The Sound Cafe
Editor's Choice: 25 Releases From 2022 You Should Get To Know
By Stevie Connor.
I am always blown away by how much great music is released year after year, and the standard and quality just seems to get better. 2022 has been no exception, we cover a wide range of genres at The Sound Cafe, and I have chosen 25 artist releases that I think are worth exploring. Included below are Albums or EP's from artists based in Canada, the USA, UK, Europe, Scandinavia and Australia.
I have to say a big thank you to the record labels, publicists, managers, artists and their teams for sending us their latest releases, and also to the team we have at The Sound Cafe, who dedicate their time to bring you some amazing music week after week. We are now into our third year of publication, we've published around 2000 articles, conducted 200 interviews and we feature 15 weekly podcasts, all bringing you new artists and latest news on music releases from all over the world.
2022 has been a very good year, and we look forward to what 2023 will bring, I'd like to take the opportunity to extend our best wishes to everyone over the festive period.
I hope you enjoy my selection for 2022, Explore... Engage... Enjoy !
December 2022 Toronto, Canada
Sam Fender: Live From Finsbury Park
Sam Fender has released a new live album, Live From Finsbury Park. The album captures Sam’s scintillating sell-out performance in front of 45,000 fans earlier this Summer in London. As Sam’s biggest headline show to date, and straight off the back of his show-stealing performance at Glastonbury Festival, the Finsbury Park show paid testament to an incredible twelve months for an artist whose rise has been meteoric.
Sons Of The East: Palomar Parade
Australian underdogs Sons Of The East have released their highly-anticipated debut album 'Palomar Parade'. Soulful and melodic, the album is the band’s unique take on celebrating the untidy chaos of everyday life, transcending genre while staying true to the band’s timeless style.
Larkin Poe: Blood Harmony
Acclaimed indie-rock duo, Larkin Poe, sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, released their brand new album, 'Blood Harmony', November 11th, 2022.
The title track to the band’s album depicts the Lovell sisters and their band mates getting ready to take the stage for a show. Lyrically, it’s a love song of sorts to music in general and the bonds between family members.
First Aid Kit: Palomino
First Aid Kit has released their fifth studio album Palomino via Columbia Records. Arriving alongside the album is a stunning new video for title track “Palomino,” which was filmed at Studio Rydman where First Aid Kit recorded the LP.
Elephant Sessions: For The Night
Award-winning indie-folk sensation Elephant Sessions have released their highly anticipated fourth studio album.
Elephant Sessions’ music combines the very best of trad, funk and electronica and over the last decade has earned them a swathe of fans across the world. Their latest album, entitled For The Night, contains a progressive blend of intricate tunes and engulfing guitars, with a bass and drum heavy backline.
Tedeschi Trucks Band: I Am The Moon
Farewell – the final record in the groundbreaking studio release by Tedeschi Trucks Band, I Am The Moon – concludes a remarkable adventure and new beginning for the group, now in its 12th year as America's premier rock & roll big band: four distinct and, at the same time, deeply connected albums with a total of 24 original songs capturing the power of devotion in a time of crisis and separation, with a renewed energy in collective songwriting and performance.
Jax Hollow: Underdog Anthems
Jax Hollow burst on the scene with her debut album Underdog Anthems produced by Michael Wagener, (Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Janet Jackson), whose works have sold over 100 million units. Based in Nashville Jax is a rare female guitar principal graduate from Berkeley School of Music, where she studied songwriting under Pat Pattinson, who's Grammy-winning students include John Mayer, and Gillian Welch.
James Bay: Leap
Leap is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter James Bay, released on 8 July 2022 through Mercury and Republic Records.
Three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated and BRIT Award-winning multi-platinum singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist James Bay dropped the official music video for his new single “One Life”, announcing the albums release.
Little Big Town: Mr. Sun
ACM, CMA and GRAMMY Award-winning band Little Big Town – consisting of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook – release their new, 10th studio album Mr. Sun.
The band also unveiled the music video for “Three Whiskeys and the Truth,” which was directed by Running Bear Film’s Stephen & Alexa Kinigopoulos. Immediately following the video’s premiere, the band went live exclusively on YouTube Premium for a livestreamed afterparty to answer fan questions about the new album.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown: Shake The Roots
Following the release of their last album (Pressure) on Snakefarm Records in 2020, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown decided it was time to return to their independent roots. The first single Shakedown fans can look forward to is “Ain’t None Watered Down” which appears on the label's inaugural full length album, 'Shake The Roots', released September 2022.
Some bands you can always recognize -- they produce the same sound, even the same song, year after year. But great musicians don’t just keep playing, they constantly evolve. Aloud’s new record, Sprezzatura , is a showcase for a band joyfully shedding the old and moving boldly forward, both sonically and lyrically.
The Lumineers: Brightside
Produced by longtime collaborator Simone Felice and produced, mixed, and engineered by David Baron over two sessions at Baron’s Sun Mountain Studios in bucolic Boiceville, NY, BRIGHTSIDE marks The Lumineers’ first new music in more than two years.
The nine-song collection sees The Lumineers’ co-founders/co-songwriters Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites performing virtually all of the eclectic, effervescent instrumentation, with Baron on a wide variety of keyboards and backing vocals and more by Simone Felice, touring members Byron Isaacs and Lauren Jacobson, famed backing singer Cindy Mizelle (Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews Band), The Felice Brothers’ James Felice, and acclaimed singer-songwriter Diana DeMuth.
Elles Bailey: Shining In The Half Light
A meditative timestamp reflecting the isolation, uncertainty and worry prevalent amongst society throughout the outbreak of the pandemic, Shining In The Half Light is an album of self-realization, but one that lets everyone share in its sense of realism and, ultimately, positivity. It’s a record inspired by those who spread love in a time of heartbreak, happiness in a time of fear, and connection in a time of loneliness. Shining In The Half Light sits at 10 tracks offering nothing short of a brazen, bold and bluesy disposition.
Josephine Oniyama: Human
‘Human’ is the title track of a new four song EP that has also been released by the soulful singer-songwriter Josephine Oniyama, who was born and raised in Manchester but is now based in Liverpool. It follows the recent ‘Tears Will Never Be Mine’, which reintroduced her to fans after a period out of the solo spotlight
Keb' Mo': Good To Be
Bringing it all back home, Keb’ looked to his own story for inspiration on his captivating new album, Good To Be, artfully linking the grit and groove of his Compton roots with strum and twang of his more recently adopted hometown of Nashville, TN, where he’s lived and worked for the last eleven years. Drawing on country, folk, blues, and soul, the collection transcends genre and geography, weaving together a joyful, heartwarming, and relentlessly optimistic tapestry that manages to encompass the entirety of this once-in-a-generation artist’s larger-than-life career.
Andrew Leahey & The Homestead: Americana Static Volume 2
Andrew Leahey & the Homestead are a classic band for the modern age, rolling a decades-spanning wealth of influences — the highway-bound hooks of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, the sweeping guitars of George Harrison, the concise power-pop of Cheap Trick, the piano craft of Harry Nilsson — into a contemporary sound.
Rachel Kerr: Masterpeace
Multi-award-winning UK recording artist Rachel Kerr has unveiled her long-awaited debut album, Masterpeace, which features lead single “I Do”. More than a debut album, Masterpeace was four years in the making and reveals Rachel’s most authentic, vulnerable and ground-breaking songs to date. Choosing to write and co-produce all 11 tracks herself, Masterpeace is an undiluted and unapologetic expression of Rachel Kerr’s most sincere musical work.
Tenille Townes: Masquerades
Songwriter, performer and 2-time ACM winner Tenille Townes dropped her highly anticipated new EP Masquerades via Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville in partnership with RCA Records.
The soul-baring collection marks Tenille’s first release where she fully pulls down her own mask.
The Strongman Blues Remedy: Volume 1
A new blues musical collective - The Strongman Blues Remedy Featuring Steve Strongman, Harrison Kennedy, Dawn Tyler Watson, Steve Marriner and Crystal Shawanda, Volume 1 set for release June 17, 2022 via Stony Plain Records
The Interrupters: In The Wild
During the lockdown, Aimee Interrupter, partner and guitarist Kevin Bivona, and his younger twin brothers Jesse (drums) and Justin ( bass) built a home studio in their garage and created their most personal album yet. The band penned the album’s 14 songs together and Kevin Bivona produced.
In The Wild is the follow-up to 2018’s Fight the Good Fight , which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart.
Kelley Smith: Moon Child
Her debut album, Moon Child, was released on Nov. 14, 2022. The album comes across as a mid-life coming-of-age story. As an insomniac, Kelley Smith wrote this first batch of songs by moonlight. Moon Child evokes a sense of belonging, juxtaposed with escapism, as Smith croons about long-term love, grief, and her draw to the night sky.
In addition to her original work, Smith is an American folk music enthusiast. Her fans appreciate how she modernizes traditional tunes [learned from artists like Elizabeth Cotten and The Carter Family] and makes them relevant and relatable while preserving their histories and genre.
Boo Hewerdine: Understudy
“Understudy” (Released on May 27th by Reveal Records) finds acclaimed songwriter Boo Hewerdine in reflective mood with a fatalistic yet joyful narrative running throughout the lyrics. Twelve new songs about these times (individually and globally) written at home in Glasgow and recorded in East Anglia with long term producer Chris Pepper.
The new album is one of his finest to date in a career that now spans over forty years and has seen Hewerdine write and collaborate with the likes of KD Lang, Kris Drever,
Chris Difford (Squeeze), Kathryn Williams, Eddi Reader and Lady Nade.
Terika: Made Out Of Stars
Singer-songwriter Terika is Terhi Karjalainen, her debut album is a result of a long journey. Ten years ago, this young woman from the Savonia region of Finland decided to become a singer. So, she took her guitar on her back like a venturesome vagabond, and started touring across Finland, Asia, and Europe, looking for inspiration and some real stories for her songs
David Place: Gambler's Blues
Singer-songwriter David Place was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, and now resides in Bari, Italy with his wife and three daughters. He grew up listening to Rock, Folk, and Blues musicians playing out of DIY speakers from his father’s record collection. His latest album is “Gambler’s Blues.”
Em Beihold: Egg In The Backseat
Cementing herself as one of 2022’s breakthrough artists to watch, gold-certified Los Angeles singer and songwriter Em Beihold (pronounced bye-hold) has released her debut EP Egg in the Backseat !
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Stevie Connor has been moving in music circles since he could walk and has played all over the world.
He moved to Canada in 2009 and gave up a musical career, he formed a company with his wife and commenced putting on shows in soft seater venues which saw them being nominated for a national cultural award. Ten years ago Blues & Roots Radio was formed, winning four business awards in five years, and he found himself working with amazing artists and contributing to national music awards panels.
He is a selfless supporter of artists in Canada and around the world in various ways, through his radio show, his internet radio station, PR company, website design, and most recently through his online music magazine, The Sound Cafe. He is also writing a book about his journey in music, which he is hoping will be finished by the end of 2023.