The Best of 2017 – The Mixtape

2017 has been a nightmare in many ways. America is in constant political crisis. The international community is facing the rise of right-wing extremism, white nationalism, religious and ideological terrorism, an increasingly centralized wealthy elite, and a fundamental threat to democracy in the form of widespread election hacking in nearly every Western nation. Waves of…

Discovery: My Favorite Finds of 2016

I’m a lifelong devotee of albums. I’ve defended their right to exist through years of critics bemoaning their supposed demise. But in 2016, my listening habits shifted. Thanks to Spotify, Vevo, and Cymbal, I’ve found a new love: Songs. I know, it sounds so basic, but truly, until 2016, I valued songs less if they…

Discover: Milo / Lushlife

Let’s look at two divergent ways to enjoy hip-hop today: Milo, So the Flies Don’t Come FOR FANS OF: Earl Sweatshirt, Open Mike Eagle, Cecil Otter Say what you will of Earl Sweatshirt, but the young rapper’s lyrics shine with cleverness. A buoyant poetic language dots his lines, revealing fascinating a-to-c connections in his thoughts even as…

Discover: Nadia Nair / Nadia Reid

Two Nadias! Nadia Nair, Beautiful Poetry FOR FANS OF: Bat For Lashes, Sia, Laura Mvula I literally just heard this album for the first time this morning; I’m listening to the second-to-last track as I type this. But the instant power and punch of this record is undeniable. Nadia Nair has the vocal power of pop…

Discover: Laura Mvula / Mitski

To start, two less-than-hidden gems, albums which have received tremendous coverage on Metacritic and elsewhere but which I first heard as recommendations based on other artists in my rotations. Mitski, Puberty 2 FOR FANS OF: St. Vincent, PJ Harvey, early Metric Mitski (the band fronted by Mitski Miyawaki) dropped this beauty of an indie rock record in June…

Sounds Worth Discovering

A few friends have asked me in the past, “How do you find new music these days?” Discovering new music is paradoxically easier than it’s ever been and also harder, or at least less manageable. The overwhelming deluge of new releases each week, each DAY, can make it seem impossible for a person to be…