Hi – It’s Dave here at Mumubl.com, welcome to our recommendation email where I give you some tips on what’s great to listen to and watch in the world of music.
Sorry about the lateness of this one, I mixed my weeks up and convinced myself I wasn’t due to write you all an email last week! But I’m back and it’s nearly December and nearly the end of the year so we’ve got a slight change in this week’s format. I normally shy away from just straight up recommending music in this email but it seems as good a point as any to round up what I’ve been listening to from this year’s releases, and only this year’s releases, strictly nothing that had it’s UK release before 2022.
I’ll caveat these aren’t necessarily the “best” albums of the year, they’re my favourite and amongst the ones I’ve listened to most. Which, I guess makes them the best of the year? I don’t know these definitions get a bit fuzzy. I’ve gone for 5, which meant a few got left out – Harry Styles, Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler, Turin Brakes, Nerina Pallot and Suede amongst those who were close to making the cut so if you’re after a longer list check those out as well.
Read on and hopefully find something new to enjoy. It also serves as a handy pressie guide if you want a recommendation to drop in someone’s stocking!
As always – tell all your friends – every little share helps
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Currently checking out – “Dead Letters” by Aqualung.
In this edition
Everything Everything / The Snuts / Wet Leg / Aqualung / Regina Spektor / The Mysterines / MUMUBL.COM
Everything Everything – Raw Data Feel
This album came, as many do, via a recommendation from Keith AKA “The song sommelier“. I had initially listened to the opening and not gone back to it when I saw him advocating that it needed repeat listening, 3 times apparently. So I tried it again, and again and before I knew it I was putting it on whenever I wanted something to listen to.
The use of AI generated lyrics feels like a sideshow that has little bearing on the listening to an album that is solid musically. A powerfully driven rock, electronica, experimental sound powering through the opening five tracks at least before any let up after “Jennifer” – a song who’s underlying hints at domestic abuse go missed on early listens.
If you’re not sold make sure to give it Keith’s triple listening before dismissing an album that is definitely amongst the most interesting sounding this year.
The Snuts – Burn The Empire
I’ll be honest here, prior to September I had never heard of Scottish indie band The Snuts. I happened across a newspaper review and added the album to my Spotify queue, I’m glad I did. This wasn’t a grower, this was a smash you straight from the first song. A fierce passionate record that sits a punk ethos against a more refined indie musicianship, reminiscent to me of The Cold War kids musically in places. Critiques of social media and unrest in the UK sit alongside more bizzare songs about the hangout locations for pigeons.
Wet Leg – Wet Leg
If you need me to explain who Wet Leg are then I would like to welcome you back from whichever rock you’ve been under. The darlings of the media hype after their fantastic song “Chaise Longue” landed in 2021 along with the follow up “Wet Dream”, the buzz for the eventual album continued to build.
An wry wit, irreverent occasionally silly attitude and straight forward indie, strokes-esque vibes in the music mean this album doesn’t leave you wanting. The first two releases are the highlights of the album but there is little on here that isn’t whimsically enjoyable.
Aqualung – Dead Letters
A latecomer to the top five is Aqualung, the creative vehicle of Matt Hales, and his latest release “Dead Letters” sneaking in after plenty of listens this week. Featuring in the new series of “The Art of Longevity” podcast from our good friend Keith over at https://www.songsommelier.com/. The podcast is a great look back at Matt’s career but peppered with mentions of the new release and taking Keith at his recommendations I set out for a listen.
This is a beautiful record, a slow paced gorgeous listen. Speculating as to who these dead letters might have been meant for pushed you to connect with the songs even more. An album filled with emotion and well worth putting on and a welcome return of an album from a seven year gap from Aqualung.
Regina Spektor – Home, before and after
Regina Spektor is a familiar name, but maybe not a familiar musician to many of us, or at least me. An appearance on the Ben Folds album “Way to normal” was my most exposure to the Russian-American songwriter.
Seeing the release arrive I decided to check it out with little expectation, the first track “Becoming all alone” is a lovely opener apparently about grabbing a beer with God. Then the energy of “Up the mountain” switches things up and the album wanders in many interesting directions for the rest of the run. Spektor proves as capable a songwriter as you’d expect, comfortable enough to push in whichever direction she wants, bringing a loving charm to each song here.
I’d also recommend looking up her Tiny Desk concert from August.
The Mysterines – Reeling
What’s this – a number 6? Yes due to an admin error I’d flagged this as a 2021 release and left it out. However it would have certainly made the top 5, but rather than bump an album you’re getting a little bonus entry inserted here.
The Liverpool four piece manage to deftly evoke peak 90s, early 2000s act such as Hole, Feeder and other greats of the era. A proper guitar rock album, Reeling is certainly one of, if not the best, rock albums of the year. Lia Metcalfe’s raw, gruff vocals add a alluring texture to the band’s sound and the album powers along after the kicking one two of “Life’s a bitch (but I like it so much)” and “Hung up” set the album off from the beginning. Later highlights include “All these things” and “In my head”. But the album is one of those that you’ll hear people saying “don’t get made anymore” – well they do and they’re well worth your listening time.
The biggest news on the site is that I finally added a post for the first time in a while about Gomez’s album “How we operate” – check it out with lots of other great posts at mumubl.com/