Over my trip home to my mom’s, my mom started going through my closet. My mom is turning my old room into an office, but it hasn’t really looked like my college room since I moved. I took my futon with me to my apartment and most of my stuff, but I do still have a closet of, well, mostly books. Come on, you know me. Anyway, she was organizing the room to be her office and she pulled out my huge sleeve of CDs. I mean huge. Michael and I decided to go through them and take a quick walk down memory lane.
We came out of it with one conclusion: we were way cooler in high school. I guess it was mostly that I didn’t know what I liked, so I bought CDs without ever hearing a word and later I combed music blogs for songs and new bands. I would listen to them over and over again before I made up my mind. It was a mishmash of popular music and middle of the road indie stuff and some way obscure bands that I listened to for one of two reasons: I genuinely liked them or I wanted to be cool. But that’s what being in high school and college is. Some stuff you do just for appearances sake and then find out that you really like it. Or the other way around.
Now, I have more of an idea of what I like. I don’t spend time, and don’t have time, to pour through hours of music and pages of music blogs to find the music I like because I made a choice: I decided to do that with books instead. And that’s okay. I’m still totally happy with that decision.
Unfortunately, that also means that my music player is a little boring at the moment. It’s a lot of Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, The XX, and Alabama Shakes on repeat. And that’s totally fine because I love those bands, but today Michael and I decided to do the opposite of going through my old CDs. We went through best of music lists, got a free trial of xBox music (which is kind of like Spotify) and we started listening.
I know what I like, sure. I’m also missing a lot of good music because I’m boxed in. I listen to what’s easy. What’s playing on my favorite satellite radio or my Pandora station. Today I was a little bit more proactive and happier for it. All these thoughts are based off of one or two listens this afternoon, so my opinions are certainly subject to change, but I have a feeling I’m going to be listening these albums a lot in 2013. You know, just a year behind everyone else. Here’s what I listened to:
The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – You might have heard Macklemore’s song “Same Love” when it was making the rounds on Tumblr and Twitter a few months ago. I listened to this album in its entirety today and I really enjoyed it. It’s socially conscious hip hop that blends in all sorts of different music styles and guest artists.
Favorite songs: “Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton, “Thin Line” featuring Buffalo Madonna, and “Same Love” featuring Mary Lambert
Shrines by Purity Ring – Synthy goodness: two words that perfectly sum up how I feel about Purity Ring and their debut album Shrines. I’m a little bit obsessed with the song “Fineshrine.” I love the lyrics, the music, and the title. I wonder how well this one will hold up, because all the songs are somewhat similar, but it’s a sound that I really like, so I’m not horribly worried about it. If nothing else, “Fineshrine” and possibly “Ungirthed” will get heavy rotation. Then again, I felt a similar way about The XX when I first started listening to them and they’re one of my favorite bands now.
Favorite songs: “Fineshrine,” “Ungirthed” and “Belispeak”
Threads by Now, Now - When I first started listening to Threads by Now, Now, I wasn’t in love. I liked the first song just fine, but it wasn’t something I could really see myself listening to over and over again. But then the next song came on and it was different. And then next song was a little bit different from that one. Each song was a surprise in a way and really just excellent songs. In some ways, I wonder how many people will turn away from Now, Now because of the album’s slow burn beginning, but then again, that transition to the second song is just great.
Favorite song: “Oh. Hi.”
Sun by Cat Power - I wasn’t planning on including any albums on this list by artists I had listened to before tonight and Cat Power had a place in that collection of high school CDs. I won’t say that I was in love with Cat Power, but I like her well enough. So I clicked on her new album just to see and I really loved the first song. A listen or two to a few others and I was hooked. Sun is definitely going to be in the rotation this year. And since I haven’t listened to Cat Power since a Bush was president, let’s just say she belongs on this list as a rediscovered favorite.
Favorites: “Cherokee” and “Manhattan”
Have a sufficiently rebelled against the guitar-driven folk-rock I’ve been listening to nonstop for the past year or so? I’m not leaving that behind, but it’s good to have a little variety. There’s a lot more that I listened to that I’m not quite sure about yet. I’m going to be giving them all a few more listens, especially A Different Ship by Here We Go Magic and Milk Famous by White Rabbits.
I feel good about all the new and new-old music I discovered today. It feels good to listen to something new and to do something I don’t really give myself the chance to do. That’s what the whole goal of this month is!
What about you? What was your 2012 music bandwagon that I should have hopped on a long time ago?