READERS’ CHOICE 2022
The Fifth Annual Edition of Reader’s Choice opens with a single song appetizer and moves to a 91-song playlist feast.
• VICTORIA WRITER Helene Meurer presents a choice meant to inspire – the tight and lively Heaven by Los Lonely Boys, a trio of brothers from San Angelo, TX. They call their style Texican rock’n’roll which blends blues, soul, country and Tex-Mex.
• MUSIC ENTHUSIAST Jan Vochten draws on a number of divergent genres in his 91-song playlist – electronica, folk, classical, country, African, Middle Eastern and more. He brings deep knowledge and open, inquiring ears to this considered set of selections. Some of them highlight the blending of genres and artists. Examples include – Outkast and Norah Jones, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Massive Attack, Vieux Farka Touré and Khruangbin, Buddy Guy and Jason Isbell.
Other artists you’ll hear are Mavis Staples dueting with Valerie June; Spain’s Rosalia and Toronto’s The Weeknd teaming up; the heralded Pennsylvanian Alex G; Angel Olsen; Harry Styles; Julia Jacklin; Sharon Van Etten; Canada’s Weather Station, Arcade Fire, Mustafa and AHI; Brooklyn-based Arooj Aftab; internationally renowned Belgian performer Stromae and his friend the late, great Flemish rocker Arno.
Jan is my cousin and lives in Mortsel, Belgium. I’ve been lucky to have been learning about – and sharing – music with him since I was a teenager.
The 5th Annual Readers’ Choice
Kurated readers share their favourite music of the last year in the annual Readers’ Choice series. Anything musical is welcomed whether its new, an old favourite, something self-composed and more. Thanks to all the contributors!
Share it with your friends!
Stay tuned and enjoy,
ONE SONG: Heaven by Los Lonely Boys.
Why this song? The quick answer would be because Heaven is at once laid back and irresistibly danceable. But also, it is a lament – yet still full of hope. And in this era of ongoing utter turmoil, the song continues to lift me up and remind me that “heaven” is in fact right here, close at hand. When we are open, bite-sized reminders of heavenliness can be uncovered in the most unexpected places. 😉
About Helene: A writer and amateur musician, Helene explores her own bit of heaven while unabashedly making music with others.
91 songs on Spotify
LOOKING AT 19 PERFORMERS WHO MATTERED THIS YEAR
A list that includes the late Belgian rocker Arno, American Valerie June, the audacious Harry Styles and the smooth Weyes Blood
One of Belgium’s leading musicians, Arno, died in April of pancreatic cancer.
He was born in the same year as me and was an important part of my musical history.
He continued to write and perform until the end. Like Warren Zevon – who released his last
album, The Wind, two months before his death – Arno recorded his last record, Opex, which
was released posthumously, in his final weeks. Hailing from Ostend, he sang mainly in
English and French. In one of his last shows, he is joined by his colleague and friend Stromae,
finding the energy and power to stand up and sing Putain, Putain
Putain, Putain live with Arno and Stromae
Dans les yeux de ma mère One of his most famous songs
Je veux vivre From his last recording
O la la la Early work, lots of energy, his trademark
This one is inspired by my daughter. She attended his September concert in Antwerp and
loved it. We listened to his latest album together and agree it’s a good one.
As it was
Richard Thompson, Michael Jerome, Danny Thompson and Pete Zorn
Great song, incredible
Take care the road you choose
Live version on YouTube
Some young and new Belgian bands
• Haunted Youth: their first album (Dawn of the Freak) was a big surprise with catchy and – at times – dreamy songs: Shadows, Broken
• Sylvie Kreusch: Walk walk
• Lost Frequencies: Are you with me
• Tamino: Sunflower
World music 22
• Massive Attack: Mustt Mustt In the 1990’s I attended several concerts by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a Pakistani Sufi musician. This remix of his music with Massive Attack was new to me.
• Mdou Moctar: Chismiten
• Arooj Aftab: Bhagon Main
• Vieux Farka Touré: Gabo Ni Tie
Some new and old highlights
• Kaleo: Way down we go
• Angel Olsen: Big Time; All the flowers
• Valerie June: Fade into you ; Why the bright stars glow ; You and I
• Mustafa: What about heaven
• Arcade Fire: The lightening I and The lightening II
Check out the 91-song playlist
Listen to Spotify Readers’ Choice 22
About Jan: I’m 73 and living in Belgium. There were many new discoveries this year.
Some were inspired by my daughter Hanne, my cousin Sietse and Kurated. It’s also been a
good year for many young and new Belgian bands.