January 6, 2014
Hey, just because I don’t really write about music anymore doesn’t mean I don’t still have opinions on music. See, here’s, like, 25 whole opinions. Plus I put them all in a handy-dandy Spotify playlist that is in no particular order. Now, in actually somewhat of a particular order, here’s 25 really good songs I heard in 2013, which was a year, but is no longer this year.
Ha Ha Tonka – Lessons
Ha Ha Tonka is such a great and underrated band, and they played perhaps the best show I saw all year at Seattle’s Tractor Tavern in October. “Lessons” grooves a hell of a lot more than you would expect from an alt-country band, and it’s catchy as hell.
Queens of the Stone Age – If I Had a Tail
Oh yeah, my favorite band released an album this year and it was the best album of the year and “If I Had a Tail” is a fantastic idea for a song so there you go.
Neko Case – Night Still Comes
In my opinion this was Neko’s strongest album yet vocally, and the chorus (aided by a who’s who of harmony singers, most recognizably Jim James) of “You never held it at the right angle” just gets right into my feel places.
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December 30, 2013
Well, you haven’t heard much from me this year at hearingade, but I’ve still heard plenty of music worth talking about. For my music-obsessed heart and soul, the end-of-year list dies hard. As is the nature of lists, not all of what I loved will be able to make the cut, but I think I’ve managed to pick out the albums I’d be most likely to offer up as recommendations if so prompted. And isn’t that basically the purpose behind these things anyway? I just wanna do my part in making sure that this remarkable music gets the love it deserves, for whatever my part is good for.
1. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper – Ripely Pine
Often albums that come out early in the year have the misfortune of being played out by the time we start writing these lists. A lot of albums I loved last winter aren’t making the cut because they don’t excite me like they did in the beginning. However, Aly Spaltro’s latest has not lost any appeal over the months. She has a wonderful approach to the guitar rock genre and a palpable passion behind the coarse words she spits forth.
2. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
For the most part, I avoid including albums that are all over mainstream media’s year-end lists, because I like to give exposure to the things people aren’t as likely to have heard yet. But I have to be honest and include The National here because my 2013 was full of this album. Matt Berninger’s signature somber vocal delivery, with its elegant use of accompaniment, is complete with emotionally smart lyrics that continue to prove he’s a guy keenly aware of the universe.
3. Samantha Crain – Kid Face
I’ve long been a fan of Samantha Crain’s, but she’s outdone herself with Kid Face. Produced by John Vanderslice at his Tiny Telephone studio in California, it’s the most refined she’s ever sounded as her songs marry guitar, piano, violin, banjo and percussion like they were blood.
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