What an excellent Power Pop year 2022 is already.
This is the story so far.
01 Dave Scarbrough – Happy Ever After
There are 12 songs on Happy Ever After, which are all equally amazing. Dave sounds like Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe back when those two wrote their best songs. You won’t believe that, yet it’s true.
02 Young Guv – Guv III
You wanted the best; you got the best, the hottest band in the world!
They really should have Young Guv tour with Weezer. Who would sell the most t-shirts then?
03 Extra Arms – What is Even Happening Right Now?
And with every record Ryan Allen and his friends make, we write that it’s their best, and it’s true every time. What is Even Happening Right Now? is chock full of pointed, flawless, sharp Power Pop of the finest kind.
04 Tom Curless – Person of Interest
Almost Ready for the Future was one of my favorite records of 2020. Its follow-up, Person of Interest, released early 2022, is even better. The songs Tom Curless writes gain in strength, power, and expressiveness with every release. Take “Something for Nothing”, Bob Mould or Rick Springfield would be king if such a melody came to them. But it didn’t. It blew to Tom Curless and, trust me, that’s no coincidence.
05 The Summer Holiday – Acqua
The Summer Holiday is a great band, and Acqua is a masterpiece. If fun. (the band) would have been a Power Pop band; their records would have been half as good as the ones Michael Collins releases.
06 Cheap Star – Wish I Could See
Rémi Vaissiere and his star cast. Wish I Could See offers a master class in writing sophisticated Power Pop songs but is perhaps even more of a master class in how to perform those sophisticated songs. Impeccable!
07 Freezing Hands – It Was A Good Run
Fourteen of the greatest (Garage/Power) pop songs!
08 Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – Backhand Deals
If this is what Britpop sounds like these days, then I like contemporary Britpop.
09 Seth Swirsky – Songs from the Green Couch
Seth Swirsky writes sophisticated pop songs, and he sings them in a soft, pleasant voice. Delicate but very strong.
10 Trevor Blendour – Falling In Love
On Falling In Love, Trevor Treiber sounds like Buddy Holly backed by a surf-punk band. How catchy do you want pop music to be?
11 Ex Norwegian – Spook de Jour
With every Ex Norwegian release, and Spook du Jour is already the 13th, there are two certainties, namely that (1) you as a listener will hear something different than you expect and (2) that all songs are rock (or: pop) solid. What a gem!
12 Jeremy & The Harlequins – ABRA CaDaBRA
Buddy Holly is often credited as the origin of the Power Pop. Jeremy & The Harlequins have a direct line with this origin. Cool as freak.
13 Nick Piunti – Heart Inside Your Head
Don’t take the fact that Nick Piunti always delivers quality for granted. It’s an incredible achievement to make so many classy songs. There are ten more on Heart Inside Your Head. Incredibly good.
14 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Endless Rooms
I am a fan of Albert Hammond Jr.’s solo records. And that’s why I’m also a fan of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever because they have the same sound. At least it kinda looks like it.
15 Lannie Flowers – Flavor of the Month
FLAVOR OF THE MONTH is both a completely new collection and the long-awaited physical media debut for the songs that made up Lannie Flowers’ celebrated March To Home Singles Series in 2019 all newly remixed by Lannie, the King of Southern Spiced Quality Pop, himself.
16 Lund Bros – Across State Lines
Chris and Sean Lund have released another excellent record with Across State Lines. Immaculate Heavy Power Pop.
17 Goodman – How Close Are You to the Ground
He should be the talk of Power Pop Town but he isn’t and I don’t get that. Like all his others, this record showcases what our beloved genre sounds like when a new generation takes a spin on it. Beautiful, challenging, critical and with both feet in the present tense.
18 Afterpartees – Familiy Names
No-Nonsense Power Pop from the lowlands.
19 The Toms – Stereo
Tommy Marolda sounds like a young god on Stereo. He continues to surprise with a fresh sound and a cartload of good songs. You Move Like Sex should be banned, by the way; Bon Jovi-esque kitsch, but the other eleven songs are great.
20 Tamar Berk – Start at the End
Tamar Berk delivered a very personal record on which she sings about how she copes with the loss of her father. ‘Honor’ your father by writing thirteen overwhelmingly beautiful songs. That is beautiful.
21 Chris Church – Darling Please
Darling Please didn’t seem good enough when Chris Church recorded the songs over a decade ago. Fortunately, last year he took the time to polish and refine the ten songs, and the new result, released early 2022 by Big Stir records, is great. GREAT!
22 Speedfossil – No Anesthesia
Sit down and listen attentively. This record gets better if you pay attention. Thoughtful, delicate, but also joyful and fun.
23 The Bye Bye Blackbirds – August Lightning Complex
Bradley Skaught, frontman of The Bye Bye Blackbirds, wrote the songs for August Lightning Complex during some of the darkest and most anxious times of the past couple of years. Gloomy lyrics and rich, full, beautifully developed pop melodies.
24 Deadlights – Eleven Step Intervention
Deadlights is Jeff Shelton’s non-Power Pop band. Eleven Step Intervention is an excellent Power Pop record. BAM!
25 Emperor Penguin – Sunday Carvery
EMPEROR PENGUIN comes out of the lockdown with their best record. SUNDAY CARVERY is British through and through, like The Kinks, Elvis Costello, or XTC, but don’t expect a retro sound; the band is firmly rooted in the present tense.
26 SPINN – Outside of the Blue
Sweet Sweet Jangle Pop from Liverpool.
Sweet Sweet Jangle Pop from Liverpool.
That’s all you can ask for, can’t you?
27 Hoodoo Gurus – Chariot of the Gods
And that in the ‘end’ you suddenly come up with an outstanding record again. How is that possible? And why don’t more old heroes do that?
28 Anton Barbeau – Power Pop!!!
Power Pop songs are often made with the same template; deviating from it hurts many enthusiasts. Anton is not such a fan of such a straitjacket. He fights against it in the only possible way, namely by making beautiful songs that have nothing to do with Power Pop but are very popular with the fans who don’t always feel like listening to the same song.
29 Eytan Mirsky – Lord, Have Mirsky!
Eytan Mirsky chooses on Lord, Have Mirsky! deliberately for a richer, more extensive sound palette. As a result, his music starts to show more and more similarities with the songs of Nick Lowe.
30 Romero – Turn It On!
Gosh, I’d like to see Romero opening for Blondie. I wonder who will sell the most t-shirts afterwards.
31 Night Court – Nervous Birds! Too
What a lovely energy. Night Courts consists of three musicians, and you can hear them having fun. If you want to call it Punk, you call it Punk, and if you want to call it Power Pop, you call it Power Pop. Do not confuse the pleasure you hear with superficiality. It’s not Punk Pop.
And there is much more.
Check the Sweet Sweet Music Blog Best Power Pop Songs of 2022 Spotify Playlist!
Image by Sabeth Elberse Studio