From memoirs to essays, here’s a look at Happy Mag’s top five favourite book releases for music lovers in 2022.
There’s been no shortage of book releases for music enthusiasts this year – from candid autobiographies that chronicle the lives of our favourite Aussie acts, to thought-provoking essays on trailblazers throughout music history.
It wasn’t easy narrowing it down to five, but we gave it our best shot. So without further ado, here are the five best books for music lovers released in 2022!
1. Nick Cave & Sean O’Hagan – Faith, Hope and Carnage
Released in September, Faith, Hope and Carnage offers a deep dive into the inner world of Nick Cave. Candidly exploring topics of grief, art, faith, music, freedom and love, it chronicles over 40 hours of intimate conversations between Cave and Irish journalist, Sean O’Hagan. Using his records Ghosteen, Skeleton Tree and Carnage as exemplars, the Australian music icon breaks down his creative process, making reference to writing via hallucination and improvisation, his relationship to religion, the importance of vulnerability, and much more. BUY HERE.
2. Dan Charnas – Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla
Dan Charna’s biographical release, Dilla Time provides fascinating insights into the life and work of the late and pioneering hip hop producer, J Dilla, who passed away from complications relating to lupus in 2006. As stated Charna, a journalist and record executive, “what Dilla created was a third path of rhythm,” leading to a “new, pleasurable, disorienting rhythmic friction and a new time-feel: Dilla Time.” BUY HERE.
3. Joe Coscarelli – This Woman’s Work: Essays on Music
This book chronicles the work of women in music history who “kicked in doors, as pioneers of their craft or making politics central to their sound,” introducing a fresh perspective on the “vast spectrum of women in music.” Edited by Kim Gordon and Sinéad Gleeson, it comprises essays by 16 female critics who offer a “radical departure from the historic narrative of music and music writing being written by men, for men,” and challenge the sexism long-embedded in literature, film and music. BUY HERE.
4. Nick Duerden – Exit Stage Left: The afterlife of pop stars
A Sunday Times, Guardian and Telegraph Music Book of the Year, Nick Duerden’s entertaining and widely-praised Exit Stage Left offers a candid glimpse into “what happens when the brightest stars fall back down to earth.” Comprising stories involving “drug addiction, bankruptcy, depression and divorce,” as well as those of “optimism, a genuine love of the craft, humility and hope,” Duerden’s book dives deep into a culture obsessed with fame and what happens when it’s gone. It also features interviews with the likes of Robbie Williams, Bob Geldof, Shaun Ryder, Roisin Murphy, Stewart Copeland, Billy Bragg and other stars. BUY HERE.
5. Shana Goldin-Perschbacher – Queer Country
Fusing cultural research with historical analysis, Shana Goldin-Perschbacher shines a spotlight on the “queer and transgender country and Americana artists have made essential contributions as musicians, performers, songwriters, and producers.” Discussing the works of renowned queer artists including k.d. lang and Amy Ray, Queer Country offers a reinterpretation of “country and Americana music, through the lives and work of artists forced to the margins of the genres history.” BUY HERE.