Best Of 2022

Although the new year is already in full swing, it’s always worth taking a look back. Here are some of my favourite albums released in 2022:

Michael Rault: Michael Rault

A warm and sonic depth runs through this self-titled album by Michael Rault. The songwriting of Harry Nilsson springs to mind, Emitt Rhodes or even Stevie Wonder. Amidst the lush harmonies and spacious analogue sound, you could almost get the idea that this is a lost work from the 70s that only recently has been rediscovered. But no: Michael Rault releases music since 2008. His present work is the second for Wick Records, which in turn are associated with Daptone. And shows a very mature and passionate songwriting. The sensitive quality is surely also related to the fact that many things changed in Michael Rault’s life: he left his partner, his manager and his backing band, moved from Montreal to Los Angeles and recorded some of the songs in his bedroom. But for the big production, for the smooth string and wind arrangements, there was plenty of help from his circle of friends and rounds off this historically well-inspired piece of classic pop just perfectly.

Apollo Ghosts: Pink Tiger

In their native Canada, Apollo Ghosts are already known and appreciated. The band was formed in 2009 around songwriter Adrian Teacher and drummer Amanda Panda. Most recently, they released an album with ambient tracks as well as a collection of local cover songs, whereby only artists from Vancouver were re-scored by Apollo Ghosts. And now, titled Pink Tiger, there is a regular studio work that deserves special attention: Pink Tiger by Apollo Ghosts was created over the last three years: 22 songs, divided into two chapters: Pink features the acoustic version of the band. It shows a smooth and clever songwriting, in which Teacher undergoes a self-analysis. During the recordings he had the feeling that everything was falling apart: his father was dying and he also lost part of his hearing. The second chapter – Tiger – was recorded a year later and celebrates the endurance of friendship, music and hope. Garnished with strumming guitars, the three piece presents some good old energetic indie rock. So this double-album shows two different sides of one and the same band. And the good thing is: both are absolutely entertaining from beginning to end.

Papercuts: Past Life Regression

Music that refers to the baroque pop of the 60s is still occasionally produced today. For example, by Jason Quever and his project Papercuts. Past Life Regression, his eighth album, sounds very organic and you can hear that the man behind Papercuts not only writes songs but also works as a producer for others: Sugar Candy Mountain, Cass MacCombs or Beach House –  they all have placed themselves in his trusting hands. When Quever himself plays music as Papercuts, his songs often have a melancholic touch and the vintage-heavy sound palette plays well into his hands.

Partner Look: By The Book

When two people wear the same or a very similar outfit, one often speaks of a partner look. I didn’t realise until now that this term is only common in German-speaking countries and tends to cause confusion elsewhere. But that’s exactly why a band from Melbourne has named itself after this pseudoanglizism. The quartet Partner Look consists of the German-born sisters Ambrin and Anila Hasnain and their partners Dainis Lacey and Lachlen Denton. All four musicians are also involved in other music projects: Cool Sounds, The Ocean Party and Studio Magic and also move in related pop terrain. They play through their debut very nonchalantly: By the Book by Partner Look is an album that offers very good entertainment in its casual, charming way.

Dana Gavanski: When It Comes

Dana Gavanski and her music have been on my radar from the very beginning. I’ve watched her songwriting evolve from humble, soulful folk to a more daring art-pop direction. On her second album, When It Comes, the Serbian-Canadian songwriter is coming a step closer to the wondrous sound world of Robert Wyatt. She has a very playful and honest style, and like Wyatt, it’s the fragile voice that really carries you away. Hard to believe, but it wasn’t long ago that Gavanski lost her voice due to illness. Thankfully, she’s back again and in great shape and has delivered this wonderful, timeless yet beautifully idiosyncratic album that sadly far too few people know about. Also check out the live report from last year’s Reeperbahn Festival. It was a very special event!

Way Dynamic: So Familiar

There are always cultural hotspots, places where a lot of talented musicians gather at one time and create something special: an exceptional sound that stands for a certain time and a certain place. One such hotspot at the moment is clearly Melbourne in Australia. Good projects are springing up like mushrooms and everything is somehow connected. Way Dynamic is the name of the project of the Australian Dylan Young. Young, who was just touring as a drummer with Emma Russack & Lachlan Denton as well as Snowy Band. He played two gigs each evening and now presents his ambitious solo project: Way Dynamic. On his stunning debut So Familiar, Young shows a knack for putting together familiar retro sounds in a new way. The sound of the American West Coast and the early 70ties shimmers through, yet it is not simply copied. Once again, I’m amazed at how a single person manages to replace an entire band so effortlessly.

No Frills: Downward Dog

Downward Dog is the fabulous debut of the Canadian band No Frills. In their own words, this is a collection of DIY pop hits with serious themes such as depression, despair, life and death. But most of all, this band wants to have fun! And that is noticeable all along the record: No Frills from Toronto moves quite nonchalantly through the songs. Also the recording process was exceptional. For example, the singer wore a hygiene mask and sang through a toilet paper roll attached to the microphone. Just to capture the right sound for his voice. This pretty much sums up the album – lots of ideas floating around to discover!

Pete Astor: Time On Earth

Pete Astor and his bands The Loft and The Weather Prophets are among the best Creation Records had to offer in the 80s. And British songwriter is still a very good storyteller: Time On Earth is the name of his new album, and as on its predecessor One For The Ghost, the theme of „life after death“ plays a central role. Pete Astor shows himself reflective and personal, and he knows exactly what he is singing about. Dealing with death can be a cheerful and comforting thing when you think of dear friends who have recently passed away and are sorely missed. Life goes on while Pete Astor created one of his most beautiful albums.

Vertraute Klänge

Allerhand vertraute Klänge gibt es heute bei Golden Glades – und dies, obwohl wir es vornehmlich mit Erstlingswerken zu tun haben. «Old music is very direct, emotional and to the point; it involved camaraderie – people sharing and playing together». So (v)erklärt Ben Schwab, weshalb der Westküsten-Sound der 1970er Jahre gerade wieder so angesagt ist. Der Kalifornier gibt sein Debüt als Sylvie und ist zugleich als Teil des Softrock-Kollektivs Drugdealer aktiv.

Der Australier Dylan Young alias Way Dynamic setzt ebenso offenherzig auf Retroklänge. Folglich treffend ist sein Debütwerk «So Familiar» betitelt. Obwohl bestens im heimischen Melbourne vernetzt, hat Way Dynamic hier im Alleingang opulent-eklektizistische Klanglandschaften kreiert.

Vertraute Klänge war zu hören am Mittwoch, den 02.11.22 – 17:00-19:00 Uhr.
Wdh.: Donnerstag, 03.11. von 7:00-9:00 Uhr und Samstag, 05.11. von 15:00-17:00 Uhr

Stream online here: ByteFM
Hamburg UKW: 91,7 & 104,0 MHz & DAB+
Berlin DAB+: Kanal 7B

SoftlanderElmo Atomic BombOh, Sister Records
Marker StarlingYet You Go OnTin Angel Records
lazylazyNothing For No
Frankie CosmosAbigailSub Pop
Frankie CosmosEmpty HeadSub Pop
The ChantsA Man Without A FaceGrapefruit
Cormac O CaoimhDidn't WeBaby Moon
Robert ForsterShe's A FighterTapete
EggSHow It Was BeforeHowlin' Banana / Prefect Rec
Laure BriardNe pas trop rester bleueThird Eye Stimuli
Maria Rode_sRecordarteElefant
Lia PaminaEncriptadoElefant
Dear NoraFruitful StreamsOrindal
Lewis McLaughlinRollin' OnMonohands Records
Model ShopCompilation TapeMeritorio
The Go! TeamLook Away, Look AwayMemphis Industries
The Natural LinesIt's A TrapBella Union
Maxine FunkeSouth DunedinDisciples
Andi SchoonThe Boy and the
FloorbrothersNewsouthwalesIkarus Records
Say Sue MeElevate Me LaterDamnably
The ClienteleThe NeighbourTapete
Bill PritchardTrenthamTapete
Cozy SlippersRemiKUS / Subjangle
TH Da FreakThe CallHowlin' Banana Rec
DrugdealerBaby (feat. Tim Presley)Mexican Summer
SylvieShooting StarFull Time Hobby
DisqPrize Contest LifeSaddle Creek
the sheavesHit SillyMoone Records

Zurück in die 1970er

Wohl kaum ein Jahrzehnt war musikalisch so vielseitig wie die 1970er-Jahre: Punk und Funk, Avantgarde und Disco, Reggea und Progrock. Doch es ist vor allem der geschmeidige AM Pop, der sich in aktuellen Variationen in dieser Golden Glades-Ausgabe wiederfindet:

Marina Allen bewahrt mit ihrem zweiten Album «Centrifics» den künstlerischen Geist des Laurel Canyon. Ihre Songs klingen auf Anhieb vertraut, obwohl die Arrangements allerhand Wendungen vollziehen. Ihr kalifornischer Kollege Chris Cohen hat mitgeholfen, diesen warmen und vielseitigen Sound umzusetzen.

Auch die in Salt Lake City ansässige britische Künstlerin Suzanne May aka Fonteyn orientiert sich an der Songwriterschule der 70er Jahre. Ihr Debüt «Trip the Light Fantastic» erinnert an The Carpenters oder Carole King.

Einen etwas anderen Eindruck des Jahrzehnts vermittelt die vom Kulturwissenschaftler Jon Savage zusammengestellte Compilation «Symbols Clashing Everywhere». Wie der Name schon andeutet, ist hier eine Auswahl der seinerzeit koexistierenden Genres vertreten, vornehmlich aus den Jahren 1977-1979.

Zurück in die 1970er war zu hören am Mittwoch, den 21.09.22 – 17:00-19:00 Uhr.
Wdh.: Donnerstag, 22.09. von 7:00-9:00 Uhr und Samstag, 24.09. von 15:00-17:00 Uhr

Stream online here: ByteFM
Hamburg UKW: 91,7 & 104,0 MHz & DAB+
Berlin DAB+: Kanal 7B

Stephen BaileyThe HolderThird Eye Stimuli
Living HourMiss Miss MissKanine
Son ParapluieA l'assaut du ciel f/ Isobel Campbell80 Proof Records
Aoife Nessa FrancisThis Still LifePartisan Records
Marina AllenCeladonFire Records
Chris CohenMonadCaptured Tracks
Marina AllenHalfway HomeFire Records
Judee SillJesus Was A Cross MakerAsylum
Way DynamicSo
The DiodesTired of Waking Up TiredAce Records
Brian EnoKing's Lead HatAce Records
Sunbeam Sound MachineParadiseDot Dash/Remote Control
The Boys with The Perpetual NervousnessOld Pictures of OurselvesBobo Integral
Bill CallahanCoyotesDrag City
TriptidesI'm With YouCuration Records
Max GowanGuardianSound As Language
FonteynThese DaysBorn Losers Records
FonteynSavannahBorn Losers Records
Rozi PlainAgreeing For TwoMemphis Industries
SoftlanderBoliviaOh, Sister Records
Arthur VerocaiCabocloMr. Bongo
Tim BernardesFaltaComala
Kate BollingerRunningGhostly International
Andi SchoonBurd Ellen and Young
The Düsseldorf DüsterboysGangsterStaatsakt
Horse Jumper of LoveI Poured Sugar in Your ShoesRun For Cover
Alex GMiraclesDomino
The Slow SummitsTime's On Your SideHundreds and Thousands Rec
The OrchidsEchos (Have Hope)Skep Wax
Weyes BloodIt's Not Just Me, It's EverybodySub Pop
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