It Was A Hot Summer! 10 Smoking Festival Highlights Of 2022

Band: WET LEG (Isle of Wight, UK)
Song: CHAISE LONGUE

Sublime pop knockout (already more than 30 million
streams on Spotify) from their self-titled debut LP.

Where: Glastonbury Festival (UK)

I saw them myself in Belgium last August, but this version
is way better than the one I witnessed. But hey, you can’t
beat a sign-along audience of 70.000.

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Band: FONTAINES D.C. (Dublin, Ireland)
Song: BOYS IN THE BETTER LAND (from their debut LP)

Where: Leeds + Reading (UK)

The Irishmen invited a kid to play
guitar on this belter. FABULOUS.

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Band: AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS (Australia)
Song: GUIDED BY ANGELS (and more)

Where: PRIMAVERA SOUND FESTIVAL

Amyl is 100% genuine, far-out, and gaga! I saw her myself
(for the second time) last month in Antwerp. AMYL RULES.

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Artist: LIAM GALLAGHER (Manchester, UK)
Song: EVERYTHING’S ELECTRIC
From his 3rd LP C’Mon You Know.

Where: KNEBWORTH (UK)
Liam‘s massive and biblical concert at the historic
(rock) field confirmed once more that our kid still is
the man for the masses.

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Band: PRIMAL SCREAM (Scotland)
Song: MOVIN’ ON UP

From their 1991 groundbreaking LP Screamadelica.
Well, you would have guessed it by seeing frontman
Bobby Gillespie‘s shirt.

Where: Glastonbury Festival (UK)

With a glorious gospel choir, this performance
feels like a spiritual experience.

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Band: KASABIAN (Leicester, UK)
Song: FIRE (2009)
More than 140 million streams on Spotify.

Where: ISLE OF WIGHT (UK)

Maestro Serge Pizzorno invited former
football star Peter Crouch for a little dance.

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Band: BIG THIEF (Brooklyn, NY)
Song: CHANGE
From this year’s double LP
Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe You.

Where/when: Glastonbury Festival (UK)

A magical ballad. Sheer beauty in motion.
Can’t get tired of hearing this starry-eyed spark.

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Band: MANESKIN (Rome, Italy)

The theatrical collective that got famous
faster than a comet going bonkers in space.

Song: BEGGIN’ (2017)
More than 1 billion streams on Spotify!

Where: ROCK IN RIO BRASIL

Adored like Roman Gods.

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Band: TURNSTILE (Baltimore, Maryland)
Song: DON’T PLAY (2021)

Where: PINKPOP FESTIVAL (The Netherlands)

Wicked hardcore ruffians like these are experts
in starting maddening moshpits. HELL YEAH!

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Artist: JACK WHITE
Song: SEVEN NATION ARMY

If you never heard this giant White Stripes slam dunk you’re
not part of the millions of people who streamed it more
than 1 billion times on Spotify.

Where: Glastonbury Festival (UK)

Why didn’t you invite Meg?

Turn Up The Volume’s 20 BEST ALBUMS OF 2022

1. ‘How Do You Burn?’ by THE AFGHAN WHIGS (Cincinnati, US)

TUTV: Greg Dulli‘s pipes reach for the sky throughout this new standout LP. His unique rock voice is the unwearying motor of this heart-and-soul opus. And when the songs are of supreme quality, as all 10 terrific tunes here are, and your bustling band are on a raucous roll with the vitality of young wolves you end up with the undeniable best album of 2022.

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2. ‘Cave World’ by VIAGRA BOYS (Stockholm, Sweden)

Turn Up The Volume: The more our world gets fucked-up the more inspiration
Viagra Boys have to write absurd, hilarious, sarcastic, crazy, monkey-ish songs about
all the related mess, embedded in their by now familiar filthy punk and roll grooves.
Never a dull moment with punk rock loser Sebastian Murphy in the middle. And they
played the best gig to my ears/eyes a couple of weeks ago in Antwerp, Belgium.

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3. ‘The Great Regression’ by DITZ (Brighton, UK)

Turn Up The Volume: After playing opener Clocks to the max, with its Blitzkrieg grinta, it feels like the band and I are already out of breath as you can hear on the post-explosion outro. I felt wrong, as several KO Killers (Ded Würst / The Warden / I Am Kate Moss and the JAWDROPPING missile closer No Thanks, I’m Full) follow and do your head in. Ditz is 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.

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4. ‘Beware Belivers’ by CROWS (London, UK)

Turn Up The Volume: Back in 2016 Crows blew my mind when they played a small club
gig in my hometown of Ghent, Belgium. A memorable one cemented in the aural side of my
brain. The immense intensity and their frenetic furiosity were no less than jaw-dropping. On Beware Believers, their high-powered passion is still intact and its sizzling sound evolved further into a mean Herculean rock machine.

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.

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5. ‘Skinty Fia’ by FONTAINES D.C. (Dublin, Ireland)

TUTV: 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.

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6. ‘Hellfire’ by BLACK MIDI (London, UK)

TUTV: Weirdly exciting and capriciously inventive. This new LP resonates like a Zappa-esque rock circus. A sundry potpourri of symphonic jazz-prog-rock twists and turns, building up/breaking down constructions, forth/back and vertical/horizontal saltations with head-spinning orchestrations. Welcome to Black Midi‘s hell.

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7. ‘The Merciless Light’ by PIG (London, UK)


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Turn Up The Volume wrote: Prepare your ears for brawny industrial bombast (No Yes More less / Veni Vidi Vici / Feed The Wound / Taranatula), nightmares in slow-motion (Limbo / Sugar My Pill / The Judas Chair), wham-bam-glam drones (Glitz Krieg / The Dark Room) and the fantastic slow-burning gospel chant of the title track. It’s all there to have yourself a merciless head-banging pig trip. File next to Rammstein’s new opus Zeit.

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

TUTV: The result of the collaboration of wordsmith and poetry lover 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 just 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.

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9. ‘All Of Us Flames’ by EZRA FURMAN (Chicago, US)

TUTV: Definitely her most complete accomplishment to date. Majestic songwriting quality. Top-level tunes in orchestration, arrangement and vocal emotiveness. Here and there songs’ structures and Furman‘s fragile voice (Train Comes Trough / Throne / Poor Girl A Long Way From Home) bring, yes, Tom Petty to mind. Un-Americana Americana splendor with an artist who’s slowly but surely finds her way as a human being on this frightful planet.

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10. ‘Decius Vol. 1’ by DECIUS (UK)

TUTV: Disco fuel for 24-Hour misfit parties in obscure nightclubs for SM fans, physically unsatisfied individuals looking for sexual healing, gangbang addicts, nudists, lost sex workers, manic David Lynch characters, neurotic Brexit victims, acid-house junks, erotic lovers, lobotomized politicians, trashmouth artists, Andy Weatherall junks and all other messed-up souls who hate reality and want to dance/party/fuck/hallucinate to stripped-down techno beats. E-tastic.

The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

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11. ‘At The Hotspot’ by WARMDUSCHER

Turn Up The Volume: Check in on a Saturday Warmduscher Fever Night, ladies and gents, at the club called The Hotspot. Feel the sultry ambiance, have a couple of cocktails at the bar, dance to some banging boosters and some funky Sly Stone vibes, and go twitchin’ in the kitchen now and then.

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12. ‘No More Good News’ by JO-JO & THE TEETH (London, UK)

Turn Up The Volume: JO-JO is the flamboyant Amazon in the middle. She sings the
blues with the vigorous vitality of eternal legend Janis Joplin (We’re Just Animals / Moon Child), she rocks her multi-colored tail off with the gusto of Grace Slick on a roll (My Babe / No More Good News / Don’t Get Too Heavy), she has the groovy guts and the glamorous looks of eccentric punkette Nina Hagen and to close the show she affects with a gripping candlelight reverie for the midnight hours (Oh Brother).

Mind you, she’s not alone. Her bang-on band The Teeth know all the 60s/80s/80s
rock ‘n’ blues ‘n’ glam ‘n’ punk ‘n’ roll classics. They back Jo-Jo with a mood-and-cadence fitting firework of Jimmy Page riffs, John Lee Hooker hooks and Slash licks. Retro injected electricity.

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13. ‘Trust No Leaders’ by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA

Turn Up The Volume: As I said several times before, Samara and Animal are
adventurous architects in sound and vision (watch the singles’ spectacular videos
below / also the artwork for their releases is always a reflection of vivid visual inventiveness).

On this new, bone-and-mind chilling, longplayer both high-tech DIY artists keep
on challenging sonic and thematic boundaries. It’s also the first time we hear poetry fanatic Samara sing instead of reciting her poetic chimeras, as on psychoanalytic
discharge Shaman and on doom-punk sledgehammer Human Sacrifice.

There are so many layers, so many different directions, so many pendulum movements and so many unexpected turns at play here that you need several spins to get a grip of their poetallica world fully. This record as well as their debut are voyages of discovery.

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14. ‘The Early Years’ by WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH

Turn Up The Volume said: Damon Albarn was the first name that popped up in my head when The Early Years impressed my ears on first hearing. At times I thought he was a guest singer on Vanwymeersch‘s debut longplayer, with his pondering voice and his musing songs . Check Drama I, Who Can Tell, I’m Wide Awake and you’ll find out why.

Vanwymeersh also, like Albarn, 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 (hear that playful banjo sound on Part Of Me ) are. 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).

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15. ‘Carrion Repeating’ by JAMES DOMESTIC (Essex/Suffolk, UK)

TUTV: Domestic is 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.

Lots of Ian Dury reasons to be cheerful.

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16. Firmament’ by DIM GRAY (Oslo, Norway)

Turn Up The Volume: Dim Gray float in a universe  where the poignancy and
starry-eyed melodrama of Sigur Rós and the spiritual vocality of day-and-night
dreamers Fleet Foxes become one. This heart-and-soul stirring trio reverberates
like a full orchestra. They’re cinematic pop architects working with a drone flying
up high like an eagle and showing us where the ocean meets the sky.

Symphonic pop splendour. Firmament is a shiny diamond of a record.

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17. ‘Cocoon’ by KAT KOAN & THE LOST SOULS (Berlin)

I really can’t say more about this multi-faceted record and its
from lost soul to ‘fuck it, you only live once’ author does herself.

Koan: “This record sounds like I’m schizophrenic in a way coz there are so many mad emotions in the songs. They are all very real, which took some guts to vocalize but I’m proud that we managed to bring it all across in a raw and real way. It’s not as sexually charged as my first album.

This new album COCOON was written during the lockdown, so many emotions that were pent up inside had time and space to surface and they sure came out with a vengeance. Anger, procrastination, questions about the way we C/O-exist in this society, and some new relationship issues like jealousy, infidelity, breakups. So it’s a more grown up album with more grown up topics.”

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17. ‘Druids And Bards’ by HOLY COVES (Wales)

Turn Up the Volume: A striking work of top-notch tunes, written by mastermind Scott Marsden, that get under your skin slowly but surely until you see/hear the whole picture and realize that this is one of the most gripping albums of 2022 in my book. And lots to learn about Wales’ history.

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19. ‘C’mon You Know’ by LIAM GALLAGHER (Manchester, UK)

Turn Up The Volume: Liam says that he is happy with his rock formula. So nothing new? No, just a bunch of new songs from good to very good. As much as I love our kid I enjoy him the most when he’s a rock ‘n’ roll star on stage. That’s his habitat. That’s what he does best. Entertaining a crowd/choir of 50.000 in a green field. See you in Belgium in August, Liam, on a green field of course.

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20. ‘Opex’ by ARNO (Belgium)

The greatest Belgian singer-songwriter ever past away this year. A passionate chansonnier, a blues man, a rocker, a goosebumps crooner, a charismatic personality, and a one-of-a-kind live performer. I saw him about a 100 times, mostly solo, but also with his fantastic band TC Matic and one-time side projects.

Opex is his final longplayer. Vocally you hear him suffer from that deadly
disease that killed him shortly after recording the LP. I miss him, really hard.

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Turn Up The Volume’s 20 BEST BALLADS OF 2022

Best heart-and-soul touching reveries of 2022

All Together on Spotify

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Song by Song


(photo byTurn Up The Volume – Antwerp, 6 June 2022)

1. ‘Come Back’ by SHARON VAN ETTEN

Album: We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong

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(Photo By Turn Up The Volume – Amsterdam, 15 October 2022)

2. ‘All The Good Times’ by ANGEL OLSEN (St. Louis, Missouri)

Album: Big Time

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3.’Change’ by BIG THIEF (Brooklyn, New York)

Album: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe You

Facebook

4. ‘The Epidemiologist’ by PETER DOHERTY & FREDERIC LO (UK/France)

Album: The Fantasy Life Of Poetry & Crime

Facebook
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5. ‘Gospel At The Night Club’ by ASHLEY McBRYDE

Album: Ashley McBride Presents: Lindeville

Website
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6. ‘Stay’ by KAT KOAN (Berlin)

Album: Cocoon

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(Photo by Turn Up The Volume)

7. ‘Train Comes Through’ by EZRA FURMAN (Chicago, US)

Album: All Of Us Flames

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8. ‘Story To Tell’ by RYAN THOMAS SMELLE (Canada)

Album: In The Homestretch

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9. ‘Spitting Off The Edge Of The World’ by YEAH YEAH YEAHS (New York City)

Album: Cool It Down

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10. ‘Firmament’ by DIM GRAY (Oslo, Norway)

Album: Firmament

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(Photo by Andy Foster)

11. ‘I Wish That I Could Sing It For You’ by NICOLAS ROWE (Columbus, Ohio)

Album: The Circle Remains Unbroken

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12. ‘Fables’ by INTERPOL

Album: The Other Side Of Make-Believe

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13. ‘Arkansas’ by THE TRUSTED (Southend-on-Sea, UK)

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14.’Save Me’ by WAITING FOR SMITH (UK)

EP: Trying Not To Try

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15. ‘Life And Lies’ by LEE ROGERS (Northern Ireland)

Album: Gameblood

Website
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(Photo by Turn Up The Volume – Antwerp, 8 April 2022)

16. ‘I Love You’ by FONTAINES D.C. (Dublin, Ireland)

Album: Skinty Fia

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17. ‘Amber’  by SERJ TANKIAN (from Systems Of A Dawn) and SEVAK AMROYAN
Sung in Armenian

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(Photo by Jeremy McGuire)

18. ‘Christmas In October’ by MIKE & THE NERVE (Gainesville, FL)

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19. ‘Wasting’ by FERNA (US)


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(Photo by Turn Up The Volume)

20. ‘Always Together With You’ by SPIRITUALIZED (UK)
Jason Pierce‘s orchestra

Album: Everything Was Beautiful

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Best Albums Of 2022 According To LOUDER THAN WAR

British long-running music website LOUDER THAN WAR is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite one on the Internet. They support/challenge alt-rock, post-punk, guitar-pop and all related genres by as well, small indie artists as the big ones (old and new). My kinda stuff.

As we near the end of the year, best-of lists are coming in.
LTW just published their, yes, Top 100 of best 2022 LPs.

Here are the best 5. Full list right HERE.

1. ‘Autofiction’ by SUEDE

9th LP of the British glam heroes (1989–2003, 2010–present)
led by charismatic maestro Brett Anderson

Key single: 15 Again

Louder Than War: “An album to treasure for life. It really does contain all the bombast, swells and drama of the orchestral classical music so beloved by Brett’s father, but also an intimacy wrapped up in the intensity.

TUTV: As much as I am a fan, this is too many Suede
by numbers. Except for one of the best singles of
the year with 15 Again the LP doesn’t work for me.

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2. ‘Skinty Fia’ by FONTAINES D.C.

The third, consecutive supreme LP
by the young Irish wolves.

Key single: I Love You

Louder Than War: “It’s the masterpiece they
have been working towards from the start.”

TUTV: Also in my Top 10.

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3. ‘All Of Us Flames’ by EZRA FURMAN

Singer-songwriter from Chicago
with a vulnerable heart and soul.
His/her 6th full length.

Key single: Forever In Sunset

Louder Than War: “All Of Us Flames focuses on the resistance, the struggle, and the community of the threatened. Furman says the album is, “a queer album for the stage
of life when you start to understand that you are not a lone wolf, but depend on finding
your family, your people, how you work as part of a larger whole.”

TUTV: And this pearl is also in my Top 10.

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4. ‘Personal Hell’ by DEJA VEGA

DIY post-punks from Cheshire, UK with their 2nd longplayer.

Key single: Harmonia

Louder Than War: This absolute scorcher of an album set alight the start of 2022
with a sonic bang of pure power that screams along at breakneck speed throughout,
one which burns but never crashes.

TUTV: To be honest I never heard of this band until now. Thank you
Louder Than War. These guys are amazing. No brakes, no breaks. Bingo!

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5. ‘Omnium Gatherum’ by KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD

The hardest working band in the world.
23 albums in 12 years. Hallelujah.

Key single: The Tripping Tap (18-minute riff-manic psych jam)

Louder Than War: “Omnium Gatherum, a miscellaneous collection; eclecticism order of the day as they pull on every one of their strengths to create what just may be their least defined yet most defining record to date.”

TUTV: Mind-bending-boggling-banging prog-psych-rock extravaganza.

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FONTAINES D.C. Share Video For Moody Single ‘ROMAN HOLIDAY’ Off Their Splendid Third LP

For your eyes

With their sublime third LP Skinty Fia rising Irish stars FONTAINES D.C.
went straight to the top of the UK’s album charts last April and will be in
lots of best-albums-of-2022 lists, including mine.

To keep the momentum going they just shared a video for
one of the album’s singles, the moody Roman Holiday reverie.

Roll the tape here…

SKINTY FIA

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FONTAINES D.C.: Facebook

Big NME Interview With ‘THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD

23 April 2022

British music web-magazine-site NME caught up with young Irish stars
FONTAINES D.C. who released their 3rd LP SKINTY FIA, a bold piece of
work, lyracilly and musically (it grows on you with every spin) for a big
interview.

It’s clear for NME. The Dubliners are the best band in the world.

Some quotes from the Q & A

“It’s difficult to stay in touch with Irish culture while you’re not there.
You grapple with guilt”

“People are looking to me for answers. What the fuck do I know?”

“Slowthai has an incendiary quality. His charisma reminds me of Mick Jagger”

“There are some bands who are trying to go head-to-head with world-renowned philosophers. They’re stepping up to a plate that isn’t for them. Just because you’ve written a couple of good albums, doesn’t mean you can skip a whole PhD. That, to me, is completely delusional, and I have no interest in doing that.”

Full interview right here.

The new album on Spotify

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FONTAINES D.C.: Facebook

Turn Up The Volume and the frontman of the best band in
the world before they became the best band in the world (2019)