Top Ten Favorite Albums of All Time. Basically every track on all of these is gold and I never get sick of listening to any of them. (Click images or bands/titles)
If you wanna make one of these you can, I tag you. I specifically also tag danithedoommagnet, dextroamino and hillsidewitch (because you introduced me to Igorrr so I wanna know what other treasures you’re hiding up your sleeve)
1. paramore | self-titled favorite song: daydreaming “not that i won’t remember where i’m from, just don’t wanna be here no more. it’s not enough (we’re only half alive), i’m gonna go (we’re only half alive), where the rest of the dreamers go”
2. daughter | if you leave favorite song: shallows. “dry your smoke-stung eyes so you can see the light you’re staring at the sky watching stars collide”
3. the civil wars | self-titled favorite song: eavesdrop “oh the caged bird dreams of a strong wind that will flow beneath her wings, like a voice longs for a melody, oh Jesus, carry me” - from this valley
4. gregory alan isakov | the weatherman favorite song: suitcase full of sparks “and I’ll meet you in the graveyard, with the winter trees and stars, oh, we could open up this suitcase full of sparks”
5. tegan & sara | heartthrob favorite song: i’m not your hero “I’m not their hero, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t brave. I never walked the party line, doesn’t mean that I was never afraid.”
6. bastille | bad blood favorite song: flaws. “all of your flaws and all of my flaws, they lie there hand in hand. ones we’ve inherited, ones that we learned, they pass from man to man”
7.mike mains and the branches | the everything ep favorite song: noises. “they say you’ll never find truth within this life, but I say that’s a lie”
8.andrew belle | black bear favorite song: black bear. “picture me on an ocean, in a chest that i hollow. i picture you in slow motion somewhere in west colorado”
9. storm circus | alpha favorite song: fishes. “the hardest part of this whole dream is tearing apart my doubt, finding hope to believe, that my tired heart is not incomplete”
10. relient k | collapsible lung favorite song: collapsible lung. “and it’s a slow climb headed back to the sky, and I’m feelin’ backwards when I’m trying the most, and I hope haven’t heard the last words from the holy ghost. because I think that I’m supposed to be well on my way by now”
My top ten albums this year:
Absent - Walking Home Alone
Code Orange - I Am King
Flowers Taped To Pens - s/t
Full of hell/merzbow
Homewrecker - Circle of Death
Incantation - Dirges of Elysium
Perturbator - Dangerous Days
Rings of Saturn - Lugal ki en
Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living
Trap Them - Blissfucker
Sounds Like: A John Green book set to a dream-pop soundtrack
For Fans of: Broods, the Neighbourhood, romantic suburban angst
Why You Should Pay Attention: The South Africa-born, Australia-raised Troye Sivan had a Top Ten album last month with Blue Neighborhood and lead single “Wild” has more than 12 million YouTube views. Though he’s only 20 years old, stardom has been 10 years in the making. As a pre-teen he began acting on stage (Oliver!, Waiting for Godot) and on screen (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), but he got his real start just over three years ago with his YouTube channel, becoming a popular vlogger. Still, before he became internet famous, music had been his first love and he released four EPs since 2007 before finally unveiling his debut, Blue Neighbourhood, a lush electropop collection that tackles angsty teen romance in an idyllic manner. “I was very limited for a very long time,” Sivan explains of why he waited so long to release a full-length album. “The song that ended up getting me signed to my record label was a song called ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ which was my first time producing and writing everything. I did it all myself, and it took ages. If I listen back now, I’m pretty sure I hear glitches.”
For the singer-songwriter, not only did he find pop icons like Michael Jackson and the Spice Girls influential, but he also credits the discovery of Swedish and Scandinavian artists like Robyn and Donkeyboy as a teenager with expanding his ideas of what pop can be. “It was mind-blowing to me that pop music could be really smart and cool and still be pop music and still make you feel as good and still be catchy.” Later on, artists like Lorde and Lana Del Rey — “[With her lyrics,] it’s guaranteed some young person is going to get it tattooed on their body” —paved the way for Blue Neighborhood, showing him ways that youth can be described in smart ways while still reaching a large audience.
He Says: “Most of my visual inspiration comes from spending a lot of time online, scrolling through beautiful Tumblr blogs and finding really cool artists and photographers on Instagram. The artist who did my artwork for the Wild EP and Blue Neighbourhood was an artist I found on Tumblr from Taiwan. I also found the typographer who did the Wild handwriting for the cover art online as well. Most of my discovery and inspiration for visuals comes from online.”
Hear for Yourself: The gorgeous, dreamy “Wild” previewed his sweet and whimsical debut LP.
What a great year for new music! I’m going to give a top ten list my best shot, so here goes!
10. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color I’ll Keep this one short and sweet. I love what this album does to the subwoofer in my car. I also really enjoy the subtle merging of these classic blues licks, layered over beats I might find in a Hype Williams album. This album grooves.
9. El Ten Eleven - Fast Forward This band brings back memories of me,Luke Johnston, and Charles David Timothy Abbott grooving around our garage in Spokane, WA, blasting El Ten Eleven’s “My only Swerving”. Since then, this band is my go-to for long drives, and for days when fog keeps me into my room. This new album is full of repetitive, ambient guitar loops, and almost drum & Bass-esqe beats that make time fly. Inasmuch as the same ideas and textures that exist in El Ten Eleven’s music, exist in glitch, and maybe even dubstep, it is rare, and awesome to find a band that can take those ideas and apply them through classic rock & roll moods and feels. I enjoy this album’s approach to funk, and it’s modern take on sounds I can here similarly in rock albums.
8. Noah Gundersen - Carry The Ghost Noah Gundersen is my hero. His 2014 release, “Ledges” has invoked so much emotion from me, and a large group of my friends. You may know him from his most popular song “Jesus, Jesus”. There has never been another artist that I identify with so seamlessly on topics such as spirituality, religion, and the modern Christian church. Now, all of that being true, the bulk of this album was lacking what I have found, and admired in his previous work, and I cannot put my finger on exactly what that element is. What I think is happening, is that Noah is trying to move more and more away from where he began; just him and a guitar, and he is trying to assimilate his original drive and writing style into a more sub-pop kind of feel. As much as I can see innovation in how he is going about this, I cannot honestly say I am fully behind him in this transition. All that being said, this album held a few treasures that made it absolutely worth ranking in my top ten. “Slow Dancer” was a brilliant, sad, ballroom kind of genius, and “Selfish Art” describes his life as a touring artist in the most understandable way I can imagine. I may not like exactly where I think he’s going with his music, but I am, nevertheless very excited to see how he will continue to bare his heart
7. mewithoutyou - Pale Horsesmewithoutyou’s 2012 release, “Ten Stories” made my number one album of that year, and yet again they have released another hugely complex, almost violently atmospheric piece of art. It makes me feel like the world is ending, but everything is going to turn out just fine. The concept of this album is just that; a reflection of the downfall of humanity, but the resolve and salvation that exists within that. mewithoutyou has come a long way from their chaotic, very loud spoken word style, that initially drew me toward them in my thrashcore, punk loving days. There has never been another band like this, and mewithoutyou continues to push out some of the most creative sounds I’ve ever heard. When it comes to applying an album to a current sociological state, with a certain bias of course, I don’t think any album this year did that better than this album.
6. Young Thug - Barter 6Here’s another one I’ll keep short and sweet. This album bumps. I love hip hop, especially when I can run it through the system in my car, but this album has an ambient, melodic quality I can’t find anywhere else. Check it out, you won’t regret it.
5. Copeland - IxoraMy first Copeland CD was a burnt copy from a friend that also included some mixed tracks from Avenged Sevenfold, and 10 years. Me and my friends, and I’m sure you and your’s as well, used to trade mix cd’s of all the new and exciting music we found. For us, the standard was whoever could find the music with the most screaming was the coolest. We began our descent into hardcore and metalcore this way, starting with bands like 12 Stones, and Dizmas, and eventually finding what we were looking for in bands like Underoath, Norma Jean, and The Devil Wears Prada. From there, it was a cyclone of breakdowns and pig squeals. Since this is what we were after, you can imagine how a band like Copeland would have gotten passed over in the quest for bands that represented our teenage angst. Because of this, I didn’t actually really take time to listen to this burnt Copeland cd I had until later, in college. They became my favorite band for my entire freshman year, I played them every day, all day. Shortly after I found out they were breaking up. I was very distraught because I had never found a band that was this musical that could capture my attention this way. I was basically heartbroken that they wouldn’t be making music again. So when Copeland announced their reunion, and their release of “Ixora”, I was ecstatic. When the album dropped, It did not disappoint. Aaron Marsh’s familiar vocal weaved around the classic guitar and piano I had come to idolize so much. I am stoked that copeland released this new album, and I hope they continue to write music. They do not hold the #1 spot for go-to band as they once did, but they are, and always will be, a huge part of where I am now, and especially who I am as a musician.
4. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a ButterflyControversial, Relevant, Spiritual, Vulgar, Emotional, Honest…..Life Changing. All keywords you might find in hundreds of articles and blogs written about who Kendrick Lamar is, and where he is going. There’s not really any other way to say it, other than, I believe kendrick is presenting the realest and most relevant, touchable, applicable questions about life, and spirituality, God, and the fight against self that we all have. Maybe you’ve seen his custom designed “Red, Blue” Reeboks, or seen his interviews with both Christian and secular magazines alike, or seen his work with Christian rapper Lacrae, or with just about any other rapper in the scene, ranging from Dr. Dre to yellawolf. Any person who has an open and transparent approach to life and spirituality will identify with the themes in this album.
3. Neck Deep - Life’s Not Out to Get YouIt’s been years since I’ve indulged in Pop Punk, but Neck Deep has something about their work that I would describe as far more complex than any old Taking Back Sunday or New Found Glory album. There’s something so simple and joyful about music like this that helps me to forget all the responsibilities that have become mine, as I’ve progressed upwards since my 18th birthday. This album snaps. My favorite track on the record, “Kali Ma”, is full of catchy rhymes and groovy bass driven jams. If you’re like me, and you’ve recently begun to resurrect your high school idols like A Day To Remember, All Time Low, and Good Charlotte, then you will be very pleasantly surprised with Neck Deep.
2. Andy Shauf - The Bearer of Bad NewsBefore I begin critiquing this album, let me first tell you how honored I was to meet Mr. Shauf at Hollywood’s Troubadour back in November. I was able to pick up a vinyl copy of his new album, “The Bearer of Bad News”, and it has been spinning on my turntable just about every other evening or so for the last few months. Andy’s Saskatchewan accent is hypnotizing as he spins tales within his music about old men he knew, insomnia, and about his home land. His live performance is also just about flawless. If you haven’t yet, you need to get on board the Andy Shauf train, and go pick up one of his records. It’s another album that couples perfectly with a fresh cup of coffee, and a blank itinerary.
1. The Helio Sequence - The Helio SequenceI remember discovering The Helio Sequence shortly after I first discovered Pandora, and Pandora I can thank for revealing to me what would become perhaps my favorite band (I still can’t offer a definitive answer when people ask me what my favorite band is). The Beaverton, OR Duo sums up what I believe represents much of the Northwest music scene. The Helio Sequence’s Song “Broken Afternoon” was one of the key songs that inspired my dive into songwriting and performing. This new album stays just as true to the original characteristics of the ‘2004 The Helio Sequence’ as any legend, however, as I’ve followed them, and as I’ve grown as a musician, and as a person, I’ve heard them do the same. Brandon Summers has grown so much vocally since their 2008 release “Keep Your Eyes Ahead”. 2015 was an incredible year for new music. Usually I struggle to find 10 albums that I believe worthy of ranking, but this year’s new releases left me wrestling with about 30 albums that ALL impacted me enough to want to include them all in a top ten. However, the question about album #1, was without a doubt the easiest question to answer. This album is confident, dusky, and absolutely deliberate in how it reflects The Pacific Northwest.
I finally got around to doing this 10 album thing that derdoktorsschnabel tagged me in. Just looking at my lineup here is super exciting. They’re in alphabetical order, so this isn’t necessarily the order I’d have put them in.
1) The Afterman- Coheed and Cambria
I couldn’t decide which “album” from this I wanted to do, so I just did both. This is technically a double album, consisting of “Ascension” and “Descension”. This album is Coheed’s magnum opus, and I don’t say that lightly. Coheed has put out some excellent shit over the years, varying in genre and and tone but always maintaining relative quality and telling a different part of the Keywork’s story. Every album pre-Afterman feels like a different lesson the band learned, and they apply each one for The Afterman. Ascension is good. Descension is perfect. It all comes together for Gravity’s Union, the climax of both albums, and comes gently down with Iron Fist and 2′s My Favorite 1, which will play at my wedding. It’s an amazing set of albums.
2) Antemasque- Antemasque
I never listened to much of The Mars Volta, but when the first three Antemasque tracks were released my friend John, who loves TMV, bought me a pre order for this album for a couple bucks. I listened to it on repeat for weeks when it came out. It’s a 7/10. A couple meh songs, but overall a really really strong album. Drown All Your Witches is the best song.on the album. I believe it’s about Hurricane Katrina,but I haven’t done a lot of research.
3) Far- Regina Spektor
This is my favorite Regina album. The first one I ever heard was Soviet Kitsch, which I didn’t like too much, but nipnoptrash showed me this one and I love it. First song I ever heard from it was Machine, which is still really really good, but I think my favorite is either Blue Lips or Genius Next Door. Or Folding Chair. Fuck it’s so hard to choose. (Author’s note: Soviet Kitsch did eventually grow on me.)
4) Kiss Each Other Clean- Iron & Wine
It’s hard to choose a single Iron & Wine album. I saw them live in Kent last year, and they were amazing. I decided on Kiss Each Other Clean over Shepherd’s Dog, simply because I prefer the bluesy tone of it over Shepherd’s Dogs more folky tune. I think my favorite song is Big Burned Hand. The lyrics are too good. “When the winsome god of war came to/ set me free/ he had a couple of/ Coke bottles full of/ gasoline/ singing “All I love is all that I allow”/ and he blew me a kiss of his big burned hand.” I love it so much.
5) …Like Clockwork-Queens of the Stone Age
I was torn between this and Them Crooked Vulture’s, but this album is too good to not make it. Every song on it is an absolute fucking knockout in every way, from the religious tones of My God Is The Sun to the vaguely Sorin-esque tone of Vampyre of Time and Memory. I can’t praise this album enough.
6) Seeds-TV on the Radio
TV on the Radio’s first album since Gerald Smith’s death in 2011, Seeds got mediocre reviews on it’s release. This was confusing to me, both because I didn’t believe TV on the Radio could put out a bad album and because I was right. Seeds is phenomenal. Ana and I have listened to it for months. and it still holds up. Also, the video for Happy Idiot is amazing.
7)Some Nights- fun.
I unironically love this album. The intro is a phenomenal piece of music, and the theme runs through it like a strong artery. One Foot is a passionate and powerful condemnation of organized religion, and All Alone is a lovely tale of projection. I especially enjoy the passion of All Alone into the quiet but spread dejection of All Alright. It’s a great album.
8)Tallahassee- The Mountain Goats
I had to talk myself down to two Mountain Goats albums for this list. Tallahassee is a tale of a married couple (known as The Alpha Couple, as there are previous songs about them and they all begin with Alpha) who move into a house on Southwood Plantation Road, Tallahassee Florida, in a plan to end their marriage. The whole thing plays as almost an ode to divorce, with the couple describing how completely unhappy they both are and also how unwilling they are to divorce. This album is fucking phenomenal. It barely edges out Beat the Champ. Peacocks is a beautiful and wonderful ode to trauma, with the husband so reeling from the trauma of their relationship that it takes him the entire song to fully notice what’s happening. (”How come there’s peacocks/in the front yard?”) No Children is a disgusting and powerful ode to hatred. (”Our friends say it’s darkest before the sun rises/we’re pretty sure they’re all wrong/ I hope it stays dark forever/ I hope the worst isn’t over/ and I hope you blink before I do/ I hope I never get sober./ And I hope when you think of me years down the line/ you can’t find one good thing to say,/ and I’d hope that if I found the strength to walk out/ You’d stay the hell out of my way.”) Possibly the album’s climax, See America Right is a tale of a single man’s shitty journey from one place to the other. He just wants to get from Tampa back to Tallahassee, and is slowly realizing that he’s unhappy there and the closer he gets the more dejected he feels. There’s so much to this album and I love it.
9)Transcendental Youth- The Mountain Goats
This is the first Mountain Goats album I ever heard, and holy shit is it phenomenal. There’s so much depth and songwriting here that it’s honestly hard to pinpoint my favorite things about it. I’ll start with the songwriting- there’s a story here, although it’s hard to track. It’s loosely based around a group of people (I guess) who live in Washington state. The lyrics themselves are immensely powerful in every song- White Cedar and Until I Am Whole especially. Counterfeit Florida Plates is my favorite, an oddly cheerful song about homelessness with some of my favorite lyrics from the album. (”This may be the night/my pointmen finally come/ wait for the fog to catch up with me/ so I can at least feel numb.”) This album is amazing and I love it and you should listen to it immediately.
10)Undress-Jesca Hoop (and Friends)
This album is Jesca’s “undressed” versions of the songs from her previous album, Hunting My Dress. I say “and Friends” because most of them feature someone else as a duet. The Undressed versions are all beautiful, and even more powerful and impactful than their counterparts. Hunting My Dress even features The Bae™, Sam Beam of Iron & Wine. This album is fucking amazing and deserves a listen.
30 Top Albums challenge! Basically the concept is naming your top 10 favourite albums and tag 10 people. I was tagged by myhappylittlegay
1. AM - Artic Monkeys
2. Ultraviolence - Lana Del Rey
3. 1000 Forms Of Fear - Sia
4. Trilogy - The Weeknd
5. BEYONCÉ - Beyoncé
6. American Beauty/American Psycho - Fall Out Boy
7. In the Lonely Hour - Sam Smith
8. Born to Die - Lana Del Rey
9. TRXYE (EP) - Troye Sivan
10. XSCAPE - Michael Jackson
I was tagged by @gacktsmilliondollarfalsetto
(The song in the screen shots are my favourite songs on the albums) (the first one is my all time favourite song ever)
I tag any one who wants to do this, if you don’t then you don’t have to.