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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A Dog’s Life With PETER DOHERTY And Monsieur FRÉDÉRIC LO In Belgium

On stage

16 May 2022

Libertine and babyshamble PETER DOHERTY who lives in Paris, France for
some time now, still does what he loves the most, writing/producing real-life
reveries for romantic hearts and longing souls.

His most recent work is a sparkling thing of beauty made with French
musician FRÉDÉRIC LO who composed the mesmerzing music.

THE FANTASY LIFE OF POETRY & CRIME’ is a record to play when you’re feeling lazy,
and in the mood for doing nothing but daydreaming while lying in a green field enjoying the Spring sun. What you get from this match made in French heaven duo are 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 the cruel reality. Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best longlayers of 2022.

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Last Wednesday the match made in heaven duo and their band played in my hometown
of Ghent, Belgium. It felt like poetry in motion with, mostly, songs from the new LP, a couple of Libertines tunes, and his amorous rendition of Wolfman‘s pearl For Lovers.

Frédéric Lo impressed me and the audience’s ears with his glittering guitar splendor,
think Dire Straits’ Mark Knofler, giving the songs a majestic glow. Fantastique.

Pete brought a very special guest along. His beloved dog, that was on the podium,
laying down here and there throughout the concert. Utterly strange, but totally funny
and cool.

Flashes of this show still pop up, now and then, on the screen in my head.
Yes, it was one of those rare, heartwarming shows with a lasting feel-good impact.

Poetry in motion

PETER DOHERTY: Facebook

A dog’s life

PETER DOHERTY And FREDERIC LO Composed A Soothing Beauty With ‘THE FANTASY LIFE OF POETRY & CRIME’

19 March 2022

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

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

NME says: “Breezy and charming baroque indie. Now married and nearly three years clean, Pete Doherty is happier and sorted for cheese and fizz rather than chasing darker endeavours. ‘The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime’, 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. Score: 4/5.

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 nothing but daydreaming while lying in a green field enjoying the Spring 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 the cruel reality.

It’s my birthday today and this is the tranquil and soothing music (and
a couple of early Bowie’s) my mind, my heart, and my soul want to get lost in.

Singles/clips: The Fantasy Life Of Poetry & Crime / You Can’t Keep It From Me Forever

– THE FANTASY LIFE OF POETRY & CRIME –

– YOU CAN’T KEEP IT FROM ME FOREVER –

Stream full album here…

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PETER DOHERTY: Facebook

Libertine PETER DOHERTY And French Composer FRÉDÉRIC LO Charm

New striking strokes

23 November 2021

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

Track: THE FANTASY LIFE OF POETRY & CRIME

The duo wrote the song during lockdown.
Doherty drew inspiration for the lyrics from
French lettrist Maurice Leblanc, the creator
of thief and detective character Arsène Lupin.

Charming, retro, and a bit of black magic…

PETER DOHERTY: Facebook