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Pens at the ready – let’s just say there’s quite a bit to take note off here. We’ve got so much to look forward to from all our labels across [PIAS] Label Group this year and while there’s definitely a few surprises still to come, we simply couldn’t wait to share some with you now. You can take our word, but even better – hear it first, direct from our wonderful labels. We recently spoke to each of them, and got the inside scoop on new music, albums, and signings, as well as their hopes and expectations for 2022.

 

We won’t get too emotional but we really are so proud of this family of independent labels and their artists – and if this is only a first preview of what’s to come, it seems like this year is truly shaping up to be one to remember.

 

In addition to the below, Different Recordings, Blue Flowers, and Point of Departure are each gearing up for another excellent year – one that, for now, they can’t spill the beans on just yet. You can rest assured, however, that when we know, you’ll know.

ASTRAL PEOPLE

Sent in by Tom Huggett from the Astral People team.

What can we look forward to from Astral People in 2022? Expect a few new signings to the label which take us back to Astral's club roots. Also possibly an international signing or two.

2022 will also see the release of Skeleten's debut album which we're all very excited about.

Outside of the label, we hope the world is back in shape at some point to get back to bringing the best international talent to Australia, including [PIAS]' very own Arlo Parks in August!
Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Astral People that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? We can't announce who our new signings are just yet...but we can tell you that Skeleten is going to continue his streak of beautiful downtempo chillout anthems all throughout 2022. What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? How can we go past the title of Milan Ring's debut album which was only released last month, 'I'm Feeling Hopeful'. Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? I can't go past Planningtorock. I think I've played 'Jam Fam' in every DJ Set of 2021. I'm very excited to see what they do next, fingers crossed an album?...

ATO RECORDS

Sent in by Jon Salter (President, ATO Records).

What can we look forward to from ATO Records in 2022? Continue to prioritize our artist development with tons of focus on extended 18-month campaigns – the nurturing and breaking of young new artists is our core business. We’re also doing everything we can to elevate our current acts that have been on the label through the years – and try to find new strategic ways to cut through. We’ve had preliminary discussions on starting a publishing division and curating our own (vinyl) record club – but still developing those ideas. Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at ATO Records that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? Nick Hakim continues to blow us away, we expect big things from Nick in 2022 as he’s finishing up a new album. Also, Honey Harper’s new album is incredible and will raise eyebrows for sure. I’m hoping Mattiel can break America in a significant way with her new music. Grace Cummings is going to melt audiences and we’re working to develop a new extraordinary act called Zooey Celeste who’s a Nick Hakim-produced protégé. What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? From Brittany Howard’s 'Stay High':

"So, don't question my state of mind
I'm doing wonderful, just fine, thank you
Everything is everything and everything is beautiful
(How did you get like that?)
See all I do is keep it cool and don't worry 'bout what everyone is doing
I already feel like doing it again, honey

I just want to stay high
I just want to stay high
I just want to stay high with you"
Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? I’m a big believer and fan of Arlo Parks – really excited about the Grammy nominations and how she’s breaking open. Kudos/congrats to [PIAS] America and Transgressive on Arlo. Obviously keeping an eye on Mattiel since we have her for America; same with Midlake/Bella Union – we work with them for America. Of course, the Father John Misty is something I’m really excited about for 2022 on Bella Union.

BELLA UNION

Sent in by Bella Union label boss, Simon Raymonde.

What can we look forward to from Bella Union in 2022? It's our 25th anniversary so...LOTS of things going on, as WELL as an incredible set of releases! A ton of special anniversary shows, a trip to a medieval castle in Sicily with 5 or 6 of our bands, hopefully a big 'weekender' at one of the UK's best venues (I can't reveal which yet!) with a takeover of a cinema and a church for related events, and a big trip to SXSW where again we have some pretty big plans (!) with Spiritualized, Beach House, Warmduscher, Father John Misty, C Duncan, to mention a few (that I'm allowed to!) It's already looking like one of our best years for releases. Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Bella Union that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? Well, predicting that kind of stuff is dangerous! You hope that all the new signings prove to be the dark horse that races through the field and surprises everyone by upsetting the odds. But for me, because I try and look at it holistically, just putting records out by artists that no one else would ever sign, is success enough. We have a choral album coming out, that is utterly gorgeous and spiritual, NEEDED if you like, and I am very excited by that. The artist (Blue Luminaire) is unknown, has never put music out before, therefore has no 'history', no streaming figures, no followers etc., and putting that out excites me enormously. What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? Things can seem bleak some days and have done for a while, and we all have dark thoughts I know, especially with parts of our industry so decimated, BC Camplight's 'I'm Alright In The World' resonates again.

"I walked out on winter lake
Hoping for the ice to break
It held long enough for me to think
I'm alright in the world
I'm alright in the world

So I went home and hugged the dog
He said, "Brian, what took you so long?
Thought I'd lost you in the morning fog"
I'm alright in the world
I'm alright in the world"
Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? I love most of the releases on Heavenly but very excited to get my bands on a copy of Confidence Man's 'Tilt', as long as it isn't a reworking of the whole of the Scott Walker album.

DON'T SLEEP

Sent in by Dean Bryce, Founder of Don’t Sleep.

What can we look forward to from Don't Sleep in 2022? We believe in working with artists who push culture forward so we’re planning on putting out more exciting, often genre-defying quality music. We’re in service to the music lovers and our goal is to provide soundtracks for their daily lives. Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Don't Sleep that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? Our very name means not to ignore so we champion all underdogs and outsiders who make really great music. We have a roster that we're really proud of and it’s difficult to name just one, but for 2022 we’d really encourage you to check out and keep an eye on Bad With Phones, carina, Loshh, Jessy Blakemore, and Luci. What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? Bad With Phones – 'ON1'. Simply because we’ll absolutely be on one again for 2022. Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? [PIAS] is home to so many quality independent labels and we’re proud to be a part of that movement. We’re really into what the team over at Transgressive are doing with Arlo Parks because they’ve had an incredible last few years. We hope to be in a similar position over the next few years. We’re also fans of the legendary Mute label.

HARMONIA MUNDI

Sent in by Christian Girardin, head of harmonia mundi.

What can we look forward to from harmonia mundi in 2022? 2022 is looking very good indeed! A happy alignment of the planets seems to preside over the release of several major albums all year long, from a gorgeous Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande under François-Xavier Roth up to the Vivaldi’s Upside Down Concertos led by Amandine Beyer! Meanwhile, René Jacobs will deliver two decisive treasures to a 45-year old (!) collaboration with harmonia mundi: Weber’s Freischütz (the first German 100% Romantic opera) and one of J.S. Bach’s masterworks, the Mass in B minor. Bach will be celebrated several times with a FANTASTIC version of the Matthäus Passion under Raphaël Pichon and a double point of view upon the 300-year Old Well-Tempered Clavier by Belgian Julien LIbeer on piano and French Benjamin Alard on keyboards. In France, we will also celebrate the 400th birthday of Molière, well represented in our catalogue…Big works!! Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at harmonia mundi that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? One of the new HM artists was already the underdog of 2021 and one year later, is nominated twice at the final tableau of les Victoires de la Musique Classique: Théotime Langlois de Swarte! In spite of his long and too French name (though..) He will make the cover of the prestigious UK magazine The Strad in January, and will release a new album dedicated to virtuoso Baroque violin concertos. But three other newcomers could make the surprise, I think about the incredible English violist Timothy Ridout who will record the Elgar’s Concerto, Louis Noël Bestion de Camboulas who is working at a very special concept named 'Mozart Unexpected' and the trumpet player Romain Leleu with his "cinematographic" concept album 'Move'. Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? I am always excited by the new projects of The Divine Comedy, Louis Chedid (next one with Yvan Cassar!) and, of course, Archive…but am ready to discover more.

HEAVENLY RECORDINGS

Sent in by Katherine Cantwell from the Heavenly Recordings team.

What can we look forward to from Heavenly Recordings in 2022? 2022 sees a packed release schedule for Heavenly...we are thrilled to welcome the return of 24-hour party people Confidence Man, Cardiff based musical polymath and multi-linguist Gwenno, the sound of the young North of England Working Men’s Club, Atlanta’s powerhouse rock’n’soulers Mattiel, Welsh mercurial pop maverick H. Hawkline, and Bristol’s finest country-pop star Katy J Pearson. Producer and composer David Holmes has fresh music featuring 'Hope Is The Last Thing To Die’ vocalist Raven Violet, whilst tracks from Unloved's up and coming third album will feature heavily in the fourth and final series of the hit TV show Killing Eve.

Plus new music from recent signings Fran Lobo, Revival Season, Eyes of Others, and OneDa.
Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Heavenly Recordings that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? The Orielles have just delivered LP#3 and with it, they have taken gloriously huge steps closer to the stars. What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? David Holmes – 'Hope Is The Last Thing To Die' Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? Gabe Gurnsey's new one out on Phantasy (Jeff's pick) and Let's Eat Grandma's 'Two Ribbons' coming on Transgressive (Katherine's pick).

MUTE

Sent in by Neil Blanket from the Mute team.

What can we look forward to from Mute in 2022? Another year full of amazing music! Brand new signings, debut albums, classic artists returning with new music, reworkings, remixes, live music. 2022 has it all! Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Mute that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? Obviously, everyone should check out all of our releases, but we’d suggest to keep an eye on HAAi, Desire Marea, and K Á R Y Y N. What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? "You can forget your job, you can forget your life, you’re gonna be a star"
Liars – 'Star Search' (from 'The Apple Drop')

This or something from Martin Gore’s 'The Third Chimpanzee' or Sunroof’s 'Electronic Music Improvisations Vol 1'.
Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? Very excited to see what Planningtorock is planning!

PHANTASY

Sent in by John Thorp from the Phantasy team.

What can we look forward to from Phantasy in 2022? We are excited to expand further on the new directions we began moving in following our one-hundredth release. Having kept our energies and spirits high over two difficult years, hopefully 2022 is when some new relationships begin to crystallise, while others are renewed. In short; expect lots of records. Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Phantasy that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? You’ll be hearing about ‘underdog’, Ruby Goon. A young musical genius from Moscow, we’re confident he’ll be more of an ‘overdog’ before long. Otherwise, the label is collectively looking forward to releasing new albums from Daniel Avery and Gabe Gurnsey later in 2022. Our recent, [PIAS]-collaborative release from Houeida Hedfi, 'Fleuves de l’Âme' continues to find an audience and impress, a truly slow-burn album that takes its time to slip under your skin. There should be more time for ‘slow-listening’ in 2022 (alongside plenty of faster moments on the dancefloor, naturally). What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? "It feels so nice, when we sync our energies"
Terr – 'Energy Sync'
Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? 'Tilt' by Confidence Man, from our good friends at Heavenly.

PLAY IT AGAIN SAM

Sent in by Stan Sorrell from the Play It Again Sam team.

What can we look forward to from Play It Again Sam in 2022? The eclectic sound of Play It Again Sam will continue into 2022 with some massively exciting projects on the horizon this year. Without giving too much away, you'll be hearing new music from some familiar faces and legendary Play It Again Sam artists over the next year. Make sure you stay up to date with our socials to be the first to hear about what's coming. We'll also have new projects from Morgan Harper-Jones, Kay Young, as well as some exciting new artists such as Rose Gray and Quinn Christopherson. Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Play It Again Sam that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? 2022 will be the year for Quinn Christopherson. The Ahtna Athabascan and Iñupiaq songwriter (born, raised, and based in Anchorage, Alaska) has been hard at work since bursting onto the scene in 2019 when he won NPR’s Tiny Desk competition. Since then, he has toured the US with Courtney Barnett, Lucy Dacus, Shura, Portugal The Man, released his EP 'I Am Bubblegum' and is now readying his highly anticipated debut album set for release this year. We can't wait for you to hear it! What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? "We can fight this thing together. Conquer anything!"
Kay Young – 'I've Got You'
Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? Really looking forward to the new Let's Eat Grandma. Their new track 'Happy New Year' is amazing! Also can't wait for the new Nilüfer Yanya record this spring, her debut album 'Miss Universe' in 2019 was so strong.

PROLIFICA INC.

Sent in by Sean Sprey from the Prolifica Inc. team.

What can we look forward to from Prolifica Inc. in 2022? Without giving too much away, we have a very busy and exciting year ahead…! Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Prolifica Inc. that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? We can’t pick just one! Childe and Just Wondering are definitely ones to watch for next year, we are all buzzing about them both for 2022. Keep your eyes and ears peeled… Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? We are big fans of everything coming out on Blue Flowers, and excited to see what Chris and the team will deliver in 2022.

SPEEDY WUNDERGROUND

Sent in by Pierre Hall from the Speedy Wunderground team.

What can we look forward to from Speedy Wunderground in 2022? We’re gonna be busier than we’ve ever been. As well as loads coming up in the single series – we’ll be releasing two highly anticipated debut albums – from Honeyglaze and The Lounge Society – which we’re SO excited for people to hear. They’re both completely different but definitely up there with the best things we’ve ever done. As well as that we’ve just signed FOUR more acts for future EPs/albums. We’re also gonna be planning for the label’s TENTH anniversary which falls in 2023 – and we have some HUGE things planned – here and abroad. More to be revealed. Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Speedy Wunderground that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? I think for us Joyeria is someone who we are super excited about. We put out his debut single 'Here Comes Trouble' a few months ago – and next year we’ll be releasing his debut EP. I can’t tell you too much about it/him but he has a sheer talent – and I can’t wait for people to hear the entire scope of what he is capable of, song-writing wise. What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? "I will spend my last breath singing"
The Lounge Society – 'Last Breath'

I love this – and think it just symbolises quite aptly the previous few years and what’s looking like the next one too. We have to hold/grasp onto those things that bring us joy and hope in these dark times. And that’s what we are doing. It’s a call to arms.
Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? Loads of things – but to pick out a couple – I heard the new Working Men’s Club album a while back and I loved it. They’re just getting better and better and that’s a huge record for our friends, Heavenly. Also, the new Spiritualized record on Bella Union is fantastic, as expected – and as always – the artwork/packaging is a thing of pure beauty.

TIGER TONE RECORDS

Sent in by Tony Hoffer, Founder and head of Tiger Tone Records.

What can we look forward to from Tiger Tone Records in 2022? Tiger Tone will be focusing on breaking DEVORA and VHS Collection in 2022. Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Tiger Tone Records that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? I really like what we’ve got coming from both DEVORA and VHS Collection this year so I’m quite excited about expanding on what we did in 2021. Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? Looking forward to more LP, Black Pumas, and Nation of Language.

TRANSGRESSIVE

Sent in by Tim Dellow, Co-Founder of Transgressive.

What can we look forward to from Transgressive in 2022? It's fair to say that our artists have been really inspired and we've been working hard with them to bring you some incredible new music, and one of our busiest years yet, with substantial new works from some of our biggest returning artists. We want to keep a few things a surprise, but kicking off in the UK with the debut album from MICHELLE, and globally the essential third album from Let's Eat Grandma which really is one of the most brilliant works we've been involved with, as well as the long-awaited new album from Moonchild Sanelly which are going to set the tone for quite a year. Who do you think may be the underdog? Is there a new artist or new signing at Transgressive that people should check out next year or perhaps an artist that is going to step out of the shadows in 2022 and surprise us all? I wouldn't describe them as underdogs by any stretch, but some projects that we're deeply excited that are delivering major new, game-changing music include Dave Okumu who is in the studio working on his full-length proper following, Knopperz, and it's shaping up to be a substantial and important work – challenging, beautiful and deeply personal. Julien Chang will return with his second album which is a creative leap forward from a prodigious talent, and will surely be a big part of the soundtrack for next year and beyond. What artist lyric from your label roster from the past year best sums up your hopes and expectations for the forthcoming year (and/or the future...)? This one from The Antlers' 'Green To Gold':

"Morning's bright, the ancient ice withdraws
I take one step and the ground begins to thaw
Tiny grasses spring up 'round my shoe
Eager bits of green start peeking through"
Stepping away from your own label roster for a moment, what 2022 album/new music release or artist from another label within the [PIAS] Label Group are you looking forward to? Oooh...some great other music on the way I'm sure! We're all big fans of audiobooks on Heavenly so hoping for more from them...Lots of love here for Beach House on Bella Union – they always make such stunning and complete albums. Phantasy are re-releasing one of our all-time favourites and Transgressive alumni The Mystery Jets second album, which Erol of course produced. It's going to be a great year all round...

⇥ Accompanied by a Live Concert Film, Liars’ Otherworldly Tenth Album Has Landed

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