I do this every year. These songs are what I loved this year, or what reminds me of this year, and are arranged in my preferred listening order. The playlist usually fits on an 80-minute CD, but NOT THIS YEAR! It's slightly longer! I am breaking the rules!
Download the zipped folder here. Or maybe you want to make a Spotify or Google playlist and post it in the comments? You could do that!
If the songs get lost in your media library, just search for the ones with the genre labeled "Dan2015".
Wolf Alice - Giant Peach
A tweet from Buzzfeed and Fluxblog’s Matthew Perpetua claimed this song’s climax was the best musical moment of the year, so I bought the album based on that and good reviews. It is my favorite song on the album, and I understand 10% of the lyrics.
Donnie Iris - Ah! Leah!
This appears in episode 2 of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, as Elizabeth Banks is walking into camp. It sounded familiar, and technology told me that it was this one-hit wonder. “You’re looking better than a body has a right to” is right up there with “Hey, sister, just give me a chance to get next to you” in the pantheon of amazing pickup lines I’ll never get the opportunity to use.
Beck - Dreams
Beck won the Best Album Grammy last year for a repeat of his sad-sack bullshit Sea Change redux, Morning Phase. We need to stop supporting his melancholy music -- leave that stuff to Bon Iver or Sufjan Stevens or whoever. Only one man can turn on Sexx Laws mode like this. We need your exultant funk, Beck!
Craig Wedren - I am a Wolf, You are the Moon
This is the sing-along Paul Rudd’s character leads at the Electro-City after-party, when DJ Skimask is taking a break, I guess.
Def Leppard - Animal
Our kids need to go places when they get antsy, and the city library is one of the places we take them. The kids’ section is basically a playground, which is nice for us but not so nice for the rest of the suckers spending time at the library. The CD racks caught my eye, so I decided I’d methodically make my way through the rock section to see what was in there. I have no idea why libraries get the CDs they do, but I PAY MY TAXES AND I WANT WHAT’S COMING TO ME. I checked out a lot of CDs. Def Leppard’s greatest album was among them.
Torres - Cowboy Guilt
I have nothing to say about this except that I like it.
Sky Ferreira - I Blame Myself
This is a song I like from a 23-year-old model! I picked up the CD from the library when I recognized the cover from a best-of list I read (on the AV Club, maybe?). It’s kinda hard to forget the cover image, because it’s a young model in a shower with her boobs out and everything and she’s all pouty, like, “Oh man, I’m stuck in this hot shower all naked but I’d rather be in the beat lab recording some hot jams!”.
Hot Chip - Huarache Lights
Replace us with the things that do the job better. This is a song about getting older.
Liz Phair - Stratford-on-Guy
I spent a day at the airport in March, waiting to fly. I left the house around 8:30 in the morning and left the ground around 6:30 in the evening. I had loaded up with music from the Fiery Furnaces, who hail from the Chicago area, and planned to immerse myself in that over the trip. But since I had listened to Liz Phair in the previous weeks, she is who ended up popping in my head. I was flying into Chicago at night.
Colin Hay - Next Year People (live on Comedy Bang Bang podcast, January 8, 2015)
This came at the end of the podcast, when I was getting close to my work parking lot. The lyrics and the mood of the song hit me hard - maybe it’s living in Kansas during a drought, growing up on a farm. Holy shit, what a grim song. It’s a wonder I was able to work that day, much less the rest of the year.
Mike Adams at His Honest Weight - Be Free, Live Well
Mike Adams at His Honest Weight - I’m Worried
Mike Adams at His Honest Weight - Findings of Feeling, Findings of Fact
Ok, yes, this is three songs by the same artist on one playlist. It's simply not done. UNTIL NOW. This album was referenced several times by Dave Hill on his podcast/radio show, so I listened to it once on Spotify and thought, "Okay." But then I bought it anyway. And I came to adore these first 3 songs off the album. The majority of my listening in the first 3 months of 2015 was this album, so why not represent that importance in the playlist, guys? WHY NOT?? (I also got to see them live when they came through town in October, settling in for their set after seeing Alcides Escobar knock in Alex Gordon in the 3rd inning of their Game 1 victory over Toronto in the ALCS.
Thee Oh Sees - Web
This jam has some tasty licks.
M.I.A. - Bad Girls
This is the song I will always associate with Shawn's Portland bachelor party.
of Montreal - Colossus
An interview with the singer/songwriter tells me that this song was heavily influenced by Sylvia Plath, which explains why it's kind of horrific. But that bass line is smooth, and the harmonies are nice!
Courtney Barnett - Pedestrian at Best
This is a great song. You can listen to the music it absent-mindedly and love it, or you can amaze at the verbose lyrics. She's said it was partially inspired by "Cannonball" by The Breeders, which is also a great song.
Blur - Ong Ong
Two years in a row for Blur on my soundtrack! This must be why they boys got back together and recorded a new album.
Chvrches - Clearest Blue
Corinne's brother went to Game 6 of the ALCS, opening up a spot for me to see Chvrches, who closed with this song. Bag was also there with his new bride, and we waited on top of the parking garage for traffic to clear, watching Bag's phone as Eric Hosmer battled against Roberto Osuna; the game was only in the 8th inning because of an earlier rain delay. Between the time we decided to shut off the phone and the time we started our cars, Lorenzo Cain had ran from first to home on Hosmer's single. I drove home listening to delightful postgame analysis.
Craig Wedren and Baby - Until Summer
This is in the closing credits of the very same WHAS episode that "Ah! Leah!" is featured. Wedren put a bunch of the WHAS songs on Soundcloud, and I would listen to that playlist quite often at work.
Sleater-Kinney - A New Wave
Some mornings in the weeks after this album was released, I would connect my phone to the living room stereo and rock out. On several occasions, one of the kids would dance along, sticking out their butts in a humorous way and bouncing with their knees. I wanted to shoot video of it but alas, my video-recording device was being used to play the music. This is the struggle of our modern world.