Soundclash's Top 10 Albums of the Year 2022

Soundclash Records on St Benedict’s Street is one of the oldest independent record stores in the UK. Proprietor Paul Mills kindly took time out of his busy schedule to give LIFC his top 10 vinyl LPs of 2022.

Theo Parrish – Detroit Forward

Theo Parrish is a world-renowned name in the global Detroit house and techno game, and he’s thrown a fascinating curveball as the latest entrant for the acclaimed DJ-Kicks series. The approach Parrish took to compiling DJ-Kicks was very ambitious, inviting his Detroit peers to produce a collection of brand-new material, and in turn creating the first ever all exclusive entry to the esteemed series. Rather than just licensing tracks from his favourite artists and big-name-friends, he’s asked his own community from Detroit to each produce their own mixable tracks, exclusively for the comp.

The Comet is Coming – Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam

The Comet is Coming returns with their second full length album on Impulse! Records. King Shabaka, Danalogue, and Betamax’s newest effort finds the Mercury Prize-nominated trio creating a musical landscape that is equally cerebral as it is physically enthralling. While containing elements of jazz throughout, this release leans further into heavy dance-hall themes, providing hypnotic, electronic soundscapes to dance to while keeping you intellectually stimulated.

Daniel Avery – Ultra Truth

Daniel Avery’s most ambitious and accomplished studio album to date.’Ultra Truth’ offers a very different listening experience to any of Daniel Avery’s previous records. It inhabits its own world of sound, a construct built in his Thames side studio with collaborative help from a host of friends: the production touch of Ghost Culture and Manni Dee, the vocals of HAAi, Jonnine Standish (HTRK), AK Paul and the voices of Marie Davidson, Kelly Lee Owens, Sherelle and James Massiah.

Danger Mouse and Black Thought – Cheat Codes

Cheat Codes is Danger Mouse’s first hip-hop album in seventeen years – since his 2005 DangerDOOM collaboration with the late, great MF DOOM – and Black Thought’s only full length collaboration beyond his pioneering music in The Roots. On No Gold Teeth, Danger Mouse’s soulful, freewheeling production serves as the perfect backdrop to Black Thought’s metronomic, pin-sharp and chorus-free lyrical deluge. The result is a dizzying, thrilling opening single from two of contemporary music’s most respected artists.

Kokoroko – Could We Be More

Following the huge success of 2018’s Kokoroko EP’ and the sensational Abusey Junction, Could We Be More is an expansive and ambitious debut album that speaks to the force of Kokoroko.

Each song possesses the power to evoke memories and harness the feeling of home through music: from the psychedelic, funk-laden previous single ‘Something’s Going On’ to the congregational energy of today’s track ‘We Give Thanks’, Could We Be More fuses together the African- London synergy which so naturally underpins the heat of Kokoroko’s identity

Winners of a slew of awards in the UK, Kokoroko specialise in soul shaking, horn fuelled sounds with West African roots and Inner London hues.

Ezra Collective – Where I’m Meant To Be

Ezra Collective’s new era, a venture in discovered maturity and raised stakes, will be defined by the anticipated second album.

Where I’m Meant To Be is a thumping celebration of life, an affirming elevation in the Ezra Collective’s winding hybrid sound and refined collective character. The songs marry cool confidence with bright energy. Full of call-and-response conversations between their ensemble parts, a natural product of years improvising together on-stage, the album – which also features Sampa The Great, Kojey Radical, Emile Sandé, Steve McQueen, and Nao – will light up sweaty dance floors and soundtrack dinner parties in equal measure.

Fontaines D.C. Skinty Fia

2020’s A Hero’s Death saw Fontaines D.C. land a number 2 album in the UK, receive nominations at the Grammy’s, Brit’s and Ivor Novello Awards, and sell out London’s iconic Alexandra Palace. Now the band return with their third record in as many years: Skinty Fia. Used colloquially as an expletive, the title roughly translates from the Irish language into English as “the damnation of the deer”; the spelling crassly anglicized, and its meaning diluted through generations. Part bittersweet romance, part darkly political triumph – the songs ultimately form a long-distance love letter, one that laments an increasingly privatized culture in danger of going the way of the extinct Irish giant deer.

Dry Cleaning – Stump Work

After their acclaimed debut ‘New Long Leg’ finished highly in practically every major publication’s best of 2021 lists, Dry Cleaning present a quick-fire follow-up in ‘Stumpwork’. In the spirit of not tinkering with a formula that isn’t broken, the quartet returned to Rockfield Studios with John Parish behind the production desk. Florence Shaw’s surreal sprechgesang is couched in an even wider range of musical influences this time around, from alt-pop bangers to cold, ambient noise.

Black Country New Road – Ants from Up There

“The exceptional second album from the London group plays like a slow burn to a triumphant finale. Softer and more melodic, the band remains just as challenging and delightfully confounding as ever.”

Yard Act – The Overload

While time-travelling in parts sonically, ‘The Overload’ weaves a very-2021 storyline. Across the album’s 11 tracks, an unnamed character – a bricolage of characters that Smith has met, imagined, or himself been – finds himself in quite the financial pickle, ricocheting from desk job to desperate illicit activity to police investigation, before culminating in the kind of half-cut personal epiphany that even the most law-abiding among us could relate to. Bookended by cheeky cameo’s from ‘Fixer Upper’s’ Graeme and a clear structure of four parts, there is no getting around it – Yard Act have written a soap opera.

You can find Soundclash at 28 St Benedicts Street, Norwich, NR2 4AQ