As 2022 got underway, Fontaines D.C. were one of the first out of the traps to announce the release of a major new album, theirs set for release on April 22nd.
Conor Deegan explained that the title of the LP, Skinty Fia, translates to ‘the damnation of the deer’, noting that the Irish giant deer is an extinct species.
“But ‘skinty fia’ is also used as an expletive, in the way you’d say ‘for fuck’s sake’ if you bang your arm on a table,” he continues. “We just thought there was something really beautiful about that, because it’s really representative of Irish culture in some sense.”
Andy Bell was quick on the draw too, his next solo album – and what would prove to be our record of the year – would be released on February 11th.
“When I think about Flicker, I see it as closure,” Bell said. “Most literally, on a half-finished project from over six years ago, but also on a much bigger timescale.”
“Some of these songs date back to the ’90s and the cognitive dissonance of writing brand new lyrics over songs that are 20-plus years old makes it feel like it is, almost literally, me exchanging ideas with my younger self.”
Another of our subsequent albums of 2022 was unveiled in January as Kae Tempest confirmed the news that The Line Is A Curve had been produced by long-term collaborator Dan Carey, previewed with a new single entitled More Pressure which features Kevin Abstract of BROCKHAMPTON.
“The Line Is A Curve is about letting go,” Tempest explained. “Of shame, anxiety, isolation and falling instead into surrender. Embracing the cyclical nature of time, growth, love.”
“This letting go can hopefully be felt across the record. In the musicality, the instrumentation, the lyricism, the delivery, the cover art. In the way it ends where it begins and begins where it ends. I knew I wanted my face on the sleeve.”
Some early festival news came with Billie Eilish, Kanye West (Ye) and Harry Styles being revealed as the headliners for Coachella Festival 2022.
The familiar roll-call of big names who were booked for the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California also included Megan Thee Stallion, Disclosure, Phoebe Bridgers, Brockhampton, Jamie xx, Swedish House Mafia and Run The Jewels.
And there was also to be performance from the likes of Spiritualized, slowthai, Hot Chip, black midi, Holly Humberstone, Yard Act, Dave and Fatboy Slim, while Idles would be there fresh off the release of their essential 2021 album Crawler.
And in what would come to be all too regular an occurrence during the year, a legend left us when Ronnie Spector – an icon of sixties culture and one of the leading lights of the era’s girl group movement – died.
A statement from the family revealed that she had cancer, and passed away surrounded by her family.
“Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humour and a smile on her face,” it read. “She was filled with love and gratitude.”
If you were into your noughties emo, Las Vegas’ When We Were Young always looked like being the place to be this year.
My Chemical Romance and Paramore lead a line-up which was packed full of their immediate contemporaries; artists such as AFI, Alkaline Trio, Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional and The All-American Rejects all booked to play Las Vegas Festival Grounds.
Some more recent interest came from Car Seat Headrest and Wolf Alice, the latter of which were a part of Live4ever’s Best Of 2021 series courtesy of Blue Weekend.
Into February, and Red Hot Chili Peppers confirmed what would go on to be the first of two new albums they released this year.
“We (John, Anthony, Chad and Flea) spent thousands of hours, collectively and individually, honing our craft and showing up for one another, to make the best album we could,” a statement from the band read on Unlimited Love.
“Our antennae attuned to the divine cosmos, we were just so damn grateful for the opportunity to be in a room together, and, once again, try to get better. Days, weeks and months spent listening to each other, composing, jamming freely, and arranging the fruit of those jams with great care and purpose.”
Liam Gallagher’s new single Everything’s Electric was released online.
It was co-written by Dave Grohl and Gallagher’s more regular collaborator Greg Kurstin, and was out with C’MON YOU KNOW due to follow on May 27th.
It was set to be performed at the Brit Awards ceremony later in the month as the Oasis frontman returned after the 2019 record Why Me? Why Not..
Black Country, New Road singer Isaac Wood announced his departure from the band.
Immediate tour dates were cancelled, but in a statement the remaining members signalled their intention to continue on as a six-piece, with new music already being written.
“I have bad news which is that I have been feeling sad and afraid too. And I have tried to make this not true but it is the kind of sad and afraid feeling that makes it hard to play guitar and sing at the same time,” Wood said.
Adele was the big winner at the Brit Awards ceremony, taking home the big three prizes of Album, Artist and Song Of The Year.
In the peculiar way these things often work, all that wasn’t apparently enough to make her the Best Pop artist, that went to Dua Lipa, while Little Simz was named Best New Artist – it’s worth pointing out, four albums into her career.
Elsewhere, Bille Eilish picked up Best International Artist, and Wolf Alice beat the likes of Coldplay and Little Mix to Best Group.
The 1975’s live comeback was set for the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan where they were to headline along side Post Malone.
The news signaled a restart for the band after they took the decision cancel the entirety of their world tour plans for 2021.
“These are incredibly difficult times for a lot of people, and until we can be sure that we will be able to play shows in a way that is safe for our fans and crew, we have decided the best course of action is to cancel our touring so that, where possible, everyone can get their tickets refunded sooner rather than later,” they wrote on social media at the time.
The Weeknd confirmed the first shows of his After Hours Til Dawn tour, which was to visit stadiums around North America during the summer.
In addition, Abel Tesfaye aka revealed he would be donating $1 from each ticket sold to the XO Humanitarian Fund after partnering with the United Nations World Food Programme.
“The goal with this fund is to provide immediate life-saving support to people who are on the brink of starvation,” he said in a statement. “I’m so thankful to have WFP as a partner and to further expand our reach to those who need it most.”
Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar were confirmed as the final two Pyramid Stage headliners for the year’s returning Glastonbury Festival.
It meant only Taylor Swift wouldn’t be making it from the three main acts who were due to appear at Worthy Farm back in 2020, her place taken this year by Billie Eilish.
Elsewhere, other artists newly announced included Noel Gallagher, who thus took up the slot just before McCartney as had been the plan two years ago, while Idles were back too after their incredible performance in 2019.
The incredible 59-week journey to the top of the US’ Billboard Hot 100 was completed by Glass Animals’ single Heat Waves.
From TikTok to FIFA, the track had been gradually but unmistakably taking hold in the States, now eventually beating the previous record of longest time spent to reach number one after release which was held by Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.
“I absolutely can’t believe it,” Dave Bayley responded. “For it to do this means the absolute world.”
The Rolling Stones would be back at Hyde Park in London for two concerts during the summer.
The site of one of their most famous gigs in 1969, the Stones returned to Hyde Park in 2013 and were heading back there again on Saturday, June 25th and Sunday, July 3rd.
“Whenever Hyde Park is mentioned, it’s impossible not to think of The Rolling Stones,” Jim King of AEG Presents said. “Two nights on June 25th and July 3rd cap off an incredible line up for BST Hyde Park 2022 but nobody brings it like the Stones when they’re on home turf in London.”
Beabadoobee was to release her second album Beatopia via Dirty Hit on July 15th.
“I wrote Talk just after my first album,” Bea said. “I was obsessed with Tuesday because I thought it was the best night to go out, not too much chaos but just enough to have a good time.”
“Generally it’s about doing things that aren’t necessarily healthy or great for you but you can’t help indulging. It’s like that unavoidable feeling that you get, you can’t get rid of it and you know it’s bad but you love it really and it’s whatever, so you do it anyway.”