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The Coven's Albums of 2022

Last week we took a look at how our predictions for this year played out (spoiler: they all smashed it), but there were so many more unanticipated highlights that it'd be a shame not to mention. We're taking a look back at 2022 to share our favourite albums (and EPs) of the year, just in case you missed them! Headphones at the ready, they're all fucking belters.


Softcult - Year Of The Snake

Canadian grunge twins Softcult have quickly become a Coven favourite, and their EP Year of the Snake definitely got a lot of spins here at RC HQ this year. Politically-charged and armed with hypnotic harmonies and distorted guitar tones, Softcult have carved a niche in the rock scene with their deliciously dark shoegaze-glossed scuzz-pop. Rampaging drums and haunting riffs keep Year of the Snake slithering forward, fronted by themes of misogyny, gender violence, mental health, and sexuality. A key track is BWBB, a furious stab at double standards. Softcult's next EP See You In The Dark arrives on 24th March 2023 - get that in your bloody calendars.

Softcult

cleopatrick - DOOM

These two are truly the gift that keeps on giving. After bestowing upon us one of the gnarliest debut albums of all time, BUMMER, last year, and soaring through a very heavy touring schedule ever since, you'd think recording new material would've been the last thing on Luke and Ian's minds. So when laptop rock EP DOOM routed its way through cyberspace and into our ears, we were overjoyed. Surging with stark sonic contrasts, the EP's highlights include gritty rock ripper ZUCK and the astoundingly beautiful SCARING ME, a glittering beacon of - you guessed it - doom, for the digital age. Luke says “it’s a collection of 5 songs about digital complacency, fleeting privacy, love letters written out in 1’s and 0’s, divine Macbooks, leaked files, lost humanity, corrupt hard drives, lizard billionaires, killer asteroids, the proverbial “cloud”, Maxwell's equations, 1997’s IBM “DEEP BLUE ®” supercomputer, high energy particles, and the magic piece of glass that I keep in my right front pocket.” All we know is that it's fucking brilliant.


The Mysterines - Reeling

We might've mentioned this one a few times. Since seeing these teenage titans open for Royal Blood back in 2018, their debut album had been on our wishlist for 4 years - and this year we finally got it. Reeling is everything we could have hoped for - snarling basslines, swaggering drumbeats, and smoking hot vocals belting on gigantic choruses. Slinking between 90s grunge, desert rock, and festival-ready alternative anthems, Reeling is dark and moody perfection. Songs like Life Is A Bitch (But I Like It So Much) and Dangerous were made for filling stadiums, so it's fitting that The Mysterines are joining the Arctic fucking Monkeys on their 2023 tour. They even found the time to follow the album up with the All These Things EP, featuring live recordings of a handful of album tracks at Rough Trade.

The Mysterines

Kid Kapichi - Here's What You Could Have Won

Hastings' boys Kid Kapichi blew us away with their sleazy punk-rock filled debut album This Time Next Year back in 2021. We've since seen them take on a sold-out headline show at Scala, and share the stage with You Me At Six at their 10 Years of Sin day festival in the summer. Somehow, between all of the kickass live shows, Kid Kapichi have managed to get slam sleazy basslines with tongue-in-cheek politics to birth their second album Here's What You Could Have Won, stuffed with snarling singles Rob The Supermarket and New England (feat. Bob Vylan). Softer touches in Never Really Had You and Special takes the album to a personal level, and the overall critical reflection of Covid Britain is definitely something we can get behind.


Nova Twins - Supernova

It seems like just yesterday that Nova Twins' stellar debut album Who Are The Girls? landed and skyrocketed the duo into the heart of the rock scene. The duo been on a whirlwind of tours since gigs returned - we even managed to catch them pack the house at a sold-out show at The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth - and they've still had the time to craft an explosive sophomore album. A takes-no-shit force of rock, Supernova melts genres to become something impressively original. Twisting beefy nu-metal riffs, punky attitude, rap rhythms and electronic pulses, Supernova is fierce as fuck and propels Nova Twins as one of the most exciting British rock bands around.

Nova Twins

Sick Joy - WE'RE ALL GONNA F***ING DIE

This one's a little bit special. We've been fans of the Brighton trio since 2019, but they'd been knocking around loooong before that - so needless to say, this was a well-awaited debut album. WE'RE ALL GONNA F***ING DIE is a captivating collection of 12 cutthroat tracks that seamlessly deliver the essence of what Sick Joy are all about: glorious, grungey noise, laced with a healthy dose of poetic cynicism. If you love filthy, atmospheric, and remarkably authentic modern rock, this is the album for you. And once you're obsessed, be sure to catch them on tour in February.


Fräulein - A Small Taste

We've been keeping an eye on London-based duo Fräulein since their first single Pretty People back in 2021, and it's always been leading to this: their debut EP, A Small Taste. Four tracks of eerily mesmerising grunge, A Small Taste is the perfect slice of the rich vocals, fuzzed-out guitar, and powerful drums that has led to Joni and Karsten opening for the likes of The Mysterines, TV Priest, and English Teacher.

Fräulein

Wunderhorse - Cub

Wunderhorse really came out of the gates swinging with this one. What started as the solo project of The Dead Pretties former frontman, Jacob Slater, rapidly grew into a beguiling creature of its own, and took its final form as a full 4-piece band. Their debut album, Cub, landed on earth in a glittering beam of light back in October, and we've been entranced by it ever since. Offering delectable ambient soundscapes, tinged with hints of effervescent surf-rock and carried by roaring punk undertones, Cub truly exists in its own realm. We were lucky enough to taste it in the flesh twice this year - at their headline Lafayette show in October, as well as their support slot at Electric Brixton for The Backseat Lovers back in May - and fucking hell, this is a band that needs to be seen live. Get your tickets to their April tour now.


Connie Constance - Miss Power

Having supported megastars Nova Twins and Yard Act on their tours this year, Watford-born Connie Constance has definitely aligned herself with the best of the best in the UK rock scene. Her second album Miss Power continues to delve into the diverse sonic palette we loved in 2021's Prim & Propa EP. Shimmering with indie-disco in the title-track, guitar-driven honesty in Mood Hoover, and riot-grrrl rage in Kamikaze, Connie Constance has birthed a vulnerable and indestructible voice in the indie scene. Connie plays 2 headline shows at The Lower Third, London in March, with tickets on sale now.

Connie Constance

The Backseat Lovers - Waiting To Spill

Utah's greatest exports have never failed us, and their latest album Waiting To Spill certainly kept up their perfect record. Balancing impeccable storytelling, immaculate atmospherics and insane musical talent is no walk in the park, but The Backseat Lovers seem to manage it with their eyes closed. Tracks like Close Your Eyes, Growing/Dying and Slowing Down demonstrate the band's ability to lure us in with silent seduction before building a wall of sound that rages into a fierce cacophony of mosh-worthy madness. This is an album - and a band - to be reckoned with. We managed to catch their secret intimate London show at OMEARA in October, as well as their Electric Brixton headline in May - and can quite safely say, The Backseat Lovers are one of the best live bands out there. It has to be seen to be believed, so make sure to catch them on their UK tour in March.


Courting - Guitar Music

Courting have come a long way since our Sounds of 2021 list. Carrying their angular guitars and witty lyrics with them, aptly-titled debut album Guitar Music arrived in September, polished with a glitchy, autotuned gloss. The monotone sarcasm and frantic indie sounds that we fell in love are definitely still there, but Courting have gone above and beyond the indie post-punk scene to create something unforgettable with Guitar Music. Moshing to Loaded and Tennis at The Joiners in October was a gig highlight for us this year. You can catch the Courting boys on tour with indie icons Circa Waves in 2023 here.

Courting

Pinkshift - Love Me Forever

Another Sounds of 2021 star released their massive debut album this - it's almost like we're good at predicting who will climb the rock ranks, eh? Baltimore punks Pinkshift brought the angst and rage we needed this year with the raging Love Me Forever. Boiling together riotous pop-punk with nostalgic 90s grunge, Love Me Forever is a steaming hot plate of thrashing cymbals, furious vocals, and headbanging breakdowns. We're eating good, witches. After supporting punk faves PUP over in the States, Pinkshift are definitely on our 2023 gig bucket-lists.


Lauran Hibberd - Garageband Superstar

Slacker-rock queen Lauran Hibberd fucking finally released her debut album this year! We've been no. 1 mega fans since day one, so you can imagine how hyped we were for the release of Garageband Superstar, which came out in August. It features certified fuzzy bangers like That Was A Joke, I'm Insecure, and Step Mum - Lauran perfects her now-signature blend of pop-rock and bubblegum grunge and captures in a phenomal 12-track debut album. BTW, Wheatus features on the title-track. Yes, Garageband Superstar is just that good.

Lauran Hibberd

Coach Party - Nothing is Real

Isle of Wight's indie icons Coach Party released their third EP back in April, and the five-track Nothing is Real takes their fuzzy slacker-rock to the the next level. Opening with furious feminist anthem FLAG (Feel Like a Girl), Coach Party are both personal and political, and it really fucking suits them. Other stand-out tracks are the riff-driven nostalgia trip Shit TV, and the punchy lovesick fantasy 3 Kisses, bursting with a shouty chorus, slamming drums, and dreamy lyrics. Having heard the tracks live at their huge Wedgewood Rooms headline show, and their Victorious Festival set, we can confidently tick Nothing is Real off as a Certified Banger of a release.


Dead Pony - War Boys

Battle-ready War Boys is Dead Pony's electrifying debut EP, and it is easily one of the most exciting releases we saw this year. Pulsating drum beats, growling guitars, and ferocious vocals carry across the EP, proving that Dead Pony have both bark and bite. Frantic bangers Bullet Farm, Zero, and the title-track are truly mosh-worthy, while All Dressed Up For Nothing is an epic-level rock riot. Do yourself a favour and stream War Boys, grab your bat, and get ready for a fight.



Article by Chloe Robbins and Courtney Myers

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