Listen 2022: January Highlights

What better way to spend the longest month of the year than getting stuck in to a whole load of fresh music? From hot new singles to highly anticipated album releases, 2022 has come in hard and fast with some brilliant material and I can’t wait to hear even more.

New tracks from old favourites of mine, Metronomy and Beach House, have of course been a highlight and I am very much looking forward to their albums coming out later this month. That being said, I wanted to really go in on the new, and shine a light on some of my most loved singles from bands and artists that I haven’t dedicated a lot of time to previously.

One of those bands are the much loved Fontaines D.C., with new track, ‘Jackie Down The Line’. I’ve followed the growing hype behind them over the last year or two but I think now is the time that I really get into it. This single struck me instantly with an air of nostalgia; a little bit of the 90s grunge and indie scene, shot in to the 21st century. Its steady rhythm and straightforward vocals come in like a well established classic with a comforting familiarity.

Lime Garden have been on my radar ever since I heard ‘Clockwork’ and it only took a moment before latest track ‘Marbles’ was added to the playlist. This is the kind of band that are my precisely my cuppa tea – strong, sweet and piping hot. Dancing around the room singing “I think I’ve lost my marbles” really puts your life in to perspective, making this a light-hearted release of the most relatable feelings.

Another song that was destined to be on my playlist is Methyl Ethel’s ‘Proof’, featuring Stella Donnelly. Each time this track comes up I do a little jump with joy, along with a desire to go back and find out what I’ve been missing from this band. ‘Proof’ is one of those songs that is just so “me”, I can’t even pin down the specifics on why I love it so much. All I can say is well, duh! Hey, if a band describes themselves as art rock, you can bet I’m interested.

Another one that has been in my head (ha, wait for it) is the latest single from Bash!, and it’s a corker. ‘In My Head’ makes me want to let go and dance like a loon, and if that’s not the sign of a great song, then I don’t know what is. Press play and let this track do a;; the work in lifting the mood of any room.

When it comes to albums, there are a few that I have had on rotation, such as The Overload from upcoming favourites Yard Act, and SilverbacksArchive Material. I find that both albums have a sense of releasing pent up frustration around the societal downfalls of the world, with a healthy dose of tongue in cheek to avoid a dark pit of gloom.

Silverbacks have been a favourite of mine since I checked out their debut album, Fad. My exact words were “for this to just be the start for Silverbacks is wildly exciting” and this year’s release has absolutely delivered above and beyond on the standard they set back in 2020. It really doesn’t get much more exciting than that.

As for Yard Act, I absolutely got caught up in their huge social media campaign. Everywhere I looked, there they were – it would be rude not to see what all the fuss is about, right? The Overload forces the listener to face facts, but not without a good sense of fun. Just shy of laughing it all off, in a way it highlights the use of mockery in those moments where we feel powerless against the world. Topically, it is very on the nose with a particular release of anger, but not without a bubbly sound to keep the general mood upbeat. A sort of chin up, we’re all in this together mood.

While these albums have been big hits for me, it has to be Bonobo’s latest album that comes out on top. As soon as I put it on I felt at ease with that quintessential sense of calm. Fragments is just the gentle breath of fresh air to kick start the new year, a soothing dose of escapism that I can see myself returning to time and time again.

As I think of what this next month has to come, I’m keen to get stuck in to the new Black Country, New Road and Mitski albums. Ultimately, I want to carry on with my ongoing quest to discover more and more new music. Keep me fed with your recommendations over on my socials!

A little sidenote: I have recently subscribed to Apple Music and my Listen 2022 will now be available on my profile there, as well as on Spotify so that you can choose to #Listen the way you want.


Author: Samantha Mae

Hi! I am a music and lifestyle blogger based near Margate, UK. Forever keeping an ear out for new music, particularly anything of the indie persuasion and always willing to spout on about life in general. Open to collaboration and new ideas, get in touch!

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