Doing these annual lists has definitely screwed up my media consumption habits. Late November through mid January has become a mad sprint, where I re-interrogate all the albums I enjoyed, catch up with the Oscar bait/indie/foreign films that are hard to see in the warmer months, and finish up a few massive games so I can feel good about writing about them. The one department in exception is my favorite shows, where, since I diligently keep up-to-date, my list is pretty much set months in advance. So the most consistently reliable entertainment medium for me becomes the one I’m least excited to write about. To help me get over that humdrum attitude, this year I’m going to try to passionately pitch these shows to you, instead of just writing about why I like them. Is that really that different? Let’s find out!
Honestly, I’m not sure why we’re doing this. I pretty much said everything I had to say about 2018 music in my Top Albums of the Year post. Or, at least, I did before I looked at it and saw that it read exactly like something someone would’ve begrudgingly written at midnight on Christmas Day. Regardless, I probably won’t put a ton of effort into this post. But then again, I guess that’s what top ten lists are for. No one comes to these things for the immaculate prose. It’s just all about those rankings… Continue reading
Here’s a bunch of songs I liked from last year. I hope you like them too.
We thought we’d do this as a podcast, but instead we’re doing this as posts to buy us more time to work on our other top 10 lists. I get to go first because it was my idea to stall for more time, and because I’m the only one who’s still on holiday now that we’ve finished our sprint into 2019. So… last year had plenty of good songs, more than the 15 I’ve listed below, which you know is true because there are artists whose albums I put on my top 10 list who don’t show up here. Check it!
I don’t always find ten albums I love every year. I don’t lose sleep over this conclusion because that’s what makes the search for new music exciting. It’s not a given I’ll always find an album that connects with me, but when I do, that’s a special feeling. 2018 had a lot of albums I appreciated, admired, respected, but few I loved. Plenty of albums were solid, maybe only one or two really spoke to me, but I always enjoy the journey. Here’s what I found.
As you get older, you fall into ruts of routine and time speeds up. I’ve been aware of this phenomenon for a long time: the way I understand it, your brain only really tries to remember novel experiences, so as you get older and are learning less, you stop storing as much. I’m someone who hates routine, preferring to falls my instincts and impulses about how to spend my time, when to eat, when to sleep. The thing is, I’ve been at my current job for more than four years now – longer than I’ve done anything – and I’ve found that dreaded rhythm. Wake up too early for my morning meeting, go to Starbucks, sit at my desk at the office, go to Taco Time, sit at my desk at home, stay up too late. I’m not miserable, I think there is actually a lot of joy in my life, but it doesn’t read that way on paper. Hopefully I’ll find a way to remix that in 2019, but before that, let me share with you the albums that helped make the those times in cars and at desks less boring than they sound.
2018 felt like a very good year for music, but I’m not sure if that’s just because it felt like a very music-filled year for music. It’s hard to say if this is how things will continue to develop moving forward into our inevitable scorched Earth future. But the advent of streaming has continued to provide so many music-listening options that it feels both overwhelming and endlessly satisfying to be a music fan. That is, if you’re willing to remain open to the bevy of great new artists waiting to be discovered. This year I found a few of those, as well as some old favorites still able to rattle the cage of this ever-changing music landscape. Let’s dive in. Continue reading