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Top 25 Albums Of 2016

December 12, 2016

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Alright friends, here’s my full album list.  Unlike my Top 50 Songs of 2016, there are Austin acts here. As always, this isn’t some sort of “critical” list, it’s just the albums that I jammed the most this year.  Enjoy.

PS – Here’s a playlist of all the albums on Spotify!

25) Deftones – Gore

While I’ve always liked the Deftones, I haven’t legit loved an album of theirs since 2000′s PonyGore wrapped me up though – it’s really well crafted and features some great songs.  I went back to it often in 2016.

24) Nothing – Tired Of Tomorrow

At first I was slightly let down by Nothing’s sophomore effort, but after I spent some quality time with it I became pretty damn attached.  If you’re into shoegaze, then you need to listen to Tired Of Tomorrow.

23) Explosions In The Sky – The Wilderness

I love me some Explosions In The Sky.  By the way, my instrumental album rankings for 2016 go like this: 1) EITS’ The Wilderness, 2) Russian Circles’ Guidance and then 3) Mono’s Requiem For Hell.

22) Tancred – Out Of The Garden

There isn’t a song on Tancred’s Out Of The Garden that isn’t infectious.  Definitely a must-listen for fans of 90s indie/pop rock.

21) Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive

Thao continues to be one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time.  I just connect with everything she churns out.

20) Bleached – Welcome The Worms

Bleached took a step away from surf rock on Welcome The Worms and it turned out to be a great move for them.  This album is so energetic.

19) Yung – A Youthful Dream

This kid – 22-year-old Mikkel Holm Silkjær – out of Denmark really impressed me with his debut as YungA Youthful Dream is noisy in all of the right ways.

18) A Giant Dog – Pile

Austin’s very own A Giant Dog have long been a favorite of mine, so I love that they totally crushed it on Pile, their debut for Merge Records.

17) Savages – Adore Life

I was obsessed with Savages’ Adore Life for the first few months of the year.  Eventually I was able to wiggle myself out of its intense pull, mostly.

16) Preoccupations – Self Titled

Just in case you forgot, Viet Cong is now Preoccupations.  In regards to their self titled effort, I love that the majority of it sounds like Interpol on artsy steroids.

15) Cross Record – Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi is a rather ethereal effort from Cross Record, a newer band out of Austin.  The whole thing is really damn good and it totally turned me into a big fan of theirs.

14) The Hotelier – Goodness

For those of you that love anthemic rock (with a dash of emo on top), here’s Goodness from The Hotelier.  I passionately rocked this album a lot in my car.

13) Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing

There isn’t a single song on Frankie Cosmos’ Next Thing that isn’t soaked in sincerity.  She has one of those voices that makes everything feel so very genuine.

12) Terry Malts – Lost At The Party

Any time Terry Malts put out an album, you can count on it being high up on my list.  They write super catchy stuff and in general are reliably awesome.

11) Cymbals Eat Guitars – Pretty Years

Pretty Years is one hell of an album.  At one point will the masses open up to Cymbals Eat Guitars?  Those guys should be playing huge rooms.

10) White Denim – Stiff

Stiff is another high quality set of jams from White Denim.  They remain a really big favorite of mine.

09) Whitney – Light Upon The Lake

Light Upon The Lake is quite possibly the most accessible album that I came across this year.  Seriously, there’s not a single track on Whitney’s debut that isn’t instantly likeable.

08) Basketball Shorts – Hot And Ready

Hot And Ready from Austin’s Basketball Shorts was a big go-to for me in 2016.  It’s 20-ish minutes of pop punk perfection.

07) Angel Olsen – My Woman

My Woman made me go from liking Angel Olsen to loving her.  What a next level effort.

06) Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

For a while there, I only listened to Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book.  It’s an inspired, energetic effort that features a lot of great songwriting.  It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.

05) Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo

Kanye’s The Life Of Pablo is a manic listen with a lot of layers.  He sure does have a lot going on in his head.

04) The Coathangers – Nosebleed Weekend

The Coathangers really hit a home run with Nosebleed Weekend.  It has a ton of great hooks and just the right amount of snarl.

03) Frank Ocean – Blonde

Frank Ocean’s Blonde is a hypnotic experience.  I’m not even sure how often I’ve listened to the entire thing after only intending to revisit one particular song.

02) Car Seat Headrest – Teens In Denial

They may not sound alike at all, but Car Seat Headrest’s Teens In Denials is like Frank Ocean’s Blonde – they’re both really hypnotic listens.  That Will Toledo is one hell of a songwriter.

01) White Lung – Paradise

Of all the EPs and LPs I listened to 2016, White Lung’s Paradise is the one that I jammed the most.  It’s loud and heavy and the best modern rock album I’ve come across in years. Congrats to the band for nailing it and grabbing the top spot on my list.

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Quickdraw: The Suffers, La Sera, Damien Jurado, Tycho, Savages

January 12, 2016

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Music!  Enjoy.

:The Suffers – Peanuts:  Here’s the latest gem from Houston’s The Suffers.  If you’ve been around SOTO at all over the last couple of years, then you know how much I love them.  I’m expecting big things out of the band in 2016.  Their self titled album is due out February 12.

:La Sera – High Notes:  I really like this endearing little pop tune from La Sera.  I’m excited to hear the rest of their Ryan Adams-produced album, Music For Listening To Music To, which is due out March 4 via Polyvinyl.

:Damien Jurado – Exit 353:  Damien Jurado has been on a nice streak lately  (Maraqopa and Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Sun were both super solid), and I’m certain he’ll keep it going with his new LP.  This first single off of it is transfixing.  Visions Of Us On The Land is due out March 18 via Secretly Canadian.

:Tycho – Apogee (RJD2 Remix):  This remix by RJD2 is so very chill.  It makes me want to sit around and do absolutely nothing but relax.  Tycho’s Awake Remixes is due out May 20 via Ghostly International.

:Savages – Adore:  I guess this track technically counts as a “slow-burner” for Savages.  I appreciate the way that they always sound as intense as possible, even if they’re not slinging any noise around.  Adore Life is due out January 22 via Matador.

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Savages

October 26, 2015

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My plan for a Quickdraw today got smashed by Savages’ new song.  It’s too good to not highlight all on its own.  As is always the case with them, the track is intense and powerful both musically and lyrically (“If you don’t love me/Don’t love anybody”).  Should make for a good way to jolt you out of your Monday slumber.  Enjoy.

:Savages – The Answer:

Adore Life is due out January 22 via Matador.

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Stream This

November 14, 2014

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From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums are released, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ TV On The Radio – Seeds

Mr. Gnome – The Heart Of A Dark Star
The Memories – Hot Afternoon
Acid Baby Jesus – Selected Recordings
Mark McGuire – Noctilucence
RL Grime – Void
Dirt Dress – Revelations EP
Girlpool – Self Titled EP
Honduras – Break EP
Sea Lion – Big Moon EP
Savages And Bo Ningen – Words To The Blind
Buzzcocks – The Way
Red Red Meat – There’s A Star Above The Manger Tonight
Nathan Bowles – Nansemond

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Deerhoof

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Stream This

May 9, 2014

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From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Equals – Tracts

Swans – To Be Kind
La Sera – Hour Of The Dawn
Baths – Ocean Death
Sylvan Esso – Self Titled
Young Widows – Easy Pain
Tobacco – Ultima II Massage
Cheap Girls – Famous Graves
Mirah – Changing Light
Tori Amos – Unrepentant Geraldines
Le Butcherettes – Cry Is For The Flies
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Days Of Abandon
Chromeo – White Women
The Black Keys – Turn Blue
Amen Dunes – Love
Walter Martin – We’re All Young Together
Visionist – I’m Fine: Part II
Tiny Ruins – Brightly Painted One
The Trouble With Templeton – Rookie
Dawn Golden – Still Life
Cousins – The Halls Of Wickwire
Barrows – Red Giant

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Real Estate

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Stream This

January 17, 2014

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From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

ALBUM OF THE WEEKWarpaint – Self Titled

Abram Shook – Sun Marquee
Crushed Stars – Farewell Young Lovers
I Break Horses – Chiaroscuro
Feathers – Only One EP
The Hidden Cameras – Age
Girl Trouble – Hit It Or Quit It
Mogwai – Rave Tapes
Against Me – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Gem Club – In Roses
Jeremy Jay – Abandoned Apartments
Alcest – Shelter
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchesta – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Ages And Ages

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Top 50 Songs Of 2013: Part 1

December 2, 2013

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Now that I’ve shared with you my Austin Essentials of the year, it’s time to just talk about singles in general.  As usual, the songs were picked from the large pool of tunes that I shared here at SOTO throughout the course of 2013.  Look for the list of 50 to wrap by Friday.  Enjoy.

50)  :Daft Punk – Get Lucky:  Yes, this is the most over-played song of 2013.  No, I don’t really care.  Daft Punk really nailed it with this earworm of a track, and I’ll probably hum it for the rest of eternity.  From Random Access Memories.

49)  :Black Milk – Sunday’s Best/Monday’s Worst:  Technically this is two songs, but I decided to leave them merged to better help you understand why I think Curtis Cross (aka Black Milk) continues to be one of hip hop’s best storytellers.  From No Poison No Paradise.

48)  :The Tontons – Veida:  The Tontons are from Houston, and I think they’re pretty close to being special.  If I were you, I’d snatch up this shimmering gem and find a seat on their bandwagon now.  From the Veida digital single.

47)  :Anamanaguchi – Planet:  I’m on the fence when it comes to most of Anamanaguchi’s stuff, but this track really works for me.  I think it’s because it has a fleshed out sound and doesn’t just come off as a piece of meme/8-bit fandom.  From Endless Fantasy.

46)  :Phoenix – Entertainment:  Once again Phoenix swept me off my feet with a killer lead single and then promptly tossed me on the ground with a bland album.  Fool me twice, something something.  From the Bankrupt.

45)  :Alpine – Gasoline (Mystery Skulls Remix):  The original version of this Alpine track is good, but it plays kind of small.  I definitely prefer this bigger, more confident take by Mystery Skulls.  This remix is a one-off release.

44)  :Best Coast – I Don’t Know How:  Admittedly, this is one of Best Coast’s more cheesy efforts.  I love it, though, and I have no shame in saying I’ve had some serious sing-a-long sessions with it in the car.  From the Fade Away EP.

43)  :Majical Cloudz – Childhood’s End:  If you want something that’s hauntingly beautiful, then this Majical Cloudz track is for you.  Just be sure to toss on some headphones before hitting play.  From Impersonator.

42)  :Savages – She Will:  This song is so intense that sometimes when I listen to it I worry that Savages will show up at my door and yell at me for not rocking hard enough.  From Silence Yourself.

41)  :The Appleseed Cast – Great Lake Derelict:  It’s kind of amazing how quickly this track can put me in a mood to listen to nothing but post-rock all day.  It’s good for the world that The Appleseed Cast are still a quality act.  From Illumination Ritual.

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Stream This

November 1, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Tennis – Small Sound EP
Swearin’ – Surfing Strange
Midlake – Antiphon
Yvette – Process
Sebastian Teller – Confection
Pompeya – Tropical
Blessed Feathers – Order Of The Arrow
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Blue Record EP

VIDEOS

Tele Novella will soon release the Don’t Be A Stranger 7″.

Dum Dum Girls will release Too True on January 29 via Sub Pop.

Bill Callahan’s Dream River is out now on Drag City.

Best Coast recently released Fade Away.  They play Austin Music Hall on March 1.

Okkervil River’s The Silver Gymnasium is out now on ATO Records.

Bleached put out Ride Your Heart earlier this year on Dead Oceans.  They play Fun Fun Fun Fest next week.

Son Lux’s Lanterns is out now on Joyful Noise Recordings.

Audacity just put out Butter Knife via Suicide Squeeze.  They play Hotel Vegas on November 9.

MGMT have a self titled album that was recently released.  They play Fun Fun Fun Fest next week.

Savages’ Silence Yourself is out now on Matador.

Moonface’s Julia With Blue Jeans On is out now on Jagjaguwar.

Los Campesinos just released No Blues via Wichita Recordings.

Islands’ Ski Mask is out now.

Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros released a self titled LP earlier this year.

Sumie will put out a self titled album on December 3 via Bella Union.

Gliss will put out a deluxe edition of Langsome Dans on November 19 via Modern Outsider.

Document will put out an EP in January.

Diane Coffee just put out My Friend Fish via Western Vinyl.

Happy Jawbone Family Band recently released a self titled album on Mexican Summer.

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Stream This

September 27, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Yuck – Glow & Behold
Haim – Days Are Gone
Deltron 3030 – Event II
Quasi – Mole City
The Blow – Self Titled
Tape Deck Mountain – Sway
Leverage Models – Self Titled
Unwound – Kid Is Gone
Passion Pit – Constant Conversations EP
Lorde – Pure Heroine
Those Darlins – Blur The Lines
Hunters – Self Titled
Static Jacks – In Blue
Boogarins – As Plantas Que Curam
Rubblebucket – Save Charlie EP
Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus Seven
Golden Animals – Hear Eye Go
Blitzen Trapper – VII
Migrant Kids – Self Titled
Deer Tick – Negativity
Elf Power – Sunlight On The Moon
Zachary Cale – Blue Rider
Dr Dog – B-Room
Rathborne – Soft

VIDEOS

Savages’ Silence Yourself is currently available via Matador.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin recently put out Fly By Wire on Polyvinyl.

Keep Shelly In Athens recently released At Home via Cascine.

Young Galaxy recently released Ultramarine through Paper Bag Records.

Foals released Holy Fire earlier this year.

Charlie XCX will put out a new album next year.

Psychic Friend’s My Rocks Are Dreams is currently available.

US Girls’ Free Advice Column EP is out now on Bad Actors, Inc.

Deptford Goth’s Life After Defo is currently available on PIAS America.

Jon Hopkin’s Immunity is out now.

Small Black’s Limits Of Desire is out now on Jagjaguwar.

Morcheeba will release Head High Up on October 14 via PIAS.

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Stream This

May 3, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Still Corners – Strange Pleasures
Little Boots – Nocturnes
Dean Blunt – The Redeemer
Savages – Silence Yourself
She And Him – Volume 3
Mikal Cronin – MCII
Saskatchewan – Occasion
Sun Angles – Diamond Junk
Gyspy And The Cat – The Late Blue
Valleys – Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night?
Porcelain Raft – Silent Speech EP
The Great Gatsby – Soundtrack

VIDEOS

Dana Falconberry’s Leelanau is out now on Antenna Farm Records.

The Sword put out Apocryphon last year.

Austra will put out Olympia on June 18 via Domino.

Dan Deacon’s Konono Ripoff No. 1 7″ was a RSD release.

Kurt Vile recently released Walkin On A Pretty Daze.

Team Spirit’s self titled EP is out now on Vice Records.

Hanni El Khatib just put out Head In The Dirt via Innovative Leisure.

Coliseum just released Sister Faith on Temporary Residence LTD.

Beach Day will put out Trip Trap Attack on June 18 via Kanine Records.  They’ll play the Mohawk on June 9.

Janelle Monae will put out The Electric Lady later this year.

Empire Of The Sun’s Ice On The Dune will be released June 18 via Astralwerks.

The Eastern Sea put out Plague last year.  Sofar Sounds shot this video.

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Quickdraw: Club 8, Majical Cloudz, Savages, Sir Sly, Junip

March 28, 2013

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Today you get a rare Thursday Quickdraw.  Enjoy.

:Club 8 – Stop Taking My Time:  I knew this Swedish duo had been around for a while, but I didn’t realize that they had put out so many albums.  The upcoming Above The City (out May 21 via Labrador) will be their eighth release!  And they still sound so young and energetic!  It’s crazy.

:Majical Cloudz – Childhood’s End:  I think a lot of you are really going to like this track.  Devon Welsh has just an absolutely enchanting voice, and the minimalistic arrangement here does everything in its power to highlight that.  I recommend headphones.  Impersonator is out May 21 via Matador.  Catch the band at the Mohawk with Youth Lagoon on April 24.

:Savages – She Will:  All I’ve heard since SXSW wrapped is that Savages were rad.  I honestly don’t even know much about the band, but I can believe all the talk.  I mean, just listen to this attention commanding track – it seriously rocks.  Silence Yourself is expected May 7 via Matador.

:Sir Sly – Gold:  This song is totally a guilty pleasure for me.  It’s a largely cheesy effort from top to bottom and, as you’d probably expect, it’s really good at getting lodged in your head.  The Ghost 7″ single is currently available.  Sir Sly will play the Mohawk on April 27.

:Junip – Your Life, Your Call:  In case you don’t know, Junip is made up of Jose Gonzalez, Elias Araya, and Tobias Winterkorn.  On April 23 they’ll release their new self titled full length via Mute, and I imagine that it will end up being one of the best sounding efforts of 2013.

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