THE BEST OF 2022 10-1
We have been counting down our top campaigns from the year with our top 20 list! Each campaign has been reviewed and allocated ranking based on what plays they got and how impactful each campaign has been. To listen through some of the tracks just click on our underlined song titles and peruse some incredible tunes. We hope you enjoy taking a walk through the brilliant artists we have represented this year! Also check out the music videos for all our tracks at the bottom of our list below!
NUMBER 10 CAKE SALE
Described by Steve Lamacq on 6 Music as “a real grower” - Cake Sale’s ‘Let Go Or Be Dragged’ is, remarkably, the York band’s debut single. Cake Sale are a duo currently studying at York University, who used the tedium of lockdown life to set up a new musical venture. Their fully-formed sound recalls the linear grooviness of Wet Leg and late-period Bloc Party and features mature, incisive lyrics about the importance of letting go of egos. Beyond Steve Lamacq, the track received support from Nels Hylton on Radio 1, BBC Introducing York, Amazing Radio, XS Manchester, The Sound Lab, Kool Rock Radio and more. For just a debut track, but also by any metric, ‘Let Go Or Be Dragged’ has been a roaring success.
NUMBER 9 SHEAFS
This Sheffield post punk band stormed into 2022 full of angular guitars, pointed lyrics and Joy Division-esque menace. Sheafs came into the year showing off three brand new singles ahead of their debut album ‘A Happy Medium’ released in July. First singles ‘En Route’ and ‘Millenial’ gave the world a glorious insight into what makes the five piece Sheffield gang tick; stress. The band is a reaction to the modern stresses of everyday life. ‘Millennial’ concentrates on the pressure to find success in every avenue of life and en route depicts the burden of this stress weighing on you as you drive alone at night. Then in ‘Monotonal Living’ the third single from the LP, the post punk rockers take on social media in the same way. There’s a tension to their music like the themes they draw on seep into every sinew, every note and beat of the songs. It’s incredible stuff and earned them plenty of airtime from Jack Saunders on Radio 1, Chris Hawkins on 6 music and the connoisseur of indie, Steve Lamacq too!
NUMBER 8 WEEKEND RECOVERY
Another act on our list whose lyrics deal with urgent sociopolitical matters (sign of the times, eh?), Weekend Recovery’s ‘Chemtrails’ is all the more commendable for the sense of fun and energy that underpins the sharp, zeitgeist-y lyrics. The Yorkshire trio’s sound is stripped-down and muscular, recalling everything from Paramore to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with more than a hint of the upbeat energy of The Ting Tings. ‘Chemtrails’ is a track of boundless personality and charisma, a view seemingly shared by the likes of Steve Lamacq and Chris Hawkins at 6 Music, Radio 1’s Gemma Bradley, BBC Introducing York, Amazing Radio, Bombshell Radio and countless other stations that supported Weekend Recovery in 2022.
NUMBER 7 RED TELEPHONE
Breaking the number seven spot is Cardiff based cold wave post punk indie synth quartet Red Telephone. They had a great 2022, releasing three singles, the first of which, ‘I’m Broken’, came out in February ahead of the band’s show headlining a night at the fringe festival of the BBC 6 Music festival in Cardiff this year. Then they released ‘Normal Life’ in May and lastly, ‘All I Really Want’ in July. These singles were full of genre bending instrumentation and a glassy vocal that runs through it like honey. If you took Tame Impala and put him in Cardiff’s Womamby street for a year this is what it would sound like. The band worked with legendary Welsh producer Steffan Pringle (Himalayas, Adwaith) on the tracks and it shows! Not only that but it was hugely successful on the radio, grabbing the attention of a plethora of 6 music DJs; Amy Lame, Chris Hawkins, Gideon Coe, Steve Lamacq, Radio X’s John Kennedy, Frank Skinner on Absolute and Gemma Bradley on BBC Radio 1 and this list goes on and on - fantastic year for the band!
NUMBER 6 BUGEYE
Simply put - Bugeye are one of the most exciting young indie acts in the country right now. The Croydon band are going from strength to strength with each release, with this year seeing the release of two brilliant singles ‘Summer In The City’ and ‘Signs And Exits’. Both are defined by energetic instrumentation that draws equally from 70s post-punk and 90s riot grrrl and sharp lyrics, with ‘Signs And Exits’ an especially vivid portrait of childhood bullying. The band’s focus extends beyond music (they host a podcast and run their own festival) and their efforts this year have been rewarded by plays across 6 Music, Radio 1, BBC Introducing, Radio X, Amazing Radio, Sirius XM and many more. You get the feeling this is just the beginning of Bugeye’s journey, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of it.
NUMBER 5 THE VELVET HANDS
Hitting our top 5 now and we’re starting off with the bombastic, bolshy Cornwall come London four piece The Velvet Hands. Ahead of releasing their sophomore LP ‘Sucker Punch’ early next year they’ve released three singles that have done incredibly well. ‘Holiday in my Head’ came out in June, followed by ‘I Wanna be There’ in July and finally ‘Telephone Love’ in November. These singles have been banger after banger, indie rock at it’s hardcore 2006 Arctic Monkeys finest. Verses that don't let up, building a nicotine rush of energy culminating in wave after wave of anthemic choruses filled with chantable hooks that you could scream at a pub or a gig for days on end. And they landed a great spread of radio plays. A couple of plays on BBC radio 1 courtesy of Nels Hylton, two plays from 6 music by Steve Lamcq and a huge 9 plays on Radio X many of which came via John Kennedy.
NUMBER 4 VOODOO BANDITS
It’s hard not to be intrigued by a band who we describe as “surf/skate punk from the Isle Of Man”. Voodoo Bandits go one better, however, describing themselves as “blue skies riding on a skateboard”, which perhaps captures their essence a little more imagistically. Having supported an eclectic range of acts on the Isle Of Man (including Chic, Mcfly and Two Door Cinema Club) the Manx four–piece are now preparing to take on the world. Their sound is ridiculously-good fun, a barrage of joyous and colourful anthems that recall the good times and party vibes of Skeggs, Wavves and FIDLAR. Having received plays on 6 Music’s New Music Fix, Radio 1’s Introducing with Gemma Bradley, Amazing Radio UK and USA and a host of other esteemed stations, the band are ready to take on the world with their distinct and endearing brand of slacker rock and roll.
NUMBER 3 CRYSTAL TIDES
Taking the bronze medal on our list is the enigmatic Crystal Tides from the South coast of England. Pure sugar rush indie pop/rock that echoes recent bands like Inhaler or Circa Waves that have that light tone and summery feel but still pack plenty of energy and bite. The quartet released three singles off of their new EP ‘Side Effect’ this year; ‘Honey’, ‘I Don’t Want to Wait’ and ‘Sorry’. They reflect in their music the trials and tribulations of many bands around the country trying to garner success from their art and that desire to be taken seriously is present throughout this unapologetically indie EP. They caught incredible radio plays along the way, including a couple of BBC Radio 1 plays, 3 from Radio X and an utterly staggering 21 plays from various BBC Introducing stations which is just incredible to see!
NUMBER 2 GHUM
So at number two in our list is London’s Ghum. The quartet describe themselves, quite brilliantly, as “post-punk ghost grunge”, which neatly encapsulates the skeletal, quietly-menacing and wholly engrossing sound that the band conjures up. Featuring four members all hailing from different countries (Spain, Malaysia, much-imitated post-punk sound. Their three 2022 singles ‘Some People’, ‘Bitter’ and ‘Shallow’ are all taken from the band’s debut album ‘Bitter’, which has received praise from publications such as Loud & Quiet and The Line Of Best Fit. The three singles have been played across a swathe of stations, with 6 Music taking an especially keen interest via Steve Lamacq, Amy Lame and Iggy Pop. Other stations included Radio 1, BBC Introducing London, Absolute Radio, Amazing Radio USA, Radio X and tons of others. It’s safe to say that Ghum’s 2022 has been a resounding success.
NUMBER 1 EMILY BREEZE
Taking the number 1 spot, the peak of our list, the angel on top of the Lost Agency Christmas tree is the Bristol based indie noir sensation Emily Breeze. What’s perhaps most staggering about our champion of the radiowaves is that she’s done it with just the two singles this year ahead of the release of her third LP ‘Rapture’ in 2023. Her offerings were ‘Ordinary Life’ followed by ‘The Bell’ released in August and November respectively. She brands a intricately mastered fusion of Blondie-esque disco beats and the musings of a young Patti Smith or the cadence of PJ Harvey. ‘Ordinary Life’ is anything but ordinary launching into a minute long spoken word monologue that reads like a coming of age story for the middle aged years. And then ‘The Bell’ is a lovesong, but not just a normal 3 minute ode to a lover, no this is a love letter to her local pub written with the sincerity of a marriage lasting decades. The sound is constantly shifting keeping you on your toes but always dancing. Emily Breeze was a hit favourite with BBC 6 music and by that I mean she was played virtually by every DJ. Amy Lame, Steve Lamacq, Craig Charles, Chris Hawkins, Tom Robinson. And the highlight of it all being the BBC 6 Music C-list she earned for ‘Ordinary Life’ helping her to a staggering 24 plays on BBC 6 Music this year!
THE BEST OF 2022 20-11
We are counting down our top campaigns from the year with our top 20 list! Each campaign has been reviewed and allocated ranking based on what plays they got and how impactful each campaign has been. To listen through some of the tracks just click on our underlined song titles and peruse some incredible tunes. We hope you enjoy taking a walk through the brilliant artists we have represented this year! Also check out the music videos for all our tracks at the bottom of our list below!
NUMBER 20 LOUIS CROFT
Taking influence from the likes of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Jake Bugg, Louis Croft’s aptly-titled ‘Tale Of A Troubadour’ fuses timeless songwriting with contemporary lyrical themes. Inspired by his own mental health struggles as well as broader concerns about the current state of the world - Louis’ latest EP courses with soul and feeling. Tracks from this release have received plays on a wide variety of networks, from Bob Harris’ country show on Radio 2 to BBC Introducing shows in Derby and Nottingham (Louis’ hometown). Considering that ‘Tales Of A Troubadour’ is just Louis’ second released EP, it’s been a considerable success thus far.
NUMBER 19 THE NOW
Clocking in at the 19 spot is The Now. The South Wales based quartet have been very busy this year releasing their debut EP ‘The Truth Always Comes Out In The End’ in June and working with the Lost Agency for two singles off of it; ‘Holy’ and ‘Rockstar’. They’re an anthemic blend of sharp pointed guitar riffs and huge choruses, like a slightly heavier version of Kasabian or a slightly less operatic Muse. Their heavy sound won them a lot of airtime from the heavier stations like Planet rock and Sirius XM; gaining them their place on this list. However a highlight has to be this music video for ‘Rockstar’ filmed from Swansea City FC’s stadium after being announced as musical ambassadors for the club!
NUMBER 18 WYSE
‘Genre-fluidity’ is a much-bandied about term in contemporary music, however WYSE truly embodies the term. The stylistic approach of the Portsmouth-based solo artist is often indescribable - drawing influence from similarly-fluid acts such as Anna Calvi, Bjork, Kate Bush and Wolf Alice. Her 2022 EP ‘Allusions’ flicks between tones and textures with wilful-abandon and featured tracks that garnered plays from the likes of BBC Introducing, Sirius XM, Amazing Radio, XS Manchester and The Sound Lab. There’s so much to like about WYSE and her singular approach to music - we’re extremely pleased that it’s found an audience on so many major stations.
NUMBER 17 IDOLISING NOVA
This Peterborough based indie pop outfit made some waves in 2022! They had two singles come out in April and May of this year; ‘Slide’ and ‘Talk me down’ respectively. Their sound is that of smooth indie pop similar to the likes of Bastille, Easy Life or even Years and Years. It’s very summery music, perfect for a sun lounger by the pool, pina colada in hand, Idolising Nova playing in the background. That’s what these singles feel like to me. And it earned them some excellent airtime from Sirius XM and a lot of the BBC Introducing stations. And perhaps most interestingly, Idolising Nova was a huge success with Qatar station QBS and ‘Talk me down’ was quoted by DJ Chloe as having, “Strong potential to enter the QBS top 40!” Which is massive!
NUMBER 16 MR BEWLAY
At Lost, we’ve described Mr Bewlay as an ‘indie alt-pop maverick’ and we think this description captures his essence. Based in Cardiff, Mr Bewlay’s background in musical theatre informs the ambitious and flamboyant aesthetic of both his music as well as the project’s visual and aesthetic direction. A champion of LGBTQ+ causes, Mr Bewlay has also given talks and played at shows with the Welsh queer collective On Your Face. His 2022 EP ‘Electric Reason’ featured the singles ‘Her Name Is Juniper’ and ‘Wobbegong’, which received plays from 6 Music’s Amy Lame as well as BBC Radio Wales, Absolute Radio and XS Manchester. A confident creative with a fully-formed vision - there’s a lot more to come from Mr Bewlay.
NUMBER 15 THE FEENS
Hitting number 15 on our list is this indie guitar four piece full of rhythm and classic Kooks-esque hooks. Dubbed the ‘musical pride of Scarborough’ by Soccer AM’s Fenners two years ago they stormed into the airwaves with their debut EP ‘Step Outside’ in early October. Their shared love of guitar music is all over this EP and the dual vocal of Freddie Schmuck & Adam Lodge harmonises wonderfully on the single, ‘Eyes Open’. They had plenty of success in radio, getting plays from Sirius XM, BBC Introducing and a huge 38 plays from Amazing radio with Charlie Ashcroft describing the band as “One of our favourite bands from recent memory”. But the high point for these incredible bunch has to be the BBC radio 1 play they earned from Phil Taggart who noted that The Feens are, “indie rock'n'roll done very very well. It's got the melancholy and melodrama that comes with good indie music.”
NUMBER 14 TEENAGE SEQUENCE
Acid-tongued solo act Teenage Sequence pulls no punches. The multi-instrumentalist (real name: Dewan-Dean Soomary) tells witty, relatable tales of the tribulations and humiliations of modern life, casting a raised-eyebrow over everything from dating and partying to the music industry and day-to-day racism. ‘D.I.S. Connect’, the latest single from Teenage Sequence, channels the likes of Hot Chip and early Metronomy; an irresistible connection that led to plays from a host of big names including Steve Lamacq on 6 Music, Gemma Bradley on Radio 1, John Kennedy on Radio X and Charlie Ashcroft on Amazing Radio. A recent headline show at the Shacklewell Arms (featuring an all British-Asian lineup) was the feather in the cap of Teenage Sequence’s brilliant year.
NUMBER 13 IDESTROY
There’s nothing unlucky about the number 13 spot on our list going to IDESTROY. The Bristolian girl punk group are just that; a brilliant display of breathtaking Bristolian buzz and punk. Their single ‘Jellyfish’, which came out in April ahead of their debut headline tour, is a relentless hit of energy with playful vocals around the idea of relationships being like these sea creatures; beautiful from the outside but they can sting if you get too close. And as such they claimed huge successes from this single, getting plenty of plays from John Kennedy on Radio X, and Sirius XM. However, the pick of the plays has to be the shoutout from BBC 6 Music’s Amy Lame. She was so enamoured with the band that she noted they have, “Lots of riot grrrl sizzle, made for mosh pits they describe themselves as party punk for misfits and I’m totally down for that!”
NUMBER 12 SUPERA MORZA
One of a number of bands formed during the pandemic era, Supera Morza are a young, Manchester-based punk/grunge act who draw influence from alternative acts of yesteryear such as Alice In Chains, Sonic Youth and early Nirvana. Their two 2022 singles ‘Dull’ and ‘Damageland’ are short, sharp and ferocious works of impassioned aggression, laying waste to the ills of the contemporary world. Radio 1’s Jack Saunders lauded Supera Morza, saying “if you want to fall in love with guitar music, this might be it”. The likes of R1’s Gemma Bradley, 6 Music’s Tom Robinson, Shell Zenner and Charlie Ashcroft at Amazing Radio and Sachin Turakhin at Boogaloo Radio all expressed similar sentiments about Supera Morza on their respective shows, which speaks volumes about the potential of this band.
NUMBER 11 THE DREAM MACHINE
Just missing out on our top 10 but still proving they’ve had a huge 2022 is The Dream Machine. This Liverpool based indie-pop neo-psychedelic rock outfit have been busy this year coming out with three releases. First, single ‘Wild One’ came out in April this year ahead of their third EP release ‘Vol 3: Pooch Slingers’ Wild Round-Up’. Then they released the single ‘TV Baby/ Satan’s Child’ in October ahead of their vinyl release of their collective EP’s so far. And finally we’ve been working with them on their brand new single ‘Children, My England’ ahead of its release in the new year and the release of their debut LP. Their range is astounding, ‘Wild One’ being a woozy guitar track that’s almost acoustic sounding like Kurt Vile yet ‘TV Baby/Satan’s child is utterly terrifying in the best possible way! And as such they’ve had amazing radio success from the likes of BBC Introducing. But the real top of that peak is the impressive five plays they’ve had on BBC 6 Music this year from Radcliffe and Maconie’s show and also indie guru Steve Lamacq!
THE BEST OF 2022
We are counting down our top campaigns from the year kicking off with our Honourable Mentions: some great campaigns that didn't quite squeeze into the top 20 campaigns of the year! Each campaign has been reviewed and allocated ranking based on what plays they got and how impactful each campaign has been. To listen through some of the tracks just click on our underlined song titles and peruse some incredible tunes. We hope you enjoy taking a walk through the brilliant artists we have represented this year! Also check out the music videos for our honourable mentions at the bottom of our list below!
Honourable Mention: TV People
First up on our BEST OF YEAR campaigns - in at #26 (and please note our positions are based on the actual airplay clients achieved over BBCR1, BBCR2, BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio X, BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Wales, Amazing Radio and SiriusXM) are Dublin’s TV People with ‘You Were Loved’. Now stripped back to a duo, this post-punk outfit channel raw emotions and sensitivity, which they combine with spry, gothic instrumentation. ‘You Were Loved’ was written after a close friend took their own life, heady subject matter which TV People handle with tact and care. Plays from the likes of XS London and Manchester, Amazing Radio and Bombshell Radio attest the track’s excellence.
Honourable Mention: Jagged Baptist Club
Squeaking just into our 25 best releases this year is Jagged Baptist Club. The Los Angeles based post-punk dance rock outfit put out their only single of 2022, ‘Temptation Death House’ in April of this year. The four piece band previously had exceptionally successful releases in 2021 with their single ‘Chop x8’ and in 2019 with debut album ‘Reptile Super Show’. This great form was topped off by an EP of remixes they released this year and ‘Temptation Death House’ preceded that release. Being the only single of the year explains the relatively low placement on our list as the band certainly don’t lack indie disco art rock flair nor endless amounts of foot tapping rhythm - earning them plenty of love from Radio X’s John Kennedy. Also this was one of the tracks that had a renaming due to the Russia Ukraine war, originally issued as Temptation Death House, it featured on air and on Radio X, XPosure Playlist as ‘Temptation House’.
Honourable Mention: Uzumaki
At number 24 on our list is London’s Uzumaki. The quartet take influence from nineties grunge and all the aesthetics surrounding this era - think posters of bands on bedroom walls and the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. Their first two singles ‘Tired’ and ‘Screw Loose’, both released in 2021, gained support from the likes of BBC Introducing and their 2022 singles ‘Laughed’ and ‘Loserella’ saw them ascend to further heights. The raucous slacker anthem ‘Loserella’ saw plays from the likes of Nels Hylton on his Radio 1 Future Alternative show, Amy Lame on 6 Music and Charlie Ashcroft on Amazing Radio. The future’s looking very bright for this young band.
Honourable Mention : Luke Fraser
At the 23rd spot of our list is Kent based singer songwriter Luke Fraser. His brand of smoky baroque fusion between lounge pop and indie jazz was painted lusciously all over his debut album ‘Moth Eaten Romeo’ which came out in late October this year. Singles, ‘Hardly Think Of You At All’, ‘Things Can Only Get Better’, ‘Bored To Tears’ and ‘Over Love’ off the album earned Luke plenty of airtime from BBC Introducing Kent, including a live session with Abbie McCarthy. However, my personal highlight comes in the form of the opening track ‘Dead is Done’. A hauntingly beautiful song, full of the macabre and the baroque that displays Luke’s impressive control over melody and really seemed to fit in with the Halloween time release of the album - and earned itself a play or two by Radio X’s John Kennedy.
Honourable mention: John Adams
Hailing from Aberdare in the South Wales valleys, singer-songwriter John Adams has been variably described as “an absolutely huge talent” by Amazing Radio’s Charlie Ashcroft and “what a voice” by Claire Balding on Radio 2. Inspired by an encouraging audition for The X Factor, John has continued to pursue his dreams and in the process has achieved wide acclaim and accrued millions of streaming plays across various different platforms. His stunning 2022 single ‘Amen’ received plays on, amongst other stations, BBC Introducing Wales and Shell Zenner’s Amazing Radio show as well as on BBC Radio 2, where Jason Mohammed said the track “brought a tear to his eye”. It’s hard to disagree with his assessment of John’s formidable talents.
Honourable Mention: The Flitz
Number 21 comes in the form of West London indie dream team The Flitz. Off the back of three previous singles in previous years they came back this August with the release of ‘1995’. A dreamy slice of indi-pop with the bones of classic 60s songwriting of inspirations like the Beatles. Their sound most similarly equates to something akin to a modern day band like Blossoms; sugary ambience with lilting vocal upon vocal and an intrepid yearning for times gone by. It’s an ethos at the heart of indie music; taking pieces from the past, stylings, melody, aesthetics and molding them together into something new. And this brought them a radio play from Nels Hylton on Radio 1 which earned them the number 21 spot on our list.