What is the best-sounding record in 2022?
A question with countless answers, indeed there are as many record releases as the opinions of those who sit in contemplation in front of their speakers.
In this first quarter of the year, we tried to identify two albums per month that have particularly impressed us for the production and the sound performance through our speakers.
From electronic to doom, glancing to dream-pop and acoustic experiments.
Here’s what we chose:
Burial – Antidawn [Hyperdub]
The British composer’s new EP is an unmistakable signature. Samples and electronic atmospheres merge with field recordings and highly targeted vocal interventions that pierce the soundstage and give surprising spatiality to this journey into ambient music.
Aurora – The Gods We Can Touch [Decca / Glassnote Records]
The 80s look of this record by the Norwegian artist will certainly highlight the low frequency capabilities of your speakers. Bass synths and drum machines work on multiple levels, counterbalancing a voice recorded with mastery and great refinement. The interventions of acoustic instruments season the listening of all the elements necessary to enjoy the harmonics of a Sonus faber cabinet.
Black Country, New Road – Ants From Up There [Ninja Tune]
The UK small psychedelic nailed this second album, embellishing it with acoustic architectures and a more narrative approach in the mix of the voice. The discreet rides of rough percussion seem to come from distant eras and mix with surgical guitars. Strings and brasses will make your midranges shine.
Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You [4AD]
Do you want a production capable of mixing traditional folk and garage rock? Ask James Krivchenia. The drummer of this young American band – by now already a cult – manages once again to explore new perspectives for the writing of Adrianne Lenker and companions. If you are looking for evocative percussion and a watermark of distant guitars, you have found something true.
Messa – Close [Svart Records]
The Italian band demonstrates a compositional and artistic sensitivity out of the ordinary with a record that manages to enclose and bring together the most disparate influences. Doom and Jazz have never been so close. For the attentive listener, the layers of an excellent arrangement unleash surprises across the entire auditory spectrum.
Rex Orange County – Who Cares? [RCA]
The Surrey golden boy joins Benny Sings (former author for The Free Nationals, Mac DeMarco and many others) to compose and produce this collection of pop songs. Dreamy keyboards and synths carpets supported by mechanical beats and finely crafted bass grooves. Simple and dynamic arrangements that a couple of Gravis I could perfectly emphasize.
Father John Misty – Chloë and the Next 20th Century [Sub Pop / Bella Union]
The histrionic singer-songwriter from Maryland does not deny himself the passion for orchestral arrangements and circus fantasies. Accompanying him is a big band with a 1920s character, of which we can appreciate well-aimed double basses and vintage brasses that pop up slyly in the listening space. If you want to imagine yourself in a Paris café or in the centered and well-calibrated seat of a theater, this record has everything you need.
Jack White – Fear Of The Dawn [Third Man Records]
The new studio work of the former White Stripes is a strong whirlwind sound research, coherently linked to the nervous and energetic writing of the Detroit author. The guitars are obviously the masters, which go to marry with an excellent rhythm section, winking at the breakbeat sound. More than other times synths and reverbs peep out to give greater breadth to the arrangements.