Read the rest of our end of the year coverage as well:
Songs of the Year
These are in no particular order, I just wanted to make a mix that would flow and sound good from track to track. It is not a representation of my favorite songs but the following is a mix of songs that defined certain areas of my year. Whether for a moment, a minute, a day, a week, a month, these are areas that I remember listening, where everything else was void. You won’t feel the same, but I hope you might.
- Colin Stetson – “The Righteous Wrath of an Honorable Man”
- Holy Ghost! - “Do It Again”
- Light Asylum – “Dark Allies”
- Pale Sketcher – “Seventh Heaven”
- Jai Paul – “BTSTU (Edit)”
- Forest Fire – “Future Shadows”
- Kurt Vile – “Runner Ups”
- Austra - “The Choke”
- Todd Terje – “Ragysh (Original)”
- Xxxy – “Ordinary Things”
09. The Field – Looping State of Mind
Looping State of Mind refers to returning thoughts; not being able to move past an idea because of its reoccurrence. In essence, it explores the control music has over its listeners and whatever after effects that might bring. These beats are Willner at his most confident, a producer so in touch with his craft he seems untouchable. It isn’t pompous or haughty; he takes eight minutes to give us his most uplifting achievement, “Then It’s White.” Willner is demonstrating his confidence as a producer, he feels great, at the top of his game. It’s better that we all know it.
08. Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
06. Lady Gaga - Born This Way
05. Radiohead - The King of Limbs
I think the main reaction was that this album was unfinished, that Radiohead didn’t really take all their time with this one. That’s the point isn’t it? They aren’t making albums anymore, Yorke has said it countless times in countless interviews, the band wouldn’t survive if they did. What we got this time is another leap forward, a collection of songs a band decided to release into the world, ignoring format, doing what they pleased. I don’t think it was a misstep, I think it’s the future. The greats, they can be misunderstood like that.
And don’t forget the invention of Dubstep-Rock
04. Todd Terje – Ragysh
Few EP’s are better than an entire discography of work. Terje has made three purely perfect tracks, one so good it closes the disc beatless. Whether he tops it doesn’t matter, dance is a different world entirely. What matters is the achievements reached, the people touched; this beat, this dance, this floor, this ecstasy, right now. I reached that point multiple times throughout the year, this was my go-to record, the one that always set me straight. The reset button.
The album art so perfectly encapsulates everything great about Wander / Wonder. There’s something mysterious on the other side of that rock, something beautiful, something you’ll go great lengths and great depths to see. Acab does a beautiful job of soundtracking that journey. As Charon, he is our guide, mucking through the darkness so we can find heaven. Spoiler Alert: we never get there. The album ends with a “Fragile Hope,” for the destination; fragile because it’s less important, less pressing. Heaven is an endless journey and its realization only creates the next one.
02. Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
I imagine Daniel Lopatin as a story teller; more so than legendary lyricists. Some artists add texture, they can add qualities to emotions they are demonstrating, but Lopatin illustrates terrain. Replica is an apocalypse caused from nostalgia, illustrations of a world left in thought. It isn’t pretty.
01. Destroyer – Kaputt
It so happens the most innovative music comes from the the most forgotten. Although no one really forgot about lounge music, it’s a fact no one listens to it. Yet, in today’s mellow music-verse, it makes more sense. Part of Destroyer’s success is “right place, right time” but I think more than anything, the availability of unexplored and unpopular sounds gave Dan Bejar room to relax. His music has room to grow and breathe, partial to Bejar not giving a fuck. There’s a point in many musician’s lives where they stop caring about the music they make, it happens just after the peak of their career. Bejar might be too smart for that, maybe he’s just proof that confidence comes with age.