Presenting the list of our favorite releases from an overwhelming year, posted up way too soon like we always do:
albums of the year
We're not quite halfway through 2018, but here's our annual recap of the albums + songs of the first half of the year anyway. I’ve excluded any records that we’ve released on our new label Luminelle Recordings; otherwise, the stellar new ones from Helena Deland, Anemone, and Hana Vu would have all figured prominently into both of these lists. Also, I guess a few of these aren’t officially out yet. Sorry!
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:
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.
As we approach the midway point of what has been an overwhelming year for new music, here's the ever-evolving list of our favorite records of (roughly) the first half of 2016. Favorite songs of the year (SO FAR) coming later this week:
Our SiriusXM show airs today and every Thursday at noon EST + again at midnight, on channel 35 SiriusXMU. Today's special Albums of the Year edition features selections from our favorite releases of 2015, including tracks from Grimes, Panda Bear, Jamie xx, Erykah Badu, Beach House, Vince Staples, and more. Listen here + check the full playlist below:
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:
Here are our favorite records of 2014. The general consensus seems to be that this was probably not the most amazing year of all-time for new music, and further, we just weren't feeling that many of the unanimously lauded critic/indie blog favorites this time around (many of which we wanted to love, but it just didn't work out, with a few notable and very obvious exceptions). But as always, if you looked beyond the basic jams that everyone else insists are great, there were some serious jewels to be uncovered just below the surface. And we only had to cheat a few times this year, that I'm aware of (sup Lewis, Burial, & Johnny Jewel). Check the full list + an essential/beautiful spotify playlist after the jump, and as always, we'd genuinely like to hear your picks too. Thanks for sticking with us for another year, look for our perennially more interesting Songs of 2014 list in the coming days...