Feature: A Look Back On 2022 – Jake Anderson | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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So… how was your 2022? 
It was kinda mixed, on one hand I did some really cool things, but on the other hand it’s been a bit boring, just been absolutely bombarded with uni work. 

What was your best moment? 
It was probably graduating? I mean I’ll have to go through it again once I complete my masters but as of right now it is a nice little cap off for three years of hard work. 

And your worst moment? 
This is such a difficult question (LOL) because nothing, unlike last year, is a clear standout. The thing that’s coming to my mind is spending two full days (I’m talking 9am-7pm here) editing a video for my university group project that was essentially unused because it was projected outside so no one could see or hear it lol. Second place was probably seeing Morbius in cinemas.   

Who was your favourite band/artist this year? 
Let’s Eat Grandma not only released one of the best singles of the year with Happy New Year, that songs gotta be laced with something; but they also released a banger of an album with Two Ribbons, which refined their abrasive pop sound into a really emotional synth-pop experience; and then I saw them live which was spectacular; and then they released another album which was an instrumental soundtrack. True MVPs on the UK indie scene in 2022.  

Your favourite song of the year? 
A recent one, but God Turn Me Into A Flower by Weyes Blood. GOD DAMN. I absolutely adore Weyes Blood, she made my favourite album of all time in 2019. And the best track from her 2022 album was God Turn Me Into A Flower.  

It’s a beautiful slow burn of a track, that weaves in some beautiful field recordings, with her really heart-breaking lyrics, and then it ends with her gorgeous vocals absolutely suffocating the track. Just wow.  

Recommended album?
Black Midi’s 2022 album Hellfire is my AOTY, it’s just incredible. The instrumentation is beautifully evil, the song’s narratives are facinating, and the album has a hell of a lot of character which is made obvious from songs like 27 questions. At times it can feel truly overwhelming in its all out bombardment of noises, but then it’ll crescendo into a gorgeous ballad. There is truly nothing like it I’ve ever heard. 

Welcome To Hell is probably my favourite from the album, but there isn’t a single bad song on it. 

Favourite TV show of the year? 
Have I played Cyberpunk 2077? No. Do I like anime? Not really. Was Cyberpunk: Edgerunners the best show I watched in 2022? Yes, it was.  

Rosa Walton of Let’s Eat Grandma has a song that’s pretty important to the narrative so that was my draw, and what I watched was a truly gripping, human, and emotional story. It was beautifully animated; David’s story is just so sad. And you can binge it over an afternoon. 

I did also really enjoy Better Call Saul S6, Peacemaker & The Boys S3 but Edgerunners just clears them.  

Your favourite film? 

Best book you read? 
I actually read two books for fun this year. Wow, go me. How Music Works by David Byrne was excellent. I absolutely love Talking Heads, and what Byrne has to say about the music industry and how music works is just so insightful. I gained a new perspective on things like labels, and physical media, but also some of the stuff on like architecture influences music evolution I found really thought provoking.  

Favourite new word that you learned? 
“Crypto-crash”. I do not like crypto currency.  

Best podcast? 
Same as last year, The Weekly Planet with James and Mason. They’re absolutely hilarious, I love their reviews and news. Then in-jokes you get from being a loyal listener, love it.  

Favourite venue that you visited? 
I’m going to give massive props to both the NX in Newcastle and The Fire Station in Sunderland, both are really nice and modern venues and I’ve enjoyed my time at both.  

What was your favourite gig/show of the year? 
LET’S EAT GRANDMA AT THE CLUNY IN NEWCASTLE! Wow what a performance, Rosa and Jenny delivered some fantastic vocals, their on-stage chemistry just can’t be matched, I was bouncing up and down, and I can’t remember a time when a band has recovered so well from having to pause their set. It was literally perfect in every way.  

I’ll also give a shout out to Alex Cameron @ NUSU as that’s the other gig this year I could easily describe as 10/10.  

Any up-and-coming artists/acts we should keep an eye out for in 2023? 
Tired Trace, JOKING!  

Absolutely loving the outputs from Holiday in Tokyo and Matty’s solo stuff with Simon York West this year. Holly Rees is another to always watch what she’s doing cos it’s always incredible, and I’m always looking forward to the new SQUARMS and Gonzo Dog stuff.  

This year also put Cosial, Cameron Scott, Amateur Ornithologist, Danya Leadbitter, KK Junker & Ghost//Signals on my radar so I’m really excited to see the future of them lot.  

Any predictions for next year? 
Tired Trace, number one, top of the charts, worldwide domination, 14A, 12D (spoilers) and whatever EP 3 will be called all platinum x50 best sellers. Again, joking. Or am I?  

I am.  

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