Friday, January 8, 2016

The Return of Guest List Week: Scott's Best of 2015

[Hey, do you guys remember 2015? We do! There was some great music, and we're not done talking about it. It's the Return of Guest List Week! With Scott Lawson!]



Scott Lawson’s Best of 2015 List 

As in previous years, my list is of songs representative of the best albums of the year. So, if you like any of these songs, check out the albums.

Courtney Barnett, “Depreston”—Her songwriting is like no one else’s. It’s totally mundane and completely not mundane.

Father John Misty, “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.”—He is wicked. He is hilarious. He is wickedly hilarious. “Josh Tillman” is one of the meanest/funniest songs ever. It’s “Positively Fourth Street” for Millenials.

Calexico, “Falling from the Sky”—Although I have always loved this band and their mariachi horns, I love the addition of the Moog line. This is their best album yet. 

Sufjan Stevens, “Fourth of July”—The first time I heard this song was (oddly) on the radio and I had to pull the car over. You’ll only appreciate this song if you’re a parent or the child of a parent. Beautiful. Sad.

J.D. McPherson, “You Must Have Met Little Caroline”—The second I heard this song, I knew that my band had to play it. It cooks.

Pops Staples, “Somebody Was Watching”—One of the great guitarists and vocalists comes back from the dead and kills it.

James McMurtry, “You Got to Me”—Just one of a dozen breathtakingly literate and heartfelt songs on an amazing record.

Kurt Vile, “Pretty Pimpin’”—The jam song of the year.

William Elliot Whitmore, “Ain’t Gone Yet”—This is a classic soul ballad. Sort of an antidote to Sufjan Stevens. 

Waxahatchee, “Under a Rock”—I love everything about this song and this album. The single fact that this album and Courtney Barnett’s were released in the same year makes it a great year for music.

Great Lake Swimmers, “Zero in the City”—These guys can’t make a bad album.

John Moreland, “Cherokee”—Enjoy John Moreland while you can. He doesn’t look well—and sounds a little depressed.

Great Peacock, “Take Me to the Mountain”—They do a kind of a Head and the Heart thing, but it’s good.

Lilly Hiatt, “Too Bad”—“You think the townies even give a shit? They’re drinkin’ their dinner just to deal with it.” 

The Mountain Goats, “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero”—I don’t know how it happened, but this song has become my jam. One listen and I’m coming off the top rope.

Rocky Votolato, “Let Go”—I always like singers who release songs that sound like early Ryan Adams.

Sharon Van Etten, “I Don’t Want to Let You Down”—I’m just thankful SVE released something this year.

Chris Stamey, “Where Does the Time Go?”—All these years after the dBs and Stamey is still writing great quirky pop songs.

Lee Harvey Osmond, “Hey Hey Hey”—He is more than just a great band name.  (Not on Spotify, Soundcloud link below)


Jim White vs. The Packway Handle Band, “Smack Dab in a Big Tornado”—These guys would be great at a house party.

Phoebe Bridgers, “Killer”—With Kathleen Edwards retired, I was thrilled to hear this record. 

Sorority Noise, “Art School Wannabe”—This is poppy, smart and sardonic.

Purity Ring, “Stillness in Woe”—Soak in the atmosphere, and the cool melodies.

Mew, “Water Slides”—Denmark’s best band.

The Weather Station, “Floodplain”—Worth listening if only because the singer sounds very much like Sandy Denny or Linda Thompson. 

Faith Healer, “Again”—This is one of those languid, half-committed would-be Seventies poppy-kinda bands that I always like. If I’m being honest, they sound at least slightly like The Partridge Family fronted by Christine McVie. But better than you’d think that would be.

Will Hoge, “The Last Thing I Need”—A certain kind of country, done right.

Galactic, “Does It Really Make a Difference?”—Oh, yes, you are hearing that right: it’s Ms. Mavis on the vocals. So good.

American Aquarium, “Family Problems”—Good songwriting and good playing. A slow burn. 

Desaparecidos, “Slacktivist”—The title alone sells this song. Conor Oberst’s “garage emo” project apparently almost killed him, as he ended up in the hospital and had to cancel their tour this fall. 

Jason Isbell, “24 Frames”—On the wagon, Isbell has proven himself one of the best songwriters of this age (not that he was bad before). Almost makes one want to give up drinking.

Gill Landry, “Take This Body”—Landry was formerly in Old Crow Medicine Show. As this song reveals, his solo work is more introspective.

Jon Cleary, “Beg Steal or Borrow”—One of the remarkable number of excellent new- soul albums released this year. The horns, the muted bass, the sandpaper vocals. The genuine article.

Craig Finn, “Sandra from Scranton”—If Finn will be releasing solo records as good as this on those years when THS is silent, we are all winners.

Maia Sharp, “Little Bottles”—This is a nearly perfect song. I always wanted to write a song called “Little Bottles,” but she’s now done what I’d hoped to do. I don’t begrudge her, as she’s done it so well.

EL VY, “Return to the Moon”—For those of you looking for a less dour version of the The National, here you go. Almost a pop song.

Reno Bo, “Strange Maps”—I love this song, but I like it even more because, when it was released as a single, the flip side was a faithful cover of “Box of Rain.” In the Year of the Dead, one of the best Dead-related things to happen.

Andrew Combs, “Long Gone Lately”All These Dreams was one of the best albums this year. On this song, and much of the album, he sounds like a perfect combination of Gordon Lightfoot and Roy Orbison.

The Orphan Brigade, “Pale Horse”—The album Soundtrack to a Ghost Story is a ghost story set to music, plus a cool film to accompany it.

Lindi Ortega, “Tell It Like It Is”—I will not be ignored, Dan.

Anderson East, “Devil in Me”—This guy has an amazing voice and writes really good songs. One of the best albums this year. 

Dave Rawlings Machine, “Short Haired Woman Blues”—I love the presto-chango thing that Rawlings and Gillian Welch do, where one year they do a DRM album and the next they do a Gillian Welch album. Whatever they call them, they are always really good.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, “Ballad of the Band”—The new kings of jangle pop.

Bjork, “Stonemilker”—One always has to resist the urge to wish heartache on their favorite songwriters, but Bjork’s misfortune is our gain on Vulnicura. The album reminds me a lot of her masterwork, Homogenic. Majestic.

Tame Impala, “Let It Happen”—Why does then sound so good when it sounds like now?

Beach House, “Majorette”—What a great album. I could listen to just this one syncopated arpeggio all day.

Ona, “Ides of July”—I don’t know who these guys are, but The War on Drugs didn’t release an album this year, and this’ll do.

Lucero, “The Man I Was”—He writes great songs. Don’t tell anyone, but I wish he hadn’t shredded his voice.

Daniel Romano, “The One That Got Away (Came Back Today)”—For me, Romano is this year’s Sturgill Simpson. Doing the old school stone country thing perfectly.

The Minus 5, “It’s Magenta, Man!”—Scott McCaughey is the Honey Badger.

Best Girl Athlete, “Talk”—I probably would have picked this for the band’s name alone, but they’re good too, so everybody wins.

Lord Huron, “Hurricane”—Good Lord!

Robert Pollard, “What a Man”—Guided by Voices is one of those bands I missed while they were actually around. I’m just thankful that Pollard continues to make great music. I’m still waiting for him to do that “Frozen Sissy” project with his brother, but this will do for now.

The White Buffalo, “Go The Distance”—This guy constantly surprises. In amongst his sensitive singer-songwriter musings, he proclaims “You’re not just a woman, you’re a piece of ass!” OK.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Return of Guest List Week: Gina's Best of 2015

[Hey, do you guys remember 2015? We do! There was some great music, and we're not done talking about it. It's the Return of Guest List Week! With Gina Uriarte!]





I have a Spotify playlist called "Songs I'm Digging Right Now." The intention was to file songs I heard that I liked there and then move them to monthly/annual playlists. The album goes back to August 8, 2011 and has 873 songs ... so that's how well that idea is going.

For the purpose of this list, I sorted by date and took a look at the songs I added this year. These are a handful of my favorites in order by the date they were added to my playlist (oldest to most recent):

"Shots" by Imagine Dragons - Jan 27

I bought my nephew the new Imagine Dragons CD this year for Christmas (kids still listen to CDs these days? that's so cute). This is also the first example of, hey kid, I saw this band play at the Indie before they were a huge success. I'm officially that old Aunt.

"Our Own House" by MisterWives - Feb 10 

Who put this band in the 2pm slot at Outside Lands? That's just cruel. Missed most of the set but got to hear this song and it was awesome and made me bitter that I missed the rest of their set.

"Lifted Up (1985)" by Passion Pit - Feb 17 

1985 WAS a good year (how bad can life be when you're 4?)

"Goodbye" by Who Is Fancy - March 5 

Such a nice "fuck off" song

"Flood on the Floor" by Purity Ring - March 6 

Still prefer when they cover hip hop [Ed. Note: AMEN], but this works too

"Crystals" by Of Monsters and Men - March 17 

All their music sounds the same and I'm okay with that

"Anti-Summersong" by The Decemberists - March 23 

This song makes me want to sit on a porch in New Orleans drinking vodka lemonades

"Entropy" by Grimes & Bleachers - March 27 

This is now my second favorite song to be prominently featured on Girls (the first being Robyn's "Dancing On My Own")

"Nonsense" by Madeon & Mark Foster + "Zephyr" by Madeon - April 6 

I just really like this album. These two songs especially.

"Snake Eyes" by Mumford & Sons - April 20 

Gotta love a good slow build. Also "Only Love" but am trying to stick to only one song per artist (collaborations don't count).

"I Can Change" by Brandon Flowers - May 14

I <3 br="" s.="" the="">
"Together" by Ella Eyre - May 19

She's featured on one of my favorite Rudimental songs ("Waiting All Night"). Love her voice. Excited to see her have a solo album.

"Lean On" by Major Lazer featuring MO & DJ Snake - May 28

I'm one of few people who still listens to the radio in my car. I forget when I first heard this song but I can tell you that I've since heard it approx. 1,898,737 times on the radio. And every time I worry for a second that maybe the oversaturation is going to ruin it for me. Nope. Still love it.

"Young & Unafraid" by The Moth & The Flame - June 2

"Young, Wild and Free," "Forever Young" ... I like songs about youth. Wonder what that means ...?

"Be Together" by Major Lazer featuring Wild Belle - June 5

"Maybe if"...two terrible words when it comes to relationships

"Powerful" by Major Lazer featuring Ellie Goulding and Tarrus Riley - June 5

I really should just include the entire Peace is the Mission album

"Coming Back for You" by Maroon 5 - July 7

Maroon 5 is my dirty little secret. And this is coming from someone who proudly loves Miley Cyrus.

"Low Tide by XY&0" - July 7

Soundcloud's review describes this song as, "creating the perfect balance of glitzy indie-rock and delightful dance-pop." -- which pretty much sums up my favorite kind of music

"DNA" by Clarity - July 28

"When It Feels So Good" by Strange Talk - July 28

This song just feels so good

"Waterfalls" by Bag Raiders - July 28

My anthem in Costa Rica

"My Friend Has a Swimming Pool" by Mausi - August 13

Not the summer anthem Hyper Crush's "Rage" was for me, but then again, nothing will ever top "Rage"

"New Americana" by Halsey - August 18

Should be "Raised on 2Pac and Nirvana," but we're splitting hairs here

"Lay It All On Me" by Rudimental featuring Ed Sheeran - October 1

"Empty Threat" by CHVRCHES - October 1

How do you pick just one song off this album?

"Dancing on Glass" by St. Lucia - November 3

"Stressed Out" by Twenty One Pilots - November 9

Judging from my tags, this has happened at least four times: Song comes on the radio. Me, "I like this. Who is this?" Then, "Wait, this kind of sounds like Macklemore. This isn't Macklemore right? I hate him." / reaches for Shazam / Discovers it's Twenty One Pilots / Breathes Sigh of Relief

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Return of Guest List Week: Ashley's Best of 2015

[Hey, do you guys remember 2015? We do! There was some great music, and we're not done talking about it. It's the Return of Guest List Week! With Ashley Varterasian!]


***


***

(1)  Kendrick Lamar - "i"
(2)  Big Sean - "I Don't Fuck With You" (f/ E-40)
(3)  Drake - "Hotline Bling"
(4)  Conrad Sewall - "Hold Me Up"
(5)  Alessia Cara - "Here"
(6)  Elle King - "Ex's & Oh's"
(7)  Chris Brown - "Ayo" (f/ Tyga)
(8)  Selena Gomez - "Same Old Love"
(9)  Fall Out Boy - "Irresistible"
(10)  Twenty One Pilots - "Stressed Out"
(11)  Snakehips - "All My Friends" (f/ Tinashe, Chance the Rapper)
(12)  Rachel Platten - "Fight Song"
(13)  Grace - "You Don't Own Me" (f/ G-Eazy)
(14)  A$AP Rocky - "Everyday" (f/ Rod Stewart, Miguel, Mark Ronson)
(15)  Miguel - "Coffee"
(16)  Demi Lovato - "Confident"
(17)  CL - "Hello Bitches"
(18)  Leon Bridges - "Coming Home"
(19)  Maroon 5 - "Sugar"
(20)  The Weeknd - "The Hills" (remix f/ Eminem)
(21)  OMI - "Hula Hoop"
(22)  Jason Derulo - "Want to Want Me"
(23)  Jay Hayden & KingVodka - "Stranger"
(24)  LIZ - "When I Rule the World"
(25)  Diddy - "Finna Get Loose" (f/ Pharrell Williams)
(26)  Jon Bellion - "Woke the F*ck Up"
(27)  Yelawolf - "Best Friend" (f/ Eminem)
(28)  Matoma - "Old Thing Back" (f/ Notorious B.I.G., Ja Rule)
(29)  Tove Lo - "Talking Body"
(30)  Coleman Hell - "2 Heads"
(31)  MAX - "Gibberish" (f/ Hoodie Allen)
(32)  Madonna - "Unapologetic Bitch"
(33)  Kat Dahlia - "Gangsta"
(34)  Fetty Wap - "679" (f/ Remy Bozy)
(35)  Thomas Rhett - "Die a Happy Man"
(36)  Jamie xx - "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" (f/ Young Thug, Popcaan)
(37)  Chris Stapleton - "Tennessee Whiskey"
(38)  Colonel Loud - "California" (f/ T.I., Young Dolph, Ricco Barrino)
(39)  Halsey - "New Americana"
(40)  Rich Homie Quan - "Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh)"
(41)  Nico & Vinz - "That's How You Know" (f/ Kid Ink, Bebe Rexha)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Guest List Week: Carl's Best of 2015

[Next up on Guest List Week, it's Carl Anderson! Finally, a voice for the universal desire to run away and join Katie Crutchfield's army. I'm in!]


   

15 for 2015
1. B├śRNS – “Electric Love” 

This is the year I started to spend a lot of time listening on Spotify, especially for new music. At some point this spring I moved this to the top of my 2015 playlist, and it has stayed there since. It seems everybody else got over this track, but I’d feel dishonest if I pretended I did. 

2. Waxahatchee – “Under a Rock” 

Ivy Tripp is this year’s indie rock classic. Had this album come out when I was in college, I would have told everyone I wanted to drop out of school to work for Katie Crutchfield, or her manager, or her label, or something. 

3. Grimes – “California” 

The hype over Grimes went over the top this year. It’s worth thinking about why all these folks are expressing wild hopes about someone who clearly isn’t benefiting from the scrutiny. True, Claire Boucher seems focused on authenticity, and tries not to become a formula. But on the other hand, she’s not going to fulfill these journalists’ absurd fantasies about next year’s music industry, because no one is. If there was less hype maybe she would give us more good music. Like this track, which could only come from her, and which kills it so hard the hype won’t calm down soon. 

4. Houndmouth – “Sedona” 

Chant-rock with country feel, this is another track I would have worn the grooves off of this year, if Spotify used grooves. Still not sure what a Saturday night kinda pink would be, though. 

5. CHVRCHES – “Clearest Blue” 

Unless this is the first time you’ve read this blog, you know enough to listen to this album. I picked this track because it heroically survives a bad decision: the drop is so over the top it would make Skrillex blush. It must be hard for a band that plays so many festivals to resist this kind of thing, given that it whips the crowd into a frenzy very reliably. Give the people what they want, as they say.

6. Twin Shadow – “Turn Me Up” 

Another strong performance from the most overlooked, should-be R&B star. He avoids nostalgia for a time before electronic music, and the Weeknd’s hair. 

7. Courtney Barnett – “Depreston” 

I’d been listening to this album for weeks when I read someone calling her “overrated.” Oh Internet, you make me so angry sometimes. In response I listened to this song on repeat for an hour, conclusively proving to the universe that no matter what some dude said on the Internet, Courtney Barnett writes great songs. 

8. The Mountain Goats – “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” 

Speaking of great songwriting: this. 

9. Beirut – “Gibraltar” 

What a joy it must have been for the band to discover that these songs, stripped of Beirut’s tendency toward over-instrumentation, over-production, and over-seriousness, not only work, but work better. 

10. Jack and Eliza – “Oh No” 

I imagine that when a guy and a girl first try singing in harmony, it is pretty clear whether it is going to work or not. I like this because they keep it simple and focus on how good they sound together. 

11. Father John Misty – “Chateau Lobby #4” 

You need to have a sense of humor when listening to Father John Misty. If you can manage that, you’ll like this track a lot. 

12. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Full Possession Of All Her Powers” 

Do you ever get that feeling of weariness when you realize a good idea is only a start, and it takes a lot of hard effort to carry it through to something finished? Then SSLYBY is your antidote. This track starts with 30 seconds of perfection, strings along with some “na na na,” wanders to the bridge, then tries to repeat the beginning, but the band is too high and just gives up on the last verse. Who cares? SSLYBY has the courage to take a good idea and be satisfied, right there. 

13. The Sidekicks – “Summer Brings You Closer To Satan” 

When the Shins had that song in Garden State, it seemed like they would be pumping out hits for a decade. This sounds like one of those follow ups that never happened. 

14. Tennis – “Never Work for Free” 

Yacht-pop? 

15. Grimes + Bleachers – “Entropy” 

See Claire, we don’t care at all whether a track is 100%-pure-authentic Grimes. It doesn’t even matter if, for example, some of us dislike Jack Antonoff a bit. Everybody just wants more Grimes. Taylor Swift doesn’t wait around until she can write hits without help, she just gets music out to her fans. (And last year’s Taylor Swift + Jack Antonoff tracks are not as good as this, not even close.) More Grimes please, whatever it takes!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Guest List Week: Jessie's Best of 2015

[It's our first Guest List Week debut of 2015, from the always-fascinating Jessie Witkin! Give it a listen and feel bad about the fact that your personal Best of 2015 list does not include nearly enough Drake. Like, not even close to enough.]



(1) "Hotline Bling" by Drake 

The Drake mixtape that stole my heart.
Classic cha-cha, Casio beats, big booty hoes.
"My cell phone" like there are other kinds of phones and all the resulting jokes.
The W Magazine dramatic read video.
His dancing like Ian Curtis, in full track sweatsuit.
His video a James Turrell installation.
He is a modernist at heart.

(2) "Legend" by Drake 

Good beat. If you're not careful, the "chorus" of this rap will stick in your head forever.
Watch out for fame, people.

(3) "Preach" by Drake featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR 

Yeah there's a spiritual theme to my list this year.
2015 was about strange new kinds of FAITH.
And anyway, Drake can preach and preach and preach -- God knows I'm listening.

(4) "Where Ya At" by Future featuring Drake 

This song makes me want to dance with my ass.
Don't understand shit but beat is sick.
As one YouTube commenter observed, "Can't wait for the English version".

(5) "Live From The Gutter" by Future & Drake 

Drake quotes Beyonce. I mean, King & Queen.
Drake's breakup songs get less sad.
This is more like "came out clean" - The relief of being left.
That puppy yelp that offers both an angry, sinister cackle and ecstatic release. Because both exist.

(6) "Alright" by Kendrick Lamar 

We ARE gon' be alright. This song felt like an anthem for the year, for our generation.
There's crazy jazz in this song... It reminds me of Homeland whenever I listen for some reason. Carrie driving in her car in the burbs listening to jazz, "Lookin' at the world like where do we go" and "We gon' be alright fo sure."

(7) "$" by D.R.A.M. 

So. Damn. Smooth.
I wake up every morning feeling like making a million, and making some music. 

(8) "The Hills" by The Weeknd 

Languid California waves crashing sound and some sexy artiste Basquiat street tip.
"When I'm fucked up / that's the real me" is pretty real.
This song is actually about a drunk addict stalker but no one seems to care about this high creep factor. Good beats will do that to bad lyrics.

(9) "High By the Beach" by Lana Del Rey 

Soft ice cream dripping in sand this song is soft porn and one long breathy orgasm.
She wrote this high. I appreciate the pink-tinted realism. She is ridiculous and her sublime melts.

(10) "Lean On" by Major Lazer, featuring MO & DJ Snake

This was the absolute summer jam.
We DO need someone to lean on. The truth is powerful, and catchy. Good treadmill tune too.

(11) "BBHMM" by Rihanna

The acronym caught on.
On some Tarantino tip.
Fake blood has never looked so sexy.
It's cool to be murderous, musically.
Rihanna should be angry. Happy to finally see her fucking mad.

(12) "Antidote" by Travi$ Scott

"Threapeat" is my new favorite word.
I honestly love a slow rap I can just understand and get down too, even if it don't no sense make.

(13) "Church" by BJ The Chicago Kid

I like a nice boy rapper who picks church over sex and drugs. (It's not Drake!)

(14) "Only One" by Kanye West

Raw sweet love.
This song reminds me of one of my favorite heartbreak Kanye songs.
I like that breathy part in the music video where his singing doesn't match up with the recording, so you kind of just hear his out of breath breathing on a cold day.
Because I can be spiritual, and so Kanye.
North steals the show!!!

(15) "Take Me To Church" by Hozier

Weird band name but it's been a spiritual year for me I guess.
"My church offers no absolutes / Worship is in the bedroom"
The closest thing we have to a new power ballad.
This is the best final song on a soul cycle ride ever.

(16) "Lord Knows" by Meek Mill featuring Torey Lanez

Be careful what you wish for.
Meek's lyrics! The man has deep integrity, and intellect. (Of course Nicki chooses the smart boy.)
The choir and the violin!!!
"They love me and they make me go harder"
"Look at these rappers, they silly n shit"
That crescendo at the end.
This song gives me vivid images from Romeo & Juliet Baz Luhrmann's version.

(17) "Classic" by Meek Mill & Swizz Beats

Swizz is a cool rap dad who buys art, so props.
Piano, drums, apropo jazz homage.
 We all have a fever, bitch.
That "God Dammit" reference at the end!
This song is actually about 2015 - our fucking murderous year - Black Lives Matter.

(18) "Big Rings" by Drake & Future

I originally left this one out.
But it's so good! Positive message of treating your staff as special, worthy, equals. It's all our lives. Everyone on the team should have really nice things.
Also - who doesn't love a title song - And I agree -- What A Time To Be Alive

(19) "Love Myself" by Hailee Seinfeld

This song is deeply uncool. The music vid, somehow even more uncool. This song has incredible pure pop beat. This song makes me want to dance with myself like no one's watching. Except for me.
Because faith is only good if it's in ourselves.
This is the REAL church.

Honorable Mention:

(20) "Watch Me" by Silento

They're five.
They invented the stanky leg. The word and the dance.
Their mom filmed their music video. Coolest kids on the block

Monday, December 21, 2015

Guest List Week: Curt's Best of 2015

[Guest List Week begins its second glorious week with a killer list from Curt Trnka. Every year, Curt consciously tries to find music that I haven't heard, and every year he succeeds emphatically.  I've heard like three of these songs.  The world is a fascinating and unknowable place.]


SOUNDCLOUD


SPOTIFY


Find a good deal at a car dealership. Exercise more. Try to find music that Aaron doesn't already know about. For 2015, I picked the last one there and I gave it a shot.

World Champion - Shakes
Male lead singer with a wispy voice? Pop and upbeat? Must be something Aaron would like.
 
Moon Taxi Make Your Mind Up
My guess is that everyone knows about Moon Taxi and that everyone has a favorite song. This is undoubtedly mine. Year Zero gets the silver medal.

Coasts - You
 Here's another band everyone's mom knows about. For me, "You" narrowly beat out "Oceans" and "Modern Love" as my favorite song from the upcoming album.

I know, I know. I, too, thought Weezer was dead, but here they are, making music I can't stop enjoying. No idea how though. 

Charley Marley - Bad Things With Jamacians
The groups name, the music, the imagery: Everything about this is good. 

Bob Moses Tearing Me Up
This is the only album I thought so highly of that I asked for it for Christmas. Make of that what you will...

Slaves - Cheer Up London
This is NOT for everyone. But if you're in the right mood, this song is perfect. (The right mood for me is anytime I'm at work.)

Busty and The Bass - Models
There was a period of days last month -- almost a week -- where this group was the only thing I'd listen to. All other music was inferior. Other song worth checking out, "The Real."

Take That - Get Ready For It
Did you see Kingsman? No, then why are you reading this? It's fun and original while paying homage to James Bond. This song is on the list largely because putting a movie here would have been weird. 

The Slow Reader's Club - I Saw a Ghost
This entire album has it's moments, but none shine for me the way I "Sawr" ghost does. There's almost no accent except in that word. And I love it.

Midnight to Monaco - Suicide

First time I heard this I had no idea what was going on in the song. Still don't. Don't care. 

A nice slow-building love song. 

Royal Tongues Rollin' On
Just a nice chill vibe with a bit of a fun beat. 

Icona Pop Emergency
I don't dance. I don't want to dance. I don't want to like this song. ... This song doesn't care. It makes me dance whenever I hear it. 

Palmistry Memory Taffeta
Why do I like this song? I have no idea. 

Daniel Johns - Cool On Fire
Holy Crap. I didn't realize how many slow-build love songs I liked this year. Damn! 

The Academic - Different
Slow-build love song. 

Panama Jungle
Slow-build love song.

The Wombats - Be Your Shadow
Slow-build love song.

Air Traffic Controller People Watching
One of my favorite bands. LOVE their sound. The also do a slow-build love song, On The Wire.
 
MONAKR Calling Out
Starts soft and slow. When that chorus hits... wow.

BANFI Where We Part
This song somehow makes me sad and happy at the same time. It's heavy and sad and upbeat and full of pop. Huh?

Panic is Perfect The Mailman
I couldn't tell you what this song is actually about. Maybe a mailman? Maybe?

Gone in the Sun Beaches
I hear nothing but longing in this song. ... And I love it. 

Monogem Silhouette
Not a ton of female artists on my list this year. This song leads the crop in my opinion though.
 
Yellerkin - Tools
A nice, slow jam. You're right Yellerkin, I don't have the tools.

Lisbon I Don't Know
If you ever feel lost, this is the song for you. 

Josh Jenkins Hustlin'
I love this guy's sound. 'Nough said. 

Lostboycrow HiyHiy
I thought I'd hate this sound. Instead I got infected by it. Great.

The Cold Shoulders - Wasting Away
"Sitting on the sad side of happy hour." Yup.

The Mispers Weekend
In my book, The Mispers can do no wrong. This is a prime example.

Freedom Fry Shaky Ground
Great little folksy song. 

FMLYBND Air
Clearly, I'm anti-vowel, so this was right up my alley. 

Will Joseph Cook Streets of Paris
I just can't picture a less Parisian voice to sing the city's name. 

BABE Circles
I'm sure there are vocals in this song, but I only come back for the guitar. 

San Fermin Emily
Holy crap. This song. Wow. 

Swiss Lips Books
The imagery in this song is something I hope to act out one day.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Guest List Week: Ilana's Best of 2015

[Wrapping up Guest List Week I with the most important list of my year, Ilana's!]



Had you told me last year that not one but TWO of my favorite songs from 2015 would be performed by Demi Lovato, I would've laughed in your face with disbelief. But had you also mentioned that one of those songs would be written by Max Martin and the other sounds like a pop princess's version of Kanye's 'Black Skinhead', you definitely would have grabbed my attention. 

So yes, Demi Lovato appears on my playlist twice, and so do some other fun surprises. Did you know I like K-Pop now? And disco? It's true! Oh, 2015. What a crazy year. And for the record, I picked "King Kunta" as my favorite song of the year MONTHS before Aaron did ;) 

(15) "Hello Bitches" - CL

(14) "I'll Be There" - CHIC, Nile Rodgers

(13) "Tilted" - Christine and the Queens

(12) "Instant Crush" - Natalie Imbruglia

(11) "Coming Home" - Leon Bridges

(10) "The Hills" - The Weeknd

(9) "Confident" - Demi Lovato

(8) "Get Better" - Frank Turner

(7) "Black Magic" - Little Mix

(6) "Run Away With Me" - Carly Rae Jepsen

(5) "Trap Queen" - Fetty Wap

(4) "Cool For The Summer" - Demi Lovato

(3) "Dimed Out" - Titus Andronicus

(2) "Your Low" - DMA's

(1) "King Kunta" - Kendrick Lamar