Indie Basement: Best Albums & Songs of January 2022
Hello and welcome to the first monthly Indie Basement roundup, featuring the best albums and songs of the month, as well as videos, and more.
Firstly, January saw a lot of new album announcements, including: Destroyer, Fontaines DC, Aldous Harding, Melody's Echo Chamber, The Weather Station, Kae Tempest, Ride's Andy Bell, Ex-Vöid (ex Joanna Gruesome), Wah Together (members of LCD, Rapture, more) and P.E. (Pill + Eaters). Plus: '90s Boston shoegazers Drop Nineteens are working on their first new album in three decades!
You can preorder Fontaines DC's Skinty Fia on limited translucent red vinyl which is an exclusive in our shop. This and a lot of other records are in the Indie Basement corner of the BV store, all selected by yours truly.
For more upcoming releases, check out Indie Basement's Most Anticipated Albums of 2022 list.
Built to Spill's Perfect From Now On just turned 25 -- read our retrospective on the album.
I also reviewed the new Meet Me in the Bathroom documentary about the early-'00s NYC scene that birthed The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, TV on the Radio, Liars, LCD Soundsystem and more. We talked to the directors, too.
Head below for January's best stuff.
ALBUM OF THE MONTH JANUARY 2022: Yard Act - The Overload (Island)
If you like shouty, danceable post-punk, Yard Act do it better than most. While you can make comparisons to The Fall and Gang of Four, The Overload feels more influenced by the mid-'00s post-punk revival that gave us Franz Ferdinand, Art Brut and The Rakes. From the Indie Basement review:
"In the age of the gentrified savage, there’s no hope!" James Smith, singer for Leeds four-piece Yard Act, is doing his best to keep his head above water while being bombarded with information, disinformation and unease from all directions, at all hours of the day and night. He and the rest of the band tackle this very relatable dilemma with anger, humor and danceable post-punk on Yard Act's very enjoyable debut album, The Overload... Shouty Brits, spiky guitars, disco bass -- we've heard this before, but Yard Act make it seem seem, if not new, exciting and fun again.
You can listen to The Overload here:
A few album Runner Ups for January that are definitely worth checking out:
- The Soundcarriers - Wilds (Phosphonic)
- Urge Overkill - Oui (Omnivore Recordings)
- Molly Nilsson - Extreme (Dark Skies Association / Night School)
- Night Crickets - A Free Society (Omnivore Recordings)
- Boy Harsher - The Runner (Nude Club / City Slang)
SINGLE OF THE MONTH: Lewsberg - "Six Hills" (Speedy Wunderground)
"You're driving without a license / I'm driving uninsured / Why don't we crash into each other / I've got the feeling that we should." Lewsberg frontman Arie van Vliet delivers those lines dryly, but this car is flying down a steep incline with no brakes. Guitars strum like the Velvet Underground (or Modern Lovers) but with punk attack, while the skronky noise solo sounds like a 10-car pileup, but the beat never stops. Part of Speedy Wunderground's singles series and produced by label co-founder Dan Carey, "Six Hills" is an absolute motorik burner, six minutes of controlled chaos that could've gone on twice as long.
Listen to a playlist of all my favorite tracks from January 2022 below.
VIDEO OF THE MONTH: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Black Hot Soup (DJ Shadow “My Own Reality” Re-Write)
No lie, I have watched this video upwards of 30 times this month. Everything about this, the song and the video, feels like the turn of the millenium when rock bands were getting radical dance music remixes on the regular and some of the most innovative filmmaking was coming from the world of commercials and music videos. Firstly, DJ Shadow's remix is brilliant, taking one lyric from the song and a shout of "WOO!" and turning it into a wildly funky total banger. But then the video, directed by John Angus Stewart and starring Australian prankster John Safran, makes it even better. As a clubgoer who is 15 years past his prime but still goes hard, Safran gives an unforgettable, all-out performance of sheer physicality. "WOO!" indeed.
The King Gizzard remix album this is from is worth checking out, too.
Looking for more? Browse the Indie Basement archives.