We've been asking artists for their Top 10s of 2022 and here's a list from former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason. His list of music that moved him the most this year includes Sons of Kemet, Dry Cleaning, Montreal's TEKE::TEKE, and more. Not all of it is new, but he makes a passionate case for all of his picks. Check out his list, complete with notes on each, below.

Steve is gearing up to release his fifth solo album, Brothers & Sisters, which will be out March 3 via Double Six / Domino. “To me, this record is a massive ‘Fuck you’ to Brexit,” says Mason. “And a giant ‘Fuck you’ to anyone that is terrified of immigration because there is nothing that immigration has brought to this country that isn’t to be applauded." Check out first single "No More," which features Pakistani singer Javed Bashir, below.


Steve Mason's Favorite Music of 2022

1) Melissa Carper - "From What I Recall": I imagine this song in a David Lynch film, beautiful and simple while some terror or other unfolds in the background. I love her voice, instrumentation, and production. It’s just so simple. And a great album.

2) The Routes - "Autobahn": When California headbutts Dusseldorf. As a huge fan of Surf music and Kraftwerk this is a shotgun wedding made in heaven. Incredible how Kraftwerk melodies translate, clearly, to almost any genre. A true test.

3) TEKE TEKE - "Visible Lights": Beautiful and menacing. This band is based in Montreal, and I guess perhaps remind me of a Neu/Shogun Assassin car crash. It’s powerful, dark, and melodic. Maybe a little cheeky too.

4) Gabriels - "Taboo": I’ve followed them for a couple of years, and they are astonishing. Production, vocals, and instrumentation. The finished article straight away. Every home needs their music. Modern spirituals.

5) Sons of Kemet - "Let The Circle Be Unbroken": Talking of modern, here is London based Modern Jazz. There has been a scene bubbling away for a while in London, but the Sons of Kemet kicked the basement doors open. Again, required listening in every home.

6) Dry Cleaning - "Anna Calls from the Arctic": I guess this reminds a little of Weatherall’s Big Hard Excellent Fish record with Margi Clarke and slightly of "Softness" by Dorothy. I like this whole little package, spoken word and a sparse melodic backing with a touch of brass. A keeper.

7) Warmduscher - "Fatso": This band have really hitched up their skirts recently and started to fly. Some dirty South London business via Amityville. Get the albums and definitely get to a live show, this is very special, very sleazy, and very real.

8) Laura Cannell - "For the Gatherers": We enter the avant-garde here. A friend describes this piece as a beautiful blue bird trapped in a car pecking at the windows. Quite horrifying but the beauty of the bird leaves you rooted to the spot and unable to look away. You need to enter this world, even if briefly.

9) The Collective/Idris Ackamoor - "The Shepherds Tune": I guess you all have heard of Idris Ackamoor, the human behind 2016’s We All Be Africans album? No? Ok so get that record too while you are picking up this one. I think I went a bit Jazz in 2022, that’s not an apology.

10) Dennis Bovell - "Chief Inspector": A compilation of some of Dennis’s finest work. Highly, highly inventive, and forward-thinking reggae from the late 70’s early 80’s. I think this particular track is from the British film Babylon which is a cult classic and a little bit like a reggae Quadrophenia if you swap the Lambretta’s for a Reggae Soundsystem. A huge and important body of work, you need to hear.

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