If you’re on my website, you can probably tell I like basketball – a lot. What may be less clear is that I’m equally passionate about music. For nearly three years, I’ve made it a weekly priority to add two songs to a running playlist I titled “Good new music.”
With this being New Years Eve, I wanted to take a little time to reflect, re-listen, and share some of the top songs I learned in 2016. Welcome to my year on Spotify.
I first heard Chet Faker (I mean, Nick Murphy) in 2015, but this EP with Marcus Marr showed me a new dimension to Murphy’s music that hadn’t been unearthed yet.
I found this song on Discover Weekly and immediately loved it. Hope you do too!
For starters, I would probably say Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers were my favorite artist of 2016. When I first heard No Money (Jetski), I felt compelled to share it around quickly. Then I checked out their album, Terra Incognita, and quickly bookmarked them as a go-to on Spotify. Catchy beats, Freddy Mercury level-vocals, and some of the snazziest horns around all meld into one awesome sound.
They’re still young and it’ll be hard for them to sustain the range and enthusiasm on their next album. But for the moment, Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers are awesome. Hailing from Michigan, they take Motown influence and marry it with an undeniably addicting indie-pop sound.
Also check out Captain America, Hometown, and Feel.
True story: I saw Clyde Lawrence on the subway platform just two weeks ago. It was midnight and I debated whether it was worth approaching to fan-boy. I did, and I’m glad for it.
He said that he doesn’t know what it is about the MTA but he’s only been recognized like ten times in his life, and they’ve all been on the subway. If that’s the case, for a guy with John Mayer’s voice and a band of comparable talent, Clyde and the rest of Lawrence (younger sister Gracie fronts several songs) are far too anonymous. Check out Where It Started From, So Damn Fast, and Do You Wanna Do Nothing With Me? They’re all great.
I honestly don’t know much about Good Graeff. What I do know is that it’s a band with two sisters. And one of those sisters plays the cello really, really well.
Yup, that’s the same Jon Batiste who leads Stephen Colbert’s Late Show band. I gained a lot of respect for him after hearing this song. The guy’s incredibly talented.
It took me a while to jump on the Vulpeck bandwagon but, damn, I’m in. It’s admittedly not a sound for everyone, but I think you should give them a shot.
August was undoubtedly my favorite month of music for the year. Honorable mentions go out to Bruce Wayne by Memorecks and Drive by Pretty Sister for this spot.
I saw MOOD ROBOT open for the incredibly talented Argonaut & Wasp over the summer and thought Drip was one of the best produced songs I’ve heard in a while. So many instruments have to blend together to make it work, and they pulled it off.
On a somewhat real note, I started to get a little anxious in September. I was unemployed, hadn’t found a job I was excited about, and found myself in a general summer malaise, where I stopped enjoying the time off. I heard this song and it gradually helped restore positivity in my mind. It’s fun, interesting, and uplifting – and it came at the right time.
I should qualify October by stating that Bon Iver’s 22, A Million (listen to the whole album from start to finish if you haven’t) was my favorite album of the year. However, I’m writing to share anonymous artists that deserve some more attention. CAPYAC fits the bill perfectly. Ignoring the fact that their album cover sorta freaks me out, Speedracer is a really interesting song.
When I first saw the name Lostboycrow pop up on my Discover Weekly, I thought I wouldn’t like them based solely off the name. I was wrong. Lostboycrow blends awesome vocals with an electric-sound that’s both inviting and — at times — edgy.
Found these guys on Discover Weekly and immediately loved the band name. It turns out their sound is pretty catchy too! It’s not supposed to be a pump up song but somehow Freakin’ Me Out has become a favorite on my workout playlist.
If you’ve made it this far, here’s an extra song for the road that I think you’ll enjoy.
That’s it! Lots of great music this year so it was hard to boil the list down. Do you have any recommendations for me based on these tunes? Drop me a line!
Happy New Year!