In keeping with tradition, here is a quick summary of music I’ve loved from the past year. In past years I’d used iTunes playcounts as a barometer for my enjoyment but this year I mostly switched to Spotify so have less data to pull from. I published a Spotify playlist of some of the best songs from the albums included.
10. Real Estate, Days - Definitely sleepy but pretty and at its best feels like it is building toward something.
9. Panda Bear, Tomboy - I really like the sound he has developed - this kind of hazy, surf-y atmospheric is a great soundtrack for a certain mood.
8. Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost! - Fun, synth-fuelded dance-y 80s pop. The best songs are front-loaded on this album.
7. Foo Fighters, Wasting Light - I miss good rock music. This Foo Fighters album feels like a return to their more straight-ahead rock with less interruptions by ballads.
6. Iron & Wine, Kiss Each Other Clean - Continuing his more textured sounds this album from early in the year planted songs like "Rabbit Will Run" in my head.
5. Girls, Father, Son, Holy Ghost - Great album all the way through although the faster, upbeat opening 3 tracks are what I find myself replaying.
4. Foster the People, Torches - Goddamn they wrote a catchy set of songs, and I am not immune.
3. M83, Hurry Up We're Dreaming - Sweeping album made me like it despite how close it comes to sounding like songs from The Breakfast Club.
2. Kanye West & Jay Z, Watch the Throne - It took me a while to get into this album I think because I had such high expectations for it. "Otis" got a lot of attention but it was songs like "Who Gon Stop Me" and "Gotta Have It" that won me over.
1. Bon Iver, Bon Iver - Impressive and haunting album that is strong and cohesive even with the variation he employs.