What’s another year?, Johnny Logan famously asked in 1980. Whatever the way you choose to measure it in (sunsets, cups of coffee, laughter, strife, and ultimately, love), there’s no denying the best unit will always be music. The records you bought, the concerts you’ve been to, the artists you fell in love with; the songs that soundtracked pivotal events in your life, both good and bad, and whose impact will last throughout the years; and the moments spent sharing all this with the ones you love, creating memories as eternal and immaterial as your favourite tunes.
At this point, it even feels ridiculous to take stock on what 2022 brought us. I think we can all agree it’s all been downhill ever since Bowie died, which again confirms him as one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. But we often underestimate our resilience both as individuals and as a collective society, and our indisputable stubbornness to keep on keeping on; seen from above, the human race must be perceived as either insanely courageous or hopelessly stupid—or maybe a little bit of both.
If you were about to declare your best-of lists closed and done, here are a couple more artists and releases that might just make you reconsider; see them as a last minute addition to your advent calendar, as you count down the days to the end of another bizarre 365 days and secretly hope that somehow, someway, the next 365 turn out to be better. And as the clock strikes midnight, don’t forget to save a special toast for yourself for having made it this far.
Daniel Vangarde releases compilation of rare tracks and hidden gems
If the moniker “Daniel Vangarde” doesn’t ring a bell, maybe the real name will: Daniel Bangalter is not only the father of one-half of Daft Punk, but also a musician, producer, and songwriter that revolutionised ’70s French disco and funk. Among his many hits are the likes of “Cuba” by The Gibson Brothers and “D.I.S.C.O” by Ottawan, which he released on his label Zagora Records—the same imprint that now treats us to a compilation of Vangarde’s rare tracks and hidden gems titled “The Vaults of Zagora Records.” You can stream the whole thing via Bandcamp above, where you’ll also be able to grab a physical copy.
Dog Park unveil debut single “Sunny Decadence”
New group alert! Paris-based quartet Dog Park have just unveiled their first single “Sunny Decadence,” a soft-indie affair led by gentle vocals and jangly guitars that smells like Paisley Underground and feels like breezy summer evenings. Along with the gorgeous tune comes a DIY video directed by the band members themselves, and a promise of bigger things in a near future. Check it out above.
Bracco sign to Born Bad Records, announce new album
Here’s one for fans of darkwave, industrial techno, and coldwave with a French twist: Bracco, who have just signed to legendary Paris label Born Bad Records, will be releasing their new album Dromonia this month, and judging by singles “Cobra Music 4” and “Be A Boy” it’s bound to catapult Loren and Baptiste to global recognition. You can stream the two tracks via Bandcamp above; Dromonia will be released on vinyl, CD, and digital formats.
Ex-Futur unveil debut release C B Z
They are described as a “mysterious north Paris combo playing harakiri pop” by label Si Moiré Disques, but the music is so good you really don’t care about identity or definitions. Ex-Futur‘s debut release C B Z is previewed by the two excellent singles “Psycho Apathy” and “Future Seems So Exciting” that you can stream above, and will be available on cassette before the end of 2022—at least that’s what they promise on the album’s bandcamp page.
NCY Milky Band release new album 100 Ans
There’s a curious intersection between the new paths of experimental jazz and French electronica, and French quartet NCY Milky Band vows to explore it to the absolute max. The result is a breathtaking new album titled 100 Ans whose 14 tracks will send you on an outer-worldly voyage with psychedelic undertones throughout the richest of universes. Recorded during the tour that followed their debut LP Burn’IN, 100 Ans feels simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic; it’s now available via BMM Records’ bandcamp.
Here it is, the full Bonjour Motherfuckers sampler for your listening pleasure. Be sure to use it as an inspiration for your Christmas presents, and don’t forget to buy directly from the artists whenever possible.