28 in music.

15 April 2014

how freaking awesome was my birthday cake? 

it's that time of year again... i just turned 29! last year i really enjoyed recounting all of my favourite music discoveries of the previous year, so i decided to do the same this year. new finds, re-kindling of old loves, and plenty of positively pleasurable musical finds: here are my top 28 musical picks for my 28th year. (click here to read 2013's list)

regina spektor - photo by c.j. on flickr

- i can't help but love a woman who kills it musically, even when she's singing about seemingly mundane things. i mean, she makes finding someone's wallet and returning it to blockbuster sound like poetry! regina spektor is quirky, clever and absolutely one of a kind. 

- we all have albums that transport us back to a certain place in time - passenger's all of the lights album will forever remind me of driving around new zealand with ryan. i discovered passenger after watching him perform no diggity with ed sheeran, bought his album within minutes of first hearing his voice, and then it became our go-to driving music for our new zealand adventure. his lyrics are heart-squeezingly beautiful - my favourite song is holes. no really, you must listen. another road trip staple was canadian newcomers highs - perfect for cruisey summer days.

- shooting stars is an old kiwi band that my dear friend kim introduced me to. i rediscovered them during a stressful week this year and was reminded how soothing they are to the soul. i also rediscovered mutemath, and relive 2007 every time i listen to them. my final rediscovery this year was the sweet, poetic evolve by bosc.

- it's no secret that i love me some motown-ey soul-ey goodness, here are this years faves: sam cooke, otis redding and blind willie johnson. i've been fascinated by the circumstances surrounding the deaths of cooke and redding - both died at the height of their musical careers and had numerous posthumous hits. redding's iconic song, sitting on the dock of the bay was recorded only 3 days before his death.

- i unironically love cheesy 80s love ballads. like, my roommate has banned me from playing meatloaf's bat out of hell record at home when she's there... because that is a thing that i would do every day if these boundaries were not in place. chicago's you're the inspiration is the cheese choice of this year.

the tallest man on earth - photo by bjorn geisenbauer on flickr

and i'm just a shadow of your thoughts in me
but sun is setting, shadow's growing
a long cast figure will turn into night
it's like nothing in this world ever sleeps... 

- i finally caved and checked out the tallest man on earth. i had hesitated because i was convinced that he was a cool-kid trend. he's not. he's awesome. other awesomesauce folk artists i've become enamoured by this year include brett dennen, holley maher, michael bernard fitzgerald, and jake bugg (that voice! and he's just a kid!).

- i discovered c2c last year, and was immediately impressed by their infectious song, happy and it's grin-inducing dance-r-ific video. i did a little reading and found out that c2c is actually made up of four DJs, which is not only fascinating in terms of music production, but actually mind-blowing when you think of the talent and teamwork required to perform together live.

- the only rival for c2c's happy, in terms of danceability is of course, pharrell's happy. a lot of days, i tune in to his 24-hour music video while i'm getting ready in the morning to get me amped for my day. it works!

- one of the most beautiful music videos of the year, definitely goes to a track released mysteriously, named simply 'glowing', with no artist specified. the tender, poignant video was produced by rapper tyler the creator, and the sweet song made its way into my heart to stay.

- speaking of videos, there's just something about this almost one-shot video for anna kendrick's cups (when i'm gone) from pitch perfect. and i must not be the only one who thinks so - 123 million views, yo!

- listen. i LOVE weird al yankovic. no shame. a dear friend bought me tickets to go see him for my 28th birthday, and it was the best ever. life is waaaay too short to take myself so seriously all the time (and i am at risk of that!). so just sing along to 'eat it' at the top of your lungs with me, alright? 

- i went to some unforgettable shows last year. the top of the list, hands down, was rancid. their music has held a sweet spot in my heart for years, and now i can't help but grin when they pop up on shuffle... every time i hear them i now it takes me back to singing at the top of the lungs with tim armstrong himself. argh. i still... can't. even. other live shows in a nutshell: the glenn miller orchestra was classy, macklemore was a sweaty riot, weezer was nostalgia central, blink 182 was the realization of teenage dreams, and passion pit's impromptu dj set inspired me.

- my two most recent discoveries, which have made their way into regular rotation are bastille and mat kearney, and yes, i realize that i am a wee bit late to the party on both accounts! both are awesome, and keep me smiling and singing while on my writing grind.

phew! that's 28! how about you? i'm always down for music suggestions. what's your latest musical discovery?!

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