Sunday, December 20, 2015

2015: My Year in Music

Sharing music with others can be very intimate as it is intimidating. I think we can all agree that being in charge of the aux cord can be a very anxious experience, especially since the vibe of the car ride can be KILLED by a poor song choice. Should you play Top 40? R&b throwback? Or an obscure soundcloud remix? (I've learned that Paris Hilton's two smash singles, Nothing in this World and Stars are Blind, are always fun to play in this situation.)

Sharing music can also be an experience that brings people together. A lot of the artists I've listened to this year were suggested by my friends and we've even gone to some of these artists' shows together. I wanted to emulate that same bond by creating a list of my favorite albums and EPs from this year instead of a monthly playlist. This post was inspired by my Spotify's "Year in Music" results, which were skewed by my habit of listening to an album until I'm sick of it. Disclaimer: I am very much aware that I gravitate towards specific genres and sounds. There are also a few albums listed that were released in 2014, but I was introduced to them earlier this year.

I am not a music critic in the slightest, nor will I ever tell anyone what kind of music is "good" since I am easily swayed by a mediocre argument and substantial radio plays (see: my obsession with Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself"). Some of the music listed have memories or places tied to them while others are just here because I enjoy them. Here are some of my favorite albums and EPs along with song recommendations and a playlist including all the songs mentioned.

I tried not to make this post too long, but then I had 18 albums to talk about. Enjoy!

L-R: The Neighbourhood's Wiped Out, Hailee Steinfeld's HAIZ EP, Porter Robinson's Worlds, The Wombats's Glitterbug, Catfish and the Bottlemen's Balcony, Halsey's Badlands, Blackbear's Deadroses, LANY's Make Out EP, and Twenty One Pilot's Blurryface.
  • The Neighbourhood's Wiped Out: "Cry Baby", "Daddy Issues",  which is strikingly similar to "Sweater Weather"
  • Hailee Steinfeld's HAIZ EP: "Hell Nos and Headphones", "You're Such A"; I've tweeted this before but Hailee Steinfeld's discography is better than her post-True Grit filmography and I'm 100% okay with it. For more similar music listen to Alessia Cara's album, Know-it-All
  • Porter Robinson's Worlds: "Divinity", "Sad Machine", "Lionhearted"; This is one of the few albums on this list that came out in 2014, but I got to see him live this year...kind of.
  • The Wombats's Glitterbug: "Emoticons", "Pink Lemonade", "Be Your Shadow";  In reality, I'm in love with this entire album but that might be because I've been waiting since 2011 for them to release new music. 2015 was amazing because I saw their set at Lollapalooza and got the chance to scream the lyrics to "Let's Dance to Joy Division" in Grant Park. 
  • Catfish and the Bottlemen's Balcony: "Homesick", "Pacifier", "Business"; After discovering this band in February, my friends and I bonded over our love for them. I bet you all can guess where I saw these guys perform...
  • Halsey's Badlands: "Drive", "Coming Down", "Young God"; I feel like I talk about Halsey way too much on the blog, but I only really started liking her after I went to her album release show. My only problems with her are the song "Castle" and the lyrics in "Drive" about swerving on the 405 because let's be real...traffic doesn't move on the 405.
  • Blackbear's Deadroses: "Idfc", "4u", "90210"; Blackbear's "NYLA" has been a favorite for a while and once these singles hit Spotify I was hooked.
  • LANY's Make Out EP: "ILYSB", "Made in Hollywood"; Another band I love and constantly talk about. They only have an EP out for now, but I can't wait until they release a proper album.
  • Twenty One Pilots's Blurryface: "Heavydirtysoul", "Stressed Out", "Not Today"; I had heard TØP's other songs from "Vessel" (and I used to think they were too similar to Brand New), but seeing them live was a true experience. This album has also been great motivation during the occasional all-nighter.

  • CHVRCHES's Every Open Eye: "Clearest Blue", "Never Ending Circles", "Make Them Gold"; These tracks are so electric and pop I suggesting playing them when you're getting dressed or blast it in the car for a confidence boost. It was about time too. (You can only listen to "Dead Air" for so long.)
  • Madeon's Adventure: "You're On", "Pay No Mind", "Nonsense"; Hanging around my brother and his love for dance tracks has definitely gotten the best of me. This album is part-dance and part-pop which means this album is so FUN. The best thing about Madeon is the kind of crowd and fangirls he attracts to his shows: take my word on that. 
  • Purity Ring's another eternity: "begin again", "push pull", "body ache"; I saw this duo briefly at FYF this year and they know how to put on a show. They're kind of like a pop version of Crystal Castle. Megan James' stage presence (which reminded me of Hayley Williams from Paramore) and the crystal show going along with the beat was too cool. 
  • HONNE's Coastal Love, All in the Value, and Warm on a Cold Night EPs: "All in the Value", "Coastal Love", "The Night"; This duo is considered "electronic-soul" and I have no idea what that means but their music definitely suited the "walking around freezing downtown Chicago" vibes I was living in earlier this year.
  • One Direction's Made in the A.M.: "Never Enough", "Wolves", "End of the Day"; I hated this album the first time I heard it, but after winning tickets to see them perform for Jimmy Kimmel I gave it a few more listens. If One Direction breaks up during their hiatus, at least they left a few good songs behind on their final album.
  • Bad Suns's Language and Perspective: "Salt", "Transpose", "Dancing on Quicksand"; Earlier this year I endured real seasons and this album was like a piece of California I could listen to whenever I was feeling homesick for palm trees and the sun. I got to see them during my weekend getaway to Coachella, which solidified their role in my music library.
  • Circa Waves's Young Chasers: "T-Shirt Weather", "Young Chasers", "100 Strangers"; This band kind of served the same purpose as Bad Suns in my library. Their sound also reminded me of The Strokes and The Vaccines, which was perfect timing since I always go back to The Strokes' Is This It around springtime while The Vaccines' new music disappointed me.
  • DNCE's SWAAY EP: "Cake by the Ocean", "Toothbrush"; I am willing to forget Joe Jonas's short-lived solo career and random track with Lil Wayne because this new project is so good.
  • RAC's Strangers: "Hard to Hold", "Tourist", "Cheap Sunglasses"; My last album to address, but it's so fun and offers sounds different than what you would expect from some of the collaborating artists. 
Some other albums I've just recently gotten into have been: Travi$ Scott's Rodeo, Miley Cyrus and her Dead Petz, and Guster's Evermotion. I hope you liked this post and let me know what you think of these artists or if you have any recommendations for me!

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