01. No Way Down - THE SHINS
James Mercer has an infectious voice & I'll listen to him sing anything. This year's album, Port of Morrow, is packed with great sounds.
02. Apocalypse Dreams - TAME IMPALA
I am simply amazed at the attention to detail and creativity throughout the debut and now this follow up record, Lonerism, from this young Australian. The warm, fuzzed-out psych aesthetic is right up my alley.
03. These Chains - HOT CHIP
Not to boast, but I’m gonna boast; I have supported this band virtually from the start (I even sold their merch at their first headline show @ Great Scott in Boston). These funky Brits just keep getting better with each subsequent album, including In Our Love, their fifth. The title of this year's mix comes from this one, listen up!
04. Past Lives - DIIV
One of my breakthrough artists picks. Every song on the debut album, Oshin, is drenched in luch, swirly guitar w/ delay. I’m curious to see if they can hold it together for a follow up.
05. Who - DAVID BYRNE & ST. VINCENT
My long-time buddy, Jordan Rosen, scored a pair of tickets to see this interesting music pairing at NYC's Beacon Theater. One of the best live gigs in recent memory. Talking Heads songs paired w/ St. Vincent and accompanied by a 10-piece brass band choreographed w/ marching band flair.
06. My Love is Real - DIVINE FITS
Another musical collaboration gone right. When singers with distinctive sounds pair up it's usually a fight for attention. Not the case here. The front men from 2 of my favorite groups, Spoon & Wolf Parade, support and give each other space to do their thing on alternating tracks. This is a very 'wolf parade' song and I've got to say, the live show was fantastic.
07. Walkin' - THUNDERCAT
Over the past few years, my boy Sam Obey has been hipping me to the hottest summer jams via his impeccable & custom annual BBQ mix. Time and again he provides the sounds of my summer.
08. Five Seconds - TWIN SHADOW
I am so proud to see that an old friend from Boston has been following his musical passion and making a living of it, having a hell of a time. Here is the 'single' from the sophomore record Confess. The VIDEO is pretty neat too. I don't think that this is the last you'll be hearing from George Lewis Jr.
09. Sixteen Saltines - JACK WHITE
Seeing one of my favorite artists live in a relatively intimate venue (Webster Hall) was a real treat. Without James Brown to hold the crown, Jack White is the hardest working man in show business. He's killer live too. If you have a chance to see him perform, take it!
10. City Never Sleeps - TOURISM
If you've followed my musical selections for some time, you know I love young British bands. Tourism was introduced to me by podcast partner, Mr. Matt Jennings (@cntndxplsn), and I hope that you'll agree, this one is hot.
11. Watching Waiting - HOLYCHILD
Another gem dug up by Jennings! Geez. Can I even take credit for these selections anymore? In any case, I am transfixed by the little output that this D.C.-based duo has currently available. From their own bio, "The sound of holychild seeks to bridge the gap between Bjork & Katy Perry." I look forward to great things.
12. Got To Get Up - CHANGE
Another hot jam introduced to me by Sam. Check out his musical projects via ASTRONAUTICO
13. Happy Man - CHIC
You probably know Chic from their smash hit 'Le Freak', which is surely why my buddy, Aaron Boroughs, gifted their debut LP to me at my bachelor party this summer. Turns out the whole record is a forgotten gem. This song basically sums up my life this year.
14. D.D. - THE WEEKND
This young and somewhat mysterious Canadian singer/producer wows w/ an unexpected cover of one of Michael Jackson’s less well-known hits. Sounds great late late night.
15. Lazuli - BEACH HOUSE
Damn. The bar was set much too high with 2010’s Teen Dream , but you know what? This year's Bloom delivers! Try to ignore it.
16. Remote & Dark Years - MAPS & ATLASES
Again, giving credit where it is due, this band was introduced to be by one of my longstanding buds, Calvin Pia. You might know him from his luxurious guitar sounds in AKUDAMA or SNOWMINE . Check it out. Need some reverb or delay? Cal's got you covered!
17. Yet Again - GRIZZLY BEAR
Yet again these brooklyn shut-ins make a dense, beautiful record. 2012 was good to Grizzly Bear, though I'm still scratching my head about why Jay Z & Beyonce were spotted in the VIP section of one of their shows this summer.
18. Sweet Life - FRANK OCEAN
Initially I wouldn't listen to the record from which this song comes from, Why? I really don't want to get down with the Odd Future group. They are a bunch of hooligans! However, I gave in and am reluctantly glad that I did. There are some real gems on the album which will probably win a Grammy at least in the Best New Artist category. Do I actually care? No. But it seems somewhat significant that we have a new, young soul(ish) singer on the radar.
19. I'm Getting Ready - MICHAEL KIWANUKA
Michael, WE are ready. I think you are too. I saw you at Webster Hall in NYC this year and my highest hopes for you were met and exceeded. We need more music like this.
20. Hey Jane - SPIRITUALIZED
Finally, I can include an 8+ minute song on the mix. This one is a slow-burning gem. Spacy sounds + garage rock attitude = aural bliss.