Another year is ending, and the editors of WL//WH choose their favorite releases of 2022. Here you will find these records that went on repeat by themselves for a long time, and of course, all these names have passed a lot of times on Loud Cities radio show as also many of them I’ve reviewed their records during the year in WL//WH.
I’ll start with my homeland’s artists (GR) who shook me so nicely over the year, and then I will go to the rest from all around the world. Please mention that I regard every single name on this list as equal to each other with all these records being all together in the first place. To me, number #1 on the list is absolutely equal to number #30. Get a drink and press play!
- PARADOX OBSCUR – “Morphogenesis” LP [Metropolis Records]
What an impressive and so successful twist by one of my favorite bands; “Morphogenesis” LP is the band’s new statement this time a bit far from their usual darkwave access but on the new beat, tech house, synthwave approach (and with their darkness just lurking underneath everything). A spectacular release by all means.
- INCIRRINA – “Lip Led Scream” LP [Cold Transmission Music]
This year Incirrina decided to even surpass themselves with an album so addictive in all. Sound, lyrics, performance, and passion, “Lip Led Scream” LP is the contemporary darkwave of the ages, and with big applause from me.
- NIGHT IN ATHENS – “Crime Seen” EP [Self-Released]
Based in London and Athens, Night In Athens not only is a very prolific artist but has also a clear sense of the proto-synthpunk situations that she blends with her adventurous industrial and coldwave maneuvers, and all like as if she was a teenager in the 80s.
- CINEMASCOPE– “A Crack On The Wall” LP [Wave Records]
Leo Skiadas is not only a DJ and the owner of Death Disco club in downtown Athens but also a musician and a sound engineer too. 8 years after the last release of Cinemascope he returned with an album of high-quality darkwave music that sounds like his own dedication to the celebrated genre we adore, and it rocks.
- THE BLACK CAPES – “Looks Like Death” LP [Ikaros Records (EU) / The Council of Bones (USA)]
A very professional approach to gothic rock and with a twisted urge to sleaze it enough with sludge and the swap rock tunes too, The Black Capes released one of the top gothic rock albums this year.
- MISFORTUNES – “Brilliant Endings” LP [TONN Recordings]
And if it was their previous album a striking post-punk record (in 2020), this one in 2022 is absolutely its sequel on more coldwave sounds and passions. Some dark beauties lie in here, amazing work.
- SUGAR FOR THE PILL – “Wanderlust” LP [Shelflife Records (USA) / Make Me Happy Records (EU)]
When I first heard a song or two from Sugar For Ther Pill debut album I thought they were an American band. To my surprise, the band from Athens released the most striking shoegaze debut LP this year, and a hint; on stage they rock like no tomorrow, yes.
- ADOLF PLAYS THE JAZZ – “Low Life | We Can’t Lose. We Have Already Lost.” LP [Self-Released]
They are a collective of 8 persons who created a dashing piece of work in 2022. They are post-punk, but what kind of post-punk is this when they blend it with experimental rock, post-rock, no-wave, and shoegaze? They are fearless and this is their best credit to study their music.
That’s all with the Greeks, now let’s go somewhere else, please. All of you who read my reviews in WL//WH and listen to my radio program know my attraction to Belfast’s TONN Recordings, let me show you my favorite releases this year by that unique “shop”.
- LE GANG MOUTAI / FUTURISMO TRENTINO S/T LP [TONN Recordings]
I’ll just copy what you’ll read on Bandcamp: “Le Gang Moutai is Mathis Kolkoz, founder and singer of the synth-punk band Blind Delon, performing synthwave and abstract axed instrumentals with invited singers. Futurismo Trentino is an alternative interpretation and instrumentation based on songs from New Order’s first album ‘Movement’ (1981)”; now press play, please.
- SOLOIST ANTI POP TOTALIZATION – “In The Beginning Of A New World” LP [TONN Recordings]
Here we “observed” the ventures of Rikinari Hata from Japan in electronic music; Japanese minimal synth music with the expected noises and edges in a quite cinematic approach, outlandish and bizarre, great.
- GRIMDELUXE – “Donker” LP [TONN Recordings]
Dutch minimalism on the synthwave streams by a person who now sounds like centuries matured from his last album (in 2021). Wonderful new music, catchy, groovy, and absolutely cool.
And now let’s go somewhere else too…
- MINUIT MACHINE – “24” LP [Synth Religion]
The new album by Minuit Machine was as expected to be; grandiose synthwave music on high-quality sound and songs and lyrics and colors and all!
- WINTER SEVERITY INDEX – “Disgelo” LP [Icy Cold Records / Manic Depression Records / Blood Rock Records]
“Disgelo” LP was a new chapter for WSI, another alternative form by these two ladies who created with amazing results, and honestly, their most sophisticated album so far.
- A PROJECTION – “In A Different Light” LP [Metropolis Records]
It is by far their best record until now; the post-punk band from Sweden released an amazing album this year with potentially 12 maxi singles. A brilliant album.
- PRINCIPE VALIENTE – “Barricades” LP [Metropolis Records]
From Sweden again came this album, Principe Valiente got my pulse immediately and I am still amazed, post-punk beauty in here with occasional grandiose arrangements and a very warm sound.
- THE SECRET FRENCH POSTCARDS – “Life Got Claws” LP [Cold Transmission Music]
Another Swedish miracle was the new album by The Secret French Postcards, and here again, I must say for this musician too that it is easily his best work so far; modern post-punk, modern coldwave, modernities my friends, and a great album, yes.
- KILL SHELTER – “Asylum” LPs (European & USA versions) [Metropolis Records]
Brilliant work by Kill Shelter (UK); Two versions with 2 exclusive tracks to each version of the album (European, and the USA), and a handful of really important guests in the studio. I rolled the dice and the dice decided to put the American version, that’s all; what an album!
- JE T’AIME – “Aggressive” LP [Manic Depression Records / Icy Cold Records]
JE T’AIME is not any post-punk revival crew, they are (among others) the new and so modern greyness of our times…and with a killer album in their quiver.
- PANIC PRIEST – “Psychogoria” LP [Negative Gain Productions / Midnight Mannequin Records]
The gorgeous new album by Jack Armondo as Panic Priest is easily his best structured and comprehensive work so far. An album of great musical emotions, all by the streams of the modish synthesized new wave music under the plain post-punk veil.
- THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX – “The Plague” LP [Self-Released]
A very important name to all the fans in the wider dark alternative front, TCC this year are sounding as if not a day of absence has passed in these 20 years in silence…and they knocked again on our door with an album of special dynamics and importance.
- WHIMSICAL – “Melt” LP [Shelflife Records]
By the time I discovered Whimsical an alternative palette of shoegaze/dream pop tunes was unveiled in front of me. I really love this band a lot and every time I listen to their music they make my mood better. Their new album was a thrilling experience.
- TESS PARKS – “And Those Who Were Seen Dancing” LP [Fuzz Club Records]
Tess Parks convinced me immediately. She is like an alloy of 60s lo-fi music with spirit from the current indie shoegaze at times, psych also, and altogether through her private rock and roll prism. I like her songs, I like her voice, I like her style as she sings her things, and by all means, this is a brilliant album.
- THE STARGAZER LILIES – “Cosmic Tidal Wave” LP [Floravinyl Records]
Such a colorful and so groovy new album by The Stargazer Lilies from Florida. Psychedelic rock blends with shoegaze and all with tricky orchestrations and one album that I didn’t expect to invite to listen to it again and again, but it did and I’m so happy about it.
- FONTAINES D.C. – “Skinty Fria” LP [Partisan Records]
These lovely young men from Ireland gave (again) all the freshness, the power, and the character in what we loved a lot from the 90s, indie rock but with a clear punk nature all over…long-live-Fontaines D.C.
- AUA – “The Damaged Organ” LP [Crazysane Records]
Let me try to explain; the new album by AUA from Germany is a sonicscape on krautrock, with amazing electronic flashes, lo-fi pop vocalization occasionally, and some pretty psychedelic passages and it is also quite a sophisticated record too.
- VUKOVAR – “The Body Abdicator” LP [Other Voices Records]
All that we heard in their new album was an astonishing blend of experimentations masterfully plugged into their peculiar music that is by all means…no wave, generally. And yeah as a friend of mine once said “everything after post-punk is forever post-punk but in different shades”, and this is actually what Vukovar is all about.
- OISEAUX DE PROIE – “Catharsis” LP [Velouria Recordz]
I almost cannot find the words to describe this record, this black little diamond addresses all of you experimentalists and avant-garde people…with the band’s core being actually the dark music; what kind and how dark you must dare this album.
- IOANA IORGU – “Mean Time” LP [Self-Released]
One woman band from the Netherlands who played everything alone in her new album, and what an album was that! Experimental kind of thing post-rock to shoegaze and with a stunning sense of innate musicality.
- BRUTUS – “Unison Life” LP [Hassle Records]
The almighty band from Belgium with a fantastic new album, I repeat; the almighty Brutus…no more words, just listen to them loud.
- RESPLANDOR – “Tristeza” LP [Automatic Records / Reptile Music]
The incredible and surreal shoegaze new work by Resplandor…just look who produced and mixed it and you will understand many things even before you listen to their music.
So, that’s all that nailed me in 2022. My best wishes to all free souls in the universe, stay true!!!