First 1/2 Top 3

Here we are halfway through 2017. The second year of creating the Fortnightly Playlist, and the first full year of it appearing here on this blog. At this time of year, I start to think what albums have really stood out to me so far. As usual, there are more great records than I can really include, but there are a few super-standouts for me that I’ll be sharing here. There’s still 6 months left, and plenty of new music on the way, but my top 3 so far might be difficult to break into. I don’t see these dropping out of my top 10 at the year’s end for sure.

#3 – I Am Another You – Making Movies
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I was completely blindsided by this record in just the last couple weeks. Thematically, the group focuses in on stories around the immigration and social justice, and does so weaving rock, psychedelia, American roots, and various Latin styles. Incredible guitar hooks and truly fantastic latin percussion make this a great listen.

#2 – Chill, dummy – P.O.S.
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This record unlocked a lot of new music for me. I wasn’t all that familiar with P.O.S. or the Minneapolis collective, Doomtree, until hearing P.O.S. do a live set on the radio earlier this year. I really connected with this record, and from there I springboarded into the records that Doomtree had made as a collective, as well as the numerous solo projects of all its members. This record shifts through intense and atmospheric and back again so smoothly, and it holds my interest. I find myself often listening to it straight through in its entirety.

#1 – Life and Livin’ It – Sinkane
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Brooklyn-based, London-born, Sudanese Sinkane incorporates such a broad variety of sounds that it is no surprise that this one stands out for me. Catchy keyboard and guitar hooks draw you in on each track. Bright afro-rock, pop, shoegaze, reggae and blues all identifiable at moments in this unique, funky blend, and yet it has a coheseive sound. It covers so much ground, but doesn’t lose itself.

This is my top 3 so far this year, and I’d love to discuss these and other records in the comments. Please, share your own favorites! Here’s a short playlist with a few tracks from each of these, and we’ll be back to The Fortnightly Playlist next week.

Top 3 so far

Josh

The Fortnightly Playlist, June 18th, 2017

It’s a little hard to even keep up with all the new music right now. Several of the albums featured this time I still haven’t listened to fully. This edition featuress new records from Ani DiFranco, Making Movies, Pickwick, Ride and Jeremy Ylvisaker, and new singles from Arcade Fire, ODESZA, Queens of the Stone Age and Bomba Estereo. I’m excited, and I think this is one of the best lists I’ve put together.

Listen Here!

One of the records that I’ve been looking forward to listening to in full is the Planetarium project that came out last week. The project features Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner (The National), American contemporary classical music composer and arranger Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, and Sufjan’s longtime drummer James McAlister. Everything I’ve heard so far is a beautiful blend between classical and modern.

A big discovery for me this week was Kansas City’s Latin/Rock quartet, Making Movies. Catchy Latin grooves, huge rock guitar riffs, high-energy, and a bold message make them one of the most attention-grabbing acts I’ve encountered this year. I highly recommend their new album, I Am Another You.

Enjoy,

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The Fortnightly Playlist, June 4th, 2017

We get Dance-y, rootsy and rockin’ this time with new singles from Elton John & Jack White, Arcade Fire, and Portugal The Man, and new records from Dan Auerbach, Kevin Devine, Justin Townes Earle, and !!! (Chk Chk Chk).

Listen here!

There has been a certain amount of buzz around Dan Auerbach 2nd solo record (his first being 8 yrs ago). It is a definite shift from the gritty, rambling blues-rock of The Black Keys, and the similar sound he’s brought out in producing other artists. Waiting On a Song has a more acoustic, poppy, early rock’n’roll/rockabilly sound. What comes to mind very strongly for me is Buddy Holly.

I first became aware of Kevin Devine in 2010 when I heard How This All Ends by Bad Books (Devine & Manchester Orchestra). I stumbled upon the song without being previously aware of either Manchester Orchestra or Devine’s music, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I strongly recommend checking out his Devinyl series which he has done with various other artists; covering each other, singing duets, and writing songs together. Devine’s new record, Instigator, is excellent modern rock.

The new Portugal, The Man single, Feel It Still, never fails to make you want to dance. Justin Townes Earle offers an amazing range of Country, Blues, Jazz, Blugrass in his latest record, Kids in the Street. There’s plently to look forward to with new singles and upcomin albums from Arcade Fire and Ride. And, of course, who doesn’t enjoy to end with a little humor from Nada Surf?

Until next time,

Josh

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