Another Great Year For Music Releases.

Despite numerous issues, the industry has produced some of the best albums for a while.

From mind blowing debuts, to triumphant returns, this year has delivered some of the best albums of recent years. With Sam Fender making a triumphant return with his second album, IDLES continuing their success with album number four, and even a new album from Foo Fighters after a long wait, this year really has delivered everything we could have hoped for in terms of new releases. Still in a COVID effected world, it’s by no means been an easy ride for any band, but every band who have put out a new album this year has achieved something fantastic.

10 – The Stranglers – Dark Matters

The past year or so hasn’t been an easy ride for The Stranglers, having lost Dave Greenfield to COVID in 2020, part way through the recording of this album. This year, we got to see the release of this album, with tracks that Greenfield had performed on making their way onto the album, as well as a couple of tracks which the band wrote as a way to pay homage to the fantastic keys player who helped to hone their signature sound. The band tour in 2022, and it’s sure to be a memorable way of paying their respects to the great man who wrote key parts to their biggest tracks.

9 – The Reytons – Kids Off The Estate 

A long awaited debut finally arrived this year from The Reytons. It followed the success of their numerous EP’s, and the momentum from ‘May Seriously Harm You And Others Around You’ lead to a fantastic album launch for the Sheffield lads. A main stage appearance at Tramlines Festival kicked off their summer of touring, and they wrapped up their album launch tour just a few weeks ago. Now with their debut album finally out there, it’s going to be interesting to see where this band end up in the coming years, and just how big they will end up becoming.

8 – Foo Fighters – Medicine At Midnight

A new Foo Fighters album has been a few years in waiting for fans, and earlier this year, the wait was finally over. ‘Medicine At Midnight’ received good acclaim and reached top spot in numerous countries, including the UK and US, and fans have had to wait until 2022 to see the band perform the album live, but that just gives their devoted fan base some time to turn the album into something truly special for the live shows, and it will be like the tracks are classics from their discography.

7 – Royal Blood – Typhoons

Album number three from Royal Blood made an early appearance in 2021, and their adaptation of their sound seemed to be incredibly well received. They’re still the same, in-your-face rock band they’ve always been, but with a dance/pop twist to it which has allowed them to expand their fanbase to a crowd who may never have paid attention to the Brighton duo before. 2021 saw the band appear at a couple of festivals, but it’s 2022 where the guys will really hit the road and get the album out too their fanbase, with a UK arena tour planned for early 2022.

6 – Manic Street Preachers – Ultra Vivid Lament

Manic Street Preachers released their 14th album this year, and as always, it went down a treat with critics and fans alike. Leading up to the release, the band put out two singles from the album, ‘Orwellian’ and ‘The Secret He Had Missed’, both of which went down a treat when they performed them live on their tour of the album a couple of months ago. Despite having 14 albums now under their belts, I can’t see these guys going away anytime soon, and they always put on a fantastic live show.

5 – Inhaler – It Won’t Always Be Like This

At the time of the release for this album, I hadn’t heard much of the band, but this has to go down as one of the most successful debut albums of recent years. I had heard the name and knew they were making steam, but when I caught them live at this years Neighbourhood Weekender, it was clear to see exactly where this band are going. The album has expanded their fanbase into realms they could only have dreamed of so early in their career, and it certainly won’t be too long before these guys are playing at the biggest venues this country has to offer.

4 – Self Esteem – Prioritise Pleasure

It’s not often we talk about musicians who fit in to the ‘pop’ genre, but there was something magical about the release of Self Esteem’s debut album release. It’s the album which a lot of people have been waiting for, for a long time, but not because they are fans of what Self Esteem is doing, but instead because the album delivers messages which are capable of motivating someone to become who they really are, and be proud of everything about themselves. As an album it’s great, but as a piece of work to inspire a generation, it’s something truly special.

3 – Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under

In 2019, Sam Fender released his debut album, and the success of that has sky rocketed him into one of the biggest names in the indie music scene. His live shows are renowned for their incredible atmosphere, and his honest lyrics have left a mark on many fans, so when he announced his second album, it’s something I followed very closely. I am glad I did. His sound has become more full, more tuned in, and his lyrics more honest and reflective of his own life. Musicians using their tracks as a form of self help is something that’s been happening for decades, and it’s great to see the likes of Sam Fender counting to fly the flag for this, and put his name up there as one of the best lyricists of his generation.

2 – IDLES – Crawler

Hot on the heels of their successful 2020 release, IDLES came back with ‘Crawler’, signifying a change in mind and attitude for the band. In their previous three albums, these guys have always managed to keep true to their ferocious sound and deliver some of the finest music that the UK has to offer, and ‘Crawler’ is no different. It’s IDLES using their music to motivate and inspire their fans, whilst also expressing their own feelings as a way of helping others to overcome obstacles in life.

1 – The Lathums – How Beautiful Life Can Be

The Lathums have been making waves for themselves over the last couple of years, building up to the right time to release their incredible debut album. Within the 12 tracks, there’s a true sense of who The Lathums really are, and what they are going to be doing over the coming years. The only way is up for the Wigan band, and the success and acclaim that their debut album brought them is something which many only hope for. If somehow you haven’t heard at least one track off this album, make sure you do so, because the coming years are going to be where this band really come into their own and take to some incredible heights.