Albums of the Year 2022

The albums I have had a chance to write about in 2022 have all stood out to me on first listen and encouraged me to return again and again.

For my end of year list I have stuck to the previous format of only listing albums which have already been written about on the blog, with links below to my prior reviews. Therefore I have kept my list to ten albums, which means an unfortunate lack of diversity – this is entirely a fault of my own listening habits this year and something I hope to rectify going into 2023!

Let me know your favourites in the comments or on social media.

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Songs of the Year 2022

Yes it’s that time of year again when we all look back across a year in music to think about what songs we played to death, what songs stood out from the many heard and what songs really defined the moments of your life.

Find mine below. I have not had as much time to write this year so I have included some tracks which come from albums I have not had the chance to review. Let me know your favourites!

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Celtic Connections 2023 Preview

If you’re looking for some Christmas gifts this year then one glance through the Celtic Connections schedule will leave you overwhelmed by choice. Last year Omicron decimated the usually strong Americana programme, leaving only a few overseas artists playing the funded Transatlantic Sessions. Thankfully this year they have been able to return to a more normal looking schedule, with the festival celebrating its 30th year and offering a diverse array of artists across genres for every kind of roots music fan.

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Album Review: S.G. Goodman – Teeth Marks

S.G. Goodman was born and raised in Kentucky, a place which burns through her voice and her words. But her music isn’t of the mountains and the wide open countryside, it’s in the grime of these places, the claustrophobia, the endless emptiness of the void. Emotional pain and destruction thrives in these darkened backwaters, quiet hope trying to find a way to appear among the rolling clouds.

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How to Solve The Ticketmaster Problem

News broke this week that some Taylor Swift fans are actually suing Ticketmaster after their recent ticket buying trauma.

Some of the problems which occurred on that day have been brewing for a long time: buying tickets now involves navigating a confusing and complex system of presale codes and ticket sale opportunities, all of which allow bots to buy tickets and resell them for inflated prices. It’s wrong and it has to be stopped.

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On Carrie Underwood’s Problematic ‘Find Your Path’

Earlier this year I ordered country music star Carrie Underwood’s book ‘Find Your Path’, which was marketed as a wellness and lifestyle guide. On the cover she is standing in a meadow, smiling in the sunshine, holding a flower, wearing white and looking like an angel come to inspire us all to live a happier and healthier life.

Inside we have more pretty pictures of her beautiful husband and children. So far, so aspirational.

However when I read the introduction sentence, the alarm bells started ringing immediately. She begins this book with the admission:

‘Sometimes I go a whole day without sitting down once.’

Okay, that doesn’t sound good to me. Not good at all.

The advice only gets more concerning from this point onwards. ‘Find Your Path’ reads like a brutal lesson in how the music industry (or fame itself) sends people to extreme perfectionism just in order to survive.

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The Trouble With Twitter

Recently when contemplating some issues around social media, and Twitter in particular, I was reminded of an old episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the episode ‘Earshot’, Buffy is infected by a demon and wakes up with the ability to hear the thoughts of everyone she meets. At first her new power is exhilarating and exciting, a way to gain knowledge and insight. Soon, however, the gift becomes a curse. She can’t block out the constant noise of everyone’s internal chatter and eventually the horror, suffering, pain and violence inside other people’s heads overwhelms her. She ends up bedridden, unable to function, hovering on the edge of insanity.

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