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WDIY's Top 10 Albums of May 2022

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While the weather heats up, chill out with WDIY and take a peak at what we've played the most on-air for the month of May! Want to hear your favorites songs or some old classics on your radio for the summer? 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.

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#10
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
The Future
Stax
November 5, 2021

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nite Sweats have just released their third studio album, The Future, and it's apparent that the band is firing on all cylinders again after their brief break. In the six years since their 2015 debut, Nathaniel Rateliff released a follow-up album with the band in 2018 and then ventured off on his own for a solo album in 2020. Since then, the Nite Sweats have been back in action, including a tour date at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks in Bethlehem last summer. Look no further than the boisterous singles like, "Survivor," and "Love Don't," for why WDIY's on-air hosts have been playing this frequently.

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#9
Bakithi Kumalo
What You Hear Is What You See
Bakithi Kumalo
October 22, 2021

Bass legend and Bethlehem resident Bakithi Kumalo released his new solo album called What You Hear Is What You See in October of 2021. The new ten-song collection is inspired by his journey from South Africa to the U.S. some 35 years ago as well as the different people met during his travels. Specifically, Kumalo wants to remind listeners to enjoy life and all of its obstacles with his newest work. Ranked among the top 50 bass players in the world by Bass Player Magazine, Bakithi Kumalo is a five-time Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist.

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#8
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Nightroamer
Thirty Tigers
February 18, 2022

A lot has happened in the four-year gap since Sarah Shook and the Disarmers put out their second studio album titled Years; a global pandemic that the band narrowly missed in terms of a recording schedule, a record label change, and Sarah publicly coming out as non-binary (they/them pronouns). The previous album was a loud triumph of edgy country-punk that explored mental health and toxic relationships. The new album focuses more on hope and change and new habits, and definitely blends their hard country sound with more genres this time, like Britpop, disco, and of course, more punk. Shook has also been working on songs for a solo album set to come out later in 2022.

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#7
Colin Hay
Now and the Evermore
Compass Records
March 18, 2022

Now and the Evermore is a letter to Colin Hay from Colin Hay about enjoying his time on earth while he still has it. He captured his own struggle, loss, and mortality in his hometown of Los Angeles, heavily inspired by the Beatles made sweeter by featuring Ringo Starr on the title track. At its most basic level, Now And The Evermore offers a deeply personal acknowledgement of the relentless march of time, but zoom out and you’ll see that Hay’s contemplations of identity and eternity are in fact broader reflections on our shared humanity, on letting go of dead weight and reaching for the light no matter how dark things may get.

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#6
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.

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#5
Keb’ Mo’
Good to Be
Rounder Records
January 21, 2022

Five-time GRAMMY winner Keb’ Mo’ recently released his newest full-length, Good To Be, in the beginning of 2022 from a very personal place. The album was written between Nashville and his childhood home in Compton, California, which Keb’ recently purchased and renovated. The backdrop and inspiration behind the new release as well as Keb’s seasoned musicality makes the entire album feel warm and familiar. The album release was accompanied by an official video for the title track single, “Good to Be (Home Again),” which was filmed in Mo’s hometown and features the Compton Cowboys.

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#4
Lucifer on the Sofa
Spoon
Matador Records
February 11, 2022

Lucifer on the Sofa is the 10th studio album by the rock band Spoon, which started production in 2018 shortly after touring. Production continued until 2020, but resumed and resulted in a finished album by 2021. A huge reason as to why the band couldn’t finish the album in quarantine like a lot of bands did during the pandemic was how they were choosing to orchestrate it; they realized they prefer the sound of recording as a live band versus recording separately and made that the focus of the new album. The band takes their reliably delightful perception and dial it up even more for this album, creating a casually stylish and stunningly catchy new release.

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#3
Aoife O’Donovan
Age of Apathy
Yep Roc Records
January 21, 2022

Aofie O’Donovan recorded her third feature album titled Age Of Apathy through a unique arrangement with Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. While in the studio she shares with her producer Joe Henry, she logged daily hours online with GRAMMY-nominated engineer Darren Schneider to get the album done. Her previous albums were composed and recorded in the rush between tours, but Age Of Apathy was more deliberate and methodical as it was made entirely amid the stillness of COVID. The Irish-American artist spent plenty of her lockdown weaving an album that feels like a nostalgia trip that is somehow more dreamy and bittersweet than her other albums.

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#2
Buffalo Nichols
Buffalo Nichols
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. He tries to emulate this in his new record in an effort to modernize blues before it gets “frozen in time.”

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#1
Father John Misty
Chloë and the Next 20th Century
Sub Pop Records
April 8, 2022

Father John Misty returns with Chloë and The Next 20th Century, his fifth album and first new material since the release of God’s Favorite Customer in 2018. The new edition to his collection was written and recorded August through December 2020 and features arrangements by Drew Erickson and longtime colleague Jonathan Wilson, as well as Dave Cerminara, returning as engineer and mixer. His latest album is another collection of story-song vignettes; it feels and plays like an elaborate character study in the life of a hopeless romantic and his doomed romances with a whole series of women, starting with Chloë.

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