With another hard-going year behind us, we’ve continued to seek comfort in new music released by our favourite hard-working and talented artists. There’s been an immense amount of incredible new music released, so we want to shed some light on some of the tunes that got us through the hard times, accompanied the good times, and generally saw us through 2022.
To start our annual end of year round-ups, we’re sharing our ‘Tracks Of 2022’ ahead of features on our favourite albums tomorrow, with ‘highlights’ and ‘Ones To Watch 2023’ next week… Have a read about some of the tunes we’ve been loving the most, and make sure you hit play on the accompanying playlist to hear just how fantastic they all are!
Petrol Girls – ‘Baby, I Had An Abortion’
Taken from this year’s epic album, Baby, Petrol Girls’ absolutely colossal anthem ‘Baby, I Had An Abortion’ has probably been my most listen-to track of the year. A raging cacophony fuelled by a riotous catharsis urging us to fight against the confines of this damaging patriarchal society and heinous pro-life laws, it also recognises that abortions – whilst often traumatic – can come with a sense of relief and happiness, and our access to them is something to be celebrated. The album as a whole offers a range of fiercely impassioned anthems; a powerfully affecting and utterly necessary collection (other highlights include ‘Fight For Our Lives’, featuring GIHE fave Janey Starling).
(Mari Lane – Co-Founder)
Problem Patterns – ‘Y.A.W’
A powerful, necessary anthem for women and girls who have spoken out against violent misogyny, it was an honour to premiere the video for this track from Belfast punks Problem Patterns on Get In Her Ears this year. The track is a visceral rumination on the universal rage and despair that permeates our consciousness in the wake of public violence towards women, in particular, the misogynist killings of Sarah Everard and Aisling Murphy. An acronym for ‘Yes All Women’ – antagonising the social media excuse ‘Not All Men’ – on ‘Y.A.W’ the band unleash a cathartic cacophony of noise as they demand “Who do we call for help / When the help seems like a threat to me?”. I cried the first time I heard the track, and it still hits a nerve now.
(Kate Crudgington – Co-Founder)
LibraLibra – ‘Frenemies’
Following the release of their second EP, Modern Millenial, GIHE faves LibraLibra this year treated us to their utterly unique fusion of pop, electro and punk with ‘Frenemies’. Lulling us into a false sense of security with a sweeping orchestral intro, it builds with a haunting majesty into an epic frenzied cacophony. As it rages with a colossal magnificence, front woman Beth’s vocals simmer with a sultry allure before exploding into a riotous anthem seething with dark undertones. LibraLibra are heading out on a UK headline tour in March 2023 (you do not want to miss them live!) – details here. (ML)
CLT DRP – ‘Aftermath’
This track from Brighton trio CLT DRP is a compelling exploration of the way we process generational trauma following sexual assault. It’s a heavy, but important listen that sees vocalist Annie pushing through uncomfortable truths, finding new ways to relate to, and process these difficult emotions. It’s a powerful anthem, and one that will resonate with many GIHE followers. (KC)
Mannequin Death Squad – ‘Super Mental Psycho’
The title track of their immense new album, this single from Aussie duo Elly and Dan – aka Mannequin Death Squad – blasts into the ears with a raw, frenzied energy, creating a perfectly ferocious blast of infectious grunge-tinged rock showcasing a unique colossal power. We were lucky enough to host the London leg of Mannequin Death Squad’s UK tour this summer at The Cavendish Arms, and I was completely blown away by their fiercely captivating energy. (ML)
After London – ‘Hurricane’
‘Hurricane’ is the latest single from alt-rock five-piece After London. It opens with a dark and groovy bassline and unsettling guitar riff, mirroring lyrics about anxiety and the dark underpinnings of technology. The lyrics are delivered in a sharp spoken word style relaying the track’s clever wordsmithing and strong imagery before breaking into a catchy melodic chorus. The band say it’s perfect for a late-night drive and I won’t hesitate to say I agree. (Ella Patenall – Contributor)
ARXX – ‘The Last Time’
I know we’ve been banging on about them for years now, but total faves Hanni and Clara – aka ARXX – really do just keep going from strength to strength. They’ve had a pretty wonderful year – with airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music as well as tours with the likes of The Big Moon and Pillow Queens – and their success is so well deserved. Taken from their upcoming new album Ride Or Die, ‘The Last Time’ showcases ARXX’s unique ability to combine an immense raucous energy with ridiculously catchy pure pop hooks. Impossible to pigeonhole into one genre, they continue to impress with everything they do, and remain truly one of the most exciting – and completely lovely – bands I’ve ever known. (ML)
M(h)aol – ‘Bored Of Men’
I said on one of our Soho Radio shows earlier this year that this single from Irish post punks M(h)aol should be the new intro song for Love Island, and I stand by it! Vocalist Roisin’s frustration is palpable as she delivers her candid lyrics, underscored by a cacophony of abrasive riffs and thumping beats. The band will be releasing their debut album, Attachment Styles, next year. I can’t wait to hear it in full. (KC)
Collars – ‘Rainbows’
A new favourite of 2022 for sure, Collars totally blew me away supporting Currls at the Shacklewell Arms for us this month. As Kane simultaneously pummelled the drums whilst blasting out whirring hooks on guitar, Dan exuded a captivating charisma as the soaring power of their vocals filled the venue – an utterly unique live experience. And ‘Rainbows’, taken from this year’s debut album Clyde, showcases the duo’s energy-filled, fuzz-strewn indie-punk perfectly. (ML)
Human Interest – ‘Mixing Paint’
Having received wide-spread acclaim for their debut EP, Desire Paths, earlier this year, and wowing crowds at shows supporting legends like Self Esteem and Dave Rowntree, London duo Human Interest have firmly cemented themselves as new favourites of mine over the last few months. Reflecting on the darkest crevices of the mind with a fizzing post-punk energy, ‘Mixing Paint‘ oozes the band’s trademark gritty allure as the sweeping power of Tyler Damara Kelly’s vocals ripple alongside atmospheric bass hooks, building with driving beats into a fiercely immersive anthem. (ML)
Nikki & The Waves – ‘The Phone Song’
Having initially been recommended to listen to Nikki & The Waves by Chester trio Peaness when interviewing them for our Soho Radio show earlier this year, I soon became a mega fan of their quirky energy and uplifting vibrant groove. Interweaving Nikki’s lush, honey-sweet vocals with a unique, funk-fuelled musicality, ‘The Phone Song’ showcases all there is to love about this Manchester collective. And we were lucky enough to host Nikki & The Waves and their joyous cacophonies live at The Victoria this summer. (ML)
Junodef – ‘Diane’s Robot’
Junodef are an art rock trio from Sweden and every song they write is a carefully-crafted gem, including their latest single ‘Diane’s Robot’. The song opens with a stunning melancholic guitar, the tone bringing to mind Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. The soft but defiant vocal enters giving the song a dark folky flavour before the eerie robotic voice comes in with a thick synth bass, giving the folkiness a more electronic punch. With lyrics about being young and overwhelmed, this is a gripping and haunting song that stays with you.
Miss Grit – ‘Like You’
New York-based, Korean-American musician Margaret Sohn aka Miss Grit has always used their art in order to explore, connect with, and understand their own identity further. Inspired by android life on this single ‘Like You’, they blend clear vocals, electric guitar riffs and mesmeric beats to reflect the conflicting nature of our inner voices, weighing up which ones to trust, and which ones to ignore. (KC)
Maria Uzor – ‘Over This’
Having just released her new EP Songs For Luminous Living, Maria Uzor has been continuing to captivate us throughout 2022 with her engaging, resplendent electro-pop offerings and with a spellbinding live performance for us at The Shacklewell Arms this Summer. Taken from the new EP, ‘Over This’ ripples with woozy, seductive beats before building to a fierce, cathartic cacophony pulsating with a gritty energy. Reflecting on a time of reclaiming your identity and being honest with your emotions, it’ll grab your ears with its ferocious allure and keep you firmly in its hold with its deep empowering drive. Songs For Luminous Living, the new EP from Maria Uzor, is out now. (ML)
Noga Erez – ‘Nails’
Flowing with her trademark polished production, vocal swagger and defiant lyrics, I love this track by pop renegade & GIHE favourite Noga Erez. “‘Nails’ is a song about jealousy, and how being jealous of people, in this particular case another woman, makes you idealize that person in a very weird and dark way,” Erez explains about the track. The Tel Aviv-based artist and her music & life partner Ori Rousso explore these emotions through their infectious beats and Erez’s visceral emceeing, playfully loosening the grip of the jealous thoughts that we’re all prone to from time to time. I can’t wait to hear more new music from her in 2023. (KC)
AGAAMA – ‘Blackbox Oracle’
This intoxicating blend of enigmatic vocals, heady electronics and jazz-inspired instrumentation from Birmingham-based artist AGAAMA explores our complex relationship with Artificial Intelligence. Taken from her EP, Wandering Worlds, the track questions whether we can live in harmony with the machines we have created. “My body craves control” she confesses, resisting the urge to become “addicted to your code”, trapped in a push-and-pull scenario that has no concrete solution. I love it. (KC)
O Hell – ‘I Watch The Women’
I’m a big fan of this twitchy electronic soundscape from Brighton-based artist Lucy Sheehan aka O Hell. After years spent touring and recording music in alternative band PROJECTOR, Sheehan has ventured into fresh sonic territory under their new moniker, influenced by a love of eclectic, brooding soundscapes and a desire for creative independence. Sheehan explores this on ‘I Watch The Women’, deconstructing their notion of femininity and reassessing the personal toll this process can take. (KC)
Hannah Schneider – ‘It’s The Season’
Having been big fans of Danish artist Hannah Schneider (also of duo AyOwA) for some time now, we were super excited to welcome the release of her latest album (her first solo release in seven years), Ocean Letters this year. A collection of immersive, celestial soundscapes, each track perfectly showcases Schneider’s ability to bathe your ears in a euphoric, soothing grace as her rich, crystalline vocals ripple with a dreamy ethereal haze. Schneider also made a beautiful guest playlist for us that I’ve pretty much had on repeat for months, listen here. (ML)
all cats are beautiful – ‘heartbeats’
Having fallen completely in love with London duo Elena and Kyle – aka all cats are beautiful (ACAB) – upon listening to last year’s album the things we made, with this love only growing further when they delivered their ‘sad dance tunes’ for us live at The Shacklewell Arms in February, I was super happy when they shared this dreamy rendition of The Knife’s classic. Maintaining all the infectious electro scuzz of the original, whilst adding the duo’s own unique resplendent grace and spellbinding allure, it builds with a whirring splendour to a vibrant, danceable anthem shimmering with a swirling, soothing charm. (ML)
Sea Change – ‘Night Eyes’
Norwegian artist & producer Sea Change’s sounds ebb and flow with a tranquil, yet deeply primal desire to move through an intensity of feeling that sometimes escapes verbal or written articulation. Her electronica ripples with emotion, without every feeling weighty or over-thought. On ‘Night Eyes’, which is taken from her album, Mutual Dreaming, she urges her listeners to let go, and surrender to her heady beats. (KC)
NAMELESS TWIN – ‘My Eyes Went Black’
I was obsessed with this single from industrial/electronic duo Alicia Rei Kim and Ryan Osterman aka NAMELESS TWIN this year. It’s shadowy, it’s heavy, but also delicate in places too – all the things I want in a track! Osterman is also in a band called Holy Fawn, who I saw perform live in August at Venue 229, and they were f.a.n.t.a.s.t.i.c. (KC)
Tomberlin – ‘happy accident’
This track by American musician Tomberlin is a tender reflection on the disconcerting thoughts that come with being in an undefined relationship. Taken from her beautiful second album, i don’t know who needs to hear this…,‘happy accident’ is an urgent, sincere piece of songwriting, underscored by tender vocals and candid, relatable lyrics. Interviewing Tomberlin about her music, and hearing her perform this track live in St Matthias Church in Stoke Newington earlier this year was sublime. (KC)
Miya Folick – ‘Nothing To See’
Emotional, raw and beautifully resilient, Miya Folick’s ‘Nothing To See’ is a tender ode to rediscovering yourself in the aftermath of a painful breakup. Through her clear vocals, candid lyrics and considered instrumentation, Folick accepts that love makes fools of us all, and gracefully reclaims the time she spent changing herself to suit the needs of an unappreciative lover. (KC)
Blonde Maze – ‘Forever Sun’
As any long-term followers will know, New York artist Blonde Maze has been one of my most-listened to artists over the last few years, and 2022 was no exception. Following 2021’s utterly euphoric debut album Something Familar, this year she released a small collection of tracks, each as dreamy as the last. I cannot get enough of the shimmering, heartfelt splendour that she’s consistently able to create; a comforting embrace in audio form. Blonde Maze just never fails to soothe and uplift with her beautiful creations, and I’m forever grateful to be able to immerse myself in her truly blissful soundscapes. (ML)
HNNY – ‘Being In Love’
Another of my most listened-to artists since coming across them during lockdown in 2020 and instantly finding complete comfort in their sparkling, electronic soundscapes, HNNY released a couple of new singles this year – much to my delight. ‘Being In Love’ showcases their ability to bathe the senses in their swirling, effervescent grace, providing a much-needed sonic tonic; a soothing catharsis for the stresses that 2022 has brought. I could literally listen to HNNY on a loop forever and not get bored. (ML)
Massive thanks to all the artists and bands creating wonderful tunes this year! Keep an eye out for our Albums & EPs Of The Year, 2022 Highlights and Ones To Watch for 2023.
Listen to our Tracks Of 2022 playlist now!