Kisanet Bezabih


here’s what i’ve been listening to since 2022 started

January 7, 2022

We’re officially done with our first week of 2022, which means the year is in full swing. Some of us have already started with setting in motion plans that will shape the rest of the year. There’s palatable excitement in the air anticipating what this year could bring forth and I, for one am excited about how artists elevate their game to new heights. For the past two years, we’ve seen how creativity can blossom in constraint environments due to the pandemic. With the world adapting to the pandemic, there’s more confidence from artists to push their creative boundaries beyond previous limitations. While getting into a new year routine, setting plans, here’s what I have been listening to so far.

Kevin Holliday: “Expensive Taste”: Today, bubbling Brooklyn artist Kevin Holliday unveils his latest release “Expensive Taste.” The upbeat, bass-slapping track sees the independent artist channel everything that made the 80s iconic through a contemporary lens. The heavily funk-inspired sound will feel nostalgic for oldies lovers, while Holliday ensures that he stands out from present-day peers. The shimmering production by Chasen Smith (a frequent collaborator with rising artists Binki and more) supports the songwriter’s clever juxtapositions and is a perfect backdrop for Holliday to paint a picture of a failing relationship steeped in vanity.

Kobi Onyame: “My Prayer”: It’s only right I start this year with a prayer and manifest all things good for 2022. The track itself is Kobi’s own manifesto for better race relations. According to the Glasgow artist and producer, “The sooner we rid ourselves of the social construct of race, the better things will be. I say ‘see no colour, in your brother’ as a way to say the construct of race plays no role in the character and culture of a person”.

Knomad Spock: “Winter Of Discontent”: I got introduced to Knomad Spock through my colleague, Nathan Leigh’s article recently when he wrote, “As we head into yet another winter of uncertainty and needless pain, the transformative poetry of British-Somali artist Knomad Spock perfectly captures the mixture of mourning and hope.” Having survived the past two years, I feel it’s appropriate to start the year with a song which “asks for absolute honesty and unconditional love and tries to freeze time in the space between the question and the answer.”

Blvck Hippie: “If You Feel Alone At Parties”: Throughout Blvck Hippie’s impressive If You Feel Alone At Parties there’s a tension around admitting your true feelings. Singer Josh Shaw trades lines back and forth apologizing for baring too much, apologizing for not showing enough, asking others for honesty, and pleading for them to shield him from the unbearable truth. Throughout his fuzzed-out indie anthems, there’s a constant question of honesty, blame, and frustration. It’s an album that wrestles endlessly with the feeling that you don’t know what you want, you just know it’s not this.

Espacio Dios: “The Knowing”: If there’s anything I am sure of, it’s that Espacio Dios is a musical genius that has carved his own lane and is constantly reinventing himself. With every new release, he flexes his musicality and introduces a new dimension to his fans. “The Knowing” looks at the idea of self-awareness and gratitude. Espacio Dios chants reminders to appreciate the journey, the gifts it has brought, and the moments in the present. Sometimes we are in a constant state of chasing the things that we want, this record reminds us to be grateful for all that we already have.

So far the bar has been set high, so I am excited about what the rest of the year has to offer in music.