My Favorite Albums And Songs Of 2015 (So Far)

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This isn’t so much a list of the few albums and songs that I loved more than anything else in 2015 as it is a list of the music that I’ve listened to the most and have the strongest associations to this year. When I think of 2015, I think of these albums and songs.

Also, to say that the following albums and songs are “the best” is dumb, so I’m going to say that these are my favorites of 2015 so far aka some music from 2015 that you should check out if you haven’t already.

Here are my 10 favorite albums, in alphabetical order:

Alabama Shakes – ‘Sound & Color’

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Belle & Sebastian – “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance’

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Courtney Barnett – ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’

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Jamie xx – ‘In Colour’

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Jeff Rosenstock – ‘We Cool?’

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Juan Wauters – “Who Me?”

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Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’

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Natalie Prass – ‘Natalie Prass’

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Tobias Jesso Jr. – ‘Goon’

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Will Butler – ‘Policy’

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Honorable Mentions: Algiers (‘Algiers’), Blur (‘The Magic Whip’), Father John Misty (‘I Love You, Honeybear’), Hop Along (‘Painted Shut’), Josh Rouse (‘The Embers Of Time’), and State Champion (‘Fantasy Error’).

And here are my 20 favorite songs, in alphabetical order. To make things more interesting, I didn’t include any songs that came from any of my favorite albums (because most of those songs would be on this list).

Beach Slang – “Too Late to Die Young”


 

Best Coast – “Feeling Ok”


 

Carly Rae Jepsen – “I Really Like You”


 

Chromatics – “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around”


 

Colleen Green – “TV”


 

Craig Finn – “Newmyer’s Roof”


 

Dawes – “Don’t Send Me Away”


 

Desaparecidos – “MariKKKopa”


 

Diet Cig – “Scene Sick”


 

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – “Sunday Candy”


 

Downtown Boys – “Dancing In The Dark”


 

Hop Along – tie between “The Knock” and “Happy to See Me”


 

Hot Chip – “Huarache Lights”


 

Kacey Musgraves – “Dime Store Cowgirl”


 

Leon Bridges – “Smooth Sailin'”


 

Panda Bear – “Mr. Noah”

(The single came out last October, but I heard it for the first time when I listened to this year’s ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’, so I’m including it on this list.)


 

Sam Outlaw – “Jesus Take the Wheel (And Drive Me to a Bar)”


 

Sufjan Stevens – “Death with Dignity”


 

Titus Andronicus – “Dimed Out”


 

Tobias Jesso Jr. – “True Love”

(note: this song technically wasn’t on ‘Goon’, so I don’t feel bad about including TJJ on here)


 

And in case you missed it, here’s a Spotify playlist that I update throughout the year of all the songs that I like this year.

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Week In Review (3/13/15)

Album Of The Week: Will Butler – Policy

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All throughout Will Butler’s solo debut is that sense of looseness and fun that reminds me of Funeral, but take away any association with Arcade Fire and Policy still stands strong as an engaging and lean listening experience that combines Chuck Berry, gospel, and Talking Heads in all the right ways. My favorite song might be “Son Of God”.

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Leapling – “Crooked”

Don’t mind the creepy puppets.

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Shura – “2Shy”

Someone has been listening to No Jacket Required.

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Tom Misch – “Oh Baby”

Oh yeah

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Downtown Boys – “Monstro”

Why aren’t there more saxophones in punk songs? Why don’t more political punk songs sound this good? These are the important questions.

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I’m kinda late to the Tobias Jesso Jr. party, but I’m glad I’m here now.

Reminds me of John Lennon with his direct writing and simple arrangements. Well done.

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Christine and the Queens – “Tilted”

Tilted as in the new social app? Probably not, but I still dig the song.

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The Amazing – “Circles”

Dreamy guitars make me happy.

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Wait, I thought it was Snoop Lion now? Meh who cares, this song is groovy

And that’s Charlie Wilson on the track aka the guy from “Bound 2”. Pharrell is also the producer here, so that explains why it sounds like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up”.

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Madeon – “Home”

Is that you Sigur Rós? Actually no, but it’s a worthy comparison.

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Well I never thought I’d ever say this, but I really like the new Wiz Khalifa song off the Furious 7 soundtrack.

Probably has more to do with Charlie Puth’s great vocal accompaniment. Song starts at 16 second mark.

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New Sufjan Stevens song yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

Though I prefer the more ambitious Illinois, Stevens’s return to his purist folk roots sounds fantastic.

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A Grave With No Name – “I Will Ride A Horse”

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The perfect name for someone who writes beautiful and sad country rock songs via Gram Parsons and Ryan Adams.

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Bakermat – “Another Man”

These are the kind of remixes that I can dig.

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G.L.O.S.S. – “G.L.O.S.S. (We’re From The Future)”

For fans of Pussy Riot (which honestly should be everyone, since no one is making this good of political punk on this side of the world). This album is so good, and you can download it for whatever price you want via bandcamp!

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Ellie Goulding’s cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” is surprisingly understated, but still good

When are we going to hear any new original music from her? Hopefully soon.

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Kisses to the Sky, the new album by Raleigh, NC band Oulipo, is worth your time

If you’re patient with the album, it grows on you in unexpected ways.

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It’s nice to see a metal band with a sense of humor

Bad Guys’ new album Bad Guynaecology (yep, seriously) is a fun metal album that doesn’t take itself seriously while also sounding good. Make sure to check it out.

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Young Fathers – “Shame”

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Uh, what genre is this? Whatever it is, I need more of it in my life.

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HONNE – “Coastal Love”

Spring Break here I come. I’ll be away for my break, so no posting all next week. See y’all later!

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Playlist: Zach Braff’s iPod

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This new playlist combines many of the songs from the Garden State and Scrubs soundtracks in addition to some other songs that I think match Braff’s great range of taste in music. There are also some songs on here from his new movie Wish I Was Here released in limited release July 18th.

 

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Playlist: The Ultimate Spotify Christmas Playlist

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The holiday season is a great time to justify many things, from eating too much, to waiting too long in line at the mall to get a good deal, to drinking a little too much eggnog while your extended family comes over. But there is no such thing as too much Christmas music. I’ve made for y’all a Spotify playlist that contains over two hours of the classics (and hidden gems) of this special genre.

Here is my ultimate Spotify Christmas playlist. Happy holidays!

 

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Playlist: 20 Songs For October 2013 (Happy Halloween!)

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Happy Halloween everyone! This month’s playlist includes new music from Haim, Danny Brown, Pearl Jam, Dismemberment Plan, Fall Out Boy, and Arcade Fire. I also pay tribute to Lou Reed, and I threw in a special halloween song from Ryan Adams.

Here are my 20 songs for October 2013.

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Playlist: 20 Songs From May 2013 (Via Spotify)

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In May we said goodbye to a legend from the 60s, we all listened to new albums from Daft Punk, The National and Vampire Weekend (and they were all good!), and I listened to a lot of Brit-Pop (more specifically I listened to a lot of music from the Brit-Pop era).

Here are my 20 songs from May 2013.

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Playlist: 15 Songs For April 2012 (Via Spotify)

Time for some April showers – of good music that is.  This month’s mix is a little more on the rocking side, but there’s something here for everyone.  I even threw in a classical piece for all my sophisticated viewers out there.

Here are my 15 songs for April 2012.

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Top Lists: Top Bob Dylan Covers

Part 2 of his 70th birthday celebration!

I just did a list of my favorite Bob Dylan songs, now here are my favorite Dylan cover songs.  If you cannot get over this guy’s voice – you know who you are – maybe you’ll appreciate his songwriting when someone else does his songs.  Some of these covers are very familiar (I think we’ve all heard Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower” many times) while others are unexpectedly great (how about Dave Matthews doing “All Along The Watchtower”?).  Most of these songs are from the soundtrack to the Bob Dylan movie I’m Not There, highly recommend for any Dylan fan and even for those unfamiliar with him.  Hopefully these songs make you appreciate this man more before he bites the dust – he isn’t going to be around forever!

Jack Johnson/The Band – “I Shall Be Released”

Jimi Hendrix/Dave Matthews Band – “All Along The Watchtower”

Yo La Tengo – “Fourth Time Around”

Jeff Tweedy – “Simple Twist Of Fate”

Calexico and Charlotte Gainsbourg – “Just Like A Woman”

The Hold Steady – “Can I Please Crawl Out Your Window?”

The Black Keys – “The Wicked Messenger”

Jason Mraz – “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”

Calexico and Roger McGuinn – “One More Cup Of Coffee”

Mason Jennings – “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”

Calexico and Jim James – “Goin’ to Acapulco”

Sufjan Stevens – “Ring Them Bells”

Norah Jones – “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”

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Playlist: 10 Great Songs About Chicago

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Soundtrack to the Windy City. If I missed any songs, comment below!

Sufjan Stevens – “Chicago”

Wilco – “Via Chicago”

Robert Johnson – “Sweet Home Chicago”

Kanye West – “Homecoming”

Frank Sinatra – “My Kind of Town”

Spoon – “Chicago at Night”

The Hold Steady – “Chicago Seemed Tried Last Night”

Ryan Adams – “Dear Chicago”

Freddy Cole – “On The South Side of Chicago”

Tom Waits – “Chicago”

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