Sunday, December 30, 2018

Best Music of 2018

It's that time of year again.

This will be my one and only post of the year. I'm still going to do the big reveal countdown-style, but I'm just going to keep adding to this post, so stay tuned for more to come. As I do so, I'll share video/audio of some of my favorite songs and/or stuff by artists new to the list, but probably not much more commentary beyond that.

Also, here's a link to a 2018 Spotify playlist that I'll be building as I go.

If you're one of the few loyal enough to return to pay attention to the music I care about, thank you. I hope you had a great year and a great many to come.


50. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Sparkle Hard

49. Wussy - What Heaven is Like

48. Son Lux - Brighter Wounds

47. Death Cab for Cutie - Thank You for Today

46. Okkervil River - In the Rainbow Room

45. PinegroveSkylight

44. Alejandro Escovedo - The Crossing

43. Eric Bachmann - No Recover

42. Darlingside -Extralife

41. Rolling Blackouts Coastal FeverHope Downs

2018 was a good year for Australian bands...

40. Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt

39. Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog

38. Eleanor FriedbergerRebound

37. Beach Slang - Everything Matters but No One is Listening (Quiet Slang)

36. Hinds - I Don’t Run

35. Wild NothingIndigo

34. TyphoonOfferings

33. Neil Young - ROXY: Tonight’s the Night Live

The first of two live records by older artists in my top 50.

32. Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny

31. Neko Case - Hell-On

30. Natalie Prass - The Future and the Past

29. Metric - Art of Doubt

28. Phosphorescent - C’est La Vie

27. Alela DianeCusp

26. Loretta Lynn - Wouldn’t it Be Great

25. The Jayhawks - Back Roads and Abandoned Motels

24. Marianne Faithfull - Negative Capability

23. J Mascis - Elastic Days

22. The Essex Green - Hardly Electronic

21. Dirty Projectors - Lamp Lit Prose

Pretty sure you'll either love this song or you'll hate it.

20. Saintseneca - Pillar of Na

19. Lucy DacusHistorian

18. Mastersystem - Dance Music

Scott Hutchison posthumously delivers the most heartbreaking lyric of the year:

I missed the summer, but didn’t care.
There will always be another, if I make it to next year.

17. TomberlinAt Weddings

This, however, is both the saddest and most beautiful song of the year.

16. Half WaifLavender

15. Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar

14. U.S. Girls - In a Poem Unlimited

13. Arctic MonkeysTranquility Base Hotel & Casino

12. St. VincentMassEducation

11. Soccer MommyClean

10. Middle KidsLost Friends

The second of three Australian bands in my top 50 and the first of two, of course, in the top ten.

9. Nap Eyes - I’m Bad Now

One of only two male-centric acts in this year's top ten.

8. Bruce SpringsteenSpringsteen on Broadway

I like Bruce, but I’m by no means a huge fan. That said, this is an amazing performance, in my opinion. If you haven’t heard it yet, and if you’re a Netflix subscriber, I suggest experiencing it that way your first time. I laughed. I cried. I fell in love with "The Wish," Springsteen's tribute to his mother. I even gained a newfound appreciation for "Dancing in the Dark."

7. Sugarland - Bigger

This one is a bit outside the norm for me, but the songs are super catchy and many of the themes hit home. Also, as I alluded to earlier, I'm a sucker for songs that are tributes to mothers.

6. Janelle MonĂ¡eDirty Computer

5. Camp CopeHow to Socialize & Make Friends

I believe this is the first top five finish for a band from the southern hemisphere.

4. Lori McKennaThe Tree

Every artist in my top ten so far has achieved that distinction for the first time, however two of the top three have been here before.

3. Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour

Kacey's second top three finish in the past four years.

2. The AcesWhen My Heart Felt Volcanic

This year's highest-ranking Americans and debut artists.

1. CHVRCHESLove is Dead

The Scottish indie pop trio scores their second top three in the past four years and their first album to top my year-end list.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading!

Monday, January 01, 2018

Best Music of 2017

As it turns out, I couldn't even get it together to do this countdown style this year, so here is the complete list of my favorite albums of 2017. Also, here is a Spotify playlist if you're interested in a sampling of these albums.

Happy New Year!

30. Elbow - Little Fictions
29. Jesu and Sun Kil Moon - 30 Seconds to the Decline of Planet Earth
28. Roger Waters - Is This the Life We Really Want?
27. Son Volt - Notes of Blue
26. Ryan Adams - Prisoner
25. The Clientele - Music for the Age of Miracles
24. Stars - There is No Love in Fluorescent Light
23. Wolf Parade - Cry Cry Cry
22. Craig Finn - We All Want the Same Things
21. Anders Parker - The Man Who Fell from Earth
20. Dan Auerbach - Waiting on a Song
19. Matt Pond PA - Still Summer
18. The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions
17. Real Estate - In Mind
16. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up
15. Old 97’s - Graveyard Whistling
14. John Moreland - Big Bad Luv
13. Conor Oberst - Salutations
12. HAIM - Something to Tell You
11. Shout Out Louds - Ease My Mind
10. Lorde - Melodrama
9. Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder
8. Sampha - Process
7. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound
6. The Districts - Popular Manipulations
5. Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me
4. The xx - I See You
3. The National - Sleep Well Beast
2. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding
1. Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now