Although this felt like a particular rough year for the world in terms of politics and culture, it was a great year for music and me personally.
I moved to LA to be with my future wife. I’m learning how to surf. Snowboard season is upon us now. We hit the National Parks all over this state. Two of my best friends got married. I took four months off from working, which gave me tons of free time to read and listen to all the great music that was released.
Favorites (in no particular order):
- Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder
- The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
- Ravyn Lenae – Midnight Moonlight
- Moon Boots – First Landing
- Smino – blkswn
- Feist – Pleasure
- Kommode – Analog Dance Music
- FKJ – FKJ
- Honey Dijon – The Best of Both Worlds
- Turnover – Nature
- Fleet Foxes – Crack Up
- Chris Stapleton – From a Room Vol. 1 & 2
- Poolside – Heat
- Robert Plant – Carry Fire
- Ryley Walker & Bill McKay – SpiderBeetleBee
- Burial – Subtemple/Beachfires, Rodent, & Predawn/Indoors
If you’re going to check out anything from this list, it should be The War on Drugs’ new album. Very rarely does an album feel so fully realized and executed. It’s a gorgeous piece of music.
Special shout out to all the Chicago homies who continue to kill it: Ravyn Lenae, Smino, Monte Booker (who produces Smino & Ravyn), Honey Dijon (holy shit go listen to “Personal Slave”), Lee Foss and Ryley Walker/Bill McKay.
Really proud of my day one homies Moon Boots and FKJ for their debut full length LPs. What a pleasure to call these incredible musicians friends.
Lastly, if you’re a fan of Kings of Convenience and/or The Whitest Boy Alive, go check out Kommode! It’s the other guy from KoC and it’s very similar to TWBA.
Heavy Rotation (aka Honorable Mentions):
- Big Boi – Boomiverse
- Kelela – Take Me Apart
- The xx – I See You
- Tyler the Creator – Flower Boy
- milo – who told you to think?!?
- LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
- Destroyer – ken
- Sampha – Process
- SZA – Cntrl
- Lee Foss – Alchemy
- Nai Palm – Needle Paw
- Cut Copy – Haiku From Zero
- Lucy Rose – Something’s Changing
- Julien Baker – Turn Out the Lights
- Beck – Colors
- Thundercat – Drunk
- Four Tet – New Energy
- Bibio – Phantom Brickworks
- Margo Price – All American Made
- Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference
- Hiss Golden Messenger – HALLELUJAH ANYHOW
- Bonobo – Migration