The albums you should have listened to so far in 2022

Virgin Radio

5 Jul 2022, 14:28

George Ezra, Florence Welch, Stereophonics

Credit: Getty

We’re halfway through the year already, and some seriously good music has come out over the last six months. 

The Top of the Tower has been lucky enough to host some fantastic musical guests, including David Gray, James Bay and The Kooks, and some of those artists also brought out some of the most highly anticipated records of the year too. 

With so many albums out across the six months of the year, it’s easy to lose track, so here are some of the records you should have listened to this year so far: 

Miles Kane - Change The Show

The Last Shadow Puppets co-founder Miles Kane continued his run of solo music with Change The Show, which dropped in January. 

While at the Top of the Tower for The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, Miles admitted to having felt a little restless in the build-up to its release. “I felt pretty calm about it all, and taking it day-by-day, but the last couple of nights, I can’t sit still in the house," he said. "I’ve just been looking in the mirror, making loads of cups of tea and just being a bit fidgety!”

Bastille - Give Me the Future

London band Bastille scooped up their third number one album with Give Me The Future in February. 

Not only did the band bring out a whole new record, but they also provided fans with a digital experience to go alongside the release, built in the Unreal Engine for the VR Oculus app. 

The “otherworldly” experiment was paired up with the idea behind the album, which was exploring escapism through technology. The band say they wanted to use their now trademark indie sound with a “futuristic experience” that could also be a helpful distraction to fans following two years of the pandemic. 

Stereophonics - Oochya!

Speaking of number one albums, Stereophonics bashed out their eighth chart-topper in March - Oochya!

Frontman Kelly Jones went into the studio and started raiding the archives of songs they had never used or left unfinished and was inspired to make a new record, and out came Oochya!

When speaking about working on music while at the Top of the Tower, frontman Kelly Jones told The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky: “We’re in a band where everybody likes each other. So everybody does their own gig, and we bring the songs in, and we just have a good time trying to make the records really. Every album, we try to make it different from the one before.”

Franz Ferdinand - Hits to the Head

Take Me Out rockers Franz Ferdinand returned after four years away with a 20-song greatest hits album - Hits To The Head. 

The record included their biggest and best songs as well as two new tracks, including Billy Goodbye and Curious. 

Singer Alex Kapranos talked about the process involved: "It’s the same as writing a set-list for a festival: You want to play the songs you know people want to hear. The hits. Bring the hits to the head. The heart. The feet," he explained.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Unlimited Love

After six years away, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers made their triumphant return to the music scene with Unlimited Love in April.

It came three years after beloved guitarist John Frusciante returned to the band, and the Californication hitmakers whet fans’ appetites with singles Black Summer and These Are The Ways. 

In a press release for the album, the band said: “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.

“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.

Florence + the Machine - Dance Fever

2022 is shaping up to be the year of the comebacks as Florence + the Machine landed back at number one in the album charts with Dance Fever in May. 

Dance Fever had quite the release, with a star-studded music video for Free, starring Bill Nighy, and a social-media build up most artists could only dream of. 

When it topped the charts, Florence told "There were so many moments when I nearly gave up on this record. When it seemed impossible that it would ever get done. So to have it out in the world and be so embraced is an incredible feeling. Sending so much love and thanks to everyone."

George Ezra - Gold Rush Kid

George Ezra’s deeply personal sixth album Gold Rush Kid came out in June, and should definitely be on the must-listen list. 

Each song is coloured in some way by the lockdown and the people who helped him and the experiences he’s had over the past couple of years, including the shift he’s been feeling mentally. 

George recently sat down with Eddy Temple-Morris to chat about the album, and revealed that writing the record coincided with coming to grips with a form of OCD. 

He explained to Eddy: “I think that was a turning point in my kind of feeling comfortable with writing, because… I was able to talk about this thing called Pure O, which I experienced, which is like OCD, but without any of the physical things.

“Having found out that it existed and identifying with it, I started to dig there and it's uncomfortable to do this because I think the immediate and comfortable thing to do is just let it take over. But I would just dig there and I'd have conversations with friends or conversations with myself and I got into this practice of thinking about thinking, thinking about thinking.”