Tag Archives: xx

Top 25 Albums Of 2017

December 6, 2017

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Here are the albums I listened to the most this year.  Enjoy.

25) Alvvays – Antisocialites

Antisocialites is a catchy, occasionally infectious collection of tunes from Alvvays.  Definitely a worthy follow-up to their self titled debut.

24) Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights

Julien Baker’s Turn Out The Lights isn’t exactly an easy listen, but it’s worth the effort.

23) Wolf Parade – Cry Cry Cry

Cry Cry Cry might be my favorite Wolf Parade album.

22) Growl – Won’t You

Austin’s own Growl really hit a home run with the indie pop-leaning Won’t You.

21) Alex Lahey – I Love You Like A Brother

Alex Lahey is an anthem-making machine.

20) Molly Burch – Please Be Mine

Please Be Mine is proof that Molly Burch is one of Austin’s best artists.

19) The Courtneys – The Courtneys II

The Courtneys sophomore effort has a whole slew of very catchy tracks.

18) SZA – Ctrl

SZA’s Ctrl is one of the best R&B albums I’ve heard in a long time.

17) White Reaper – The World’s Best American Band

White Reaper always rip it up.  The World’s Best American Band is their most complete effort to date.

16) Taylor Swift – Reputation

Reputation is no 1989, but it is a super solid effort.  Few have hooks like Taylor Swift.

15) LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

American Dream is a really nice comeback album for LCD Soundsystem.

14) Walker Lukens – Tell It To The Judge

The Jim Eno-produced Tell It To The Judge is one of my favorite albums to come out of Austin in 2017.  Nicely done, Walker Lukens.

13) The xx – I See You

Admittedly, I wasn’t a big fan of The xx’s I See You when I first heard it, but I came around (real hard) after experiencing the songs live.

12) Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me

Mount Eerie’s A Crow Looked At Me is a devastating album.  I can’t even believe I listened to it as much as I did this year.  Guess that just goes to show how well done it is.

11) Hazel English – Just Give In/Never Going Home

I got lost in Hazel English’s hazy Just Give In/Never Going Home quite a lot in 2017.

10) Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet

Soft Sounds From Another Planet is so fantastic that it has made me a Japanese Breakfast fan forever.

09) Spoon – Hot Thoughts

Hot Thoughts is Spoon not giving a whole lot of fucks, and I like it alot.

08) Jay Som – Everybody Works

I don’t do any sort of “best new artist” award here at SOTO, but if I did it would go to Jay Som for the excellent Everybody Works.

07) Gang Of Youths – Go Farther In Lightness

I just recently (maybe a month ago) got into Gang Of Youths’ Go Farther In The Lightness, but it’s had such an big impact on me that I had to give it a high spot on this list.  Just amazing stuff.

06) Waxahatchee – Out In The Storm

If I were sorting this list by number of play-throughs, Waxahatchee’s Out In The Storm would probably land in the top spot.  It’s such a great indie rock album.

05) St. Vincent – Masseducation

Somehow Masseducation is simultaneously St. Vincent’s weirdest and most accessible album.  I love it.

04) The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

The War On Drugs just keep getting better and better.  A Deeper Understanding is a real attention-grabber.

03) Protomartyr – Relatives In Descent

Protomartyr dialed back the intensity just a bit for Relatives In Descent, and it resulted in an album that I have yet to get enough of.

02) Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

Come on.  It’s Kendrick Lamar.  This guy is currently unstoppable.

01) The National – Sleep Well Beast

I’ve always liked, not loved The National, so it’s wild to me that their Sleep Well Beast ended up being my favorite album of 2017.  Here I am though, declaring all my love for it.  If you haven’t spent any time with it, be sure you fix that real fast.  It’s one of those efforts that just swallows you up whole.

For the heck of it, here are five albums that almost made my Top 25.

Bully – Losing
Conor Oberst – Salutations
Do Make Say Think – Stubborn Persistent Illusions
Jay-Z – 4:44
Why? – Moh Lhean

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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 2

November 29, 2016


Here are more songs I liked in 2016.  Enjoy.

Part 1 of this list is HERE.

PS – I got a ton of take down notices, so you’ll have to listen via Spotify.

40)  :The xx – On Hold:  I know this track from The xx is only a few weeks old, but I’ve been obsessed with it and I just had to include it on my year-list.  It’s intoxicating.

39)  :Charli XCX – Vroom Vroom:  Charli XCX cranked this out in conjunction with Sophie, and it’s just the most goddamn ridiculous thing.  Please be sure to listen to it as loud as possible.

38)  :Tobacco – Gods in Heat:  I’ve had this Tobacco song on repeat for months.  It’s fairly weird and oddly sexy (it is called Gods in Heat, after all), and I just love it.

37)  :Chaos Emeralds – Animal Kingdom:  I’m not sure why this song from Chaos Emeralds isn’t all over the radio.  Talk about accessible and catchy.

36)  :Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – Nobody Dies:  Here’s one from Thao that I revisited a lot this year.  It’s an attention-grabber.

35)  :Bleached – Keep on Keepin’ On:  This song from Bleached really makes me want to get up and move and because of this it’s what I’m going to hit play on if someone ever starts chasing me.

34)  :The Julie Ruin – I Decide:  If you ask me, this is the best track off of The Julie Ruin’s 2016 release, Hit Reset.  On another note, Kathleen Hanna’s voice is still rad.

33)  :Phantogram – Cruel World:  Phantogram went for (and achieved) bigger and better things in 2016, but this track sounds like the old them and it’s what stuck with me.  Go figure.

32)  :The Range – Florida:  The Range really nailed it here.  I advise that you slap on headphones before you hit play.

31)  :Sheer Mag – Can’t Stop Fighting:  I’m starting to feel like it’s no longer possible for me to do a year-end song list that doesn’t include Sheer Mag.  Here’s hoping they keep on killing it.

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The xx

November 10, 2016


The xx just released the first single off of their upcoming album.  It’s pretty great.  I advise that you put on headphones, turn up the volume and then use the track’s chill and totally wonderful sound to wash away (for at least a moment) all that stress and despair caused by the election.  Enjoy.

:The xx – On Hold:

I See You is due out January 13 via Young Turks.

Bonus Videos:

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Stream This

October 19, 2012


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.


POS – We Don’t Even Live Here
GRMLN – Explore EP
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Cobra Juicy
Gary Clark Jr – Blak And Blu
Other Lives – Mind The Gap EP
Trail Of Dead – Lost Songs
Diamond Rings – Free Dimensional
Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man
Titus Andronicus – Local Business
The Man With The Iron Fists – Soundtrack
Paul Banks – Banks


Why? just released Mumps, etc, and they’re playing Fun Fun Fun Fest next month.

Heartless Bastards released Arrow earlier this year.  They play Stubb’s on November 8.

La Sera’s Sees The Light is out now on Hardly Art.

Autumn Owls will release Between Buildings, Towards The Sea next week.

Wild Belle will release Isles early next year.

FatCat Records will put out the US Girls’ GEM next week.

Mean Creek put out Youth Companion this week via Old Flame Records.

Sorry To Bother You is the name of the new album from The Coup.  It’s due October 30.

Bon Iver put out Bon Iver, Bon Iver last year.

El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure is available now.

The xx recently released Coexist.

Fenster just lined up some East Coast dates in support of Bones.

Social Studies will put out Developer on November 13 via Antenna Farm Records.

The Casket Girls will release their debut on November 6 via Graveface Records.  They play the Mohawk on November 3.

Chris Cohen put out Overgrown Path on Captured Tracks earlier this year.

Gangi just released Gesture Is.

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Quickdraw: Thee Oh Sees, Wild Nothing, Moon Duo, Wavves, The xx

August 13, 2012


We finally launched a redesign!  And today’s music is in celebration of it.  Hope you guys dig the new SOTO.  Enjoy.

:Thee Oh Sees – Flood’s New Light:  The heat in Texas has finally reached that point (as it does every year) where I’m just done with it.  So, when I say that this track makes we want to get out and have some fun in the summer blaze, then you know it’s a good one.  Putrifiers II will be released on September 11 via In The Red Records, and then four days later the band will play in Austin at La Zona Rosa with Ty Segall.

:Wild Nothing – Paradise:  I tried to make sense of Wild Nothing’s new lunar-centric website, but once my brain started hurting I just had to give up.  Guess I’m no scientist.  Anyhow, I like this song.  It has a nice, simplistic 80s sound that’s easy to get lost in.  The band is all set to release Nocturne on August 28 via Captured Tracks and Bella Union.

:Moon Duo – Sleepwalker:  In case you don’t remember, this band was started by Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shijps) and Sanae Yamada.  I didn’t find their debut full length, Mazes, to be as great as most people made it out to be, but I’m still looking forward to the new album.  Mostly because I think this psychedelic track sounds pretty cool.  Circles is expected out at some point this fall on Sacred Bones.

:Wavves – Hippies Is Punks:  For a while now these guys have been moving away from the all-garbled sound that they debuted with, and I consider this to be a very good thing.  Here’s hoping we get more fuzzy pop songs out of Wavves.  Less noise looks nice on them.  This track was made for the Adult Swim Singles Program.

:The xx – Chained:  I get why so many people dig this act, but I have to admit that I’ve never felt much of an attachment to them.  With that being said, I do think this is a pretty cool track.  You should throw on some headphones for it.  Coexist is due out September 11 via Young Turks.

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