In the past, I’ve posted this mid-year list at the beginning of June, but I decided that to truly be a mid-year list, I needed to post it in July. This is list is comprised of some of my favorite albums released between January 1st and June 15th (there is a two week window in June because I didn’t want to put anything on the list that didn’t have time to marinate). 2017 started slowly in terms of great releases, but the past three months have been chock full of great work by both up-and-coming artists and veterans who have returned with outstanding offerings.
Stillness in Wonderland
[Age 101; 2017]
Over the past three years, Little Simz, the up-and-coming London hip-hop star, has shown her range. Her 2015 underground hit, “Dead Body”, hinted toward a dark and brooding artist while 2016’s AGE 101 DROPX EP aimed toward a more electronic approach. 2016’s conceptual effort Stillness in Wonderland continues in her path of unexpected turns with an album that is mellow and soulful, reminiscent of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill or Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun.
In this episode, I discuss some of the highlights from my week at SXSW including performances from Thao Nguyen, MONEY, Big Ups, and Nap Eyes. We also check out new tracks from Little Simz and Lucinda Williams, and I discuss The Descendents documentary “Filmage”. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play (search: BDWPS).
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down “Fool Forever”
MONEY “You Look Like a Sad Painting on Both Sides of the Sky”
Big Ups “National Parks”
Nap Eyes “Lion in Chains”
Little Simz “Have I”
Lucinda Williams “The Ghosts of Highway 20”
The Descendents “Hope”
Bob Dylan “Blowin’ in the Wind”
With the year coming to a close, it’s that time again to take a look back at some of the best that the music world had to offer in 2015. First up, I will run-down the most compelling album covers of 2015. Throughout the year, I kept a list of album covers that I found strange, beautiful, and provocative. This list is a compilation of my favorites from this year-long collection. Anyone who loves the album as an art form knows the importance of a powerful LP image, and the following 20 covers elevate their corresponding albums.