We’re supposed to be slacking this week and getting our friends to do our work, but it turns out I forgot to schedule this thing I have to do every year. So I’m sliding it in while I’m supposed to be not doing much but eating my weight in seafood on the Cambodian coast.
Last year, I wasn’t what you would call crazy about the selection of tunes that were being churned out. Increasingly, I find myself non plussed by how mechanical and inorganic sounds are becoming in the sphere of popular music. Almost as if an algorithm is pumping them out, aware of what beats per minute will most stimulate our repeat listens. There was a bunch of swiping to the left basically. This year, I’m a hella more optimistic. There was reinvention and cross ocean collabs. I can’t get the K-pop dub smash intermix out of my head. It just works so well. Then, Blood Orange took us back to the old days while confronting very current issues with Sandra’s Smile, which I’ve had on repeat for the past couple of months. Great people came back to us and made even better music (I’m looking at you, Jamie XX, Beirut and Animal Collective). And a whole bunch of new kids on the block made a scene (baeb rxxth, Class Actress). Basically I was happy this year. The same kind of happy that comes with watching the opening credits of Master of None. And looking back on it, there were a lot of favourite songs, so I couldn’t name one.
And there was so much good stuff, I made a list just for remixes and covers. Because being a music geek knows no bounds and a member of Janelle Monae’s Wundaland crew reinventing Radiohead is more than inspired.
Enjoy and happy holidays!
PS – Here they are in alphabetical order, and you can even listen to them if you keep scrolling down.