Turn Up The Volume’s 10 BEST ALBUMS Of 2022 (So Far)

Looking back at the first six months of great 2022 albums

1. The Great Regression by DITZ (Brighton UK)

Band: DITZ
Who: Post-punk gang from Brighton (UK)
that hit the scene back in 2015

Debut album: THE GREAT REGRESSION

Released: CD/digital on 4 March 2022, vinyl
on 29th July, all via Alcopop! Records
Order facilities: here

Cal (frontman): “Themes of insecurity and gender pop up a lot over the course of the album,
as well as lots of references to the human body breaking and being harmed in unnatural ways, although there’s no one overarching concept, simply because the songs have come together over such a long period of time. The title is not so much a reference to society going backwards, but more the band’s penchant for childish jokes. “Sitting in a van all day can get silly.”

Joe Talbot (Idles): “DITZ are the best band in Brighton, if not the world”.

TUTV said: After playing opener Clocks to the max, with its Blitzkrieg grinta, it felt
like the band and I were already out of breath. Wrong, as several KO Killers follow (Ded Würst / The Warden / I Am Kate Moss and the JAWDROPPING missile closer). Ditz are a mean manic post-punk machine. The first minutes of the slower pieces (Three / Instinct / Teeth) are misleading, halfway they explode like grenades.

No rest for the wicked, no rest for Ditz, no rest for your ears.

Stream/buy here…


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2. Skinty Fia by FONTAINES D.C. (Dublin, Ireleand)

Band: FONTAINES D.C.
Who: Irish post-punk team
Albums: Drogel (2019) and A Hero’s Death (2020)


(photo by Turn Up the Volume)

New album: SKINTY FIA – 3rd LP
Released: 22 April via Partisan Records

Pitchfork said: “The Irish post-punk band’s most demanding and musically adventurous album is also its most open-hearted, striking a perfect balance between tough and tender.”

TUTV wrote: Musically and lyrically, this 3rd LP is moony, mellow and pensive with frontman Grian Chatten becoming a modern-day crooner who touches sensitive hearts, especially Irish ones as this album is about their Irish past/present/future identity in and outside of their beloved country.

Stream full LP here on Spotify…

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3. ‘Beware Believers’ by CROWS (London)

Band: CROWS
Who: Post-punk 4-piece from London


(photo by Turn Up The Volume)

New album: BEWARE BELIEVERS
The follow-up to their smoking debut
LP Silver Tongues (2019).

Released: April 1st – Bad Vibrations Records

James Cox (frontman): “The majority of the themes on the album came from what was going on in the world around in summer 2019, Covid wasn’t in our lives and the biggest impact was Brexit and the madness our government were putting us through. I was reading a lot of J.G. Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut whilst all this craziness was going on around us and it was a weird headspace to get into.”

TUTV said: “Blistering hammer blows like Garden Of England, Slowly Separate, and Room 156 are already noted in my end-of-the-year list of best 2022 knockouts. And reflective reality checks like the Joy Division-esque Healing, Moderation, Wild Eyed & and Loathsome, and the fucktastic Meanwhile have the sonic vehemence to burn holes in your stereo.

Raging ad roaring all the way. Big tunes, big emotions, big scores.

Stream/buy album here…


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4. ‘The Fantasy Life Of Poetry & Crime’ by PETER DOHERTY And FREDERIC LO (UK/France)

Artists: PETER DOHERTY and FRÉDÉRIC LO
Who: The Libertines man and the French composer/producer.


(photo by Turn Up The Volume)

Album: THE FANTASY LIFE OF POETRY & CRIME
Released: 18 March 2022 – order info here

NME wrote: “Breezy and charming baroque indie. The Libertines and Babyshambles man’s first collaborative album with French musician, composer and producer Frédéric Lo, is testament to that: written and recorded in Pete’s new home of France, there’s a sense of place throughout.” Full review: here.

Turn Up The Volume: The result of the collaboration of wordsmith and poetry fanatic
Peter Doherty and French composer Frédéric Lo who wrote the music, is a sparkling thing
of beauty. This is the record to play when you’re feeling lazy, and in the mood for doing jus nothing but daydreaming while lying in a green field enjoying the sun. Expect romantic lullabies with violins, piano and smooth horns, sweet little pop ditties, and sepia-colored tunes that transfer you to a place far away from our cruel reality.

Stream full album here…

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5. ‘The Early Years‘ by WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH (Belgium)

Artist: WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH
Who: The maestro of Belgian post-punk
crusaders Elefant and the guitarist of former
power-pop rockers The Van Jets


(photo by Julian Hills)

Debut album: THE EARLY EARS
Released: 5 May 2022 – Buy here

Wolf: “It has become a retrospective record with songs that muse about childhood,
love or life or songs that were effectively written in my youth. In terms of sound, it is a combination of acoustic, electric and electronic sounds.”

Turn Up The Volume said: Vanwymeersh is a song architect. All lullabies, reveries, and tunes at play here stick quickly. But with every listen you discover how rich and subtly layered the musical arrangements and feel-good orchestrations. Then again he invites
you into his sonic labyrinth where he goes left, right, and back in one and the same song (When You’re Old And Grey And Full Of Sleep / Fall From Grace).

The easy-listing construction of his classy compositions transfers you to
a place where reality fades away and makes room for mellow memories.

Stream/buy The Early Years here…


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6. ‘I Am Not Feng Shui’ by UNIK UBIK (Brussels, Belgium)

Band: UNIK UBIK
Who: A French/Belgian prog rock fourtet
Albums: Unik Ubik (2014), Maximum Axis and
their newest I’M NOT FEG SHUI .

TUTV said: Primarily Unik Ubik are prog rock fanatics with emphasis on rock who – I’m quite sure – have all Zappa and King Crimson, in their record collection. Mind you they’re
no copyists whatsoever and as prog rock has never been away (if you know young British gunslingers Black Country, New Road you’ll definitely understand what I mean) they don’t sound dated at all.

And UU have their own Van Der Graaf Generator‘s legendary saxophonist David Jackson named Jean-Baptiste Rubin. The man has four lungs and blows as if his life depends on it. Top!

Stream/buy the album I’m Not Feng Shui here.


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7. ‘Carrion Repeating’ by JAMES DOMESTIC (Essex, UK)

Artist: JAMES DOMESTIC (Essex/Suffolk, UK)
Who: Member of former hardcore gangs The Domestics), plus Pi$$er,
Tokyo Lungs
and half a dozen more. He’s a punk poet, DJ, singer/songwriter,
doctorate owner, producer, and inspirator of young punk bands. An artistic
centipede.

Debut album: CARRION REPEATING
Released:: April via Kibou Records

TUTV impressions: Domestic raps, rants, rips and rages through all of the 11 tracks of this solo debut LP with grit and guts. He’s a story-telling Cockney wordsmith, tackling politics, daily life shit, gobbling business sharks, and other related mess.

Musically anything is possible. Screechy guitars and 60s sounding Hammond organs to inflame tirades such as Itchy Itchy, Faze Out, Bean Counter and Push on Trough. Saxophone and steel drums straight from Trinidad on Mañana. Soulful female voices and Le Freak C’est Chic riffs on Never Enough. A reggae vibe with xylophone touches on Is Thay You?. Dub Jah Wobble bas on Weekend Carbs and Giblets. He just does what his ears like.

Stream/buy the full album here…


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8. Still Life by OLI SPLEEN (Brighton, UK)

Artist: OLI SPLEEN
Who: Singer-sonwgriter from Hastings (UK)

New album: STILL LIFE

Turn Up the Volume: Oftenly, hard times can be an artistic inspiration for
musicians (for all sorts of artists, actually). It can work or not for the psyche
of the listener. Here it works magnificently.

Spleen constructed 10 sonic paintings about his struggle for life, about
soul-destroying and physical pain, and doubts about the present and
the future. His warm and vulnerable voice fits his heartfelt, tender and
very intimate ballads beautifully.

At times distressing, at times mournful, but in
the end there’s hope, redemption and lust for life.

Stream/buy Still Life here…


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9. A False Glimmer Of Hope by BOTCHED TOE (UK)

Band: BOTCHED TOE
Who: British hardcore mavericks

Debut album: A FALSE GLIMMER OF HOPE

TUTV‘s verdict: This 18-minute hardcore Apocalypse album is 10 minutes shorter
than the Ramones‘ debut LP. Clamorous frontman James Domestic spits and sneers with frenzied force. Botched Toe is a nasty riff beast for mosh-pit fanatics and Mötorhead freaks.

StreamA False Glimmer Of Hope’ here
(but alert your neighbors first)…

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10. Selection bOX #1 by THE BARBITURATES (Ireland)

Band: THE BARBITURATES
Who: A one-man- act producing “a grungy psychedelic occult postpunk
Dadaist Guerrilla D.I.Y ontology discordian skizophonic rock band
from Derry city Ireland“.

New album: SELECTION BOX #1
What: A collection of B-sides, C-sides & soundscapes.
We hope you enjoy this hour-long album crammed full of
grungy psychedelic punk bliss & re’programming symbolism
this album is dedicated to the late great astrophysicist
Carl Sagan.

What to expect: A 60-minute mishmash of retro blues, prog-rock mania, paranoid psychedelia, radio transmissions, a David Lynch film score played by Pink Floyd, big bang Kraftwerk disco, psych-o-billy cramps, garage havoc, symphonic synth surprises, amplified ambient ambiance, sonic hallucinations and everything that boggles your mind during this 60 minutes marathon. MENTAL!

Never a dull moment with The Barbiturates.

Stream/buy the marathon here…


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SPIN MAGAZINE – 30 Best Albums Of 2022 (So Far)

9 June 2022

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SPIN (American webzine): “Maybe 2022 was just front-loaded and the final six months will be less eventful. (Judging by the release calendar, that’s probably a bad prediction.) Either way, we had trouble even narrowing this down to 30. Let’s meet back here at year’s end and see how things shake out.”

– TOP 3 –

1. A Light for Attracting Attention by THE SMILE (with Thom Yorke)

“Mangled riffs and odd time signatures abound, and Yorke’s lifelong dread has never sounded more in tune with the outside world. A Light for Attracting Attention is so good, it almost makes you want to send Radiohead’s other three members a sympathy card.”

Stream here…

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2. ‘Caprisongs’ by FKA TWIGS

“A lockdown album billed as a mixtape, Caprisongs showed a less guarded and precise side of FKA Twigs. Perhaps that conceit served a deeper purpose, helping spur on some of her most playful and satisfying material.”

Stream here…

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3. ‘Ants From Up Here’ by BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD

“It’s hard to imagine Black Country, New Road without singer-guitarist Isaac Wood, who quit the band for mental health reasons. It’s especially hard to imagine after Ants From Up There. While their 2020 debut positioned the seven-piece as their era’s elite revivalists of talky post-punk, the second album took a gentle turn toward melody. BCNR created a romantic, pastoral landscape out of their jazz-flavored noise rock, even hinting at folk and chamber music while drawing on just a bit of Revolution Summer fire.”

Stream here…

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FULL LIST HERE

Influential Music Blog STEREOGUM Reveals Their List Of The 50 Best Albums Of 2022 So Far

8 June 2022

Influential and highly-praised American website Stereogum celebrates its 20th birthday this year. A lot of festive stuff the world’s best music blog as they claim themselves waits in the pipeline.

But first their multi-musical-genre list of the 50 best albums of 2022 so far.

Chris DeVille (Editor): “Perhaps as a result of artists sitting on new music during the pandemic’s early phases and dumping it all on us at the same time, it was unusually difficult
to pare down the list to just 50 albums this time around. Both in terms of widely acclaimed consensus favorites and personally beloved sleeper picks, there have just been so many albums to love. At the moment, the following are the ones the Stereogum staff loves the most… any album scheduled to be released by June 30 was eligible for this list, so some of these records are from the future.”

TOP 5

5. Mr. Moral & The Big Steppers by KENDRICK LAMAR

“Lamar is operating like only a few artists in pop history — a superstar at the height
of his powers confounding everyone’s expectations while trying to transcend his own.”

Stream here

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4. ‘Once Twice Melody’ by BEACH HOUSE

“Other albums of theirs might be more concise, but none is as impactful as this staggering showcase of the mystical energy that Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have channeled since
the start of their career.”

Stream here…

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3. ‘Aethioples’ by BILLY WOODS

“There are underground rap titans all over Aethiopes — El-P, Boldy James, Quelle Chris — but the real meat is in hearing woods and Preservation dig deep into a culture that’s hostile to humanity in general and to Blackness in particular.”

Stream here…


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2. ‘MOTOMAMI’ by ROSALÍA

“MOTOMAMI represents a gear switch from arms-length storytelling to something more personal. It goes hardest when Rosalía plays with contradiction: in music, in gender, in
simply being a living human being. Metamorphosis never sounded so exciting.”

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1. ‘Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You’ by BIG THIEF



“After their phenomenal pair of 2019 albums, it was hard to believe Big Thief had anywhere to go but down, both creatively and in terms of the frothing hype surrounding them. And yet here they are with both their most acclaimed and accomplished collection of music yet. Big Thief don’t just prove they’re actually that good. They sound like they can do anything.”

Stream here…

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Here’s the FULL LIST

Turn Up The Volume’s 20 BEST ALBUMS Of 2021

1. ‘New Fragility’ by CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH (Brooklyn, NY)

Released: 12 February 2021

Ounsworth (mastermind): “The songs are politically motivated,
which is unusual for me. It’s about what I think we’re all experiencing
at the moment, certainly here in the United States, anyway, trying
to move forward amidst an almost cruel uncertainty.”

Turn Up The Volume: Riveting tunes, sharp-cutting reflections,
magical sparks, Ounsworth‘s feverish voice, and his glittery guitar
play make this LP the best one since the self-titled 2005 debut.
Bewitching all the way. My 2021 number one

Key single: New Fragility…

Stream/buy album here…


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2. SEEK SHELTER by ICEAGE (Denmark)

Released: 7 May 2021 – 5th LP

Turn Up The Volume: Finally, Iceage do what they were expected to do for a long
time. Creating a standout album that makes the hair in the back of your neck stand
up. Melodramatic with ardency, impassioned with vigour, emotional with grimness. Charismatic frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt leads the troops as never before.

Their fifth, their best.

Key single: Vendetta

Full album…


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3. ‘Calvacade’ by BLACK MIDI (UK)

Released: 26 May 2021 – their second album

Turn Up The Volume: From outlandish sonority – think Scott Walker – to
Zappa-esque adventurousness, from a ‘normal’ song (Marlene Dietrich) to
free jazz weirdness. The sonic search of this impressively inventive band is
both inscrutable and intriguing.

Cavalcade confirms the experimental brilliance of their debut LP.
Miles Davis going post-punk in the 21st Century.

Key single: John L

Full album…

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4. ‘Marriage’ by DEAP VALLY (Los Angeles)

Turn Up The Volume: The drop-dead gorgeous sisters in rock arms Lindsey Troy
and Julie Edwards celebrate their 10th year of producing high-powered turbulence.
Their bond is tighter than ever and their boogie-woogie more varied than ever.

Mind you, don’t expect a jazz record. Deap Vally are still about rocking ‘n rolling
while tackling their demons with vocal bravado and forthright ruminations.

Key single: Magic Medicine

Get married here…


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5. ‘Comfort To Me’ by AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS

Released: 10th September 2021

Turn Up The Volume:

Old skool punk ‘n’ roll? Absolutely. Any good? You betcha!

Amyl and her buddies made another blistering riff-manic-monster of
a hell fucking hell yeah record. Pogo madness is back. Sturm und drang
from start to finish. Holy Moly!

Key single: Hertz

Stream/buy album here…


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6. ‘CARNAGE’ by NICK CAVE & WARREN ELLIS (Australia)

Released: 25 February 2021

Turn Up The Volume: This black and white pearl is the work of
the romantic Cave crooner meeting the haunting Cave crooner. Idyllic
orchestrations, classical arrangements, and bad seed Warren Ellis
showing, once more, his refined grandeur.

A tantalizing tandem made in twilight heaven.

Key track: White Elephant

Stream album here…

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7. Full Spectrum by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (UK)

Released: 26 February 2021

Turn Up The Volume: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation.
A new laser light at the end of a mythical and tenebrous tunnel.

Imagine Sylvia Plath fronting a mind-challenging, noise-exploring band.

Their debut album is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Puzzling poetry
exploring life, death, birth, past, present, and future embedded in titanic thunder
and lighting symphonies going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient.

Surreality becoming reality in a tormented world.

Key single: Psychopath’s Monologue

Stream ‘Full Spectrum’ here…

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8.’Infinity’ by GHOST PATTERNS (UK)

Released: 3 September 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The amplified haziness of Slowdive, the mystifying
soulfulness of Spacemen 3, the multi-layer-constructing skills of My Bloody
Valentine
.

Hallucinating soundscapes, synth shadowplays, and guitars dueling with
each other while tireless drums dauntlessly beat, and wailing voices wander
in an enigmatic fog of reverberation.

This is what the (sur)real world of Ghost Patterns sounds like.

Key track: House Of Lies…

Stream/buy album here…


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9. ‘Pressure Machine’ by THE KILLERS

Released: 13 August 2021

Turn Up The Volume: This time the bombastic rockers take another direction
to express their emotiveness. Moody, nostalgic, melancholically romantic with
frontman Brandon Flowers looking back at his teenage years in his hometown
Utah. Think Bruce Springsteen‘s sentimentality on his masterpiece Nebraska.

Overall an emotive and melodramatic
record without going over the top.

For some critics, it’s too mellow.
For me, its gripping mellowness
that works just fine.

Key track: Quiet Town

Dim the lights…

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10. ‘Mutator by ALAN VEGA (US)

Released: 23 April 2021

Liz Lamere (Vega’s widow) remembers: “Our primary purpose for going into the studio
was to experiment with sound, not to ‘make records. I was playing the machines with Alan manipulating sounds. I played riffs while Alan morphed the sounds being channeled through the machines.’

Turn Up The Volume: Most of the lost albums that eventually came/come to the
surface one day should have stayed lost forever. If they were good enough to be
released the moment they were recorded they would have never ended up in a
smelly cellar or, worst case, in a trash can.

So what about Alan Vega’s lost one? One: it feels special to have the legend back.
Two: the album seems to come from a very dark mind, from the obscure places
of Vega‘s soul, creating a nightmarish and Kafkaesque chill-out atmosphere for
a 30-minute David Lynch film-noir.

Talking about a great find!

Key track: Nike Soldier

Stream/buy full album here…


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11. ‘WE… ARE DOOMED’ by THE IRRATIONAL LIBRARY (The Netherlands)

Released: 15 January 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The rap and roll venom of Rage Against The Machine, the
fuck-you-hypocrites grimness of Black Flag, the punky saxophone of X-Ray-Spex,
the sharp poetic spit and sneer anarchy of Mark. E. Smith, the challenging spirit
of open-minded-and-ass-kicking-anti-establishment doom and gloom crusaders.

Sounds like 2021, like the end of the world as we know it.

Key single: And The Next Song

Stream album here…

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12. ‘For The First Time’ by BLACK ROAD, NEW ROAD (London)

Released: 5 February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume says: Like Pavement going prog rock with the sound- exploring
state of mind of Mogwai. Jazzy and classical music textures make sure your curious mind
is focused all the time. And singer Isaac Wood‘s voice resonates freakishly identical to the chilling voice of American songwriter Conor Oberst from indie band Bright Eyes.

It’s not a happy record, but who needs a tsunami of cheesy pop tunes in these science-fiction-like times, anyway. I know it’s their first time, but these hungry noise crusaders
will stun us again in the future.

Believe the hype!

Key track: Science Fair

Full album…

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13. ‘SURVIVORS’ by ONISM E (San Antonio / NYC)

Released: 19th February 2021 – debut album

Turn Up The Volume wrote: Gusto, high-spiritedness, and anxiety are the
keywords here. This warm-blooded record is a heart-rending reflection of the
group’s state of 2021 mind. A galvanizing collection of cohesive poignant emo
songs influenced by the disturbing way our troubled world is handling human
issues, once-in-a-lifetime dramas, and the personal turmoil of frontwoman
Eline Chavez.

Her soul-stirring and powerful (Aretha Franklin / young Tina Turner) vox, the weeping
guitars, and the electrical intensity are at times overwhelming and heartbreaking. Impressive!

Key track: Stay


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Stream/buy album here…


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14. ‘Putain Royale’ by PINK ROOM (Belgium)

Released: 12 Match 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The essential message of this new powerhouse album is loud and clear: noise-challenging turbo Pink Room is here to stay! Their tsunami energy is beyond any decibel regulation. Again, loudmouth Bart Cocquyt leads the rip-roaring trio.

As I said before his vocal range is out-of-this-world. He easily could front a death metal band (Stay Black/Stay White) or a Nirvana reunion (Losing/Skin) or kick Ozzy Osbourne‘s ass (Hail Satan). Expect ear-shattering jackhammers, over-the-top frenzy, and clamorous lockdown paranoia.

Putain, putain, c’est vachement bien, nous sommes quand même tous des bohemiens.

Key track: Losing

Stream/buy here…

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15. ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!’ by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR

Released: 2 April 2021

Turn Up The Volume: A exquisite soundtrack for the funeral of the present,
and at the same time for the re-birth of humankind in the future.

Somber, apocalyptic and longing.

The Canadian mavericks are looking
for a way out of all the (pandemic) mess
with a mesmerizing fervor. Remarkable.

Stream/buy album here…


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16. ‘Crawler’ by IDLES
17. ‘Blue Weekend’ by WOLF ALICE
18. ‘Better Than Life’ by GLASS SANDS
19. It’s Critical by SAVING JACKIE
20. ‘Vivre’ by ARNO

Influential Webzine STEREOGUM Reveals Best Albums Of 2021

1. ‘I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE’ by THE WAR ON DRUGS (Dream pop)

Arriving to the highest levels of anticipation in the War On Drugs’ career, I Don’t Live Here Anymore showed up — right on time, in autumn — and exceeded already stratospheric expectations.

Stream here…

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2. ‘VALENTINE’ by SNAIL MAIL (Power pop)

“Valentine is a document of a love gained and lost, and
all the second chances squandered along the way.”

Stream here…

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3. ‘GLOW ON’ by TURNSTILE (Post-punk-core)

“Turnstile have kept the reckless physical abandon of their early records, polished their gleaming-chrome hooks, and cranked out a half-hour barrage of joyous positivity,
where even the experimental left turns hit hard.”

Stream here…

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4. ‘HEY WHAT’ by LOW (Alt psych rock)

“Low’s third collaboration with BJ Burton, HEY WHAT continues where 2018’s Double Negative left off, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker grappling with dire times by making damaged, celestial music.”

Stream here…

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5. ‘JUBILEE’ by JAPANESE BREAKFAST (Dream pop)

“Jubilee is a vibrant, orchestral dream-pop record, drawing
aesthetic influence from a host of classic indie greats.”

Stream here…

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6. ‘DEACON’ by serpentwithfeet (Psychedelic soul)

“If it’s possible to get high on intimacy, then Deacon is a classic of psychedelic soul.”

Stream here…

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7. ‘SUPERWOLVES’ by MATT SWEENEY and BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY (Singer-songwriters)

“Somehow, they topped their 2005 collaboration Superwolf with these
deeply moving reflections on grief, romance, and familial love.”

Stream here…

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8. ‘IGNORANCE’ by THE WEATHER STATION (Dream pop)

“With Ignorance, Tamara Lindeman’s made her biggest statement yet, without
losing the aching human core that defines the Weather Station’s music.”

Stream here…

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9. ‘HALL OF FAME’ by POLO G

“It can’t be easy to convey emotional rawness in the context of an ultra-commercial
rap record, but Polo’s writerly grace and hypnotic hooks are up to the task.”

Stream here…

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10. ‘AN OVERVIEW ON PHENOMENAL NATURE’ by CASSANDRA JENKINS

“The album does indeed feel like some potent encapsulation of
the entirety of this fantastical, dreadful world we all live in.”

Stream here…

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The Full TOP 50 list HERE

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These Are TURN UP THE VOLUME’s 15 BEST ALBUMS Of 2021 (So Far)

1 July 2021

1. ‘Calvacade’ by BLACK MIDI (UK)

Released: 26 May 2021 – their second album

Turn Up The Volume: From outlandish sonority – think Scott Walker – to Zappa-esque adventurousness, from a ‘normal’ song (Marlene Dietrich) to free jazz weirdness. The sonic mind of this impressively inventive band is both inscrutable and intriguing. Cavalcade confirms the experimental brilliance of their debut LP. Miles Davis experimenting with guitars in the 21st Century.

Key Track: John L

Full album…

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2. ‘FULL SPECTRUM’ by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (Singapore/Italy)

Released: 26th February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation. Imagine Sylvia
Plath
fronting a theatrical and mind-challenging psychedelic noise band. Their debut album is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Compelling poetry embedded in a titanic thunder and lighting symphony going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient. The final result is at times jaw-dropping, at times confusing, at times dumbfounding but always fascinating. When surreality becomes reality you know something is about to happen.

Key track: Psychopath’s Monologue


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Stream album here…

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3. Album: SEEK SHELTER by ICEAGE (Denmark)

Released: 7 May 2021 – 5th LP

Turn Up The Volume: Finally, Iceage do what they were expected to do for a long
time. Creating a standout album that makes the hair in the back of your neck stand
up. Melodramatic with ardency, impassioned with vigour, romantic with grimness. Charismatic frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt leads the troops as never before.
Their fifth, their best.

Key track: Vendetta

Full album…


.
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4. ‘SURVIVORS’ by ONISM E (San Antonio / NYC)

Released: 19th February 2021 – debut album

Turn Up The Volume wrote: Gusto, high-spiritedness, and anxiety are the
keywords here. This warm-blooded record is a heart-rending reflection of the
group’s state of 2021 mind. A galvanizing collection of cohesive poignant emo
songs influenced by the disturbing way our troubled world is handling human
issues, once-in-a-lifetime dramas, and the personal turmoil of frontwoman Chavez.
Her soul-stirring and powerful (Aretha Franklin / young Tina Turner) voice, weeping
guitars, and the electrical intensity are at times overwhelming and heartbreaking. Impressive!

Key track: Stay


.
Stream/buy album here…


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5. ‘i became birds’ by home is where (florida, us)

released: 5 march 2021 – debut album

turn up the volume: i’m damn sure this incredible punch-powered-punk-passion
turbo was here before, about 40 years ago, inspiring bored kids like black flag, shellac, melvins, jello biafra, and other anarchist snotnoses, to leave home, steal guitars and drums in order to have some wild fun while scaring bad people with their deafening racket. so here they are back again, inspiring young social media junkies to steal guitars and drums instead of watching their phones all day long. home is where it all starts when you have no money to rent a smelly rehearsal room to rock your heads off. so you move into your own basement and scream your poor lungs to pieces. listen up all you lost teenagers out there, play i became birds over and over again ’cause these hungry florida misfits can and will save your lives. home is where this fuck-and-punk-tastic record is made.

key track: sewn together from the membrane of the great sea cucumber


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Stream/buy here…


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6. ‘For The First Time’ by BLACK ROAD, NEW ROAD (London)

Released: 5 February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume says: Like Pavement going prog rock with the sound- exploring
state of mind of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Jazzy and classical music textures make sure your curious mind is focused all the time. And singer Isaac Wood‘s voice resonates freakishly identical to the chilling voice of American songwriter Conor Oberst from indie band Bright Eyes. It’s not a happy record, but who needs cheesy pop tunes all the time in these science-fiction-like times, anyway. I know it’s their first time, but these hungry noise crusaders will stun us again and again in the future. Believe the hype.

Key track: Science Fair

Full album…


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7. ‘CARNAGE’ by NICK CAVE & WARREN ELLIS (Australia)

Released: 25 February 2021

Turn Up The Volume: This black and white pearl is a mix of the romantic crooner and
the haunting crooner. Growing with every spin. Compelling orchestrations, classical arrangements, with Ellis showing his musical skills once more. Can’t remember when Cave made an average album. Did he, actually? Okay, Carnage once again on my headphones.

Key track: White Elephant

Stream album here…

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8. ‘WE… ARE DOOMED’ by THE IRRATIONAL LIBRARY (The Netherlands)

Released: 15 January 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The rap and roll venom of Rage Against The Machine, the fuck-you-hypocrites grimness of Black Flag, the punky saxophone of X-Ray-Spex, the sharp poetic spit and sneer anarchy of Mark. E. Smith, the challenging spirit of open-minded-plainspoken-ass-kicking-anti-establishement doom and gloom crusaders. Sounds exactly like 2020/2021, like the end of the world as we know it, but also like an album that’s going to be on my earphones for a long time.”

Title track: We… Are Doomed

Stream album here…

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9. ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!’ by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR (Canada)

Released: 2 April 2021 – 7th longplayer

Turn Up The Volume: A fitting soundtrack for a funeral. The funeral of humankind. The funeral of the planet we, ourselves, destroyed. Somber and apocalyptic. Repetitive doom-and-gloom psychedelia. Repetitive wall-of-guitar-scapes. Goosebumps all the way. But in the end, Godspeed thinks we will start all over again, a new beginning, a new future. Let’s hope so.

Stream/buy here…


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10. ‘Blue Weekend’ by WOLF ALICE (London)

Released: 4 June 2021 – third LP

Turn Up The Volume: Except for flaming rockers Smile and Play The Greatest Hits
the band takes a different direction with a stream of epic ballads with gospel-like
choirs (The Last Man On earth), emotional symphonies (How Can I Make It OK?) with
multi-layered goosebumps harmonies and orchestrated pop brilliance overall.

Key track: The Last Man On Earth

Full album…

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11. Mutator by ALAN VEGA

12. New Fragility by CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH

13. Putain Royale by PINK ROOM

14. As Days Get Dark by ARAB STRAP

15. Vivre by ARNO