What a year, I think? Hard to say, I mean, I’ve always been very into music, but this is the first year I could really call myself a music journalist. Definitely the first year in a long time I’ve actively worked on expanding the boundaries of the music I listen, and actively exploring new artists. I’ve fucking loved it, would recommend. Anywhoo, I’ve got twenty five really fucking great songs to talk about, and then I need to write another one of these about ten fantastic god damn albums/EPs.
25. “BIZOCHITO” ROSALIA
Spanish language music is trending hard upwards (See Bad Bunny and “Un Verano Sin Ti”), and I’ll admit I haven’t explored as deeply into some of the rising stars as I should have, but I’ll do some easy recommending for you, ROSALIA is music from the fucking future. BIZOCHITO is explosive, fresh, and perfectly produced.
24. “Hate Finds A Way” Loops & Loops
I’ve listened to quite a lot of Loops & Loops this year. What can you do, they release a whole lot of solid music. “Hate Finds A Way” exhibits a bit of one of my favorite trends this year, EMO. It’s more on the shoegaze side really, but either way it’s my favorite of Peter’s singles this year.
23. “Reap what you sow” Charlie Smith
Charlie Smith does more alone with his guitar than most full bands. “Reap what you sow” contains a gentle gravitas, and feels uniquely intimate.
22. “Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome” The Mountain Goats
God damn do I love The Mountain Goats, “Bleed Out” is a fascinating album and “Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome” is my favorite of the bunch, really cementing the album into frantic indie rock.
21. “Who Gives a Thought” Brian Eno
I know I just said this, but god damn do I love Brian Eno. If you listen to my project The Existential Dread at all (and obviously you should) you will hear a lot of Brian Eno influence in any of my more chilled out tracks. “FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE” has been somewhat revolutionary to me in the way I think about ambient music, and “Who Gives a Thought” succeeds in being sonically and lyrically interesting without stepping outside of ambient territory.
20. “Carry On” Gossip Stone
Gossip Stone came out of their soft re-launch swinging with “Carry On.” This is really what cemented this as the year of emo’s return to me. This song sounds like the nostalgic memory of emo, without the trite, cliché, and sexist bullshit.
19. “What a Feeling, What a Day” Cheap Teeth
I did a full review of this song for Rock At Night at the time, and loved it since. Its full of interesting metaphors and a hypnotic, slanted drive.
18. “We Cry Together” Kendrick Lamar
Ultimately “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” was a bit too long to properly keep my attention front to back, but I certainly heard “We Cry Together.” This song is fucking intense, essentially a rapped argument, Taylor Paige and Kendrick Lamar do an amazing job with the emotional weight of this song.
17. “Big Time” Angel Olsen
Angel Olsen’s swing towards country on the album “Big Time” is a smashing success, and it’s namesake song is my favorite of the bunch. “Big Time” feels like classic country (Dolly Parton, June Carter Cash etc.) but still somehow modern, hell, even fresh.
16. “In Nature” sleepyhead
UK’s sleepy head continues the Brits tradition of creating excellent sad music. sleepyhead reminds me of post-punks heyday with its pop-oriented rock for those outside the mainstream.
15. “Gunslinger” Rose St. Germaine
I did a full review of the album “Gunslinger,” and it’s title track was my favorite off of it. I love the clop sound effect at the beginning, and I fucking love cowboy shit; “timing is everything if you’re gunna’ be a gunslinger.”
14. “Hits Like a Girl” the Antibuddies
I reviewed the album “That’s What I Said,” and it’s pretty great, “Hits Like a Girl” being my personal favorite on the album. The song hits like a fucking girl, and I really hope y’all know I mean that as a compliment.
13. “Rollin’” Chanel Loren
As an extra endorsement on this song, Haley is also obsessed with it. This song is breezy, always driving me into one of those weird circular head bops.
12. “bruise” ghost orchard
I think ghost orchard is the kind of music I thought was stupid or pretentious as a youth. I was super fucking wrong about that y’all. “bruise” feels ethereal and concrete all at once with its driving drum track and whispery vocals.
11. “Bicycle” pijama land
This is another one extra endorsed by the wife, partially because I had to check with her to confirm that “je suis bicycle” does indeed mean “I am bicycle.” I don’t understand this song at all, and maybe that adds to it being a bit of dreampop heaven.
10. “Blachphemy” Yb.
Yb. is probably one of the first artist I found on Spotify’s Fresh Finds list, which I find myself oddly recommending as a way to find new artists. “Blackphemy” feels like R&B, Indie Pop, and folk all wrapped into a neat little Australian bow. Also, he responds to my shout outs on DWR HI 5, and has been very nice on insta messenger despite being one of the larger artists I cover, so Yb. is a cool dude.
9. “Your Ex, Man” Hank
Another find from fresh finds (there’s quite a few on this list), this one mostly clicked on because the artist shares the same name as my beloved cat. “Your Ex, Man” is very forward thinking indie folk, with lots of pop trappings and excellent use of pitch correction and vocal modulation.
8. “Robin” Red Scarves
Robin is probably my favorite song lyrically this year. A beautifully sung and written tale in perfectly executed alt-country style.
7. “SLEEPIN!” nobigdyl.
I hit repeat on this song so many fucking times this year. This song is full of brilliant god damn lines like “I hit em’ up with dot dot dot then block em’, just so they lost in thought,” and “apathy feel more like hate to the poor.” Enough for me to ignore it’s Christian rap.
6. “KILLING FETUS” Killing Pixies
The war on women’s bodily autonomy has definitely been an (unfortunately) large issue this year, and this song can help you get some of that rage towards these anti-choice sexist, fascists, pieces of shit out. Just enough to keep fightin’ tho.
5. “Stars Shining Over Me” Sick Day
So this one is actually Haley’s song of the year, and for good reason. I talk about Sick Day a decent amount this blog, and that is because they are exceptionally talented. “Stars Shining Over Me” is bombastic and vulnerable, sweet and bitter, just a good fucking ride man.
4. “Self-Contained” DWY
This song is to the fucking core of R&B. With the soulful vocals and lonely guitar it just oozes sensuality. If I’m not being clear, this is my song to fuck to of the year.
3. “Weight” Dre Wave$
“I don’t know how to feel ’bout a lot of shit,” but I know I fucking love this song. Certainly my favorite hip-hop song this year, this is the kind of alt hip-hop I obsessed over in my twenty’s.
2. “MEG/\DETH TEE” Oh Lonesome Ana
The full album (of the same name) was one of my first reviews over at Rock At Night, and it’s still one of my best, mostly because the subject matter is so damn excellent. “MEG/\DETH TEE” has been stuck in my head since I first heard it. Oh Lonesome Ana isn’t the return of emo, they’re the evolution of it.
1. “Girls At The Pool” Blast Vegas
I figured I’d keep it simple and give my song of the year to the song I listened to more than any other. I played this song over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. I found out about this band by following the producer (Frazier) of a youtuber I enjoy (The Completionist Jirard Khalil). I was like, oh cool, that guys in a band, and I listened to it, and then I never stopped listening to it. “Girls At The Pool” is deranged B-52’s, all enrobed in manic, surfy indie rock.
So there we are folks. Best twenty five songs this year, the objective truth, not just my opinion or anything like that. If I left a song you like out it’s probably because it’s garbage and you have terrible taste. /s
Anywhoo, tune back in for the top ten albums/ep’s of the year, and check me out on the soc. meds.
Leave a Reply