I am a music geek. I used to write a music review column for my college newspaper, and I have always listened to popular music with a discerning ear. I don’t claim to be a purist or an expert. I like what I like, and some times LOVE, and I’m driven to obsession at times to listen unceasingly to a new favorite album, or an old one, and to find out every little thing about its production and composition. But I haven’t acted like it in the last decade or so. I’ve been more of a dabbler, just turning on the radio and occasionally tuning in to my favorite music critics.
Spotify has inspired me to listen critically and intentionally again. My New Year’s resolution last year was to listen to music more intentionally again, and I have done that. It has been very enjoyable. As a result, I have created numerous playlists, and I have become more aware of new music.
So, I am making annual lists on Spotify, composed of the albums I am checking out, and the songs that I like best. I’m rather proud of my lists for 2014 and 2015. I’m particularly proud of my list for the current decade. There is a lot of good music out there!
In particular, the following are so far my favorites for 2015. I’m pretty sure these will stay in my top ten, as I cannot stop listening to them:
- The Firewatcher’s Daughter – Brandi Carlisle What can I say? I love Brandi’s voice. And she’s a beautiful lyricist.
- How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence and the Machine I love the drama and passion of Flo. I would make an exception to my no-stadium-shows rule if I could see her live. Not sure if I can make an exception to the exorbitantly priced tickets, but you get my meaning.
- The Weather Below – Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds This is just good music. Bluesy rock.
- Freedom & Surrender – LIzz Wright I was so excited about this album’s release that I was counting down the days. She hasn’t had a new album in years, and I’m so glad that she found another label to record with. Listening to Lizz Wright makes me feel like I’ve gone to church.
- Stuff Like That There – Yo La Tengo Georgia Hubley’s voice reminds me of Nico on her tracks with the Velvet Underground. I enjoy the unusual covers and their new songs.
- Ones and Sixes – Low This band is a new discovery for me. How did I not know about them for the last 20-odd years? They are amazing, and now I’m obsessed with catching up with their previous 14 albums. Beautiful, slow, mellow, a little brooding, sometimes rocking.
There are more albums I’m considering for my top ten or top twenty. There are still three months left of the year, so I look forward to having more to say in January!