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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: Casket Girls, Yung, Mutual Benefit, Kristin Kontrol, Sonny & The Sunsets

May 5, 2016

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Casket Girls – Tears Of A Clown:  Here’s a real attention-grabber from Casket Girls.  I hope there’s more of the same to be found on their new full length.  The Night Machines is due out June 3 via Graveface.

:Yung – The Child:  Just when I’m sure that Yung is all about being noisy, they deliver this really solid slow burner.  Their debut album is going to be great.  A Youthful Dream is due out June 10 via Fat Possum.

:Mutual Benefit – The Hereafter:  Unsurprisingly, this is a really gorgeous track.  I’m pretty sure that Mutual Benefit’s upcoming LP is going to be one of those that’s best devoured with a good pair of headphones.  Skip A Sinking Stone is due out May 20 via Mom + Pop.

:Kristin Kontrol – (Don’t) Wannabe:  “My own happiness offends me.”  Now that’s a line I can relate to.  On another note, I’m starting to come around on this project (it’s from Dee Dee of the Dum Dum Girls).  X-Communicate is due out May 27 via Sub Pop.

:Sonny And The Sunsets – Moods:  Merrill Garbus (Tune-Yards) produced the new album from Sonny And The Sunsets’, and this is the latest track to be released off of it.  I think it’s a rather fun tune.  Moods Baby Moods is due out May 27 via Polyvinyl.

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Quickdraw: Yung, The Julie Ruin, Diarrhea Planet, Weaves, Car Seat Headrest

April 12, 2016

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Yung – Uncombed Hair:  In the press release that came along with this sharp indie rocker there’s a part where Yung main brain Mikkel Holm Silkjaer mentions that “this one is dedicated to bad things and good people.”  I like that line.  Youthful Dream is due out June 10 via Fat Possum.

:The Julie Ruin – I Decide:  When Kathleen Hanna popped up in this P.O.S. track, it got me wondering if she and The Julie Ruin were still a thing.  Yep!  In fact, they just joined the Hardly Art roster and announced a new album.  Neat.  This first single is really catchy.  Hit Reset is due out July 8.

:Diarrhea Planet – Let It Out:  Just in case you’re under the impression that Diarrhea Planet only churn out party anthems, here’s a fairly low-key effort from them.  Turn To Gold is due out June 10 via Infinity Cat/Dine Alone.

:Weaves – Candy:  Holy cow.  This is one hell of a song by Weaves.  I’ve been a big fan of theirs for a while now, but I can’t say I knew they could rip it up like this.  The band’s self titled album is due out June 17 via Kanine.

:Car Seat Headrest – Fill In The Blank:  If my love for Car Seat Headrest (aka Will Toledo) has been making you feel confused, then give this song a shot.  It’s by far his most accessible effort yet, and it just may convince you to jump on his bandwagon.  Teens Of Denial is due out May 20 via Matador.

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Quickdraw: P.O.S., Black Mountain, Weaves, Pity Sex, Yung

March 7, 2016

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Music!  Enjoy.

:P.O.S – Sleepdrone-Superposition:  Kathleen Hanna, Allan Kingdom, Astronautalis, Eric Mayson, Hard_R, Lydia Liza, Lizzo and Nicholas L. Perez are all listed as contributors on this intense nine-minute monster from P.O.S.  What a way to start the week.  The Sleepdrone/Superposition single is out now via Doomtree.

:Black Mountain – Florian Saucer Attack:  This track is Black Mountain in bizarro mode (I mean, just look at the the video), but I like it.  Judging by the first single and this song, their upcoming album is looking like it’ll be a diverse listen.  IV is due out April 1 via Jagjaguwar.

:Weaves – One More:  There’s something about Jasmyn Burke’s voice that I can’t get enough of.  As you’ll see in this catchy, 90s-esque indie rock tune, it’s just got its own thing going on.  Weaves’ self-titled LP is due out June 17 via Kanine/Memphis Industries/Buzz.

:Pity Sex – Bonhomie:  Here’s a good pop song from Pity Sex.  I especially love the on-point boy/girl vocal combo that slides in around the halfway mark.  White Hot Moon is due out April 29 via Run For Cover.

:Yung – Pills:  Yung (aka Mikkel Holm Silkjaer) has quickly become a real favorite of mine, and I’m hoping I can the act at SXSW.  This new single is pure indie rock goodness.  A Youthful Dream is due out June 10 via Fat Possum.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2015: Part 3

December 2, 2015

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Here’s the next set in my Top 50 Songs of 2015 list.  Enjoy.

- 50-41
- 40-31

30)  :Chvrches – Never Ending Circles:  This is such an infectious song.  Here’s hoping that Chvrches never ditch their anthemic pop routine.  From Every Open Eye.

29)  :Mas Ysa – Look Up:  I love me some Mas Ysa (aka Thomas Arsenault).  You should slap on some headphones for this ambitious track, which features big vocals and a wonderfully textured arrangement.  From Seraph.

28)  :Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle:  If you like your music to feel as sincere as possible, then look no further than this Julien Baker song.  Her voice here cuts right through me.  From Sprained Ankle.

27)  :Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin:  Kurt Vile is such a great songwriter, and he shows it all throughout this silly, but really clever track.  From B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down.

26)  :Yung – Blue Uniforms:  I’m all about noisy, shoegaze-esque indie rock, and this Yung song is six and a half glorious minutes of it.  Had to put it on my list!  From the These Thoughts Are Like Mandatory Chores EP.

25)  :Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake?:  This Protomartyr track is not exactly an easy listen, but it’s totally worth the attention it requires.  Hit play, dial in and get rewarded.  From The Agent.

24)  :Amen Dunes – Song To The Siren (Tim Buckely/This Mortal Coil Cover):  Amen Dunes covered a cover (The Mortal Coil –> Tim Buckley) here, and I just really dig the way it came out.  Be warned, you’ll want whiskey about midway through this.  From Cowboy Worship.

23)  :Girlpool – Before The World Was Big:  Growing up is hard!  This Girlpool song makes me feel nostalgic (not sad, thankfully) about life before adulthood rolled in and took over.  From Before The World Was Big.

22)  :Fred Thomas – Bad Blood:  Fred Thomas and the definition of word vomit go hand in hand in this track, but that’s fine.  If only because the numerous things bouncing around in his head are all interesting and/or relatable.  From All Are Saved.

21)  :Black Milk – I Guess:  This is just an all-out, good time sort of effort by Black Milk.  He will always be one of my favorite voices in hip hop.  From the land of one-off tracks.

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Quickdraw: Skylar Spence, Heavenly Beat, PWR BTTM, Yung, Car Seat Headrest

September 8, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Skylar Spence – I Can’t Be Your Superman:  This new single from Skylar Spence (formerly Saint Pepsi, just in case you forgot) is immensely corny, but it’s too dancey and fun to not like.  Prom King is due out September 18 via Carpark Records.  See him at Stubb’s on October 31.

:Heavenly Beat – Intent:  Whenever I listen to this I want to take a late night drive with the windows down.  More please.  Heavenly Beat’s Designer is expected to be released later this year.  See him at Stubb’s on September 30.

:PWR BTTM – 1994:  It’s taken me far too long to come around on PWR BTTM.  They’re so good!  What was I thinking?  Anyhow, this song is a rad slice of 90s-enthused indie rock.  Ugly Cherries is due out September 18 via Father/Daughter.

:Yung – God:  It’s taken pretty much no time at all for me to fall in love with Yung.  Their singles (here’s the other one) have been impressive.  The These Thoughts Are Like Mandatory Chores EP is due out September 18 via Fat Possum.

:Car Seat Headrest – Something Soon:  Matador just added Car Seat Headrest (aka Will Toledo) to their illustrious roster.  As for this track, it’s really inspired and infectious, and I can’t stop listening to it.  Teens Of Style is due out October 30.

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Quickdraw: The Most Serene Republic, Potty Mouth, Yung, Traams, Cool Ghouls

August 10, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:The Most Serene Republic – Ontario Morning:  I’ve always liked The Most Serene Republic, so I’m happy they decided to bring their hiatus to an end.  This first single back is really energetic, and I hope the rest of their new LP (their first in six years) is just like it.  Mediac is due out November 13 via MapleMusic.

:Potty Mouth – Cherry Picking:  I really dig this song, but I have to admit it might be a bit much for those of you who prefer to stay away from anything that’s 110% 90s-enthused.  Potty Mouth will release a self titled EP on August 21 via Planet Whatever Records.

:Yung – Blue Uniforms:  Yung frontman Mikkel Holm Silkjær is only 21, so I guess that explains why this six-minute track is all over the place.  Kids and their weird attention spans, right?  At least it’s being used for good here.  The These Thoughts Are Like Mandatory Life Choices EP is due out September 18 via Fat Possum.

:Traams – Succulent Thunder Anthem:  The press release for Traams new album says that for it the band “adapted the charisma of White Denim’s experimentalism and early Modest Mouse’ indie guitar pop.”  I’m in for that.  Though, for whatever reason, I kind of hear more Parquet Courts here than anything else.  Modern Dancing is due out November 13 via FatCat Records.

:Cool Ghouls – Creature That I Am:  Here’s a nice straight up rock n’ roll throwback from Cool Ghouls.  Crank it up loud.  The Creature That I Am 7″ is due out October 23 via Dizzybird Records.  They’re apparently playing Austin on October 2, but the venue is listed as TBD.

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