December 31, 2016 – Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California

Records of the Year: 2016

ONE. Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate. I was looking forward to this release for a long while, and it did not disappoint. Michael says a lot of hard and important things on this record.

TWO. Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book. Really special, and bringing new meaning to "Gospel record." And I really enjoyed David Dark's commentary on Chance.

THREE. Local Natives: Sunlit Youth. Hooks and production on this record were so solid.

FOUR. Bon Iver: 22, A Million. Solid effort for those of us who have been waiting a while for this record.

FIVE. John Legend: Darkness & Light. I really enjoy these songs and love that Blake Mills produced this record.

And in no particular order:

  • Joseph. I'm Alone, No You're Not. The songs are exceptional and the harmonies on this record are so solid and definitely a household favorite in the Dodd home.

  • Radiohead. A Moon Shaped Pool. Standard greatness. Thankful they make music.

  • Anderson Paak. Malibu. Total groove. I love the tone that "The Bird" sets up top.

  • St. Lucia. Matter. A wall of sound in the best way.

  • Sturgill Simpson. A Sailor's Guide to Earth. He is pumping out solid effort after solid effort.

  • Frank Ocean. Blonde. Lots of scrutiny and secrecy around this release, and I dig it.

  • Dawes. We're All Gonna Die. Class in songwriting, and another solid Blake Mills produced record.

  • Paper Route. Real Emotion. Solid.

  • Switchfoot. Where the Light Shines Through. Really love how this record turned out.

  • Crowder. American Prodigal. The Grammys agree with me, and this is such a phenomenal record. Crowder's version of Thad Cockrell's "Great Rejoicing" is one of my highlights of the year.

  • Phil Wickham. Children of God. Sonically always getting better, incredibly heartfelt songs, I love what Phil is doing (especially when collaborating with Pete)!

  • The Last Royals. Never Be Alone. Consistently putting out great songs.

  • Tyson Motsenbocker. Letters to Lost Loves. This really is one of my favorites because of the way these songs ring in your soul.

Honorable mention: Stranger Things Soundtrack, Matt Corby, Travis, Sandra McCracken, Foy Vance, Matt Wertz, Lael, Trent Dabbs, Cass McCombs, One Republic, David Bazan, Macklemore

Check out the Spotify playlist of some of my highlights from these records, and a few more songs I enjoyed from the year. (Big props to Spotify for automating a great collection of my favorites from 2016 as well.)

And I want to hear about your favorite records! Tweet them at me here: @p_dodd

July 7, 2014 – Brooklyn, New York

Links: July 7, 2014

December 30, 2012

Records of the Year: 2012

I have always meant to compile a list of my favorite records from the past year. Music in general is too valuable to me not to share ... especially when it's music I love!

So here are my top 25 records of 2012. I'll start with the top 5 and then share the next 20 in no particular order. Enjoy!

FIVE. David Ramirez: Apologies. David is the definition of raw talent. I heard it put really well earlier this year when a friend said, "That guy is on the Ryan Adams level." I couldn't agree more. The songs get better and better. Buy it here.

FOUR. Sigur Ros: Valtari. This was the perfect record for Sigur Ros to release in keeping with their trend of giving the world music for thought, for inspiration, and to separate each listener from the world's distractions. Buy it here.

THREE. Milo Greene: Milo Greene. I was a latecomer to this party, but these songs and arrangements strike something inside of me I can't yet place. Maybe it is the fact I wish I had written these songs. Buy it here

TWO. Matthew Perryman Jones: Land of the Living. As a Kickstarter backer for this record and spoiling myself by listening to it for the first time driving through California mountains, the brilliance of this record would be just as present if I listened to it in a junk yard. Most of my favorite combinations of lyrics and melody from the year are on this record. Buy it here.

ONE. Michael Kiwanuka: Home Again. The best sound I heard this year. It amazes me how different guys with guitars enter the music scene with unique sounds, but the production and instrumentation on this record blow me away more than any other. It is the freshest collection of songs I have come across in a long time and is well-worthy of being number one on this list. Buy it here.

  • Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams. Having loved the vibe their record puts out, I was pleasantly surprised when their live show had more of an "islandy" feel than I expected. Buy it here.
  • Paper Route: The Peace of Wild Things. Rock geniuses with incredible programming talent. And they have so much energy live. Buy it here.
  • The Tree Ring - Brushbloom. I Iove so many things about this record: the ode to San Diego's nature and topography, the incredible arrangements, subtly perfect harmonies. Listen here and buy here or here.
  • alt-J: An Awesome Wave. I had the chance to watch them play a few weeks ago and their live set rivaled their record, which says a lot. Buy it here.
  • Lecrae: Church Clothes. An incredible record to run to, there is no surprise how it charted Number 3 on the Billboard 200. So much truth so well said. Buy it here.
  • Sara Watkins: Sun Midnight Sun. Sara is full of raw talent. As far as acoustic & folky instruments make music, her collaboration with Blake Mills produced one of the best collections I can remember. Buy it here.
  • Sucre: A Little Bird. I almost forgot to include Sucre on this list, but I wore this out when it came out in April. So glad for melodies like these. Buy it here.
  • Asgeir Trausti: Some sweet Icelandic word. Austin and Jordan told me about Asgeir Trausti after their autumn trip to Iceland. They described him as an "Icelandic Bon Iver" and I listened to it for a few weeks straight. I couldn't get enough, especially of Leyndarml. Unfortunately, you can't purchase this record, but you can listen to it here.
  • Walk The Moon: Walk The Moon. This band is making pop-rock cool again. Watching their set in November was captivating. I walked in to the House of Blues just after they started their set and everyone was moving. The energy was palpable. This record is a great representation of what I saw that night. Buy it here.
  • Lovelite: In Three Persons. Lovelite & Tyler Chester are a "power team". The songs all have specifically incredible qualities, but my favorite is " Every Breath is a Chance". Listen to and buy it here.
  • Frank Ocean: Channel Orange. You can't go very far these days without hearing about Frank's first record. What I appreciate about this record the most is there are no rules (i.e. a 10 minute song). Buy it here.
  • John Mayer: Born & Raised. John Mayer can do no wrong. This record is timeless. His playing could not be more perfect. His honest songwriting couldn't be more transparent. I love it. Buy it here.
  • The Digital Age: Rehearsals. New circumstances pushed these guys to new territory, and I love where they're going. Lots of sound for fans to be excited about. Buy it here.
  • Taylor Swift: RED. Continually impressive that she writes these incredibly catchy songs herself. You know you like her too. Buy it here.
  • Greg Laswell: Landline. Greg is such a great songwriter. Love how he approaches his craft. The record's title track is a highlight for me. Buy it here.
  • Father John Misty: Fear Fun. I loved the latest J. Tillman record, and have kept my loyalty even among a name change. Buy it here.
  • J. Thoven: City Maze. There is a bright future ahead for this 5-piece group of guys. Aside from being genuine people, their knack for good songs is developed way past the level you would expect a new band to be at. You will be so pumped when you see their SerialBox Presents session. Buy and listen here.
  • Lauren Chandler: The Narrow Place. You might have seen my thoughts on Lauren's EP recently, but I am so stoked on how this EP turned out. Worth several listens after you buy it. :) Buy it here.
  • Hauschka: Substansial. As a novice writer, I would have a hard time describing to you the circumstances and emotion when I first heard this record. However, it couldn't have been any more picturesque. Although it didn't come out this year (2004), I played it enough to be on my "top records list" for the next 3 years. Buy it here.
  • Young Oceans: Young Oceans. Music with spiritual value is rampant, but Young Oceans stands out to me above the rest. Listen to it and I think you'll know what I am referring to. Buy and listen here.

Thanks for reading! Excited for the year of music ahead.

August 16, 2012 – San Diego, CA

Weekend Links: August 17, 2012 (All music)

  • I cannot stop listening to Hauschka this week. If you are looking for incredibly great introspective study music, I don't think it can get much better than this. Here's a neat piece he did with NPR a little while back which gives you a great taste of his style:
January 21, 2011

Things I Like :: 01.21.11

Here we are for another installment of “Things I Like”. It’s been a while, fun to put this together, and *hope* to do it more frequently.

1. Andy Powers Instruments :: Very few times in your life will you come across someone as kind and talented as Andy Powers. I met Andy through his wife Maaren who became a great friend when I was a camper at Walking On Water. I got to attend their wedding in the spring of 2005, but I didn’t actually meet Andy until after Lacey and I moved back in 2008 at North Coast. (I often think of their wedding as he played Canon in D on a guitar he built while Maaren walked down the aisle…unreal.)

Since having my Martin, I really was trying to avoid having to take it to some genaric shop and called Andy to see if he would take a look at it. He was super busy, but said I could drop by his shop and I was stoked to put it in good hands.

After sitting down with him for 20 minutes, I a) understood my guitar better, b) was blown away at his knowledge of the craft, c) was floored by how great of a player he is and, d) was just stoked.

He makes some gorgeous instruments (see below) and I’m hoping to buy one someday. There are other exciting things coming in Andy’s career, and I’m sure I’ll tell you about those soon…

If I take anything away from my interaction with Andy, it is just to work hard, be kind and be good at your craft. I am excited for my friendship with him to continue.

2. Sean Walker Photography :: I don’t know if I say this enough, but I have the most talented friends. Sean is a guy that I’ve always loved being around.

Sean was a groomsman in my wedding, and in the past few years, has grown as a coveted wedding/portrait photographer in San Diego and beyond. (Shot below was taken by Sean in Seattle…unedited.)

3. Billy Knox Ties :: (See first sentence of #2 … I can’t believe how talented my friends are.) I am stoked I got to know Billy at A&M when I would go down to see Lacey in College Station. I loved keeping up with him while he was in Bulgaria and loved that our communication grew in to a deeper friendship. I respect Billy on a lot of levels and am super thankful for his desire to know truth.

He recently did a great post on a tie he remade from one of my grandpa’s old ties. Check it out and then e-mail him to get your own!

4. S. Carey :: I came across S. Carey several months ago through Ryan Booth’s blog and just purchased his record in the last month on iTunes. I love the raw quality about his voice and I’m a big fan of his piano riffs. He sounds like Bon Iver, which is for good reason since he also plays in his band.

5. iPad :: I was the benefactor of several incredible gifts from both my family and Lacey’s. The biggest surprise was an iPad from Lacey’s parents and I’m really looking forward to using it to read with Flipboard & ESV and to keep track of productivity with Things (thanks Austin!!) & Evernote.

That’s it for now. Excited to do another one soon.

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