WDIY's Top 10 Albums of February 2022
While we all patiently wait for spring, we have another Top 10 list fresh off the WDIY presses! Check out the newly aired inclusions and the old favorites played by our wonderful on-air hosts for your listening pleasure. Have something you’d like to add? Feel free to call WDIY's studio line with a request at 610-694-8100 x1 or leave your picks on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.
The War on Drugs
I Don’t Live Here Anymore
October 29, 2021
The War on Drugs began working on their new album in 2018, with frontman Adam Granduciel, bassist Dave Hartley, and multi-instrumentalist Anthony LaMarca retreating to a studio in upstate New York where they jammed and cut demos. The album was fine-tuned over the next three years, with work taking place in seven studios around the world. The album is a love letter to the band’s biggest influences of rock icons like Dylan, Springsteen, and Petty making music in the '80s and '90s. The Philadelphia natives have put out five albums now since their inception in 2005.
I'll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico
Verve Records and Universal Music Group
September 24, 2021
The Velvet Underground & Nico is considered a sacred text to rock music, and over 50 years after the initial release of this eponymous 1967 album, new documentary film by Todd Haynes and a revamped tribute album renewed people’s interest. After being widely regarded as one of the most influential bands in history and ranking on multiple "Best Of" and "Top Of" lists, the tribute album finds a way to breathe new life into the classics. Featured artists include Kurt Vile & The Violators, Sharon Van Etten, Iggy Pop & Matt Sweeney, Michael Stipe, Matt Berninger of The National, Courtney Barnett, King Princess, Fontaines D.C., and more. The album came out September 2021, and the documentary film debuted in October 2021.
July 30, 2021
Son Volt are ten albums deep into their 27-year life as a band at this point. Electro Molodier has Son Volt's tried and true alt-country sound with songwriting that sees Jay Farrar penning protest songs that directly confront our increasingly chaotic world, including “War on Money” and "Livin' in the U.S.A.," his version of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." But, in true Son Volt fashion, there's hints of hopefulness buried amidst Farrar's condemnations. The band has been a WDIY favorite over the years which is why our on-air hosts put the band's latest album, Electro Melodier, into regular rotation soon after its July 2021 release.
Wary + Strange
June 18, 2021
Amythyst Kiah has an impressive musical resume for a Tennessee singer and guitarist. On her Rounder Records debut, Strange + Wary, Kiah channels her heartland musical background through the lens of her lived experiences as a Southern Black LGBTQ+ woman. Musically, Kiah's old-time American roots music has a modern rock and pop sheen with impressive production that helps showcase her talents. Wary + Strange has been a fixture on our monthly album lists since October 2021, and now, WDIY's on-air hosts are moving into 2022 with Strange + Wary still in steady rotation.
Fat Possum Records
October 15th, 2021
Buffalo Nichols holds a special place at Fat Possum Records as the label’s first solo blues signing in nearly 20 years, and his first solo album proves what he has to offer to the blues music scene. Nichols finds himself drawn to Black people’s influence on music, specifically within his genre, and the idea of keeping the origins of a genre alive while continuing to create a modern sound is something that stuck with Nichols. He tries to emulate this in his new record in an effort to modernize blues before it gets “frozen in time.”
Kiss Off Kiss
September 1, 2021
Kiss Off Kiss tells a story about four bad dates through the eyes of one Erin McKeown in the modern dating scene. The tone of the albums switches between traditional punk rock angst about how shallow dating can be to melancholy and bitterness about missed connections. She spends 13 songs on her 11th studio album capturing the anger and frustration we all feel when it comes to forging new connections. No matter how peppy or angsty the song, however, McKeown continues to keep her spunk and independence while crafting intriguing songs with engaging melodies that reflect her diverse sound and uniquely artistic spirit.
The Light at the End of the Line
United for Opportunity
January 21, 2022
After the release of Folk Is the New Black in 2006, Janis Ian decided not to make another record until she felt she had “an album’s worth of impeccable songs”. Although she released several private “for the fans” items, and continued touring, Ian also set up a whiteboard with a rotating list of songs and subjects she wanted to cover on the newest album. A recurring theme in her writing and her motivation was the love and support from her fans. Once the pandemic delayed live performances, she became very busy with volunteer work, book signings, and anything else she could manage to do safely. This is Ian's final studio album.
My Bluegrass Heart
September 10, 2021
Whatever musical adventures Béla Fleck embarks on, the title of his latest album makes it clear that, deep down, his heart belongs to bluegrass. On his newest album, My Bluegrass Heart, Fleck has assembled some of the greatest instrumentalists in bluegrass music’s history alongside some of the most promising new generation players. These include mandolinists Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, and Chris Thile; fiddlers Michael Cleveland and Stuart Duncan; celebrated multi-instrumentalist Justin Moses; bassists Mark Schatz and the aforementioned Edgar Meyer; and guitarists Bryan Sutton and Molly Tuttle.
The album first appeared in our Top 10 lists back in October and closed out the year by coming in at number one in December. My Bluegrass Heart is clearly still a favorite of WDIY's hosts, coming in at number three this month.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
November 5, 2021
In 2020, Nathaniel Rateliff took time away from the Night Sweats for a solo album and tour. Since then, the singer and guitarist has returned to the band that he found success with. Lehigh Valley residents may remember their tour stop at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks in Bethlehem last summer.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats' latest album, entitled The Future, was released late last year and sounds like a band hitting their stride. The Future is filled from front to back with everything that the band does well — high energy choruses, hand claps and foot stomps, and plenty of infectious energy. Look no further than the boisterous singles like "Survivor" and "Love Don't" for why WDIY's on-air hosts put this album at number one on last month's monthly Top 10 list, and why the release is still the second most played album at WDIY for the month of February.
Elvis Costello & The Imposters
The Boy Named If
EMI Records and Capitol Records
January 14, 2022
The Boy Named If is the 32nd studio album by the English singer-songwriter, but is reminiscent of a previous album titled Blood & Chocolate from 1986. Calling back to the days of The Attractions (an old iteration of the band) proves how much these musicians have grown and adapted since their inception. The newest albums sounds simultaneously like an homage to their past as well as a test of their skills as a music group. It’s home to a blend of genres all tied together with a timeless rock and roll structure. A book written and illustrated by Costello himself accompanies the deluxe edition of the album, but it isn’t necessary to own it to understand how the album unfolds as a series of vignettes recorded during the pandemic. This is The Boy Named If's first appearance on our monthly Top 10 list, and it makes a strong showing at the very top.