#53 Tanya Tagaq: Tongues

Canada! Throw another steak on the barbie and… No, that’s the other one isn’t it? Throw another poutine on the Mike Myers, aye! We all love Canada, don’t we? They’re like the USA it’s OK to like! So polite! So, like, a bit American, but not offensively so, but then also a little bit English, so that’s OK! There are bits of it that are French, I believe, but I don’t really have time to logically process that right now. Those white Canadians, they’ve, like, always been there, right? There was never any indefensible stripping of natives’ land, like there was in the USA, as far as I – wider culture – am aware of. No old Canadian movies celebrating the Canadian John Wayne brutally murdering the native population, so I have to assume that it never happened. Who’s the Canadian John Wayne, I hear you ask? Probably Drake. No, I can’t explain it, it just probably is, I dunno. Oh Canada! That’s how the anthem starts, innit? Lovely country, lovely people, such a lovely counterpoint to all the divisive silliness that happened ‘down south’! Shows that actually, yes, it is possible to build a civilised society over there.

GREAT! I REALLY NEED THIS BREAK…

#54 Mark Lanegan: Whiskey for the Holy Ghost

Dying mama
Barely breathing in a bed of nails
To wander through the ruin smoking and pale
I came upon an angel and a nightingale
Hanging where the darkness comes
Between the earth and skies above
Dead weight are my body’s bones
I think I dug too deep a hole
Think I dug too deep a hole
Better run for cover, babe, you better hide
Don’t do no good to wait ’til time decides
Time decides
Time
Time
I need a little more time

Riding the Nightingale

Right everyone, let’s get sad.

Mark Lanegan passed away on February 22nd 2022, adding to Necessary Evil’s sadly growing death list. His last appearance was as a typically commanding guest vocal on the Manics’ recent album highlight Blank Diary Entry. He actually died while I was writing the 2021 Legit Bosses list, meaning a rapid (and, to be honest, rather shocked) rewrite to that song’s entry at #93. I didn’t want that rushed and dismayed edit to be my final word on an artist unarguably an important and consistent part of the modern rock canon, and someone who had long been close to my heart. So I entered the 1994 album that I long considered his career highlight into NE2022.

RIP

#55 Lava La Rue: High Fidelity

Ma dudes, I can’t do this again, how many more thousands of words do all your leeches need from me explaining how much I fucking adore Lava La Rue? They are one of the most exciting, most vibrant, most dang essential up and coming artists in this early stages of the 2020s we somehow find ourselves encased within.

‘High Fidelity’ is more excellence, and subsequently also works as a quick cheat sheet if you want an eighteen minute primer on why Lava’s multi-influenced, energetic yet always vulnerable, ethereal takes on queer romance make them such a pant-wettingly exciting prospect for defining the next decade or so of British music.

DO YOU LIKE THEM THOUGH? I FEEL LIKE YOU’RE BEING VAGUE

#56 Lykke Li: EYEYE

Lykke Lykke Lykke! EYEYEYE!!!

Sponsored by anti-acne treatment, because wrestling is for adults

Sweden’s absolute and inarguable queen of pop heartbreak might be another artist on this year’s list suffering from their insane decision to be consistently brilliant throughout their career and making the risky move of simply releasing another brilliant record. Like, well done, you’re still incredible. ‘Ave a fackin’ biscuit.

I WOULD ACTUALLY APPRECIATE A BISCUIT RIGHT NOW

#57 Alvvays: Blue Rev

OK, own up, the lot of you, when was it all decided that Alvvays were officially ‘A Big Deal’? I loved their previous album ‘Antisocialites’ in 2018, as did everyone who heard it. But, like, ‘everyone who heard it’ was a couple of hundred worldwide, surely? It just never seemed that many people were aware of them, they’re such a minute and delicate little gem, surely more than maybe 72 people listening to their dainty little anthems would cause the band to shatter? Be careful how you handle Alvvays!! They’re fragile!

Yeah, his finishing move was him teabagging his opponent. Shut up, you just don’t understand wrestling

Yeah, I know that both of their albums have been shortlisted for the Canadian Polaris Music Prize, and that ‘Antisocialite’ won the Juno award for Alternative Album of the Year, which, yes, is a real thing and, yes, is also Canadian. But these are Canadian awards! How many people actually live in Canada? Couple of thousand, maybe? At a push? Their adorable little awards are hardly a good barometer of someone’s wider cultural impact. You know who won that Juno award this year? Mustafa the Poet! Who, yeah, actually sounds pretty awesome now I read about him, but he ain’t headlining no Superbowls, brother!

HEADLINING THE SUPERBOWL SHOULD GET YOU BLACKLISTED

#58 Riverby: Absolution

Now, as longtime readers (hi Mum! I told you to stop reading, I just can’t have that boring conversation about so called “Disturbing psychosexual imagery” with you yet another time) will no doubt already have noticed, I’m something of a literary genius. Not fully appreciated in my time, no, but neither was Vincent van Gogh. Also, I’m not going around simping over prostitutes so hard that I send them parts of my body that I’ve sliced off. That is so cringe. proper beta behavior, whereas I am obviously an alpha chad. I have lots of the sex and talk to loads of women. Like, all the time.

Anyway, yes, I am a literary genius, and what I’ve done on this year’s list – one hundred percent intentionally!! – is design it so two things that I’ve already been discussing this year finally come together and interweave on my post concerning the second album from Philadelphia ‘punk’ band Riverby.

DO GO ON, BLESS US WITH YOUR INCREDIBLE INTELLECT

#59 Tierra Whack: Pop? Rap? R&B?

Oooooooh, was that the plan all along? Were these three EPs meant to be analysed together like this, so that when the ensuing blog post is titled that way it looks like a thinkpiece on what genre you could describe the revolutionary and eclectic output of one of modern music’s most interesting artists?

Well tough, that’s not what I’m going to do. I’m not falling for that trap, this ain’t ma’ first time at the rodeooooooo-whoah-oh. And there are few debates more pointless and boorish that “What genre is this?”. Who. Fucking. Cares? This is Tierra motherfucking Whack, son! If you like or rate music based on their genre, or even profess a preference for one particular style of music, you are an extraordinarily dull person and need to sit down.

IT’S SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST AND I’LL ONLY TAKE A MINUTE

#60 The Smile: A Light for Attracting Attention

Top sixty baaaaaaybeeeeeee! Let’s ‘ave a fukkin paaaaaataaaaaaay!

Hahahaha! Yes! Been posting that exact meme for more than five years now! Aaaaaw, I feel all nostalgic now. I don’t want to give myself too much credit though, as I’ve only been using that classic bantz meme for five or six years, whereas Radiohead themselves haven’t released a good album for fifteen years now, so they’re obviously far more committed to their ‘bit’.

So yeah, Radiohead are one of my favourite bands, and I was really looking forward to this debut album by a band featuring Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood.

IT ALL MAKES SENSE

#61 Superorganism: World Wide Pop

When Superorganism’s second album was announced in early 2022, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to bother. Their 2018 debut was an insanely fun paean to the kind of international house party that was now possible, where like-minded geniuses/weirdos/nerds/perverts can combine and produce something so shamelessly fun across international oceans. It caught a particular moment in time, if not for the world itself then definitely for me personally. It was so care free and effortlessly in love with the ongoing potential of international community. That 2018 debut was a special capture of lightning in a bottle that simply couldn’t be repeated.

Hey, everyone! It’s fucking four years later, shall we try and repeat it!? That’s sure to go well!

WHAT COULD GO WRONG?