The trends of many year-end summaries for 2017 focus on the negatives. Which makes sense; there was a lot to be negative about. But if you look at the reactions to the current social climate, there are things to be overwhelmingly optimistic about. The most compelling aspect of music this year was the immediacy of its reactions. To loneliness. To heartbreak. To loss. To death. In past years, when music seemed like it could be an escape from the world, it felt important to those who paid attention. But 2017’s music rid itself of the idea that music could be an escape. Instead, these singles and albums all confronted the world’s blemishes in a method that felt meaningful and deeply impactful. Continue reading “The Top 50 Singles of 2017”
2016 will be remembered as the year of destruction: the death of icons, the breakdown of political decency, and the corruption of societal values. The narrative seemed cemented before the year was out. But let us be clear in saying, musically speaking, 2016 was phenomenal. One of the best in recent memory, in fact. Creating this list and finalizing fifty albums worth remembering proved to be more daunting than anticipated, but we’re proud to present our selections for the greatest releases of 2016.
Continue reading “The Top 50 Albums of 2016”
A lot of songs blew us away this year. To be more specific, all kinds of songs blew us away. Certain singles can be a microcosm for their albums, for a certain mood, or a certain cultural movement. Singles can unite audiences like no other medium. Or they can hook us into loving an artist or album. They are a vital aspect of our playlist generation. Because of this, we’ve decided to focus on singles that stood out to us in 2016, from independent artists like Kemba to heavy-hitters like The Weeknd.
Continue reading “The Top 50 Singles of 2016”
For every grandstanding statement that we can apply to the year 2016, the simplest one can be boiled down to this: 2016 had a lot of releases. There were albums that worked better with visual components. There were albums from legends and albums that hinted at fruitful careers for future artists. Essentially, there was a lot to digest – maybe even too much. For every album that established itself as a benchmark record for the year, another album became less prominent in our eyes. But these albums, despite not making our Top 50, are still worth talking about today:
Continue reading “Honorable Mentions of 2016”
When Viet Cong announced the retirement of their supposedly offensive title, there was an understanding of social pressure outweighing artistic vision. With the coinciding timing of Andrew Jackson Jihad revamping their image as the eye-rolling AJJ, music seemed to be taken into consideration second to appeasing the outspoken minority groups who took offense to anything that could be taken offense to, regardless of actual targeting and oppression. In either scenario, it was a very un-punk move, eschewing any sense of what punk once stood for. In this sense, the tag of post-punk feels especially resonant, offering a surrounding meaning of what the music has become and the creation behind it. Putting misguided social adjustments aside, in becoming “Preoccupations” and killing the relation to “Viet Cong”, the music needed to be different enough to warrant an image renovation. Ditching the past meant creating the future, offering something that couldn’t have been offered under the previous pseudonym. Most importantly, however, their sound needed to be better. Continue reading “Preoccupations ALBUM REVIEW”