catching up

It’s so nice to be back in the time of the year when artists are releasing new music.

“Funeral Pyre”- Julien Baker
Yeah, this will rip your heart right out. Julien Baker: still the best.

“No Known Drink or Drug”- Japandroids
I want to make poor decisions to this song.

“With You”- Lomelda
Very easily the song I’ve listened to the most times this young year.

“Smoke Signals”- Phoebe Bridgers
Prepare to get very lost in this tune.

“Swimming In Stranger Waters”- The Wooden Sky
Very much enjoying this new direction The Wooden Sky seems to be heading. Very excited to hear more.

“Wild Fire”- Laura Marling
Yep, on board for this version of Laura Marling.

“(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano”- Sampha
Yes. This is very nice.

“Slow Country”- Donovan Woods
New Donny Woods songs always get posted, because they are always good.

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catching up

Let’s call this one the ‘Music I’m Excited About That’s Coming Out In Early 2017’ edition. It’ll include reposts of a few tracks. I don’t care. They are jams.

‘Near To The Wild Heart Of Life’- Japandroids
Real Talk: this is the album I am most excited about in the first few months of 2017.

‘To Be Without You’ / ‘Do You Still Love Me?’- Ryan Adams
Holy hell, these are good. This album is going to be very sad, and very good.

‘Elegy’- Leif Vollebekk
Having had the good fortune of hearing this album, you should be VERY EXCITED about it. Goodness.

‘The Arrow and the Aim’- Nadia Reid
Well, this is rather nice and I am excited to hear a full album of it.

‘Radio Kids’- Strand of Oaks
The evolution of Strand of Oaks has been one of my favorite things over the last 5+ years. It looks like it’s only going to get more awesome.

‘Bottle Rockets’- Kim Janssen
Lovely, this one.

‘Berlin’- Bear’s Den
There’s no new album on the way, but this…this is what winter is sounding like right now. Enjoy.

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my favorite videos of 2016

I say this every year, but this is my favorite post of the year. I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I have this year.

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my favorite albums of 2016

In 2015 I had a really hard time coming up with even 5 records I loved through and through, a year where it seemed most every big release I looked forward to let me down a whole bunch. 2016, however, was the exact opposite. Every release I had been looking forward to seemed to impress, to the point that it felt like every few weeks I had a new favorite album of the year. I wrote a lot of words about 20 of my favorite releases that one could loosely say were ‘folk’ records for my friends over at Vinyl Me, Please, but a) not everything I love is ‘folk,’ and b) I had a tough time even getting that list down to 20. So, below are my 10 favorite records of 2016 (think of all those on the Vinyl Me, Please list that aren’t here as part of an Honorable Mention section that I didn’t have the time to write out here), and then below all that is a playlist of every album I loved this year. This was a weird, bad and/or demoralizing year on a whole lot of fronts, but it was also a wonderfully vibrant, tremendous, altogether good year for music of all shapes and sizes.

10. Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony – Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony
This was the most overwhelming beautiful album I heard this, or maybe any, year.

9. Lucy Dacus – No Burden
One of the most impressive debut albums of 2016, all wordy wisdom, earworm hooks and that voice.

8. Beyoncé – Lemonade
I won’t I have any business talking about this record or what it means (I don’t), but let me just say this: Lemonade reminded us how how important, exciting and vital pop music can be, even in 2016.

7. Donovan Woods – Hard Settled, Ain’t Troubled
Donovan Woods is one of my favorite songwriters, and the album he put out earlier this year contains a little bit of everything I love about him and the songs he crafts and I think it’s the finest collection of stuff he’s ever put together.

6. Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth
An album about love, screwing up, making up, becoming a dad, trying to become a good dad, and good husband, who helps raise a good kid. These songs are beautiful and unexpected, constantly shape-shifting and becoming overwhelming at a moments notice.

5. The Hotelier – Goodness
This is an album of anthems, full of loud choruses and soft moments, the kind that begs for windows down drives and demands you learn all the words so you can yell along. This is 48 or so minutes of youthful energy and earned wisdom.

4. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
I’m surprised each time I listen to 22, A Million. Surprised by how much I remember, surprised how much I somehow forgot, and surprised by how fresh and exciting this sounds even if it’s my 3rd time through in a row. This sounds like everything and nothing else right now, and that’s what keeps me coming back.

3. Pinegrove – Cardinal
I’ve written a lot of words about Pinegrove this year, and most of them come down to this: this album tackles the anxiety, guilt and tension of growing up and into a new, adult life with new friends while trying so hard to stay close to your family and old friends better than most.

2. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Again, I’m not at all the right person to talk about this album. All I’ll say is it’s electric, soulful and infectious through and through, and I listened to it more than any record this year.

  1. Hiss Golden Messenger – Heart Like A Levee
    Much like the Sturgill Simpson record, Heart Like A Levee is a record about what happens after you’ve grown up, about the questions that come up when you start thinking about your partner and your family and providing for them and about how self-doubt, worry and searching for truth is ageless. I’m starting to confront a lot of these things myself, and so it should be no surprise that this record speaks to me more than any other that came out this year.



Alright, those were my 10 favorites. Here’s a playlist with every record I loved that came out since January (follow/listen on Spotify by clicking here, if you wish). Again, this was a deeply good year. Hope you find something new to enjoy, either above or in the playlist below. Enjoy!

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my favorite songs of 2016

That time of year again, the part where I tell you what I liked best. Below are the songs that stuck with me this year, the ones that got me through, the ones that meant something. Maybe they meant something to you, too, or maybe they are new to your ears. Either way, I hope you enjoy them. I’d love to hear what your favorites were in 2016, so please don’t hesitate to share in the comments. Enjoy!

First, a few tunes I loved very, very much but aren’t on Spotify, so they don’t show up in either of the lists below.

Alright, on to the playlists. First, a playlist of 50 of my favorite songs of 2016. And below that a playlist of every song (more than 200) that I loved during the year. I felt like 50 was a little more manageable for casual listening, so maybe start there? I dunno. Either list is full of the stuff that meant the most to me, so I don’t think you can go wrong. Listen to/follow the 50 song version on Spotify by clicking here, and listen to/follow the full version on Spotify by clicking here.

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It’s cold. It’s so, so cold, you guys. So, here’s a mix to help get through these short, freezing days. Grab some coffee, a blanket and hit play. Enjoy.

Listen below, or click here to listen/follow on Spotify.

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Monday Links

On Twitter and Facebook I share links each day to various stuff that I think is great and/or worth people’s time. But not everyone that comes here is on Twitter or Facebook, so I gather up the best of those links each Monday and post them here so everyone can get in on the fun. If you’ve missed any of the past Monday Links (or just want to waste some time), check out the archive here.

This Pinegrove Tiny Desk Concert is probably my favorite one this year.

I wrote about my 20 favorite folk-ish/y records of 2016 for my friends over at Vinyl Me, Please. I’ll post a list around here at some point this month that includes some non-folky stuff, but I love each of the 20 records I wrote about there (and the #1 record on there will be the #1 on here).

All these MyMusicRx Bedstock videos are so good, you guys. And you can donate here.

A Wilco Take Away Show? Yes, please.

Well this is certainly a charming 23 or so minutes with Hiss Golden Messenger. Enjoy.

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