This Week’s Theme: Best of 2022
This week’s Faux Show is a classic countdown list. I have included several different Best of the Year selections followed by a Top 20 albums countdown. This is the first show of the third year of Faux Shows, but it is also the last that will follow the original format of the show. I plan to do some retooling, so the next show may not be released for a while. But, what better way to finish up the old shows than with an old school album countdown.
Welcome to Radio Faux Show volume three, number one.
First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.
Before I get to the Top 20 countdown, I’ve started out simple with some best of genre selections.
Jazz Album of the Year
Rhythm In Contrast by Charles Goold
The debut album by drummer Charles Goold is my favorite kind of jazz – all rhythm section, all the time. There is some hornwork on this record, but many of the tunes on Rhythm in Contrast are a showcase for each member of the amazing rhythm section that Goold put together to record these tracks: Goold on drums, guitarist Adam Renfroe, vibraphonist Steve Nelson, pianist Taber Gable, and bassist Noah Jackson. There is a wide variety of composition included in the album, with each track a perfect example of what happens when young musicians come together to make great music.
Rap Album of the Year
Precipice by Dälek
Dälek have been making their unique brand of experimental hip hop for twenty-five years, and this year’s album Precipice is still as great as any of their older material. I understand if you don’t like Dälek – this is not Jay Z or Kendrick Lamar. I have liked them since I first heard them in 2003, and they are still producing thoughtful, interesting hip hop that is not made for mass consumption. While most hip hop artists have changed their sound to meet current trends in rap tedium, Dälek continue to hold true to their original vision.
Too Old to Rock and Roll, Too Young to Die
Only The Strong Survive by Bruce Springsteen
Just before the end of the year, The Boss released his second album of covers after fifty years of recording (the first was the Seeger Sessions fifteen years ago). This set provides his take on a bunch of old soul songs, most of them minor hits or album tracks, and is fantastic. It is the best retro soul album of the year, mostly due to the fantastic musicians brought in to support Springsteen. Most notable are the two duets with Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave), but all of the songs are heartfelt tributes to the soul music of the ’60s and ’70s that has always lurked behind the rock and roll explosions of the E Street Band.
Singer/Songwriter Album of the Year
You Belong There by Daniel Rossen
* This is the first of three picks by Faux Jr. for his Top Three of the year.
Daniel Rossen wasn’t a founding member of indie folk band Grizzly Bear, but he was integral in defining their sound during their heyday in the early 2000s. His solo debut album, You Belong There, is not that far removed from his work with the band, but is arguably his most consistent work.
Album Opener of the Year
“In ar gCroithe go deo” by Fontaines D.C.
A great album opener is a thing of beauty. There are several kinds of album openers, depending on the goal of the artist and producer. The most common album opener, especially in the old days of vinyl LPs, is to place the best song at the start of the album. The concept is that it will grab the listener’s attention and keep them interested enough to continue listening. Often, an opener of this type is the only good song on the album, as can be heard on thousands of forgotten albums from the ’70s and ’80s. However, sometimes great albums begin with great openers. Two successful openers of this type include “Don’t Stop Believin’” on Journey Escape and “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” on Stevie Wonder Talking Book, and everyone has their favorite openers that are just as successful. Another common opener is one that presents an intro or theme to an album, especially on concept albums or rap albums. These can be hit or miss, but two of my favorites are “Speak to Me” on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon and “Countdown To Armageddon” on Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. However, my favorite kind of album opener is one in which an artist starts the album with a song that is different from their regular output. These types of openers grab your attention through the sheer surprise of the song sounding unlike what you expected. Two of my favorites of this type are “Fake Empire” on The National’s Boxer and “Tender” on Blur’s 13. This year, I believe another great example of this type of opener is found on the album Skinty Fia by Fontaines D.C. The opener to the album, “In ar gCroithe go deo”, is a unique presentation of repetition and interwoven lyrical and melodic segments. It is like a post-rock Gregorian Chant. Each moment is smartly presented throughout the track, resulting in a song that feels much shorter than its almost 6-minute length. I have not fallen in love with this album, but I have listened to this track dozens of times, which is always the sign of a great song.
Blues Album of the Year
Forever On My Mind by Son House
It may be cheating to select a collection of eight previously unreleased songs that were recorded over sixty years ago, but Son House is one of the most influential blues artists in history. He is possibly the Father of the Delta Blues (although that may be Charley Patton), and in a world where the most critically acclaimed blues albums of the year are new releases by artists who have been recording for over fifty years I will go with the original sound of the blues. There is nothing wrong with the release of new material by artists like Buddy Guy, John Mayall, and Rory Block, but Son House is the shit. It is just slide guitar and vocals, but it sounds like an orchestra. There is apparently even more to be released from the vaults that provided this material, and this is a perfect start.
Reggae Album of the Year
Gifted by Koffee
It is really hard to find new reggae artists that I like. Even this album is fraught with misplaced trap beats and tracks that verge toward reggaeton and pop music. However, I enjoy Koffee’s spirit on this collection of mostly brief tracks, and there are plenty of nods toward the reggae music of the past. Gifted doesn’t make me want to throw away my Burning Spear albums, but it is pleasant enough for driving around town.
Dance Album of the Year
Electricity by Ibibio Sound Machine
The track “Protection From Evil” by Ibibio Sound Machine is one of my favorite songs of the year. The rest of Electricity is pretty good too.
Classical Album of the Year
Evergreen by Caroline Shaw and Attacca Quartet
Caroline Shaw is a Pulitzer and Grammy winning composer, violinist, and singer. Every recording she releases is worth a listen, but Evergreen is especially worthy due to the performance by Attacca Quartet. Shaw’s collaboration with this quartet (Orange) won a Grammy in 2019, and this next collaboration with them should put her back on the short list for the 2023 Grammies. This is a collection that includes her 2019 composition Evergreen and other recordings by the quartet, Shaw, and both together.
Metal Album of the Year
Impera by Ghost
I will admit that I listened to less new metal in 2022 than I have in almost twenty years. I know very few new metal albums, and most likely this is not my favorite – I just haven’t heard my favorite yet. However, there is nothing wrong with selecting Ghost as metal album of the year. They are the best current metal act out there producing ’80s-era metal – clean vocals, big hooks, searing solos. This is 21st century metal for anyone who grew up listening to Guns ‘n’ Roses, Motley Crue, and Ratt.
Top 20 Albums of the Year
Some of these were easy choices to make, but there are always selections that don’t make the cut when one makes a Top 20 list. Before getting to my Top 20, there are few runners-up that deserve to be mentioned. It was a great year for female singer/songwriters, including the new Sharon Van Etten album We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong. If this year hadn’t have produced so many other great albums by female singer/songwriters, then this one would have made the list. The same can be said for Jenny Hval’s Classic Objects. It was also a great year for catchy indie rock, and a few of my favorites that I left off include The Wombats Fix Yourself, Not The World, The Happy Fits Under The Shade Of Green, and Toro y Moi Mahal. One final note: If you know the Faux Show then you know how much I love The Mountain Goats. Last year’s Top 20 list included their 2021 album, but this year’s Bleed Out is, in my opinion, one of the band’s worst albums and is my pick for biggest disappointment of the year.
And now, here is my Top 20 album countdown for 2022.
Number 20: Nilufer Yanya
Nilufer Yanya is a Turkish/Irish songwriter from London. Painless is her second album. Yanya opened for Roxy Music on their 2022 tour. She is good.
Number 19: The Smile
A Light For Attracting Attention
The Smile are the latest project for founding Radiohead members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood. Their debut album A Light For Attracting Attention is produced by long-time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and sounds as much like a Radiohead album as one could imagine. It is good.
Number 18: Aldous Harding
Aldous Harding is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand. After two relatively successful albums on the fantastic New Zealand label Flying Nun, her fourth album is on the fantastic 4AD label. When those two labels think you’re good enough to record, you must be doing something right. Warm Chris is a nice collection of songs featuring Harding’s various vocal styles. The standout cuts are “Tick Tock,” “Fever,” and the title track, but the entire album is solid.
Number 17: Alvvays
Alvvays have been around for a while but Blue Rev is only their third album. This is jangle pop at its finest. “After the Earthquake” sounds like mid-80s R.E.M. Comparisons to The Smiths are obvious, and the entire album is one of my favorite feel-good releases of the year, even if the lyrics are sometimes a little bleak. There are also sonic references to The Primitives, Dinosaur Jr., and My Bloody Valentine along with dozens of ’80s Britpop and New Zealand bands throughout this record. I probably won’t come back to this one year after year but I’ve listened to it a lot over the last few months.
Number 16: Angel Olsen
One of my favorite albums from 2021 was by Brandi Carlile. I do not listen to new country music but I also don’t believe that the country label should only be applied to the garbage that plays on country radio. Artists like Carlile, Lucinda Williams, and Angel Olsen continue to carry the torch passed by Emmylou Harris decades ago by writing songs that should be considered country music but aren’t because of the bastardization of the genre with garbage pop music. Big Time, by Asheville, NC songwriter Olsen, is her latest release and arguably her best. This collection of ten tracks takes the roots of ’70s country and combines them with a mix of horns, guitars, strings, and even mellotron to create alt-country perfection. Nowadays, this is called Americana, but at this point in the history of modern music it should just be called an album by a great singer/songwriter. Looking back through Olsen’s discography, one finds an artist who is always evolving and always relevant. I think that over time this will become one of my favorite albums of 2022.
Number 15: The Weather Station
How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars
The Weather Station released an album in 2021, Ignorance, that should have been in my Top 20 but I didn’t discover it until this year. It is a modern day homage to Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock, which is one of the greatest albums of all time but was ignored for years before receiving the respect it deserves over the last twenty years. Remarkably, The Weather Station returned this year with How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars. This new album is even more subdued and more entrenched in the post-rock minimalism that Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis embraced. I have listened to both of these Weather Station albums dozens of times this year. I listen to Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock regularly. Most importantly, at least for comparison’s sake, is that I also listen to Mark Hollis’ 1998 solo self-titled album regularly as well. By the time Mark Hollis recorded his first and only solo album, Talk Talk had disbanded due to lack of interest. His solo album was ignored at the time, as should have been expected, but now there are fans and artists out there who have discovered his genius. Hollis’ solo album is even more stripped down than Laughing Stock, at times verging on such a minimal style that one loses track of the fact that a song is being performed. Listening to the progression between those two Hollis albums gives a perfect blueprint for what The Weather Station have done with their two latest releases. This year’s album doesn’t venture as far into minimalism as Hollis’ solo album, but it comes close. This is all music that demands headphone usage to best enjoy the beauty layered in the arrangements and production of simple songs that are as emotionally draining as any music being written today. I understand why people flock toward pop music with big hooks, pounding rhythms, and up front vocals, but sometimes one needs to embrace the beauty of music found in albums like these Talk Talk and Weather Station albums. Emotional release while listening to How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars is optional, but recommended.
Number 14: Beach House
Once Twice Melody
I think I was probably supposed to know about Beach House before this year, but I didn’t. I can’t tell you much about them except that their new album Once Twice Melody provides an always desirable throwback to the albums of Stereolab. This is one that I listen to while driving around and it continues to serve its purpose. That is, mainly, to provide great hooks, driving electronic rock rhythms, and a nostalgic look back at ’90s indie rock.
Number 13: Stromae
Here is what I said when I first discovered this album: Stromae became an international star in 2009 with the song “Alors on danse” and followed that success with a multi-million selling album called Racine carrée in 2013. Over the next few years he wrote a song that became the anthem for the Belgian football team, recorded with artists such as Kanye West and Lorde, and became the first French-speaking artist to sell out Madison Square Garden. In 2018, he started a fashion line and released his first single in three years, followed by a collaboration with Coldplay in 2019. In 2021, after another three-year break, he released his next single in honor of the dedication of the working class during the Covid pandemic. All of this is to say that he is an international superstar but has released very little music over his almost fifteen-year career, so the new release of his third album, Multitude, should be met with glee by all of his millions of fans. It is already on my list for best of 2022. The dance production of the songs that made him famous is still present on this new album, but his vocals are emphasized more than the groove on most of the songs. The last ten years have created a world-wide merging of music that is evident more and more in the music of many artists from around the world, in part due to the work of Stromae fifteen years ago. This new album is a perfect example and a beautiful piece of 21st century songwriting. I stand by that.
Number 12: Brian Eno
Brian Eno is a living legend, one of the most influential artists in the history of recorded music, and a genius. At this point in his career he has nothing to prove and, one may assume, nothing new to add to his diverse collection of recorded output. I’m not going to say that Foreverandevernomore is groundbreaking because it is not. However, it is his first vocal album in many years and, as usual, is different than the rest. There is a darkness lurking behind his electronic wizardry on this release, which is to be expected by an artist as thoughtful as Eno. He has lived long enough to see the world with the clarity that comes from age and wisdom, and clearly does not like what he sees. Like many of his albums, the record can be listened to as background ambience or can be listened to with headphones as an audio experience. In either case, and I have done both many times this year, the result is one of a sinister beauty that is both calming and upsetting. That is rare in music these days, and it is wonderful to see that Eno is still able to provide such depth in his music.
Number 11: Silvana Estrada
My favorite vocal album of 2021 is Vulture Prince by Pakistani-American Arooj Aftab. It is an incredible modernization of Pakistani poetry that she re-interpreted in order to combine the beauty of the lyrics with a minimalist blend of her gorgeous vocals, guitar, bass, piano, harp, and other strings. Silvana Estrada is a twenty-five year old Mexican songwriter, and her album Marchita presents a similar collection of recordings to the Aftab album but from a Mexican perspective. Although Estrada’s songs are not based on traditional Mexican poetry (she wrote them all as a response to the dissolution of her first serious relationship), she did teach herself to play the cuatro (a traditional 4-string Mexican folk instrument) and then record her songs with a minimal arrangement of strings and percussion. The result is a beautiful collection of eleven tracks whose deep emotional impact transcends language. There are clearly references to traditional Mexican music found throughout the songs but Estrada has created a modern album that blends old with new. The end result is a feeling that the listener has been allowed entrance to a private chamber music performance. This is a soulful and gorgeous album.
Number 10: Charlotte Adigery and Bolis Pupul with Soulwax
I love to find modern dance music that blends styles, sounds, and techniques with a modern viewpoint. This is rare and often results from the collaboration of young artists with creative producers. There is no better example of this in 2022 than Topical Dancer by vocalist Charlotte Adigery, composer Bolis Pupul, and producer Soulwax. Adigery and Pupul compose songs that attack racism, discrimination, bullying, objectification, and other issues with wit and intelligence. Adigery’s lyrics are often created as stream-of-conscious poetry. The beats are infectious and the record grooves from start to finish. There is a lot to digest in this record, and every listen presents a new lyric, sound, or bit of rhythm that was missed before. If you just want to dance then this is a great record, but there is also a thoughtful songwriting aesthetic throughout the album that makes it work just as well for simple listening pleasure.
Note: I don’t know what it is about Belgian dance music, but both Stromae (#13) and these artists are from Belgium. While most people obsess over the new records by Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, and other American artists, I am apparently drawn more toward whatever is happening over in Belgium. Historically speaking, it is one of my favorite countries. Perhaps that history, based in a strong national character born out of The Great War, has led (100 years later) into an indefinable aesthetic that produces smart, current, dance music.
Number 9: Starcrawler
I’m a sucker for hard-driving, old-school rock and roll. Starcrawler provide just that. She Said presents ten songs in thirty minutes – in other words, they get straight to the rocking point and finish before they have barely started. Each track has a big hook, simple solo, and catchy chorus. The slow ones build and explode. There are bombastic full-band shout choruses. The solos shred. The songs often end cold in a burst of energy. There is nothing groundbreaking going on here, although it is refreshing to find a female rock vocalist who sings like an adult instead of like a little girl. There may not be anything new musically going on here, but when you can draw upon influences like The Clash, The Ramones, The Pretenders, Blondie, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Weezer, and any of your favorite rock bands of the last forty years why try to rework a successful formula. Bottom line – this rocks.
Number 8: Wet Leg
Wet Leg exploded onto the music scene 2021 with their now-classic song “Chaise Longue” and then followed that one up with the amazing “Wet Dream.” After a few more singles, they finally released their full length self-titled debut in 2022. It includes all of their 2021 songs, along with a nice collection of all original material. Now that we can all hear their complete output in one collection, it is clear that they reside in a world born out of ’80s artists like Tears and Fears and The Cure, but with a modern mix of production and lyrical perspective. Although it would have been great if they could have created the Album Of The Year, it should have been expected that they were never going to follow up their first two singles with even better songs. That is not to say that this isn’t a great record, but “Chaise Longue” and “Wet Dream” show themselves as outliers when added to this album. Those songs are unique and it is obvious why they were released as singles almost a year before this album’s release. The rest of the tracks are much more cohesive as an overall sound and vision. This band wants to create catchy guitar-driven alt-rock songs. Time will tell if they have any staying power, but for now it is safe to say that Wet Leg aren’t just a one (or two) hit wonder.
Number 7: Spoon
Lucifer On The Sofa
Spoon are the greatest indie rock band of the 21st century. They have released a string of beloved albums over the last twenty-five years. After so many years of recording and touring, most artists find themselves settling into a life of playing their hits to legions of adoring fans. Spoon could easily settle in, tour every two or three years, and release an album once in a while with one or two newer sounding songs. Instead, 2022’s Lucifer On The Sofa is arguably one of their five best albums. It isn’t as good as Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Kill The Moonlight, or Gimme Fiction, but those albums define an era. It is, however, a solid collection of songs, which can’t be said for all of Spoon’s albums. “The Hardest Cut” and “Wild” are obvious new additions to future greatest hits tours, and the entire album keeps your interest from start to finish. While some of their more famous contemporaries are either wrapping it up (Radiohead), constantly evolving away from the music that made them beloved (Wilco), or just getting boring (Foo Fighters and Green Day), Spoon has never stopped writing quality songs that sound like Spoon. Even more than Weezer, Spoon continues to keep their fans overjoyed, and this new release is their best in years.
Number 6: Black Midi
* This is the second of three picks by Faux Jr. for his Top Three of the year.
Black Midi are the most creative and important new indie rock band of the last five years. Each of their releases expands upon their original vision. With Hellfire, their third album in four years, they have now created a trio of albums that redefine prog/art rock. Their albums aren’t quite as sonically explosive as their live shows but the listener can still feel the gut punching drum, bass, and sax attack that their live shows provide. In a perfect world, this album would win a Grammy, but music this interesting, intellectual, and difficult to listen to will never gain mass popularity. For those who have discovered this new band over the last few years, this album is a rarity in the world of recorded music – it is so good that it lives up to all of the expectations of their fans and delivers arguably their most cohesive and diverse album yet. However, it still falls firmly within the experimental musical realm the band created with their first two albums. Overall, Black Midi’s first three records are as strong as any debut trio of albums by any rock band over the last few decades. Time will tell if they end up as beloved as King Crimson, as successful as Sonic Youth, or as influential as Can. In the meantime, in this world were bands of this type fall apart before they hit their ten year peak or meander into less interesting songwriting (see King Gizzard), their fans can only hope that their next record continues this streak of amazing recordings.
Number 5: Big Thief
Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You
In just over five years, Big Thief have become one of the most successful alt-rock bands. They are multiple Grammy nominees, and it is very possible that this album, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, will win the Grammy for Best Alternative Rock Album. The fact that they are considered alt-rock shows just how diverse music has become, and how hard it is to categorize artists. If one reads about this band, they will see words like noisy, experimental, and eclectic mixed in with descriptions of their music as alternative, Americana, folk, indie, and many other categories. I would categorize the band as alt-country, but that is not important. All that matters is that the songwriting is so strong that it would work in any style performed by any artist. Big Thief aren’t great musicians, Lenker is not a great vocalist, and the band doesn’t necessarily blow the listener away with their sound, but that is why the songwriting stands out so strongly. As a whole, this is music that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. No matter how it is classified, this band has found a nationwide audience who love the strong songwriting, heartfelt lyrics, and pleasant warbling vocals of Adrianne Lenker and it appears that they are bound for a lifetime of success.
Number 4: Weyes Blood
It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody
Ms. Faux and I learned about British vocalist Rumer in 2010 after she released her debut album Seasons Of My Soul. It was a strong collection of mostly original material and was followed two years later with the album Boys Don’t Cry, a fantastic collection of ’70s covers by artists such as Todd Rundgren, Hall and Oates, and Townes Van Zandt. These two albums are still favorites in the Faux household and Rumer has always been an artist we love, although it is unfortunate that she has never broken out at the level her talent deserves. She sings with a distinctive tone and utilizes a vocal technique in which she comes in just behind the beat and bends her notes up and immediately back down, adding a soulful quality to her voice. This technique was not invented by Rumer – for example, it was employed by Joni Mitchell throughout her career – but it is distinctive, and one of the reasons her albums are so compelling. At this point, you may be wondering if I have forgotten what album I am supposed to be talking about – It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody by Weyes Blood. The reason I am discussing Rumer is that, whether by coincidence or design, Weyes Blood sings exactly like Rumer. It is actually a little bit uncanny, and when I first heard the title track to her 2022 album I thought it was a new song by Rumer. Most interesting is that Blood not only sings with the same tone in the same range as Rumer, but she utilizes the same voicing technique and focuses her songwriting on the same period of popular music. In the end, my guess is that this is all coincidence, and it makes sense because both artists are working with the same artistic vision. Blood’s songwriting is born out of the ’70s. She lists Joni Mitchell as a main influence, and that is obvious after you listen to her album. Even more obvious is that she lists Harry Nilsson as an influence, and that is also clear in her songwriting. However, the artist that she most embodies is Laura Nyro and this album could have easily been recorded by Nyro fifty years ago. What is most impressive is that Blood is able to combine all of those influences into her own songwriting style enough that she sounds like an innovator and not an imitator. This album is one of the two best female songwriting performances of the year (the best is coming up) and if it had been released earlier than mid-November it would be making more end of year lists than it appears to be making.
Number 3: Black Country, New Road
Ants From Up There
* This is the third of three picks by Faux Jr. for his Top Three of the year.
The most impressive feat by a rock band this year is that Black Country, New Road released a prog/art/post rock album that is better than Black Midi’s album. This is the second album by the group, and although last year’s For The First Time was a great debut release, it did not prepare me to believe that the band had an album in them as good as Ants From Up There. The music of this band is not for everyone, and many will turn away at first listen if they aren’t open to frenetic, chaotic post-rock of this type. For the rest of us, this record checks every box with perfection. Slowly building verses that burst into gloriously bombastic choruses are a hallmark of this sound, but there are also wonderful instrumentals, long meandering ballads, and a non-stop diversity of dynamics, tempos, and rhythms. There are strings, horns, guitars, and keys all over the place. Most importantly, the lyrics and vocals of Isaac Wood are constantly urgent and compelling. More than any other album I heard this year, this one gets better with each listen. There is so much going on in these songs that a single (or two or three) listens is not near enough to unwrap all that they have to offer. Unfortunately, the urgency of these songs also coincides with an urgent need for all of us to discover and adore this album now since guitarist/vocalist Isaac Wood had to leave the band upon its release due to mental health issues. The band will continue and welcome him back if possible, but for now this is the last Black Country, New Road album that will sound like this. Luckily for all of us, it is a post/prog/art rock masterpiece.
Number 2: Mitski
Mitski has evolved greatly during the course of her ten plus year, six album career. Laurel Hell finds her landing, perhaps for a while, on the indie pop end of the spectrum. This set of eleven songs comes in at just over 30 minutes and, as with all of her records, every song hits its mark out of the gate and wraps up before any redundancy is even possible. The songs are catchy. The lyrics and vocals are fantastic. The album is a treasure. This was the first new album I fell in love with this year and it has remained at the top of my list for almost a year. If the next album on this list had not fallen into my lap (pun intended – you’ll see) then Laurel Hell would have stayed in the #1 spot for the entire year.
Number 1: Yard Act
I love The Fall. I believe I could argue they are the greatest punk band and/or the greatest post-punk band and/or the greatest college radio band and/or the greatest indie rock band. There have been bands over the years who have shown influence by The Fall, most notably indie rock legends Pavement. However, I don’t believe any band has ever presented such an unabashed love of The Fall than Yard Act. Their 2022 debut album The Overload isn’t a one hundred percent imitation of Mark E. Smith’s sound, but it contains some level of Fall homage in every song, including a few, especially “Rich,” that would have sounded perfect if Smith had performed them himself. Every song on this album is great. The riffs are great. The groove is never-ending. The lyrics are unabashedly in-your-face British politics. The spirit of The Jam, The Clash, Billy Bragg, and, of course, The Fall are embedded throughout the album. This is why they are my number one album pick of the year, and also why some will hate this record. One thing is for sure; Mark E. Smith would have hated this record because he hated everything and everyone, but I bet the members of Yard Act would wear his hatred as a badge of honor.
And that wraps up the last Radio Faux Show for awhile. I’ll be back soon with a new, retooled format. And, as always…
Thanks for listening (and reading)!
|1||Fontaines D.C.||In ar gCroithe go deo|
|2||Spoon||The Hardest Cut|
|3||Wet Leg||Chaise Longue|
|4||Yard Act||The Overload|
|5||Black Country, New Road||Concorde|
|6||Black Midi||Welcome To Hell|
|7||Mitski||Working For The Knife|
|9||Alvvays||After The Earthquake|
|10||Big Thief||Spud Infinity|
|11||Angel Olsen||Big Time|
|12||Daniel Rossen||It’s A Passage|
|13||Brian Eno||There Were Bells|
|14||Weather Station, The||To Talk About|
|15||Weyes Blood||It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody|
|17||Beach House||Once Twice Melody|
|18||Charlotte Adigery and Bolis Pupul||Esperanto|
|20||Ibibio Sound Machine||Protection From Evil|
|22||Dalek||Decimation (Dis Nation)|
|23||Nilufer Yanya||The Dealer|
|24||Smile, The||The Smoke|
|26||Caroline Shaw and Attacca Quartet||And So|
|27||Charles Goold||Lo’s Lament|
|28||Son House||Forever On My Mind|
|29||Bruce Springsteen||I Wish It Would Rain|