Well, it’s been a few years since I wrote one of these. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to sit down and think about the musical moments that stood that caught my ear in 2022:

Tracks (separated by commas)
-Wherever Your Heart Is, Homesick, Great Divide (The Lone Bellow, Love songs for Losers) https://youtu.be/I6OxXihGrvg
-Re-enchanted World, Has It Been You? (John Mark Mcmillan) https://youtu.be/-usgbVaq5tI
-Walk Me Home (Young the Giant, Act 2 Exile American Bollywood) https://youtu.be/s8mw0BDagEU
-The Wild Earth (Young Oceans) https://youtu.be/sXIJRcGns2E

– Roses, On The Corner Where You Live, Bloom – all by “The Paper Kites” https://youtu.be/BDfCKxWAvIg
– Infinity (Voces8) https://youtu.be/KQEUfbj2Z94
– The Lost Birds (Christopher Tin, Voces8) – A musical memorial to bird species driven to extinction by humankind, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra https://youtu.be/lLokfnJFaXU

I revisited some jazz classics, particularly enjoyed Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan – truly timeless! Jazz Classics on Spotify is an easy place to start with the greats of the past https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DXbITWG1ZJKYt?si=jJhtMRMpSPGlu5vYS0T67Q

Of all these, Wherever Your Heart Is by The Lone Bellow hit home the most. It’s been a tough year, with grief, health and work challenges. And yet, I’ve been struck by the extraordinary power of kindness and friendship to make life light enough to see new possibilities and ways forward. Each interaction is an opportunity to build up others. You don’t know what secret struggle any one person is going through. Equally, you don’t know the effect of a warm welcome, or a few kind words of gratitude on someone in an (unseen) hard place. And while that’s probably a good thing – lest we get all proud about it so we should just do it anyway – we know for ourselves what it is to receive such kindnesses. So here’s to 2023, kindness, respect, listening, understanding.