Filtering through an entire year of music is hard, and I challenged myself to actually do it this year. Do you remember the music that was released back in January, February, or March? I had to do some serious digging. Soundblab, asked me to send a list of 20 of my favorite albums this year. From hundreds and hundreds of released albums, I was able to narrow it down to around 75. From there, I cut the names out and stuck them on a board and did a lot of re-listening.
Here is my nerdy way of trying to figure it all out…thank heaven for double stick tape that can move from here to there! I did a whole lot of shifting.
It is not fancy by any means, and this picture is even after I eliminated some. It was difficult for me, so I decided to only choose my absolute favorites and not what I thought might be an industry favorite. I hope you might really want to check them out. Listen and follow along, I will add music on a Spotify playlist as I countdown (see the end of each blog).
Here is my countdown from #20- #16…
20. Superorganism – Superorganism
A collaboration of many musicians around the world, the group Superorganism, created a collage of odd sounds and artistic effects for their debut album. Each song is a testimony to a futuristic style of bleeps and bloops that many true music devotees might easily reject. There is definitely something catchy and addictive about the album. Despite its odd technological layering, Orono Noguchi’s distinctive vocals hold it all together seamlessly. Imaginative and a bit like stepping into a modern art painting you are not sure how to interpret.
19. Lala Lala – The Lamb
Lillie West exposes her fragile insecurities and lack of control of the outside world on her second album, The Lamb. Each of the lyrics are chosen carefully and her intimate vocals accentuate their depth and impact. She wrote the songs after experiencing intense paranoia from a home invasion. Her songs are a tad dark and directed inward, but I get the sense she is reclaiming her strength through her music, giving us all a brilliant and interesting insight into her tangled mind. Edgy and intense.
18. Shopping – The Official Body
Even though Shopping is a band name forever lost in the depths of Google, they make up for their obscurity with their wild tunes. Infectious and dance worthy, they provide the post punk vibe we all long for when you want the tunes to crank up the party late on a Saturday night. The album is an exhilarating exploration of our musical past with an invigorating and surprising futuristic spirit. Nothing dull here.
17. Dirty Projectors – Lamp Lit Prose
The master of intriguing sounds and experimental combinations, Dave Longstreth once again creates a delightful album worthy of exploration. Where his last album was fraught with tension and breakup, this album has a lightness that seems hopeful and again endlessly creative and catchy. Longstreth also does some collaborating, keeping the voices interesting. Layers of instruments and sound production are an added bonus meant for dissecting, like a knotted wooden puzzle challenging to crack open and solve.
16. Soccer Mommy – Clean
Sophie Allen has a gift of writing music that sounds as if she is alone in her bedroom disclosing her teenage fears and angst to her guitar and no one else. The album exposes her inner thoughts on infatuation, love, break-up and life through her intimate musical stories. She is all of us at one time or another, and her lyrics are totally relatable. She masters indie-pop with a jangly fuzz while giving it a bit of an edge and personal directness. Listening is like finding an open diary and you just can’t help taking a look…
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