I used to be big on the end-of-the-year Top Ten lists when I was an avid blogger. Honestly, I haven’t read all that many books, or at least that many books that I would put on a list. I love music, so I thought it would be fun to go through my favorite albums of the year, but honestly, there are only like two albums I’ve listened to this year that were actually released this year. Therefore, I will break all the rules and include albums from various years and list the same artist multiple times. Get over it, that’s just how I listen to music. I have seasons throughout the year where I just get stuck on one album or one artist and do not listen to anything else. So that’s how this list will be ordered –from the albums I listened to at the beginning of the year to the ones I’m into right now.
1. The Peace of Wild Things – Paper Route (2012)
This album was released in September of 2012. At that time I was already obsessed with Paper Route so I made sure to get it right away and I listened to it for months and months. Yes, in January 2013 I was still hooked. I didn’t think there was another band that would be able to get me off my Paper Route kick. Here is one of my favorite songs from this album:
2. Distances – Canopy Climbers (2011)
My discovery of Canopy Climbers came on a Greyhound bus in late January, just when I thought Paper Route was the last band I would ever listen to. I had downloaded a sampler of Distances from Noisetrade but hadn’t listened to any of their stuff until it came up on Shuffle. I listened to this song and fell in love and listened the crap out of Distances. It’s amazing.
Also, I love this performance of another one of my favorite songs on the album…I totes have a crush on the lead singer:
3. Are We All Forgotten EP – Paper Route (2008)
Back on the Paper Route train. Now yeah, I’m sort of cheating because this “album” is actually an EP and I mainly listened to only two songs off of it. But I decided to include it because I was OBSESSED with those two songs and played them on repeat constantly during February/March. S’good.
4. Tenboom – Penny and Sparrow (2013 – finally!)
Oh. my. goodness. gracious. I remember when I first watched the following video and almost peed my pants from all the beauty. I’m pretty sure I posted it on Facebook and said “I just want to…hug this song.” Then I added the whole Tenboom album on my Grooveshark/Spotify and was HOOKED. It was my go to Bib Interp homework music because it just made me instantly relaxed and happy. Please do your ears a favor and give the whole album a listen. For now, just enjoy this:
5. Creature EP – Penny and Sparrow (2011)
This one should probably be lumped into number 4, but 1) I needed more list items. 2) The songs Creature and Slaves are too good not to mention on their own.
6. Miles – Canopy Climbers (2013)
I was pretty much on a solid Canopy Climbers/Penny & Sparrow kick from February to June. Then Canopy Climbers released this new album in June and it freaking blew my mind. It has a very different style from Distances, but I just love what they did lyrically. I’m convinced Canopy Climbers tapped into my gray matter and wrote this album based on all I was thinking/feeling at that time of my life. Definitely my jam of the summer and early Fall. Here is an early recording of one of my favorite tracks from Miles:
7. Train! – James and the Drifters (2011)
James and the Drifters is a band composed of some guys that attend the 509, my church community in Huntington. I play with some of them on our music team, so I decided to download their album a while ago and started listening to it a lot this summer when I was missing Indiana really badly. Now yes, I do know most of them personally and I would consider them friends. But I did not put them on this list just because I’m proud of knowing them or because I want to gain some sort of validation from them so they think I’m cool, ha. I got into their music this year because they are straight up TALENTED, especially live. This particular song is my favorite of theirs and it got stuck in my head for a good month:
8. Wesley Blaylock – Wes Blaylock (2012)
This album/EP isn’t listed in chronological order, I sort of listened to it throughout the year. I’ve been a fan of Deas Vail for years, and I love their stuff, but I really like the mood of Wes’ solo stuff. He has a super unique, sweet softness to his voice, and it just goes perfectly with the simple acoustic guitar. I pretty much listened to this EP whenever I needed some mellowness.
Back in March, Josh Garrels gave away FIVE of his albums for FREE on Noisetrade. I had heard a lot of good things about him so I decided to download all the albums while they were available. I sort of just left his music alone for a while due to my obsession with other bands at the time. In September, I was writing a big paper for my Systematic Theology class and needed some good chill music to write to –and a lot of it. I figured it would be a good time to just listen through all the Josh Garrels music I hadn’t listened to. BEST DECISION EVER. I’ve been totally hooked ever since. I’m even sad to say that I didn’t listen to Christmas music as much this year because I just want to listen to Josh Garrels ALL THE TIME. His voice is beautiful and the lyrics are crazy good and just UGH. He’s so great. Anyway, rant aside, Jacaranda Tree is definitely my favorite album of the five I downloaded. Don’t even know how I’m going to pick one track to show you…but I’ll pick a video where he plays live because it is so magical to see him in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdQxWVh6hjU 10. The Sea in Between Soundtrack – Josh Garrels (2013)
This is actually a live album/soundtrack from Josh’s new documentary. He gave it away on Noisetrade earlier this month and you better believe I snatched it up QUICK. This album is sort of cheating because it does have a lot of tracks from Jacaranda Tree. But it also has some tracks from Love & War & The Sea in Between, my 2nd favorite album of his, so it ends up being a nice collection of some of his best songs. Plus, I actually like these “live” versions of those songs a little better than the ones recorded in the studio. This soundtrack is still available for free download so I will leave you with this link and a video to whet your musical appetite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQa4TQbHJoE Overall, this has been a great music year for me. It takes some crazy talent for anyone to end up on my “Favorite Bands/Musicians of All-Time”, so I’m grateful that I have been able to add [at least] Canopy Climbers and Josh Garrels more to my list just this year alone. I’m ready for 2014 and the musical joys it will bring –a new Paper Route album hopefully, new Canopy Climbers if I’m lucky, and maybe a Josh G. CHRISTMAS ALBUM? PLEASE?