The Best Songs of 2021

I’m not very prompt with this entry, but I’m much better than the last one.

2021, like 2020, was blur due to COVID-19. New music continued to be a highlight, however.

So here are my favorite songs of 2021:

Jensen McRae – Adam’s Ribs

Lonely God – Built For This

Billie Eilish – Male Fantasy

Shura feat Rosie Lowe – Obsession

Civ Pierre – Black Tiger

Blessed – True To Me

Real Estate – Half a Human

Deb Never – Sorry

Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen – Like I Used To

Tess Henley – Same Girl 

The Best Songs of 2020

For forty years I’ve been tracking new music I like. For a while, I did mixed tapes of my favorite songs for each year. Since the iPod was introduced, I switched the playlists for each year. For two years now, those playlists are now on Amazon Prime. While my music tastes continue to change, I still seek out new music. Every year I think that the year prior was the best year yet. 2020 was a miserable year BUT some amazing music was produced during the year. Perhaps it’s because artists were forced to innovate like never before.

I’ve been meaning to post my favorite songs of 2020 since mid-January but as always I get distracted with something. Here are my top ten songs of 2020:

Young Buck by Braids

Control by Brooke Bentham

Let Me Down by Oliver Tree

Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus by The Strokes

The New Insane by Counterfeit

People, I’ve Been Sad by Christine and the Queens

Held Down by Laura Marling

Drop Dead by Hilly Humberstone

Nightmares by Alice Glass

Need Your Love by Tennis

In 2020, I revisited Springsteen’s music. While I don’t think I have ever have him on a list, he has continued to get better with age. I decided I wanted to have him on this list as an extra bonus.

Letter to you by Bruce Springsteen

The Best Songs of 2019


New music discovery is still a problem for me, particularly since I refuse to listen to any kind of radio. Regardless, the amount of new music I sampled throughout 2019 was a bit overwhelming. I hear a lot of great innovative music coming from most genres.

I’m starting to listen to more and more R&B lately as this seems to be the most exciting genre at the moment. Having said that I still lean towards rock and pop. I give you my top twelve songs of 2019, in no particular order.

Bury a Friend – Billie Eilish

As of writing this, Billie just won 5 Grammys including the “big four” for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist. It’s not every year that something I really like also shows up on the Grammys.


Living Proof – Des Rocs

I love the muddy sound of this song which goes well with the lyrics. The guitar is also on point. It’s modern blues for the uninitiated.


Sad Day – FKA twigs

When I travel for business, I sleep with music on. The first time I heard this was in the middle of the night. I had to wake up and see who it was.


Lo/Hi – The Black Keys

Sometimes listening to The Black Keys is like taking a time machine to sometime in the 70s. I think this is one of those times.


Tokyo – White Lies

Speaking of time travel, White Lies is channeling the 80s. It reminds me a bit of Wang Chung.


Ready To Let Go – Cage The Elephant

Matt Shultz is this generation’s American Mick Jagger. This is such a great record.


Don’t Believe The Things They Tell You (They Lie) – Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara consistently put out excellent music. The guitar in this song is fantastic.


Descending – Tool

The long-awaited new album from Tool is better than imagined. It’s the marriage of prog rock, metal, and whatever else people call Tool. It’s hard to pull a single song out, the album should be listened altogether.


She Plays Bass – beabadoobee

Anyone that knows me well, knows I’m a sucker for female rockers. This is a banger.


Error 404 – Suzi Wu

This song came out early in the year, which gave me an opportunity to play it a ton throughout the year. It’s an ear worm.


We’ve Got To Try – The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers never disappoint and they certainly delivered in 2019.


Arrow- Half Alive

From the band that made my favorite video and song of 2018, it’s another ear worm. Also, it looks like they like Wes Anderson.

Given how frequent I post blogs, see you in 2021 for the 2020 list.

The Best Songs of 2018

concert-336695_1920Another year went by and I didn’t write any blog entries all year.  I’m back with another top ten songs of the year.  I know I said this last year, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to keep the list to 10.  With the advent of streaming, the process of discovery of new music and listening to what is out there complicates it all.

Anyway, here is what I think was the best of 2018:

Ezra Furman – The Great Unknown

Ezra’s Transgelic Exodus was one of my favorite albums this year.  While I listen to less and less full albums nowadays, Ezra’s music is fresh, edgy, and very comfortable.

The Decemberists – Once In My Life

We saw The Decemberists in concert again in 2018.  Their songs seems to be more approachable as they get older.

Bad Child – Bad Child

Canada’s Bad Child’s first single of the same name is ridiculously good.  I expect that we’ll hear a lot from him in 2019.

Rhye – Stay Safe

Another Canadian on the list.  Mike Milosh’s Rhye had a great year with his album, Blood.  This is another full album that I played regularly.

Coco Mamba – Drive

This year I started to listen to a podcast abut indie music,  Not 97 .  They introduced me to a ton of indie Hip-Hop, R&B, and all other genres.  One that stuck out was Brooklyn’s Coco Mamba.

Parquet Courts – Freebird II

Like most rock bands, Parquet Courts gets their fare share of dummies asking for Freebird during their concerts.  So they named one of their songs Freebird 2.  It has noting to do with the Lynyrd Skynyrd song, but it’s a funny name for a great song.

Dream Wife – Somebody

UK’s Dream Wife had a great debut with their self-titled album.  This is a great song about rape culture.  It seems appropriate for the wreck that 2018 was.

First Aid Kit – Fireworks

We saw First Aid Kit at the Newport Folk Festival a few years ago.  While I enjoyed them, there was nothing remarkable about them.  Their 2018 album Ruins and this song in particular have changed my mind.

Amy Shark – All Loved Up

Another debut but this time from Australia.  Amy Shark’s All Loved Up was a go to song when I needed an extra push during training runs.

still feel – Half Alive

The ear worm of the year was this song by far.  Not only that but still feel is going after Ok Go’s title of most infectious single take video.  I dare you watch this video and not want to watch it again.

Have a great 2019, and hopefully I’ll write something before my next list.

My Top Ten Songs of 2017

2017 was a stellar year for new music.  It was so very hard to arrive to ten songs, but here is my list finally:

Lourde – The Louvre

Lourde is a such an amazing talent.  Other great songs from her Melodrama album include “Green Light,” “Homemade Dynamite,” “Liability,” “Writer in the Dark,” and “Supercut.”  It is definitely my favorite album of the year, by far.


Jason Bajada – Blondie

Jason is one of my favorite artists.  For the past few years most of his material has been in French but for this new effort he’s back at singing in English.   His voice is amazing in any language.


Japanese Breakfast – Road Head

Japanese Breakfast is Michelle Zauner’s (of Little Big League) solo effort.  Would it be wrong to say that Japanese Breakfast is by far better than Little Big League?  This song seems ideal for driving in the dark.


The xx – I Dare You

The xx keep getting better and better.  Their 2017 album, I See You, doesn’t have a single weak moment.  This song is the big highlight.


Waxahatchee – Silver

I don’t know how I had never heard of Waxahatchee until this year.  I’ve caught up, however.  Is this not The Breeders for the teens?


The War on Drugs – Thinking of a Place

The War on Drugs’ A Deeper Understanding album is close to perfection.  I love Adam’s Dylanesque voice.


Japanese Breakfast – Machinist

I’m not a fan of autotuned voices, but Michelle’s use of it here is so well done.  I love the video too!

Depeche Mode – Where’s the revolution

Depeche Mode continues to produce amazing music, and remain my favorite band.   My LastFM account proves it:

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 1.02.39 PM


Beth Ditto – We could run

I’ve been a fan of Beth’s since her Gossip days.  Her 2017 album, Fake Sugar, is her best.  What a voice!


St. Vincent – Los Ageless

What could I say that hasn’t been said about St. Vincent?  She’s probably the best musician of the teens.

I hope this won’t be my only entry in this blog this year.  Life happens!

My Top Ten Songs of 2016

Ever since the arrival of our now 2 year old I’ve been remiss in updating this blog.  I’m sure that the small number of followers I once had will either not remember this blog, or have left.

Nevertheless, what better way to restart the blog than a “top ten list.”  The last time I did this was in 2013.  While I have a list for 2014, and 2015, it doesn’t make sense to rehash those years.

I had a hard time paring this down to just ten, but after much deliberation here are my most loved songs of 2016.

1 – Pékin (les amitiés) – Jason Bajada.  Jason is one of my favorite songwriters.  This was my favorite song of his 2016 Album, Volcano. “Comment va ton weekend?”

2- Adore – Savages.  It seems 80s inspired bands are de rigueur lately; there are several on this list.   This song is hypnotic, and just amazing!

3- Algorithm – Emmy the Great. I love Emma-Lee Moss’ voice.

4- Crying in Public – Chairlift.  Synthesizers have never been bad in my world.  I could see Everything But The Girl doing this song back in the 80s.

5 – A Beautiful Mystery – Katie Costello.  I’ve been a superfan of Katie since I saw her supporting Toad The Wet Sprocket many years ago.  All of her music is superb.

6 – Virtue – Bloc Party.  This British band seems to get better and better with each new album.

7 – Sister – Angel Olsen.  For 2017, Angel needs to comeback to the Newport Folk Festival (played there in 2015) but this time on the main stage.  That would make me very happy!

8 – Pull My Arm – Flowers.  This is one of those songs that sound familiar from the very first sound, but it’s entirely new, and you just love it.  At least that is what happened to me.

9 – Fold – Burnt Palms.  Tell me that the 80s aren’t back.  It’s The Ramones + Liz Phair.

10- Tokyo – TEEN.  The Lieberson sisters could easily have been an 80s band.  It’s the best of the “Next-Wave.”

What do you think?

My Top Ten Songs of 2013

Unlike last year, I’m not waiting until June to put together my list of my favorite songs from the previous year. My favorite songs of 2013, in order, are:

1. Fresh Strawberries by Franz Ferdinand. FF has been the best band of the past 10 years. Their 2013 Album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action was nothing short of amazing.

2. Gravediggress by CocoRosie. I don’t know how I have missed this group before, but CocoRosie is wonderfully weird. This song is addictive despite the horrible fact that there is a clown in this video.

3. I Got You by Jack Johnson. I couldn’t help being all romantic in 2013, with getting married to the most amazing woman and all, so yeah I had this song playing a lot this year.

4. A New Life by Jim James. And when I didn’t play Jack Johnson, I was playing Jim James’s A New Life. To be fair, we caught Jim James at the Newport Folk Festival. Now I get why people are so excited about My Morning Jacket.

5. Les jolies Françaises by Jason Bajada. Jason’s Le Résulta de mes bêtises was one of those albums that I couldn’t stop listening to, and still haven’t.

6. Changeling by Alison Moyet. Call me a child of the 80s, but Alison is back. Her voice is just as great as it was back with Yazoo.

7. All That’s Mine by Depeche Mode. Speaking of the 80s, Depeche Mode is still strong and possibly better. I seem to be biased since they are my favorite band. I was once embarrassed to say it, but there is no denying that I listen to them more than anyone else, my LastFM scrobbles don’t lie,

8. We Are Not Cool by Stripmall Architecture. I’m crazy about this band.

9. I’d Rather Be High by David Bowie. Bowie is also back. I don’t know what happened between Scary Monsters and now but this album, and this song, is excellent.

10. Came Back Haunted by Nine Inch Nails. I’ve been a Trent Reznor fan forever, but hide it well. NIN is fantastic for Monday morning commuting.

What do you think?

A very late top ten list for 2012

It’s nearly June and I realized that I never posted my favorite songs of 2012.  So here are my top 10 most favorite songs of last year in order, because I wasn’t raised in a barn:

1. Port of Morrow – The Shins


2. California – Delta Spirit


3. Heartbreaker – Alabama Shakes


4. Wait Up – Eight And A Half


5. Bird in the Hand – Amy Ray


6. Numb – Alanis Morissette


7. Never Gonna Let You Go – Esthero


8. Weep Themselves to Sleep – Jack White


9. Lay Low – Katie Costello


10. Stars – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals


What do you think?


Child Poets Amongst Us

Child poets amongst us
A flash of brilliance
Too bright to behold
Brief and profound
Sometimes too sad
Sometimes too much

In childhood Jim
Tortured by souls
Dead Indians on the road
A delusion and inspiration
Madness descending
Lizard king disappears

Jeff following footsteps
But his own light
A hello turns upside
A goodbye unintended
A rush of water
Pain that endures

I ache for Michael
Lost love unfulfilled
His fault perhaps
Too much too fast
Who hasn’t been there
A boy to hold

Madness and brilliance
Hand in hand
Syd struggled
Promise unfulfilled
Your name to borrow
Nothing else

Love castigated
The hubris required
Ian lost the grip
Joy never known
Sought at all turns
But the end was near

The deep ache
Soul never ending
Too much for one
Our pearl Janice
Never ours truly
Laughter still rings

Demons at all turns
Amy swallowed whole
Wanton abandoned
Excess and hurt
To hold her tightly
Assure her good exists

I cry for each
Figuratively sometimes
Others tears do come
Can’t protect the world
The poets and warriors
All the same at the end