As we come up on 15 years existing as a blog, we are pleased to present our favorite releases of the decade. When we did this back in 2009 — that list still mostly holds up, with a few exceptions — we got Carles to write the foreword. It's a relic of an era that feels like an eternity ago, but one thing he said still rings true: "We have lived through this. Now we shall reflect upon this".
Presenting our favorite songs of 2018*...
Presenting the list of our favorite releases from an overwhelming year, posted up way too soon like we always do:
Presenting the third installment in our series of annual modern yacht rock summer mixtapes: As always, we’re expanding the yacht rock universe here to include more modern sounds inspired by those classic easy listening FM-gold guilty pleasures of the late '70s and early '80s, while occasionally veering off into balearica, pillowy soft funk, sophisti-pop, long-lost obscurities, exotica, and darker forms of hypnogogia. Listen/download + check the full tracklist below:
The official Gorilla vs. Bear x SXSW 2018 showcase goes down on Friday night, March 16th, at Seven Grand in downtown Austin. Featuring the best official SXSW showcase lineup I've ever seen in my life, starring: Hinds, Faye Webster, Men I Trust, Helena Deland, Sun June, Hater, and Forever...
Before we even have time to second guess our albums of the year list, here are our favorite songs of 2017. While plenty of our old favorites are well repped -- including TOPS, Burial, Shabazz Palaces, SZA, Sufjan, Laurel Halo, et al. -- it was an exceptionally great year for exciting new artists, with Men I Trust, Yaeji, Playboi Carti, Kelly Lee Owens, Aldous Harding, Bernache, and so many more dropping some of the most essential songs of the year. Hit play on that 5+ hour Spotify playlist, and follow along with the list below:
As the internet's collective attention span continues to dwindle away and the clickbait economy slowly ruins everything good, we made a conscious effort this year to spend more time listening to fewer things. Discovering new favorites will always remain a priority around here, but it felt good to devote more quality time to absorbing ambitious, flawed, elaborately nuanced and layered masterpieces like Dust, Quazarz, Party, and The OOZ. And the more immediate records that we fell in love with at first listen -- TOPS’ Sugar at the Gate, the super charismatic Carti mixtape, and Kelly Lee Owens’ enveloping debut full-length, to name a few -- felt more like all-time favorites with each spin. While anyone in our top 5 could have staked a legit Album of the Year claim depending on the day, we had to put the two EPs that announced the arrival of dance music's brightest new star in their rightful spot at the top of our list. Here are our favorite records of 2017:
Today we follow up our albums of 2016 list with the much more interesting list of our 101 favorite songs of the year. Featuring a couple of inventive flips of Shangaan Electro and Tropicália samples in the top 3, the powerful opening missive from A Tribe Called Quest's first album in nearly 20 years, an old Radiohead love song, multiple jams each from Frank Ocean, Danny Brown, and Carly Rae, undeniable breakthrough singles from Whitney, Mitski, Maggie Rogers, and The Homie, another strong showing from TX's own S U R V I V E boys (whose massive year culminated this morning in 2 Grammy noms in the same category), and many more incredible and essential tracks that helped us all make it through this pathetic excuse for a year. Hit play on that 6 hour spotify playlist + check the full list below:
It may or may not be that time yet, but here is the highly subjective list of our 60 favorite albums -- too long, I know, but we could have gone much deeper -- from an unfathomably weird, incredible, terrifying 2016. It was a year marked by loss and uncertainty, and that might be why music felt more monumental to us than ever. Thanks for sticking with us for another year. Check the full list + a lovingly curated four-hour Spotify playlist below, and as always, we'd love to hear about your favorites that we might have missed.