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".
As we approach the midway point of 2019, here's our constantly evolving recap of our favorite albums, songs, and videos from the first half of an already insane year. In an era when truly special new records seem to evade or evaporate from the internet's collective consciousness at an unsettling rate -- in many cases before they're even officially released -- it's not easy to keep up, but I've done my best...
Presenting the list of our favorite releases from an overwhelming year, posted up way too soon like we always do:
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:
As we approach the halfway point of 2017, here are our favorite albums + songs from what is shaping up to be a frenetic, kind of convoluted (we are not on board with the teaser trend, just drop the jams), and overwhelmingly great year for new music:
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:
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:
01 PANDA BEAR - Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
02 LEON BRIDGES - Coming Home
03 JAMIE XX - In Colour
04 LOWER DENS - Escape from Evil
05 SUFJAN STEVENS - Carrie & Lowell
06 BOP ENGLISH - Constant Bop
07 JESSICA PRATT - On Your Own Love Again
08 YOUNG THUG - Barter 6
09 YUMI ZOUMA - EP II
10 CHASTITY BELT - Time To Go Home
11 RAE SREMMURD - SremmLife
12 BULLY - Feels Like
13 SUSANNE SUNDFØR - Ten Love Songs
14 DOMENIQUE DUMONT - Comme Ça
15 THE GALLERIA - Calling Card / Mezzanine EP
16 STEALING SHEEP - Not Real
17 KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH - Euclid
18 VALET - Nature
19 VIET CONG - Viet Cong
20 BOSQUE BROWN - Us
21 ANTHONY NAPLES - Body Pill
22 TEI SHI - Verde EP
23 RECYCLE CULTURE - Trapped Goddess EP
24 THE SANDWITCHES - Our Toast
25 PENDER STREET STEPPERS - The Glass City / Golden Garden 12"
01 GRIMES - REALiTi
02 D'ANGELO - The Charade*
03 METRO THUGGIN - Free Gucci
04 JAMIE XX - Loud Places (feat...
01 AUTRE NE VEUT - Anxiety
02 GROUPER - The Man Who Died in His Boat
03 JAI PAUL - demos
04 THE KNIFE - Shaking the Habitual
05 TORO Y MOI - Anything in Return
06 POSTILJONEN - Skyer
07 BLUE HAWAII - Untogether
08 VARIOUS - After Dark 2
09 DISCLOSURE - Settle
10 CHARLI XCX - True Romance
NEXT 12 (alphabetical)
This was a little tougher than usual this year, but after much deliberation and some unpleasant culling, here are our favorite releases -- full-lengths, mixtapes, EPs, and one cassette -- of 2011. To accompany our choices, we asked all of the amazing artists on our list to tell us their own personal favorite albums from the past year, and a lot of them were nice enough to answer, so their picks are here too. Check it all, and leave your own lists, after the jump...