Alright, now that the Grammy Awards have all been passed out, let’s have a little reprieve, shall we? Each of the 15 albums in this list made a deep impression on me this year. Why 15? Because there were 15 of them. Here they are in alphabetical order.
This data is taken from my last.fm account, and mostly reflects my private listening at work. This may more accurately reflect my personal preferences, though, as it is what I chose to listen to without being influenced by other people. My taste in metal seems to be getting more extreme.
Tim Bluhm is probably the closest thing we have to a “father of country music” in Northern California. I know. It’s weird to give that title to someone so young (not to mention someone arguably better known in rock music circles), but if you think about the history of country music in California, practically all of it was written in the southern portion of the state. As far as Northern California is concerned, there has never been a country artist so thoroughly rooted—lyrically and geographically—in the better half of our state than Bluhm.
I know I’m a little late to the game with my album picks this year, but 2018 was just so rich with amazing new music that I couldn’t just poop this out all willy nilly. Unlike other folks with their best album lists, I believe in waiting a few weeks after the new year to let all the late releases settle in with me. And it’s a good thing I did, as a few late December releases made my list!
The trend in new releases is to trickle out a song each week or so leading up to the release date of your new album. As an artist, I understand this. As a music fan, it can be mildly annoying. As a heavy Apple Music user, it’s usually a pain in the ass. Not all pre-releases are created equal, or so it seems.
Prompted by yet another Reddit hole of favorite album threads, I realized I need to catalog the albums that mean the most to me, or were a huge influence on me at some point in my life. Here they are in no particular order (with affiliate Apple Music/iTunes or Bandcamp links when possible).
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a review. Honestly, there hasn’t been anything that has stirred me from my new release cave—not until I started my reluctant post Labor Day Tuesday morning off with VRTRA.
Excellent from songwriting to production. Two seconds after hitting play, not only did I instantly fall in love with the first track, “Sometimes,” I felt like it had been a favorite for years. That’s pretty much how this whole album plays.
About half of a year ago, Kristyn and I went to see Daniel Romano in San Francisco in support of his latest record, If I’ve Only One Time Askin’, of which he played only slightly more than zero tracks. Nearly everything he did was new material. Only one of those songs appears on Mosey, essentially making this his third volume of music since 2015.
Released October 2, 2015, Psychic Warfare was available in iTunes, Amazon and other digital music stores, but conspicuously absent from the streaming music channels like Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora. Streamers, your wait is now over.
Every week I try to find something new and interesting that is also a bit outside my wheel house. (Obviously, some weeks are more of a struggle than others.) I was tipped of to OLYS new single last week, and found myself spinning it quite a bit. As wheelhouses go, this fits fairly snuggly outside of mine.
I have to apologize, I’ve been sitting on this one for a few weeks. But you know what? This amazing Instructions record I found those few weeks ago has been in regular rotation in my iTunes. Actually, loop is probably a more appropriate word. It is so good that it has eclipsed all new releases for me for the past two weeks!
This record initially caught my eye for the awesome watercolor cover. It didn’t really do it for me at first, and I was going to skip this week, but I found myself actually listening to it quite a bit. I think you should listen to it, too.
My wife found this record over the weekend. She has a keen eye for wicked shit. I’m not sure how she stumbled upon this one, but I lit up as soon as she did. Drug Cabin’s Wiggle Room is like Ween made a whole record of all psychedelic songs. I consider myself pretty much the biggest Ween fan there is, so this is really saying something. The best part is that this is actually their second album this year, so it’s like Ween made two records of all psychedelic songs!