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On The CMU Stereo 2022 – Winter

By | Published on Tuesday 6 December 2022

Yard Act

It’s the end of another year, so once again it’s time to round up our favourite tracks of the last twelve months. It’s always tough to get this end-of-year playlist down to 40 tracks, but this year it was absolutely agonising.

Maybe it’s because this was the year we finally came out of COVID restrictions, but there was a hell of a lot of great music released in 2022. So our starting point was a great deal larger than the final list. Some outstanding music was lost. Then added back in again. Then cut once more. And then we’d remember a track we’d forgotten and be back at square one.

We did it though, you’ll no doubt be pleased to hear, and have compiled a 40 track playlist representing a wide array of artists and genres. There are tracks you will definitely know on there, and others you almost certainly won’t.

It’s great. So great. We’d like to share the whole thing with you now, but we can’t. That would mess up the whole plan for the next two weeks. So today you get the first ten tracks, all released back at the beginning of the year.

We start with Rolo Tomassi’s ‘Closer’, probably the calmest track from their ‘Where Myth Becomes Memory’ album, which elsewhere is punishingly heavy. They are a band who really stand alone in heavy music and their sixth album shows that off perfectly.

Next up are Belief – a collaboration between producer Boom Bip and Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa – with ‘I Want To Be’, the first single from their eponymous debut album, which arrived in July. From there we have King Hannah’s ‘Big Big Baby’, one of the many great tracks from their brilliant debut album ‘I’m Sorry, I Was Just Being Me’.

Yard Act are a band who have had a pretty meteoric rise over the last couple of years, which saw them go from being “that new band who sound a bit like The Fall” to “the band who sound a bit like The Fall who’ve just recorded a single with Elton John” in a matter of months.

I think they also proved that there’s more to them than just sounding a bit like The Fall too. Their own idiosyncrasies have revealed themselves more over time, and will continue to do so. And their debut album, ‘The Overload’, is one of this year’s real standouts.

Kathryn Joseph’s ‘What Is Keeping You Alive Makes Me Want To Kill Them For’ quietly seethes with rage. Its disarmingly gentle sound adding huge weight to the powerful lyrics, this track is a great example of why Joseph is such an impressive artist.

And speaking of impressive artists, Wesley Joseph (no relation) introduced his next album with the track ‘Cold Summer’ back in February. I played it to a lot of people and raved about how he was in album of the year territory with this track. That album is yet to arrive, but that gives us something to eagerly look forward to in 2023.

A definite contender for our album of the year is Tomberlin’s ‘I Don’t Know Who Needs To Hear This’. Her second LP, it is packed full of finely crafted songs, which as a collection create an intimate atmosphere and emotional depth.

That was only amplified by a show down in the Margate Caves – actually a more than 200 year old chalk mine – which was one of the most memorable performances I think I will ever see. Here we’ve selected the the album’s second single, ‘Happy Accidents’.

Next up is Nilüfer Yanya with ‘The Dealer’, from her second album ‘Painless’, another of our favourites this year (also a contender for later in this playlist was her amazing cover of PJ Harvey’s ‘Rid Of Me’).

Then we’ve got ‘In My Head’ by Lights – a massive star in her native Canada and someone who consistently turns out interesting pop music – a trend continued on her fifth album, ‘Pep’, this year.

Finally in this first batch of ten tracks on this year’s playlist is ‘I Want A Love Like This’ by Everything Everything. On their sixth album the band collaborated with an AI bot called Kevin, which wrote a portion of the record’s lyrics, as well as designing artwork and promotional images. Far from being the downfall of everything, the introduction of the technology helped the band turn in yet another great album.

Enough talking about these tracks though, time for listening. Assuming you haven’t just skipped forward and hit play already. Check out the playlist on Spotify and YouTube, and stay tuned for the next block of ten tracks – our spring selection – on Thursday.

Here are the ten tracks on our winter playlist:

Rolo Tomassi – Closer
Belief – I Want To Be
King Hannah – Big Big Baby
Yard Act – Rich
Kathryn Joseph – What Is Keeping You Alive Makes Me Want To Kill Them For
Wesley Joseph – Cold Summer
Tomberlin – Happy Accident
Nilüfer Yanya – The Dealer
Lights – In My Head (feat Josh Dun)
Everything Everything – I Want A Love Like This

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