I picked a song a year for the last decade (skipping 2020 for obvious reasons, including that it’s not over yet). I can’t commit and say these were the best song of each year, just songs I dig. I’ll be shocked if any of these shock you. Enjoy.
Now that the majority of the U.S. population is taking steps toward social distancing, it’s peaceful to know that we can still count on good new music coming in. Although we can’t see the artist’s live, jumping up and down, sticking out their tongues, and riffing on their guitars, we are still thirsty for quality sounds. Music will ease us through the next few months of staring out our windows and I am standing at your door, with virtual arms wide!
If you like listening to any of these artists, I suggest purchasing their CDs or merchandise from their websites because they are suffering financially. Caroline Rose is accepting donations to her Venmo account (@caroline-rose-4) and a lot of them have online tip jars. These artists depend on the money from their tours and being nice will make you smile! Happy people don’t shoot their husbands!
Heavy Light – U.S. Girls
This album is exquisitely lost in an existential moment and I’m loving how emotive Meghan Remy is. Now is the perfect time to linger in some tunes that reflect on grief. In all seriousness, I’m looking for someone to gush over this new album with. The songs that I could get lost in forever are IOU, Denise, Don’t Wait, and Born to Lose. The song that grabbed me initially is And Yet It Moves / Y Se Mueve.
græ: Part 1 – Moses Sumney
Moses Sumney’s album is off to a good start, if this is part 1! It sounds familiar, like a museum you went to when you were younger, but it’s now more lavish and hip. The range of his voice is incredible and it feels like a fusion that’s hard to simplify into one genre. His music is similar to Solange’s in that it will grow on you, the more you dig in. My favorite songs from it are Cut Me, Virile and In Bloom.
Man Alive! – King Krule
This hits the spot on a rainy day or a day when you feel like no one gets you. Or when you want to scream, but in a goth way and you aren’t allowed out of your house. I was pulled in by Alone, Omen 3 at first, but Stoned Again and Underclass got me thinking deeper upon further listens. He’s angry and gutting through life with honest might and it sounds good.
The Slow Rush – Tame Impala
Tame Impala, everyone’s favorite psychedelic rock-star has given us another fleshy record. Each song has so many layers on top of each other, there is breathing room to live inside. It’s a compelling and mature album to say the least. My favorite songs are Posthumous Forgiveness, Borderline, and One More Year.
The Price of Tea in China – Boldy James and The Alchemist
The Price of Tea in China hits the spot when you are driving in your car at night. It isn’t trying too hard. It’s sounds manage to be both calm and suspenseful at the same time. My favorite songs? Surf & Turf, Pinto and S.N.O.R.T.
Swimmer – Tennis
Tennis took this album to a new level, as Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley reflect on the difficulties of pushing through tumultuous times with a soft pop sound. This album is self-produced by Patrick and Alaina and it feels like I’m on an Island, learning how to swim again. The demos were recorded in their sailboat (dream couple) with an acoustic guitar and drum sequencer. My favorite songs are Runner, How to Forgive, and Need Your Love.
color theory – Soccer Mommy
This album takes more stylistic edges than Sophie Allison’s prior work. It’s tangible and funky (in a good way). The standouts are crawling in my skin, circle the drain, and yellow is the color of her eyes.
Which Way is Forward? – Obongjayar
Obongjayar’s voice is so beautiful and husky on this EP (basically an album). The architecture of the songs is wondrous and catchy. I accidentally stumbled into him after seeing that he collaborated on two of the songs in Danny Brown’s last album (uknowhatimsayin¿ and Belly of The Beast). My favorite songs from this EP are God’s Own Children, 10K, and Soldier Ant.
Silver Tongues – TORRES
The new TORRES album seems like an intimate conversation about love- she has admitted that she uses her girlfriend, Jenna Gribbon as a subject for her art. Jenna Gribbon painted the cover of this album, so it seems like both of them are each other’s muses. The album’s writing is refreshing and demands ears. My favorite songs are Dressing American, Good Grief, and A Few Blue Flowers.
Suite for Max Brown – Jeff Parker
This jazz album, Suite for Max Brown is comprised of people I wish I were cool enough to be best friend’s with. It has experimental sounds that are both enchanting and groovy. The cover of the album is a photo of Jeff Parker’s mother- so sweet! My favorite songs from this album are After the Rain, Gnarciss, and Del Rio.
Likewise – Frances Quinlan
Her indie-rock album follows a voice which takes frantic and soothing turns at the times you would least expect. She has a great sense of humor and a unique way of twisting soft and large sounds. My favorite songs are Rare Thing, Your Reply, and Detroit Lake.
The Neon Skyline – Andy Shauf
Andy Shauf’s self-produced album has a nice cadence and his descriptions really set the scene. It feels like I’m at a bar with Andy, clinking a drink and feeling uncomfortable about saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. My favorite songs are Fire Truck, Where Are You Judy, and Living Room.
Purple Moonlight Pages – R.A.P. Ferreira
Rory Allen Philip Ferreira’s rap album is all-encompassing freedom. These are some poetry beats I want to dance to and reflect on. My favorite songs are Laundry, Greens, and Mythical.
Every Bad – Porridge Radio
Every Bad is a conversational rock album, where she suddenly yells and aches in a beautiful way. Listen to it and you will feel understood. My favorite songs are Sweet, Don’t Ask Me Twice, and Give/Take.
Desire – Desire Marea
Desire Marea’s experimental album sounds holy and spine-chilling. It’s full of South African sounds that come across as sacred. The most memorable songs are Tavern Kween, You Think I’m Horny, and Self Center.
Superstar – Caroline Rose
Superstar is brimming with character and is genuinely fun to listen to. It’s about fame and how much it’s really worth. I’m most pulled in by the songs, Freak Like Me, Do You Think We’ll Last Forever?, and Command Z.
Please Daddy – Sarah Mary Chadwick
Sarah Mary Chadwick’s album is heavy and organic sounding. It’s the kind of morose music that swings in a cathartic way. My favorite songs are When Will Death Come, Let’s Fight, and If I Squint.