Well, here we are. At the end of a long year. At the end of a long decade. A thing that’s been so interesting as we get to the end of the year, and thus the end of the decade, is being reminded time and again by retrospectives and recaps just how long a decade is. Sure, it’s easy to know that 10 years is a long time, but all these ‘best of the decade’ lists show you that 10 years is actually an eternity.
As such, I’ve spent a lot of time the last few months putting together my own playlist that sort of captures what my decade sounded like. It, too, has reminded me that a decade is forever. It can start in one time zone, with a whole lot of stomping and clapping and sad songs, and end in another, with a lot of synths and dance beats and, sure, sad songs. It can start with you in your mid-20s, aimless professionally, lonely personally, and freshly married, involve that marriage falling apart in the midst of you finally finding your people, and end with you married to a partner you love deeply, a toddler who holds court over your house with her exploding imagination and endless supply of baby dolls, and a baby boy on the way shortly after the new decade starts.
A new decade on the horizon has allowed for a lot of taking stock of just how much can change in 10 years if you let it, if you allow yourself to be open to being uncomfortable and growing, if you don’t give up or settle, if you try. It wasn’t an easy decade, and there are still challenges ahead (such as: how, exactly, do you raise two kids at once and continue to work and live, generally, without exploding from exhaustion? I GUESS WE WILL FIND OUT, YOU GUYS HAHAHAOHNOOOOO), but man does it feel good to look back on and find myself on this end of it all, with all of the friends that have stuck through it all and all of those who I’ve been fortunate enough to bring into my life during it.
Below are a few playlists, including that decade-in-review one I was just yammering about, that I hope you enjoy and which tell the story of this season, these few months, this year and this decade. I’ve spent an inappropriate amount of time working on them, so I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. I’ll see you next year. Enjoy.
the last decade
Well, here it is. It’s a little bloated, sure (it’s 400 songs, man, but I love them all/they are all heaters/WHATEVER I MAKE THE RULES), but it captures all of the songs that played a big role in getting me from 2010 through 2019. I’ve spent a lot of time with this here playlist lately, swimming in the memories and nostalgia, and I’ve got to say: this is one of my favorite playlists I’ve ever made. Also: if you’ve got your own version of this, I would love to listen if you want to share.
the songs I enjoyed listening to the most in 2019
There’s a playlist that has all of the 650+ songs that caught my ear this year, but these are the 92 or so that have really stuck with me. I don’t have a definitive favorite this year for the first time in a long time- you could probably talk me into saying 20-25 of these are, at the moment, my favorite, depending on the day. Also, just so I say it- the record that The Tallest Man on Earth put out this year was my favorite album of 2019. It wasn’t really close.
Honestly, how is it not even officially winter yet? How is that possible? It’s been snowing for more than a month now, cold most every day, all the trees were turning and then they just…died? right in the middle of turning all the good colors? BUT WHY. Anyhow, I gave up on fall a good long while ago, so this winter playlist, full of very soft, cozy tunes, is going strong at over 100 tunes at this point. Dig in, we’ve got a long winter ahead (once it gets here).
what I liked best in November/December 2019
Here are the tracks that I liked best over the last month and a half. There’s a great song about NYE from Lucy Dacus, a song from Dogleg that makes me want to to brash things, a tremendously beautiful new one from Soccer Mommy, a cover of one of the great (almost) lost b-sides from Angie McMahon, a song that will likely destroy you from Eve Owen, a late contender for one of the songs I like most this year from POLICA, Nathaniel Rateliff covering John Prine, which is, you know, FINE, and a song from Swamp Dogg that I can’t stop listening to lately, just to name a few. It had been a really strong year, and this month and a half unexpectedly didn’t disappoint or end the year on a down note.
Christmas (and Christmas-adjacent) Tunes
All my favorite Christmas tunes (and the sad ones that are kinda about Christmas).