ONE. Blake Mills: Heigh Ho. Blake Mills' show at El Rey in September was one of the best I have ever seen, and I don't say that lightly. The instrumentation, the songs, and the talent on display were all top notch.
TWO. Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams. This record was like a ice cold glass of water on a hot day: exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.
THREE. The War On Drugs: Lost In The Dream. This record showcases some amazing tones and great production. I probably listened to it 25 times in a row after the first time I put it on.
FOUR. Beck: Morning Phase. I hadn't listened to Beck too much before this year, and this record as a complete work was really impressive to me.
FIVE. Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Songs in Country Music. Recording live-to-tape is getting more and more rare, and this team knocked it out of the park with that process. I love how this record sounds.
Here are several other records I really enjoyed this year in no particular order:
Hozier. Hozier. I'll just say this: I am not the only person who has him on a year-end list.
Delta Spirit. Into the Wide. Total rock'n'roll.
Young Oceans. I Must Find You. I needed this record this year. The song "I Must Find You" was really great for re-centering and late nights.
Copeland. Ixora. I love that these guys came back -- but the April Fool's announcement threw me.
Coldplay. Ghost Stories. Continually solid and dominating their niche.
Field Report. Marigolden. Singer-songwriter music that feels really fresh.
First Aid Kit. Stay Gold. Great songs, good melodies, good harmonies. Sounds like Eisley + country, and Lacey and I loved it.
Taylor Swift. 1989. Her marketing people deserve some kind of award as well.
Tycho. Awake. Some of my favorite instrumental music in the last decade. Love it.
Crowder. Neon Steeple. Solid all-around record.
Colony House: When I Was Younger. Proud of these 3 ... they have been hard at work for so long. These are all really solid songs.
SOHN: Tremors. Incredible voice and great programming.
Brooke Fraser: Brutal Romantic. New territory for Brooke, and it's a good direction.
Matthew & the Atlas: Other Rivers. New discovery this year for me. Great for working late at night.
St Lucia: When The Night. These songs get me playing the air drums really hard.
Thanks for reading! I made a Spotify playlist of some of the highlights here.
I want to hear about your favorite records. Tweet them at me here: @p_dodd
- Excited for Stephen's new season of Small Empires! Check out the trailer:
Brightpod did a fun little interview with me asking how I stay productive with Blinksale.
Fun to see great people come together to make new things. Check out Wayward Wild.
If you haven't yet checked out ProductHunt and you're an internet user, I think you'll like it. I've enjoyed keeping up with products posted on there.
SerialBox Presents News
Earlier this week, our video with The Lone Bellow was premiered on Paste Magazine. Take a look here:
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.
Over the course of a December day, I am often forgetful of the weight of God's gift to us through Jesus. During Advent, expectations are heightened as we celebrate Christ's coming.
Thankfully, songs during the season remind us of this and I'm lucky to have a few incredibly talented friends who have specifically celebrated Advent with their craft of songwriting.
To finish this Advent season meditating on scripture, you can download a free eBook from Desiring God, "Good News of Great Joy", here.
Also, "O Come Let Us Adore Him" is a common theme song for Advent, and you can listen to a version Tyler and I did last year here:
6 posts matching "young oceans"« View All Posts
Browse by Category– Music
Featured Blog Posts
August 18, 2017
April 14, 2017
December 31, 2016