Sunday 27 November 2022

The 2022 round-up - a prologue

Yep, it's that time of year again. Starting next week, I'll be posting weekly installments of my favourite albums of 2022. It's not been a bad year for music, to be fair. Some really good stuff has come out.  Before all that though, I thought I'd round up a few non-album things that tickled my fancy over the past 12 months...

It's been a while since we had new stuff from our beloved David Gedge and his merry band of troubadors. Six-years, in fact, since the epic 'Going, Going...' LP. They've been busy though. A glut of songs collected over the previous few years were finally recorded and released as their ambitious '24 Songs' project. Emulating their 'Hit Parade' venture waaaaay back in 1992, '24 Songs' saw the release of a brand new 7" vinyl-only single each month. The ever-fluctuating Wedding Present line-up means there is a real range of songwriting styles on there as Gedge shared the duties with his various bandmates. I suspect some of the songs will be compiled and released in album form at some point. I have plenty of favourites among the two-dozen tracks, but one of them is September's We All Came From The Sea.

The hardest-working band in rock 'n' roll (probably) released not one, not two, no not even three, but FOUR new records in 2022. Collectively entitled 'SZNS', the project consisted of a quartet of 7-song EPs each released to mark a season - one for Spring, one for Summer, etc. Each record contained a song that incorporated a 'riff' from the relevant piece from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'. Saying all that, the Winter EP isn't actually out yet (it's due around Christmastime) but that's just mere pedantry. When it does come out, they will have topped the Weddoes' output by 4 songs, so it's a very noteworthy achievement. This track - from the Summer EP - pretty much sums up my life.

And after those seasoned veterans, it's time for some brilliant youngsters...

DIVORCE - 'Get Mean' EP
Now here's a new band I'm getting rather excited about. Divorce hail from Nottingham and have so far only put out three tracks. But each one is bleddy excellent, especially the most recent, an off-beat alternative country murder ballad called Checking Out which is definitely one of my songs of the year. They don't just make great tunes though, they also make wonderful videos that show off not just a theatrical side, but a very humourous one too. All three songs have just been released together as a digital EP called 'Get Mean'. A 4-track vinyl version is due in May 2023 which suggests another song isn't far away. I have high hopes for Divorce.

And if you loved that (and let's face it - you did!), here are the awesome clips for debut single Services and its follow-up Pretty. And here's where you can buy/pre-order the EP.

PANIC SHACK - 'Baby Shack' EP
This lot also look like they're going to rip up the place pretty damn soon. Cardiff's very own Panic Shack compiled their first six songs to form the 'Baby Shack' EP which disappeared off the record store racks in less time than it takes to play it. Copies are already changing hands for more than £60 a shot! MrsRobster (who is also a big fan of Panic Shack) and I will be seeing them in their hometown supporting Yard Act TONIGHT! Should be raucous and we're both really looking forward to it. Raw and loud like good punk should be, but a lot of fun too.

SPRINTS - 'A Modern Job' EP
Dublin has become a proper hub of great music of late. Sprints are the latest ones to have emerged from the Irish capital seemingly fully formed and taking on the world without a care. 'A Modern Job' was released back in March and is their second EP, following on from last year's debut 'Manifesto' and a series of searing singles, including the brilliant Little Fix.

I also strongly recommend Sprints' latest single Literary Mind which just might be their best track yet.

Next week, the first batch of my 22 favourite albums of 2022.


  1. Really enjoyed the new bands, especially Sprints. Thanks for introducing them to me. And yes, Dublin seems to be a perfect ground for new bands.

  2. I've found the TWP singles to be bit on the patchy side....I think David Gedge just stretched himself a bit too far with the pressure of trying to come up with a killer A-side and decent B-side, from fresh, every single month. But I've enjoyed receiving them.

    Count me in as another who likes Sprints. I think it was SWC who introduced me to them a while back.

    Panic Shack were new to me. I'm off to investigate as that song above was excellent!