GLOBAL TEXAN CHRONICLES TOP ALBUMS of 2022
Global Texan Chronicles Top Albums of 2022, here at the GTC.
Coming out of one of the most trying eras we humans had to endure, music had become arguably even more impactful than usual. 2022 saw some wonderfully indelible releases from The Electric Alley, Frenchy & the Punk, Courtney Marie Andrews, Big Thief, Child Seat, and the like. But for the GTC and individualized reasons, the following albums impacted us most this past year. But as subjective as Best of Lists can be, feel free to let us know what you got into in 2022.
According to Global Texan Chronicles editor Walter Price, here are the Top Albums of 2022.
TERRY LEE HALE
The Gristle & Bone Affair
Produced by Chris Eckman
TLH -vocals, guitars, harmonica
Žiga Golob – contrabass
Catherine Graindorge – violins
Jon Hyde – pedal steel
Chris Cacavas – keyboards
Claire Tucker – vocals
Mixed by Matt Emerson Brown @ Space Ranch Studios, Seattle
Mastered by Levi Seitz @ Black Belt Mastering, Seattle
Recorded @ Denger Studio, Marseille
Engineer – Gerald Kuentz
Assistant – Mathew Lavenu
“All Fall Down” Recorded @ Studio Tchaman, Roquevaire
Engineer – Christophe Khatchik Hovikian
Assistant – Massimo Bologna
Additional recording by the participating musicians.
Maybe it’s too final to declare that Terry Lee Hale’s The Gristle & Bone Affair is the best album of his storied career. But if you consider the paths this songwriter/poet has traveled and the now he’s navigating (being diagnosed with Parkinson’s), this album is certainly one of his most confessional and sympathetically poignant.
Hale has come a long way and traveled many roads in his long and winding career from the Seattle grunge days and time on Sub Pop to a quieter life in France, but his dedication to the authenticity of his songwriting has stayed unwavering as his 14th studio album The Gristle & Bone Affair will forever stand as not only one of his best but as a testimony to this songwriter’s legacy.
CATHERINE GRAINDORGE ft. IGGY POP
Producer – Catherine Graindorge
Lyrics By – Catherine Graindorge (tracks: A2), Iggy Pop (tracks: A1, B1, B2)
Mastered By – Lawrence English
Mixed By – Joël Grignard
Violin, Viola, Harmonium, Backing Vocals – Catherine Graindorge
Voice – Iggy Pop
Design – Richard Knox
Someplace between the fantastical and eerie worlds of composer Dutch Falconi and the depths of collaborators Fredrik Kinbom and Sonja Kessner comes a 4 chapter EP ‘The Dictator’ from Belgium instrumentalist Catherine Graindorge and the always captivating Iggy Pop. This starkly dramatic EP has the zeitgeist uneasiness threaded throughout. And as I first wrote on 28. September 2022, “There will be no spoilers here, rather this story must be experienced and then discussed amongst those who’ve made it through. I will say, that while haunting and raw, there is a beauty in this album’s picturesque chronicles.”
It’s not all doom and gloom, but there is enough of it infecting the world around us to form the foundation of this extraordinary sonic documentation.
Charlie Granberg – Lead vocals
Peter Henriksson – Guitars and vocals
Jerry Åström Ask – Guitars and vocals
Martin Karlsson – Bass and vocals
Thomas Pettersson – Piano and keyboards
Johan Gröndal – Drums and percussion
In a post-pandemic world that needed its authenticity, Sweden’s Hellsingland Underground released their long-awaited new LP Endless Optimism. 10 tracks or cohesive vignettes that fit both the thinker and the turn-it-up enthusiast alike. And while each song on the album tackles everything from zeitgeist/socially conscious topics to the beauty of youthfulness and the experiences of growth, the overwhelming vibe throughout is family and love. making the entire listening experience warm and inviting, not to mention you’ll often find yourself wanting to dance no matter your setting. And there’s an undeniable magic in that…or perhaps, an endless amount of optimism if you will…
And speaking of family, this album came replete with one of the most honest and endearing press sheets known to rock n roll. Written by frontman Charlie Granberg’s own teenage daughter Juni, she muses about the LP:
I didn’t’ even know what a press release was. But after a lot of nagging and bribery of various kinds, I finally put forward my terms: I will write it if it presented in my version, without censorship. And he agreed with it. So, blame yourself.
First of all, I don’t understand why anyone would want to buy a piece of plastic that is just insanely difficult to play. Feels damn 20th century if you ask me. He says, that I don’t “get the point” but in truth, it’s he himself who’s old and lagging behind.
I have no idea how to get anyone interested in this. But sometimes I can feel a little sad for them for still trying.
But if I’m going to try to say something positive about the whole thing, it’s good for him that he has such good friends like the guys in the band. Because he doesn’t have any others. It’s also nice that they get to “see the world” a bit when they’re on tour. Too bad they smell like Germany when they come back. regardless of whether they’ve been to Spain, Sweden, or anywhere else. Don’t they shower?
The whole thing mostly feels like an excuse to get away and drink beer and act like idiots. But as long as he is happy, and I get to avoid his worst outbursts.
But good luck. Or something.
Carol Ades? Maybe you haven’t heard her name but there’s a good chance you’ve heard her lyrics. A brilliant songwriter that knows how to tap into the ever changeíng experience of being a human in this discombobulated world. And her EP Sadtown USA is undoubtedly a soundtrack for those who’re navigating those youthful transitional periods in their life. But, for me, is the fact that the four personal truth songs on this EP are indie songs with giant pop burbling under their skins. Quite the emotional balance and certainly a calling card for one of the future’s major songwriters/performers. or as Ades advises about this release (Twitter 9. December 2022), “listen while driving and violently crying into your mouth for best experience…” Perfectly said…
THE NEW WEAVERS
Rock n’ Roll Fan Fiction
Peter Kræg and Morten Thuese
Feat. Per Mølgaard
Mathias Berthelsen +
“Playing music should be fun” is a motto Danish rocknrollers The New Weavers live by. And their 2022 rock opus Rock n’ Roll Fan Fiction is that in spades. Not only an album chockful of odes to their rock icons like CCR Stones, Santana, Small Faces, Humble Pie, and the like but in many ways a respectful continuance of the pre-1971 sound that shaped future music forever. But like I said in my 13. September 2022 review, “…most bands who delve into the ‘classic rock sound’ always seem to trade out some element or another to modernize it. Not these fellas. Rather Morten Thuese, Peter Kræg, and company go headlong into the genre with unabashed authenticity. Going so far as to actually title-check some of your favorite artists and tracks. Leaving nothing second-guessed—Take a listen to ‘Rock n Roll Fan Fiction’ and get lost in all its grooves, tasty guitar licks, and those addictive harmonies and backing vocals. It all adds up. And it’s a true blast from the past love letter to this band’s heroes.”
Artist Photos: Terry Lee Hale via Facebook // Catherine Graindorge & Iggy Pop by Matteo Robert Morales // Carol Ades via Facebook // Hellsingland Underground by Christian Jonsson // The New Weavers by Henrik Svanekær Kristensen