News Playlists

TLMT’s Top 20 Albums 2022

The Last Mixed Tape picks its Top 20 Irish albums of 2022.

20.

Heart Of A Nation – Columbia Mills

Heart Of A Nation finds Columbia Mills adding grandeur to their sound via openness. On their third offering, Columbia Mills gives space and time for their music to grow, resulting in a record that has a more significant impact. Heart Of A Nation is an album where the meaning is communicated in every element of the music itself.”

TLMT Review

19.

Fatima – Farah Elle

Fatima is an outward expression by an artist whose approach to the act of self-expression is captivating in and of itself. Debut records can be a tricky prospect, sometimes retrospective and often anachronistic to who the artist is upon release. Farah Elle’s first offering maintains relevance because it feels like every note, beat and word is intrinsically linked to her artistic voice. All of which makes Fatima an attention-grabbing introduction.”

TLMT Review

18.

Dear Chaos – Talos

Dear Chaos has a tidal sense of melancholy melodrama. Soaring and falling, the music found within Talos’ new album makes excellent use of the artist’s stand-out characteristic, his soaring vocals. Dear Chaos also works to envelop the listener in a world that finds definition with turbulence.”

TLMT Review

17.

World Still Blue – Rosa Nutty

“George Bernard Shaw once said, “You use a glass mirror to see your face. You use works of art to see your soul.”, and so goes World Still Blue. Rosa Nutty’s debut record resonates with the expressionism of intimate songwriting. World Still Blue is life from the artist’s perspective. “

TLMT Review

16.

Crude – David Keenan

“The story of Crude is in the telling. David Keenan is a powerful storyteller, whether it be in the stylism of his previous work What Then? or close quarters feel of Crude, Keenan commands the room. Alive with performance and wordplay, Crude returns to the roots of everything that has come before.”

TLMT Review

15.

That’s When The Panic Sets In – Roe

“Roe has stayed true to herself throughout. This Is Where The Panic Sets In is an album about everything, internal and external, that goes in to making art. Fully-realized lyrically and musically, This Is Where The Panic Sets In leaves everything on the table and you can’t ask for more than that from any artist.”

TLMT Review

14.

The Distance Between Heart And Mouth – Elaine Howley

The Distance Between Heart And Mouth is an album put through the prism of mimesis. Like the aforementioned siren’s song, Elaine Howley’s debut bewitches the listener into swirling soundscapes, obscuring the jagged undercurrent with deft serenity. Existing on the periphery, the records’ sounds and textures feel expansive and lived-in, a real place built from the ground up.” 

TLMT Review

13.

Black Forest – Clara Tracey

Black Forest could play out as a Nouvelle Vague film score, heard in crowded cafés, Parisian streets and small party balconies as it follows our protagonist’s journey captured in black and white. Black Forest is compelling in its abstraction of retroelements through Clara Tracey’s artistic prism. A stylish culmination of influences and flourishes, Tracey’s debut carves out an identity of its own. “

TLMT Review
Anna Mieke

12.

Theatre – Anna Mieke

Theatre dances with grand, expressive musical gestures. Anna Mieke’s second album never breaks its focus, creating an over-arching sense of shape that flows throughout. Theatre entrances with every lyric, note and beat.”

TLMT Review

11.

Hour Of The Ox – Katie Kim

Hour Of The Ox is a postcard from the edge. Once Katie Kim establishes herself as an artist dancing to a different beat, existing and thriving outside everything else. Much like Cage’s arctic sonic explorations, Kim’s journeys far from the crowd in Hour Of The Ox yields the same fascination, and are essential to the diverse tapestry of Irish music.” 

TLMT Review

10.

Maelstrom – Melts

“Balancing repetition and evolution is a tightrope walk, lean to far either way and you’ll lose the audience, either though boredom or confusion. Maelstrom, and Melts as band, traverses this territory through sheer force. Minimal in its elements, but maximal in its results, Maelstrom finds the sweet-spot between hypnotic and dynamic.”

TLMT Review

9.

Leave The Light On – Pillow Queens

Leave The Light On is made all the more powerful by the way Pillow Queens perform it. Pillow Queens is a band who connects with people because they write and perform from a place of absolute honesty. Leave The Light On builds on the rawness of their debut with a sound that finds the emotion in each word and note, bringing out the impactful nature of Pillow Queens all the more. An album of performance, production and presence.”

TLMT Review

8.

Smiling Like An Idiot – Sorcha Richardson

Smiling Like An Idiot finds the drama in the small moments. Each song has a personal story, a lived experience, made alive by the scale and scope of the music. Smiling Like An Idiot is also a mirror for Sorcha Richardson herself, an artist who rose to prominence from lo-fi songs recorded in small spaces to become a songwriter who works on a larger canvas but maintains the same intimacy through storytelling.” 

TLMT Review

7.

Delusions Of Grandeur – Thumper

Delusions of Grandeur could only come, and indeed work, at this point in Thumper’s evolution. Juxtaposing the immediate nature of the music, Thumper is a band that waited patiently, striking at the right moment. This attention to detail and craft plays throughout as they confidently contort noise, melody and meaning within a record alive with clarity and precision. A few years in the making and a long road to traverse, but the destination is truly worth every step.” 

TLMT Review

6.

Most Normal – Gilla Band

“Taken on its own Most Normal is a work of complex singular movements. Stepping back, Gilla Band’s latest album is like the stark lightbulb seen in Picasso’s Guernica. On its own, its striking, evocative and disarming. As part of the larger work it’s an essential symbolic element necessary to the narrative. Brilliant, challenging, and demanding, much like Picasso’s masterpiece mentioned above, Gilla Band’s Most Normal takes on even more significance when seen through the lens of what’s come before.”

TLMT Review

5.

Heart Under – Just Mustard

Heart Under is a beast. A sure-footed sophomore release from Just Mustard, Heart Under builds on the feral foundations of Wednesday by adding a sense of lucidity to the music, whilst never losing the initial unpredictability that has made the Just Mustard so striking. Heart Under is the sound of band in complete control of their expression.”

TLMT Review

4.

If My Wife New I’d Be Dead – CMAT

If My Wife New I’d Be Dead won me over. Not with charm but with honesty. The contrast of boldness and fragility is disarming. CMAT’s ability to twist and turn the narrative lyrically and sonically is singular. I was late to the party on this one, but I’m glad I made it in the end.” 

TLMT Review

3.

SKINTY FIA – FONTAINES D.C.

“Bands rarely maintain their vitality three albums in. All too often, directionless rust sets in. Fontaines D.C barge right past this potential pitfall by adding more sonic scope to deliver their music. The untamed rattle and hum of their early days have been left behind. In its place is something grander but far more consequential.” 

TLMT Review

2.

PROTECTOR – AOIFE NESSA FRANCES

Protector is the result of an artist at the height of their powers. Aoife Nessa Frances’ writes, directs and stars in a record that thrusts us into late-night soundscapes with the light of her music guiding the way. As thrilling as it is hypnotic, few albums this year are as cohesively constructed as Aoife Nessa Frances’ Protector.” 

TLMT Review

1.

TIME BEND, AND BREAK THE BOWER – SINEAD O’BRIEN

“What is singular must stand alone, abstract from everything else. Time Bend and Break the Bower is the other, the unknown. Through Sinéad O’Brien’s sheer undefinable presence the album is a triumph of individuality and voice. A tour de force from start to finish, no album this year will hit or sound like Time Bend and Break the Bower. That’s authenticity, that’s singularity.”

TLMT Review

Follow TLMT’s Irish Mixed-Tape Spotify Playlist

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: