A guide to the best new albums of 2022 (with connections to Paul Weller)…

It’s official, we have news of a new Paul Weller album before the year is out. A 3-CD or LP package called Will of the People. Obviously great news for us fans. BUT actually it’s not the only album or EP with a Weller connection released in 2022.
We’ve got a couple more on the way with Paul singing on the latest Monks Road Social LP, now due out in November, and a collaboration on his daughter Leah’s debut long-player in a few weeks time, we’ve had production, playing and co-writes with Steve Pilgrim, more gems with his musical mates Stone Foundation and an even longer lasting friendship with Steve Ellis.
Plus some solid gold releases from former podcast guests such as Kathryn Williams, Andy Crofts, Dot Allison, Hannah Peel, Omar, Seckou Keita, Bangs & Talbot, Russell Hastings and Bruce Foxton along with a few podcast wish-listers who have some lovely connections with Paul – namely Erland Cooper, Lia Metcalfe and Sundowners.
So have a read – get your ears round the recommendations and enjoy some of the very best that 2022 has had to offer so far..

28th October 2022 – Paul Weller – Will of the People

Let’s kick off with the exciting news that Paul Weller is following up his 2003 Fly On The Wall rarities collection with Will of the People, a similar mix of non-album rarities which takes in an array of B-sides, tracks from singles, remixes and the odd live recording.
This set spans 2002-2021 and was compiled by Paul himself (he also contributes track-by-track sleeve notes) and there’s additional commentary by broadcaster John Wilson.
Will of the People will be released on 28 October 2022, via UMC.
Pre-order here: https://paulweller.lnk.to/WOTP

18th November 2022 – Monks Road Social – Rise Up Singing

A new Monks Road Social album is always a very special thing and for Paul Weller fans this one is even more special as Rise Up Singing also provides us with our first Weller & MRS collaboration for the album title track (and a first reunion on record for Dr. Robert and Paul since the mid-90s).
We also get a stunning version of Paul’s Fat Pop bonus song Serafina from Romy Deighton.
You can order the album at wonderfulsound.bandcamp.com/album/rise-up-singing and having had a sneak preview – I can tell you that it is a very special collection of songs.

11th Nov 2022 – Eliza Carthy & The Restitution – Queen of the Whirl

This year, multi-award-winning Eliza Carthy MBE, celebrates 30 years as a professional musician with the release of Queen of The Whirl, an album of newly recorded versions of some of the most beloved songs from her career.
Hear more about it on Podcast Episode 108.
It will be released as a standard CD, Double 12” vinyl, and as a limited-edition deluxe package. Order the album here.

4th November 2022 – Various Artists – This is Colorama Vol 1

Podcast Guest 67 – Andy Crofts rounds up his Colorama artists on volume 1 of this uber cool and eclectic compilation due out next month. I’ve also loved Andy’s input into the Weller band and seeing his label go from strength to strength has been great to watch. It’s clearly something that he is hugely passionate about. Initially set up as a vehicle to release records from his own band The Moons, it was always his ambition to champion the art of the songwriter and build an eclectic roster of like minded bands and musicians.
This album features a collection of tracks from the likes of Teenage Waitress (Episode 8 Guest), Sunzoom, Bliss Williams, Pale Sabres, Chris Watson, Le SuperHomard (Episode 31 Guest) and many more – offering a diverse melting pot of genres with a common theme, to deliver memorable verses, hooks and choruses.
Order the album here.

28th Oct 2022 – Foxton & Hastings – The Butterfly Effect

Bruce Foxton (Podcast Guest 118) and Russell Hastings (Podcast Guest 3) release their third album ‘The Butterfly Effect’ on October 28th. Described by Bruce as ‘a collection of very melodic songs, with very different angles, yet it all ties together’.
Being known as an active touring band, From The Jam obviously could not tour during the pandemic. However, Russell has stated that having time to record was ‘quite a relief… We like everybody else were concerned about the future and were glad when we were allowed to get in the studio’ with Bruce adding that the process was ‘extremely creative and fun’. Russell has kindly shared the album with me and it’s fair to say that you are in for a real treat with this one. A full review & blog to come soon…
You can order the album at slinky.to/TheButterflyEffect

28th Oct 2022 – Gary Crowley’s Indie 90s Playback

Broadcaster, TV presenter and DJ Gary Crowley (Podcast Guest 88) takes on the music of the Nineties in this new compliation set. Across three CDs themed Classics, Curveballs and Bangers are a selection of tunes that capture the eclectic nature of the era. We’re talking lost gems from acts such as The Impossibles, Katydids, Catwalk, Mono and Poppy Factory, chart busting hits from the likes of Electronic, Gene, Primal Scream and The Sundays as well as extended mixes from Jesus Jones, Manic Street Preachers, World of Twist and Paul Weller (who also shares his memories in the booklet).
Order the package here.

21st Oct 2022 – Leah Weller – Freedom

Freedom – the debut album from Leah Weller is released on 21st October 2022.
Having been lucky enough to have had a preview listen to the album – you are going to be blown away by how incredible this one is.
Mind-blowing vocals, with songs & lyrics that connect with your heart, soul and mind (must run in the family!) – it’s soulful, it’s now, it’s fresh and uplifting and it deserves to be a huge success. Production skills come from Steve Cradock, a couple of co-writes with Paul Barry (The Questions) and so many more surprises.
Track 4 Dive In is a brass and flute-infused, floating summertime song featuring her father, Paul.
Order the album here.

Sept 2022 – Steve Pilgrim – Beautiful Blue

In my opinion this is Podcast Guest 109 Steve Pilgrim‘s greatest work to date.
An absolutely stunning album from the singer/songwriter and Weller-band drummer. Working with Paul Weller as producer and co-writer on his 5th studio album, Steve released the achingly melancholic “Beautiful Blue” at the end of the Summer. The album features Paul on many of the tracks along with Steve Cradock and Rachael Jean Harris with string arrangements from Hannah Peel and strings from Antonia Pagulatos, Stella Page, Kotono Sato and Katy Cox. You’ll find other former podcast guests on the LP too with Tom Heel playing Brushed Cymbals on Whistle in the Wind and Steve Trigg (The General) on Flugel Horn for Don’t Let The Mirror Break You.
You can order the album here.

Sept 2022 – Beth Orton – Weather Alive

It’s been 6 years since Beth Orton last released an album and 26 years since she supported Paul Weller at Finsbury Park.
Many musicians turn inward when the world around them seems chaotic and unreliable. Reframing one’s perception of self can often reveal new personal truths both uncomfortable and profound, and for Beth Orton, music re-emerged in the past several years as a tethering force even when her own life felt more tumultuous than ever. Indeed, the foundations of the songs on Orton’s stunning new album, Weather Alive, are nothing more than her voice and a “cheap, crappy” upright piano installed in a shed in her garden, conjuring a deeply meditative atmosphere that remains long after the final note has evaporated.
The album is available here.

July 2022 – Kathryn Williams – Night Drives

Singer, songwriter, novelist, and painter Kathryn Williams is often mentioned by my listeners as one of their favourite ever guests – funny, open, honest and clearly another super talent. Whilst we await the release of her Paul Weller collaboration (and whatever happened to the song that she ‘wrote at Paul’, we’ll happily enjoy her incredible new album ‘Night Drives’. The collection of songs is so lush and epic, it explores a more filmic sound, with a larger ensemble of instrumentation, particular emphasis on the strings and production from Ed Harcourt (another Weller favourite). Standouts for me (on an album packed full of standouts) are Chime Like A Bell, Moon Karaoke and I Am Rich in All That I’ve Lost… Trust me when I say that you need this LP in your collection.
The album is available here.

June 2022 – Erland Cooper – Music for Growing Flowers

I first saw Erland Cooper with his band – The Carnival, supporting Paul in 2009/10 and have been a fan ever since. Erland co-wrote Bowie, Wishing Well and White Horses on Paul’s album True Meanings, whilst also providing backing vocals on those tracks and Aspects. A hugely talented composer, this was one of the stand outs of Summer for me.
A mesmerising ambient album to be listened to while growing your own flowers and plants. The album’s A Side is the commissioned soundscape for Superbloom, an installation of 20 million newly sown flowers at the Tower of London, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. I visited over the summer months and it’s remarkable how listening to the music now takes me back to that day with my wife, sitting on the bench amongst the flowers, reflecting on a world of craziness in a garden of calm. Stunning. The B Side features further entrancing atmospheric tracks vivid with dreamy melodies for piano, harp, cello, violin and vocals.
The album is available here.

June 2022 – Chris Bangs & Mick Talbot – Back To Business

This album is an absolute joy from Acid Jazz. The label have a long history with Podcast Episode 99 Guest, Chris Bangs (the fella who coined the term ‘acid jazz’ and happened to produce Weller’s Above the Clouds single) and Mick Talbot (founding member of The Style Council) who appeared on one of the label’s earliest and rarest singles as ‘King Truman’ with Paul Weller back in 1988).
Back To Business is an exhilarating, contemporary fusion of timeless genres on an album that perfectly distils all these sounds to create the ultimate-sounding Acid Jazz record by two legends of the scene.
Buy the album on Digital Download, CD or Vinyl here

June 2022 – Steve Cradock – A Soundtrack to An Imaginary Movie

Steve Cradock revealed a different side to his music talents in 2022 with the release of a new instrumental LP drawing on jazz, folk, classical and film soundtrack influences. Conceived during the “most extraordinary” months of lockdown, A Sound Track to An Imaginary Movie began life one afternoon in summer 2020 when Steve felt struck by inspiration. “I had a spliff outside my studio, and then just went in and recorded the first two tracks in one go,” he explains. “It just flowed, and it felt really trippy, just like that time did.”
Buy the album on Digital Download, CD or Vinyl here

May 2022 – Dot Allison – The Entangled Remix EP

The Entangled Remix EP is a true love letter to fans of Dot Allison (Podcast Guest 92), harkening back to the danceable electronica sound of her early days in One Dove and breathing newfound energy into some of her most beautiful and thought-provoking songwriting of her career from Heart-Shaped Scars.
From the addicting dub grooves of Lee “Scratch” Perry (whose remix here was actually his final creative act), to the mellow, reverb-tinged beauty of the contributions by both Anton Newcombe and Saint Etienne, to the more synth-heavy reworkings by The Anchoress and Lomond Campbell, the Entangled Remix EP runs the gamut of styles and emotions and builds to an utterly euphoric high.
You can buy the EP here

May 2022 – Omar & QCBA – Live at Last

As we eagerly await the new solo album that Omar talked about on Episode 82 of the podcast (including work with Paul Weller), we were treated to this live album in May.
Omar is joined by QCBA, a stunning jazz quartet co-led by trumpeter Quentin Collins and saxophone and flute player Brandon Allen.
Recorded at the Jazz Cafe in London a year prior – it resulted in an uplifting and inspiring live record.
You can buy the album here.

May 2022 – Steve Ellis – Finchley Boy – 10 CD Boxset

This career-spanning 10 CD Box Set from Podcast Episode 69 Guest, Steve Ellis includes albums by The Love Affair, Ellis, Widowmaker, as well as Steve Ellis solo albums and recordings with Paul Weller.
Featuring 175 tracks, including The Love Affair’s “Everlasting Love” and four more Top 20 hits, Ellis’ “El Doomo” and “Good To Be Alive”, Widowmaker’s “When I Met You”, the 2018 solo album “Boom! Bang! Twang!” produced by Paul Weller, and brand new track “Just To Simplify” co-written and produced by Paul Weller.
You also get a lovely acoustic live version of “Everlasting Love” with Paul Weller.
You can order the boxset here.

May 2022 – Maxwell Farrington and Le SuperHomard

Hot on the heels of 2021’s album Once, comes a new offering from Maxwell Farrington and Le SuperHomard (Podcast Guest 31).
The duo’s subtly arranged compositions and pop songs feel both timeless and current and this latest offering (recorded last Autumn while on tour) gives us 6 new treasures. Proof of their dazzling talent.
You can order here.

May 2022 – Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – ECHO

Kora Player, Seckou Keita was my guest on Episode 64 of the podcast, sharing his stories of remixing Rockets for the On Sunset spin-off EP and playing with Paul as part of Damon Albarn‘s Africa Express project.
ECHO celebrates the tenth anniversary of an extraordinary partnership between two virtuosos. The harp and kora share centuries of history, and Catrin Finch and Seckou create a unique dialogue in a musical alliance of rare empathy, inspired by differences and similarities. Their atmospheric magic crosses genre boundaries, from folk and world music to classical and contemporary as their fingers flow like opposing tributaries into a single river of sound.
Find out more and buy the album here.

April 2022 – Sundowners – Pulling Back The Night

Pulling Back The Night from Merseyside alt-rock group from Sundowners is seeped in 70’s vibes via shimmering heat haze and beaching on Merseyside’s shores.
The band’s third album features two tracks co-written with Paul Weller, titled Night Watcher and A Thousand Doors, alongside further tracks recorded with Paul and Steve Pilgrim.
Find out more and buy the album here.

April 2022 – Hannah Peel & ParaOrchestra – The Unfolding

Podcast Episode 57 Guest, Hannah Peel has regularly collaborated with Paul Weller in recent years and introduced ParaOrchestra to many of us via stunning strings for On Sunset and Fat Pop albums. It was great to get the exclusive on a major new work by Hannah during our podcast chat. Commissioned by and performed with ParaOIrchestra and Charles Hazlewood, the eight-part epic collaboration was recorded in precious morsels of time around the global pandemic.
Hannah has a unique ability to take us on a magical journey with her music and this one is no exception.
Buy the album here

March 2022 – The Mysterines – Reeling

I first discovered The Mysterines through a Weller recommendation via his YouTube series Black Barn Sessions in 2019. You’ll likely recognise the voice of singer / songwriter, Lia Metcalfe from the song True on Paul’s 2021 album Fat Pop (Volume 1).
Do believe the hype! The band’s debut album Reeling is one of the absolute stand out releases of the year. Made over three weeks in between lockdowns, the LP was recorded live to capture the intensity of the songs.
Grief, self-destruction and heartache run heavy through the record, but all are brought together by the blackest of humour. I can’t recommend this enough and do see them live if you can.
Buy the album here

March 2022 – Stone Foundation – Outside Looking In

Another corking new LP from Stone Foundation landed at the beginning of Spring, with a feeling that the sunnier times were here again.
Recorded again at Black Barn Studio (PW HQ), and featuring the man himself with a few backing vocals and instrumental contributions, the album also features a knockout guest lead vocal from legendary disco diva Melba Moore on ‘Now That You Want Me Back’.
I can’t think of many bands about to enter their 25th year together with a collection of songs that sound so fresh and so now. Hats off to Jonesy and Brother Sheas and the whole band. Superb stuff.
Buy the album here

Published by PaulWellerFanPodcast

The World’s first Paul Weller Fan Podcast - For the fans by the fans. A musical journey from In The City to Fat Pop (Vol 1). A radio broadcaster who gave up his career with one big regret. Never getting to interview the legendary British musician Paul Weller. This podcast exists purely to solve that issue. Welcome to Desperately Seeking Paul...

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