01. Never Say Never - BASEMENT JAXX
My favorite song of the year is supported by my favorite video of the year (of the last few years actually). Give it a watch below. Basement Jaxx - they just don’t stop.
02. Shelter Song - TEMPLES
Hailing from Australia, these young psych-rockers have made a huge impression on me. Saw em with the Hudson River as a backdrop this past summer and was not disappointed in the slightest. The record, Sun Structures, was Rough Trade’s pick for Album of the Year. I agree.
03. Rome - SNOWMINE
Snowmine is one of those groups comprised of some close personal friends. The Dialects record is solid through and through. Calvin (guitars) and I grew up together in CT and I like to think that our upbringing in the woods has something to do with these beautifully lush tones.
04. Awake - TYCHO
Ultimate summer groove. Fantastic with live instrumentation at the gigs. If this is at all your thing, look into this year’s album of the same name.
05. All We Need - ODESZA
Picking a single cut from the excellent In Return album was tough. Someone pretty cool must have turned me on to this one. Whew! This lauding review from Earmilk (I just found this!) sums it up: Sometimes an album amazes you because you've never heard anything like it. But the opposite can also happen; an album blows you away because it seems to draw from lots of music you've heard and love, and combines the influences so perfectly it manages to transcend them altogether. Such is the case with Seattle-based duo Odesza's jaw-dropping new LP, In Return, released last week by Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records. Odesza are hardly alone in terms of genre, but In Return really feels like a seminal work that no one is going to top anytime soon.
06. Can’t Do Without You - CARIBOU
Easily one of my musical highlights this year was seeing Caribou live at Webster Hall. Songwriter Dan Snaith has been at the top of my musical appreciation list for a long while. His 2003 (as Manitoba), Up In Flames, is legendary. Wow is all I can say. The new record, Our Love, rocks.
07. Stolen Dance - MILKY CHANCE
I don’t know what to say about this song, I just like it.
08. Garota - ERLEND OYE
A hot track off from an otherwise tepid album. Thank goodness for single-based listening (via Spotify and others). One of the smoothest vocalists in the game.
09. Happy Idiot - TV ON THE RADIO
They no longer reside in Williamsburg, but these long time favorites came back with a few more gems on Seeds. Wicked cool video starring Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee.
10. Hollywood Forever... - FATHER JOHN MISTY
Great sounding drums. Ex-Fleet Foxes. Pretty intense video featuring Aubrey Plaza.
11. Red Eyes - THE WAR ON DRUGS
Settle into the groove of this laidback jam. Get comfy.
12. Delorean Dynamite - TODD TERJE
Another tough pick out of an excellent album.
13. Jealous (I Ain’t With It) - CHROMEO
Sonically, so very close to Penguin Prison. That’s good.
14. Pay Attention - BIG K.R.I.T.
I don’t know, something about the tone on this one makes me long for the 90’s hip hop heyday.
15. Early - RUN THE JEWELS
Two of my favorite “indie” rappers, together? Yes! The album is a banger.
16. Happy With Me - HOLYCHILD
Hey, HOLYCHILD is starting to hit it big. Starting out in tiny rooms, they are now finding themselves sharing larger stages with bigger acts. Keep an ear out for this power duo.
17. Talking Backwards - REAL ESTATE
Hailing from my wife’s hometown, Ridgewood, New Jersey, this band has really grown on me. They certainly have the live chops as well.
18. The Rule - FACES ON FILM
I miss seeing my friend Mike play these lovely songs live. If you are in the Boston area, or he decides to tour, don’t miss out!
19. Blue Moon - BECK
It is no secret that I’m a huge fan of Beck. Dude has had an insane run of killer records. This year’s Morning Phase is sonically similar to Sea Change and I could not be happier about it.