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

June 17, 2016 – Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California

Weekend Links: June 17, 2016

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February 11, 2015 – San Diego, California

Anticipated Records: 2015

After watching some of the Grammys this past weekend and collectively reflecting with music fans everywhere on music in the year past, I got excited about making a list of the records I am really looking forward to hearing this year from artists who have (at least) hinted there is new music to come this year:

  • The Lone Bellow. This record already came out, and people are taking notice. Cool move for them to work with Aaron Dessner from the National.
  • Local Natives. They are only getting better with time.
  • John Mayer. Come on! Nothing better than a good Mayer record, so hoping this one is good.
  • Macklemore. Highly anticipated follow up. I hope the energy stays the same.
  • Frank Ocean. More hype to follow.
  • Coldplay. I am not sure the extent of this release, but they usually put out gold, so I feel good about it. (Goldplay ... see what I did there?)
  • Lord Huron. Their first release was so solid and loved by so many other artists (including this one), that big things are expected here. First single is a good glimpse:
  • Sufjan Stevens. I have never been more excited a vinyl coming. (It's clear ... another pun.)
  • Sandra McCracken. An honest take on the Psalms that will be really refreshing for everyone who listens.
  • Josh Garrels. Josh has been posting bits and pieces here and there.
  • Hawai. Now that they have changed their name from JThoven, everything is in line to go well for these guys.
  • Phil Wickham. Every release gets better, and with Phil and Pete working together again, great things are destined to happen.
  • Passion Pit. They just released a trailer for their new record on Pitchfork which was short, but got me excited for April.

BONUS A few great records that are already out that I really recommend you check out:

  • Cody Culberson. Tyler Halford has been super hard at work with Cody, and it is paying off big time.
  • Father John Misty. J. TIllman is definitely shaking up the boat -- and it's a good thing.

Let me know what the records you are looking forward to most are on Twitter! (@p_dodd)

March 28, 2014 – San Diego, California

Weekend Links: March 28, 2014 (All Tunes)

  • We saw London Grammar Sunday night, and that girl's voice is insane.
December 31, 2013

Records of the Year: 2013

Here are my top 5 in reverse order, followed by another dozen or so.

FIVE. HAIM: Days Are Gone. If you follow me anywhere, it's no secret I think this song is one of the best musical moments of the year:

FOUR. Sleeping At Last: Atlas. Ryan is always pushing the envelope. I never get tired of hearing the creative string arrangements, or extremely thoughtful melodies. But what I mostly appreciate about Ryan's music is that it just makes me feel.

THREE. Local Natives: Hummingbird. These guys are just good musicians and good songwriters.

TWO. The National: Trouble Will Find Me. I wasn't sure if "High Violet" could be topped, but these are great songs.

ONE. Volcano Choir: Repave. These songs pull on my heart strings really heavily. The line "Can't believe your father left his land" from "Alaskans" gets me choked up almost every time.

And in no particular order:

  • Phoenix: Bankrupt. Although it's not nearly as strong as Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, it's a really strong effort. And their Blogotheque videos were pretty special. Buy it here.

  • Gregory Alan Isakov: The Weatherman. When this record released, I wore it out. Wore it out! It has a calming effect. Buy it here. (And I am excited to show you our SerialBox session coming with him soon.)

  • Phil Wickham: The Ascension. Phil and Pete put so much thought into these songs and how they are presented to you. It's really a work of art. Buy it here.

  • Washed Out: Paracosm. In the early fall, this record was a productivity go-to. I love the ethereal nature of it. Buy it here.

  • The Lone Bellow: The Lone Bellow. "Brooklyn Country" is a fitting genre description for The Lone Bellow. For me, they also fall in the genre of people that you simply want to win. And the lyric, "A tree I'll grow to let you know my love is older than my soul" ... are you kidding me?! GOLD! Buy it here. And check out the SerialBox session here.

  • Gungor: I Am Mountain. I listened to this record for a month straight. A totally fresh batch of songs. Totally eclectic and totally perfect. Buy it here.

  • Active Child: Rapor EP. Consistent. This EP he released this year is a staple in our home. Buy it here.

  • Hillsong United: Zion. Seeing the live version of these songs in April was special. Buy it here.

  • Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City. Hard not to give props to these guys for a great collection. Buy it here.

  • Junip: Junip. Subtle tension & melancholy. Crossed off the list of bands I wanted to see live. José did not disappoint. Buy it here.

  • Daughter: If You Leave. One of the clearest and most hauntingly beautiful female voices in music. Buy it here.

  • Trent Dabbs: The Way We Look at Horses. One of Nashville's finest. Just enough twang. Just enough folk. Love it. Buy it here.

  • CHVRCHES: The Bones of What You Believe. I was a latecomer to the CHVRCHES party, but their show sealed the deal as a fan. Buy it here.

  • Night Beds: Country Sleep. A certain "wallowing" sound that strikes a chord in me. Excited to release our SerialBox session with them too. Buy it here.

For a Spotify playlist / compilation of my favorites from records throughout this list, go here.

Some great EPs from the year:

(If you're interested in last year's list, go here. Additionally, this is my public apology to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for not including The Heist last year. Buy it here!)

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