray’s joyous vocal performance. The whole album is great, but I’m particularly fond of the songs “Under The Sun” and “Piece Of Me.”
Jake Xerxes Fussell – Good and Green Again
The record label Paradise Of Bachelors has been consistently great and this new album from Jake Xerxes Fussell is nothing short of amazing. Intricate acoustic guitar, pedal steel, horns and string arrangements compliment some seriously melancholic vocals. I listen to many new releases in the folk/americana genre and rarely find albums as breathtaking as this. Good and Green Again is probably the album I’ve listened to the most so far this year.
OVERO’s new album “Waiting for the End to Begin” is out now!