A Year in Music – 2022 – Karl Whitney (Author)
Karl is the author of “Hit Factories: A Journey Through the Industrial Cities of British Pop”, a personal exploration of the musical and social history of urban Britain, which was published in June 2019 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
How was music for you in 2022?
Seemed quiet, really. Just catching up with stuff I missed from the end of year lists. Suede’s album, Autofiction, seemed a highlight in retrospect. Over Christmas, I’ve been listening to Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler’s For All Our Days That Tear The Heart, Weyes Blood’s And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow and the Danger Mouse and Black Thought LP Cheat Codes.
What was your main musical highlight of 2022?
Probably seeing the virtual ABBA perform in the arena the band constructed in Stratford, London. It’s like they’ve built a Jurassic Park in which the main exhibit is their former selves.
Have you gone to any gigs this year? How do you feel about going to live music?
Went to Liam Gallagher and The Charlatans in Kilmainham, and in the UK: the Afghan Whigs, Mdou Moctar (twice), Ian Svenonius, Imarhan and Gruff Rhys, Snail Mail, The Lemonheads and a summer nostalgia fest at which an incredibly well-drilled ABC were the highlight. I enjoy going to gigs, still, but obviously, there remains a degree of weirdness to it.
Can you recommend an album, from any year, that doesn’t get the credit it deserves
Australian band Smudge’s 1994 LP Manilow – lead singer Tom Morgan co-wrote much of the Lemonheads’ It’s a Shame About Ray and Come on Feel. I went back to it recently and it’s still got a rough-hewn, witty charm.
Do you still listen to lots of music? How do you listen to music these days?
I still listen to plenty, but probably not as much as I used to. A mix of CDs and LPs, though increasingly the former because I like having the mp3s as well as something to play on the stereo. Streaming less and less – streaming sites rip off artists. If you like the songs, buy the physical product!
What sort of year have you had yourself?
Some sadness, some happiness.
Any interesting projects in the works? Are you working on another book?
Working happily away as an editor on the Penguin Classics list and also developing my own project, which hopefully will become my third book.