Todd Dedman’s 2022 Round-up

2022, you old bastard. You were a strange beast in many ways, but that’s something a good number of us are getting used to saying in recent times. In all honesty, we’re probably okay to go back to living in precedented times now, if at all possible.

My top ten albums of the year look like this:

1. Keeley Forsyth – Limbs
2. Chat Pile – God’s Own Country
3. PETBRICK – Liminal
4. City of Caterpillar – Mystic Sisters
5. Wiegedood – There’s Always Blood At the End of the Road
6. Gilla Band – Most Normal
7. Billy Woods – Aethiopes
8. Carly Rae Jepsen – The Loneliest Time
9. Dälek – Precipice
10. Nilüfer Yanya – PAINLESS

These represent the gold standard of the year, though I’m sure I’ll do the usual annual event and hear something in the coming months that I missed. So that’s something to look forward to. Much has already been written on this glorious site about these records so I’ll just leave it up to you to dip into them and savour what they have to offer. There’s no need for a dissection here beyond saying that they’re all majestic pieces of work that deserve your attention. I seem to be something of an outlier as a writer for this site with my apathy towards Big Thief who produced our album of the year. What am I missing? IJUSTDON’TGETIT. 

A personal high point of the year in terms of this ol’ music hack lark was chatting **FOR HOURS** with Will Brooks from dälek. Not only did he have a genuinely well-informed opinion about everything, he’s just a straight up genuinely nice guy. When you interview someone of that stature and they go out of their way to name check as many artists that they are influenced by then you know you’re in the company of an ego-less wonder. 

On the live front, the year belonged to female solo artists and Keeley Forsyth was again top of the pile. Her show at the Barbican in March was beguiling and mesmerising and like few other live artists out there. I’m not entirely sure I breathed during the whole thing. Lingua Ignota in October was unsettling and emotionally challenging whilst also being as life affirming as music can be, while it was difficult to stop smiling during the Billie Eilish show in the summer. Wallowing in a tiny pub (that’s the name of the band rather than my emotional state of the time) during Desertfest was another standout moment of sheer visceral joy, as was The Cure last week (at time of writing). 

Getting shit-tweeted by Gnod was a touchstone of my increasingly crap social media life. Rather than being pleased about being mentioned in a review for London’s Desertfest, they questioned my use of the term “kosmiche music” when describing their set. The fact that they regularly use the (to my mind xenophobic) term krautrock when describing their own work made it a weird one. Just one of the many reasons that social media in general is a poison. At least it wasn’t getting death threats from certain over-rated pop star stans as some of my colleagues have experienced over the years, eh?  

So, in summary, my 2022 looked like this:

Best album – Keeley Forsyth, Limbs

Best song – Keeley Forsyth, “I Stand Alone”

Best live show – Keeley Forsyth, London

There’s plenty to look ahead to in 2023 with new albums slated by The Telescopes, BIG|BRAVE, Madder Rose and The Cure’s long gestating “Songs of a Lost World” which all promise to make it to end of year lists before they even see the light of day. Who knows, we may even get something new from my bloody valentine…we can but dream. So, as we wave 2022 goodbye it’s time to reflect on some great times, some challenging times, and to celebrate the fact that we at least made it through relatively in one piece. Onwards and upwards, friends. 

TL;DR – just listen to Keeley Forsyth, yeah?