Our official Gorilla vs. Bear 2016 SXSW showcase at Mazda + Hype Machine's Hype Hotel offered a glimpse into the future of pop music on a beautiful Thursday night in east Austin, from Negative Gemini's frenetic, club-ready experimental electronic pop that began the evening (I heard at least a few people compare her vibe to an early Grimes set circa 2011) to headliner Charli XCX's first-ever, next-level collaborative set with SOPHIE, which Charli proclaimed "maybe my most favourite set I have EVER played"...
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Here's our annual year-end retrospective, a definitive 80-minute mix of the songs by which we'll remember 2015 (it also doubles as a very emotional and hopefully serviceable misty-eyed New Year's Eve soundtrack). Thanks for hanging with us this year, see y'all in 2016.
Following last week's Albums of 2015 list, here are our favorite songs of the year: we went deeper than ever this time out, and while 111 tracks might seem like a lot to love in any given 12 month span, I feel like the list is a pretty accurate representation of just how unreal 2015 has been for new music. Featuring multiple entries from Grimes, Jamie xx, Young Thug, Kendrick Lamar, Chromatics, Erykah Badu, Beach House, TOPS, and Cindy Lee, and spanning from underground Russian dance music and soaring Norwegian pop to incendiary west coast rap and inspired Texas soul, and just about everywhere in between. Check out the full list below, right after you hit play on that nearly 7-hour-long Spotify playlist:
We feel pretty confident proclaiming 2015 the best year for new music this decade, and we'd even go so far as to say it's been arguably our favorite year in the history of this site. So many stars seemed to serendipitously align this year — our 10th as a blog — for sounds that veered right into our own personal, sometimes insular little lane: the triumphant return of Grimes; the improbable meteoric rise of Leon Bridges from seemingly out of nowhere (i.e., right here in our own backyard); a sweet, thoroughly relatable, '90s-hip-hop-inspired record from Panda Bear (our favorite artist); two Beach House albums in the span of two months; D'Angelo with probably the best show we've seen since the last time he rolled through town 15 years ago; Grouper started a pop group; the summer of Jamie xx; and on and on. If 2015 had seen the release of Dear Tommy and new music from Shabazz Palaces or Burial (all still possible, I suppose), our blog might have imploded.
With all of that said, I still feel like we went as deep as ever this year, and as always, there were some genuinely incredible hidden gems to uncover if you spent a little time digging. Let us know how your year went as you check the full list of our 50 favorite records of the year, and lose yourself in our nearly 3-hour-long spotify playlist:
Still basking in the afterglow of both amazing, sold-out Gorilla vs. Bear V shows in Dallas + Austin, and one the most memorable and magical weekends of our lives. Massive thanks to Jamie xx, Lower Dens, Tei Shi, Bop English, Yumi Zouma, Prince Innocence, DJ Sober, and of course, everyone at the Granada, the Mohawk, and Transmission for making it happen. Can't wait to do it again next year. Live shots by the great Bill Ellison + more polaroids after the jump...
Rua da Rosa is the narrow but main street cut through the Bairro Alto neighborhood here in Lisbon. Visitors mainly stock the area during the day but its perhaps the principle target for partying Lisbon teenagers Thursday through Sunday nights...
Well this is a pleasant surprise: Panda Bear drops a brand new EP out of nowhere, featuring one of the best jams from his incredible new album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. In addition to "Mr Noah," the EP features 3 non-album b-sides: "Faces in the Crowd", "Untying the Knot", and "This Side of Paradise". Listen to the EP in its entirety below + download it now on iTunes. PBVSGR is out January 13, 2015, pre-order the 3xLP here. You can also see some of Danny Perez's PBVSGR visuals here. Tracklist after the jump...
It's been way too long since we were blown away by someone from around here, but we feel like these brilliant throwback soul jams from Crowley's Leon Bridges are pretty undeniable. We don't know much about Bridges at this point, and it's hard to believe that this kid channeling a young Sam Cooke comes from our own backyard, or anywhere, but we can't escape the promise of greatness we keep hearing in his timeless songs...
We are psyched to finally announce the 2014 edition of our annual summer showcase: GvsB IV happens on Friday, September 12, 2014, at the Granada Theater here in Dallas. This year is special, as we are beyond honored to present arguably our single favorite artist in the history of this site, Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear, whose Person Pitch remains one of the most influential and acclaimed albums of the past decade, and whose current live set (complete with all new material + mind-warping visuals from Animal Collective collaborator Danny Perez) is one of the best shows we've ever experienced...
These are our favorite things from the first half (roughly) of 2014, complete with an incomplete soundcloud playlist:
01 SHABAZZ PALACES - Lese Majesty
02 DOSS - Doss EP
03 LEWIS - L'Amour (reissue)
04 FEAR OF MEN - Loom
05 FREDDIE GIBBS + MADLIB - Piñata
06 YUMI ZOUMA - Yumi Zouma EP
07 THE WAR ON DRUGS - Lost in the Dream
08 ANA CAPRIX - For Seven Nights This Island Is Ours
09 SCHOOLBOY Q - Oxymoron
10 JEROME LOL - Deleted / Fool EP
11 ANGEL OLSEN - Burn Your Fire For No Witness
12 MARK BARROTT - Sketches From An Island
13 CEO - Wonderland
01 SHABAZZ PALACES - Forerunner Foray
02 FUTURE - Benz Friendz (feat...