Well, I’ve made it to December doing this monthly blogging thing and I think I’ll keep it going for 2016. For now though, it’s time to talk about 2015.
I once again compiled a Best Of list for this year and once again it was an arduous task. Since I really started focusing on new music back in 2012, I’ve made a lot of discoveries each year, made huge strides in bucking that silly no new music after 33 idea, and been way more excited in general about the stuff I’m listening to. All of this has been an attempt to stay involved (evolved?) in music and not just keep listening to the same things I always have. It’s good for your brain.
Anyway, here we go. After much listening with my End of Year ear, agonizing over multiple tracks from the same artist or album, performing some March Madness style witchery, and breaking things down to sheer poetry + sound, I arrived upon 15 songs I think catalog the year in the best possible way. There are lots of links. Click away.
Franz Nicolay – Marfa Lights from To Us, The Beautiful
everybody’s full to bursting, and gonna pop
ready for the breaking & burning
and certain of a bigger kind of love
Did I hear it live? Yeah, next to an indoor half pipe.
Colleen Green – Deeper Than Love from I Want to Grow Up
i’m shitty and i’m lame and i’m dumb and i’m a bore
and once you get to know me you won’t love me anymore
Did I hear it live? No, but I did see her perform most of the rest of the album. Sadly I think this little gem with a driving Tainted Love/Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) background is a bit too complicated to play live?
Speedy Ortiz – Raising the Skate from Foil Deer
i’m not bossy, i’m the boss
Did I hear it live? Nope, slept on seeing them this year.
Siskiyou – Imbecile Thoughts from Nervous
you’re gonna need some money
a whole lotta money
you’re gonna need it until you die
Did I hear it live? Nope. Did they even tour?
Waxahatchee – Poison from Ivy Tripp
while your short-term memory’s slipping
you’ll improvise, travel the world ivy tripping
with no spotlight
Did I hear it live? Nope, slept on this one too, with much regret.
Lady Lamb – Batter from After
a body’s sacred when it’s naked
so go ahead and let it be a bible for another
blood’s your compass let it wander
may it stick thick like a slaughter
halle, halle, hallelujah
Did I hear it live? See above. I think it was the same silly, sleepy month.
Father John Misty – Bored in the USA from I Love You, Honeybear
is this the part where i get all i ever wanted?
who said that?
can i get my money back?
Did I hear it live? Indeed I did, at Osheaga in the blazing sun, and it was epic.
Chastity Belt – Cool Slut from Time to Go Home
to all the girls in the world
trying to take off their shirts
ladies it’s okay to be
it’s okay to be slutty
Did I hear it live? Nope, once again I was asleep at the switch.
Jenny Hval – That Battle Is Over from Apocalypse, Girl
statistics and newspapers tell me i am unhappy and dying
that i need man and child to fulfill me, that i’m more likely to get breast cancer
and it’s biology, it’s my own fault, it’s divine punishment of the unruly
it’s fearful out here on the calmest seas
Did I hear it live? Thankfully, yes, and it was brilliant. This song is the gift that keeps on giving. It explains everything always.
Shilpa Ray – Pipe Dreams Ponzi Schemes from Last Year’s Savage
i’ve got my free will
and nobody’s gonna be my man
so thank god
if all i take is your money
Did I hear it live? Sadly, no, but I would have in a heartbeat.
Beach House – Wildflower from Depression Cherry
you built a city
all in your head
triangle of every light
it turns you on every night
Did I hear it live? No, but I have tickets to seem them in March!
Titus Andronicus – Come On, Siobhan from The Most Lamentable Tragedy
we’re just two catholic kids out on the run
either from god or a guy with a gun
Did I hear it live? No, but I did see them.
CHVRCHES – Never Ending Circles from Every Open Eye
here’s to taking what you came for
and here’s to running off the pain
and here’s to just another no man
if you want another, say you need another
here’s to never ending circles
and building them on top of me
Did I hear it live? No. They played at Osheaga on the day I wasn’t there.
Jesse Malin – San Francisco from Outsiders
i’m happy when you’re gone
baby you can bring it on
Did I hear it live? Yes, and I’ve been waiting probably over four years for its proper release. Check out the video above from 2011.
Grimes – Kill V. Maim from Artangels
i got friends in high places, i get out for free
i got in a fight but they don’t know me
cause i’m only a man
and i do what i can
Did I hear it live? Nope, the Montreal show sold out in seconds and I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway. This song kills me though. (It’s also apparently written from the perspective of Al Pacino in The Godfather Pt 2, except he’s a vampire who can switch gender and travel through space)!!!! Also parts of it sound like late 80s Top 40 Radio shit, so it lights up my hidden preteen feelings.
And there you have it. Listening to the whole thing as a mix gives me 2015 feelings. I prescribe it at max volume as your New Year medicine. Enjoy!