The new year will bring us new music, and there are some already-announced 2022 albums that should catch our attention.
The Smile: Because it’s a Radiohead side-project, and because I have already heard the songs during a concert streamed during the pandemic. The first single, You Will Never Work in Television Again” was officially released a few days ago, and it’s a rocking banger. It moves fast and Thom hasn’t been that loud and angry for a long time. I like the title even more than the propulsive tempo of the track that almost sounds like an aggressive punk song. The Smile, named after a Ted Hugues’ poem, features Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner on drums, and the album was produced by Nigel Godrich. We don’t know the title of the Smile’s debut (maybe just the Smile?) but the trio has announced three launch concerts in London on January 29 at 8 pm EST, and January 30 at 1 am and 11 am EST, streamed live across three time zones. They have promised that the shows will all be a little different, and there will also be a real concert in a real venue (Magazine in London).
Interpol: This one is much more mysterious since we don’t have a track yet, or even a title or a date… but it’s coming. Interpol’s seventh album is recorded in London and it will be produced by Mark Ellis (Flood) and Alan Moulder, known for their work together with Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, The Smashing Pumpkins, and The Killers. Paul Banks has described the new songs as “very relaxed,” “intimate,” with “positive-feeling,” and “a bit more uplifting” in an interview with Rolling Stone. He even said a bit more: “It definitely feels like us. It’s the heart and soul of our band – like, there’s a DNA to our sound. Another part of me thinks, ‘This might be super fucking different’. A few of the songs in particular have really unabashedly positive sentiments. Something that feels good is the aspiration.” This sounds surprising considering their reputation and the dark times we are living in. Interpol as a mood booster? Who would have thought about it?
Jack White: It really depends… It could be a hit or a miss, as I was not too crazy about his experimental last one “Boarding House Reach,” but one thing is sure, Jack White knows how to keep things interesting. This time, it will be twice interesting as he is releasing two albums, “Fear of the Dawn” and “Entering Heaven Alive.” We know more about the first one since the first single, “Taking Me Back,” was released last year. It’s a classic blistering number with White’s signature wild distorted sound, mad guitar effects, and some furious anger. The song was featured in the trailer for the video game Call of Duty®: Vanguard, and although I don’t play video games, I can understand why this explosive song could work perfectly. The album also includes a new collaboration with Q-Tip (on a song called “Hi-De-Ho”) and is due in April while not much is known about the second album due this summer.
Father John Misty: Again, I am not sure about this one. I really liked “I Loved You Honeybear,” then “Fear Fun,” but Father John Misty’s last ones sounded a bit dull, rehashing the same kind of sound over and over. “Chloë and the Next 20th Century” is announced for April and the single, “Funny Girl” has dropped with a video: Tillman croons over an old Hollywood movie soundtrack, a vintage ballroom with lush orchestration, but overall, this sounds extremely familiar. Is the title of the song an homage to Barbra Streisand? It is definitively nostalgic, with a sort of black & white ‘50s vibe but I never know what to believe with him – after all, there’s also a strange silver jellyfish swimming in the video. As usual, Josh Tillman enjoys grandiose décor and never lacks ambition as his next concert has been announced at the Walt Disney concert hall where he will be accompanied by the LA Philharmonic.
Other interests: Cat Power’s “Covers” in January (but it’s only a cover album), Beach House’s “Once Twice Melody” in February, Sinead O’Connor’s final album, “No Veteran Dies Alone,” Big Thief’s “Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You,” and Spoon’s “Lucifer on the Sofa.”
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