2019’s Best in Music

That wonderful time of year has come again—the time where I look back at all the songs, artists, and albums that provided the soundtrack to my year.

I will admit before diving into my list of 2019’s best that because of a new job I got about halfway through the year, I do not have as much disposable time to listen to Spotify and discover new artists anymore. I know. Tragic.

Regardless, the music I did find time to listen to was well worth it. Enjoy the best in music for 2019:

1. “Tied Up”, LEISURE, Twister. LEISURE for sure turned the heat up with this one.

2. “Just Like You”, Satin Jackets, Solar Nights. Still waiting to find out who the vocalist is on this amazing tune.

3. “Follow My Girl,” Japanese House, Good at Falling. Always so melodic.

4. “Knives,” Kim Petras, TURN OFF THE LIGHT. The title recommends it, so listen with the lights out for the full experience.

5. “Warm (ft. Haim)”, Charli XCX, Charli. If there’s anyone in the music industry that has grown significantly this decade, it’s Charli XCX.

6. “Unholy”, Miley Cyrus, SHE IS COMING. She came.

7. “Bags”, Clairo, Immunity. Bedroom pop queen can do no wrong.

8. “Karma”, Marina, Love + Fear. Such a well rounded allbum of highs and lows.

9. “bad idea”, Ariana Grande, thank u, next. I always feel like living dangerously when I listen to Ariana Grande, and this album is no exception.

10. “Señorita (ft. Camila Cabello), Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes. This kid is going places.

11. “Every Single Time”, Jonas Brothers, Happiness Begins. 13-year-old Dana is still screaming.

12. “Who I Am”, Toro y Moi, Outer Peace. Everything about this album was futuristic fun.

13. “Your Heartbeat Against Mine (ft. Nandi Rose Plunkett)”, From Indian Lakes, Dimly Lit. This LP caught me by surprise, and I loved every second.

14. “FWM”, Qveen Herby, EP 6. All hail the qveen.

15. “What Love Is”, Mystery Skulls, Back to Life. So many ’80s vibes on this!

Here’s to 2020!

2018’s Best in Music

Alrighty, it’s about that time of year where I look back at the songs, artists, and albums that got me through the last 365 days.

I feel like all the artists in 2018 were putting in overtime (looking at you, Uppermost)! Like, damn! So many amazing musical projects came into fruition this year.

Here are the best in music for 2018:

1. “Midnight Summer Jam”, Justin Timberlake, Man of the Woods. Is it even possible for JT to make an album that isn’t good? I don’t think so.

2. “blazed”, Ariana Grande ft. Pharrell Williams, sweetner. Ariana killin’ it as usual, and Pharrel just adding some extra pizzaz.

3. “Count to Five”, Rhye, Blood. I could literally listen to Rhye until I die.

4. “Mona Lisa”, Sabrina Carpenter, Singular: Act I. What kind of person would leave a girl like Sabrina hanging like that?

5. “LA Girls”, Charlie Puth, Voicenotes. I’m not from LA, but Charlie kinda makes a girl wish she were.

6. “Crybaby” Paloma Faith, The Architect (Zeitgeist Edition). Thank you, Spotify Chromecast tutorial, for introducing me to Paloma Faith.

7. “Dreams”, Uppermost, Given by Nature. So enchanting.

8. “Atoms”, Uppermost ft. Birsen, Perseverance. When Uppermost does the most in 2018 😉

9. “Damn (what must a woman do)”, Christine and the Queens, Chris. Idk man. I just don’t. Sigh.

10. “I Want You”, Elohim, Elohim. You tell him like it is, girl.

11. “Couples Retreat”, Jon Bellion, Glory Sound Prep. I bet Jon’s wife melts like chocolate whenever she hears him sing.

12. “Ride or Die”, The Knocks ft. Foster the People, New York Narcotic. Such a feel good tune, and overall album.

13. “walk from here”, lovelytheband, finding it hard to smile. Those guitar chords get me every time.

14. “Towel”, The WLDLFE, I’m Not Worried Anymore. So glad I discovered these guys this year.

15. “When We Drive”, Death Cab for Cutie, Thank You for Today. Death Cab, hitting you with a big bag of emotions since 1997.

16. “All the Work”, Amber Mark, Conexão. Definitely want to see this girl perform live someday.

17. “Change Your Mind”, Miike Snow, 50 Shades Freed Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. What are we supposed to do now that all the films have been released and there are no more soundtracks coming?! 😥

18. “Glitter”, Keys n Krates ft. Ambré Perkins, Cura. Ugh, this album shines “like glitter.”

19. “Something”, Henry Green, Shift. Keep the slow jams coming, Henry.

20. “Happy Without Me”, Chloe x Halle ft. Joey Bada$$, The Kids Are Alright. Can’t wait to see what these girls put out next. So. Much. Talent!

Happy New Year 2019!

My Spotify 2018 Wrapped (Year in Music)

This year’s Spotify Wrapped was…interesting. I guess. I’m not sure if interesting is really the right word to use here.

There were 10 slides of data about my listening habits for 2018, and, to be honest, some of the slides were quite pointless.

Anyway, let’s take a look at my 2019 Year in Music:

It appears I started the year out listening to Dua Lipa and Hobbie Stuart? The former I can confirm but the latter I do not recall. Oh, well.

I don’t remember the total amount of minutes I listened last year, but back in 2014 it was almost 38% of this. I have for sure been spending more time on Spotify after graduating college.

Yes, yes, yes! And I’m STILL MAD that the tickets for his NYC show in March sold out before I could snag one 😥

Yeah, this seems pretty accurate. I’d say I spent the majority of 2018 falling in love with Rhye, Fickle Friends (I got to see them live!), and HalfNoise.

This was one of the slides that I found pretty useless, as I care not one ounce about zodiac signs and astrology. I mean, sure, I guess it’s cool that most of the artists I listened to in 2018 were born in November and December? \_(ツ)_/¯

I’m really loving the podcasts section of Spotify these days. Ear Biscuits and WenghTalk Radio are among my faves this year, as are We Watch Food and Subway Creatures!

See below for 100 of my most played songs and a playlist of Tastebreakers.

2017’s Best in Music

It’s the end of 2017, so I put myself to the arduous task of compiling a list of the year’s best in music again. I was just as  selective this year as I was in 2016, so the list below only contains 15 songs/artists/albums. I’m becoming very good at this.

Anyway, let’s not waste any time. Here are my favorite songs, artists, and albums of 2017!

1. “Feels” ft. Pharell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean, Calvin Harris, Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1. You heard Katy, “don’t be afraid.”

2. “Hurt Nobody”, Andrew Belle, Dive Deep. I think this one takes number one in my heart for best love song of 2017 to slow dance to.

3. “Observer” Darius, Utopia. Darius is a genius and Utopia goes to extreme lengths to prove it.

4. “For a Ride”, NOVAA, Lo, Lights. What a fantastic duo. I would so love to see these two work together again in 2018.

5. “Plastic Rose” Maroon 5, Red Pill Blues. Well, if it’s plastic, doesn’t it mean the love will never die?

6. “Saw You In A Dream”, The Japanese House, Saw You In A Dream. This is the best single I’ve ever heard from The Japanese House. So much emotion in those lyrics.

7. “Depths” ft. Animal Feelings, Mammals, Chase Your Bliss. I kept hearing Mammals as a featured artist on a bunch of songs I love. It’s great to see the roles reversed on this EP. Animal Feelings brought good vibes.

8. “High Off Love” Cannons, Night Drive. Cannons is such glamorously smooth chillwave and I can’t get enough.

9. “Human Touch” ft. Maya Vic, KAPPEKOFF, Kappekoff. If you know me well enough, you’ll understand why the intro to this song gets me every time.

10. “Told You So”, Paramore, After Laughter. Paramore made such a fun comeback in 2017! I love Hayley’s new hair too!

11. “Night Time TV” Fenech-Soler, ZILLA. Can you imagine how fun these guys must be in concert? Like, woah, buddy!

12. “Just a Feeling” ft. VERITÉ, Phantoms, Phantoms. This song has followed me to various stores after I heard this album, and I’m not even mad though. VERITÉ’s voice is a vision.

13. “Malibu 1992”, COIN, How Will You Know If You Never Try. So retro, so somber, so good.

14. “Disguise”, Day Wave, The Days We Had. Prom dance anyone? Also, I am proud to say I own this on vinyl!

15. “Plea Rel”, Canon Blue, Lasso Yo. If he’s saying what I think he’s saying in this song this dude must have had a rough year. Welcome back, Canon Blue.

 

Happy New Year’s Eve!

2016’s Best in Music

dance-1790838_1920

My favorite part of the year is here again! 2016 was a great year in music for my indie darlings and popular artists alike. As usual, thanks to Spotify, I was introduced to countless new music making geniuses, causing a great deal of stress while creating this “best of” list.

Nonetheless, I made a decision to only choose 15 songs. I don’t know how I did it, but here it is: 2016’s best songs, artists, and albums!

1. “Dans Un Autre Reve,” Brett, ModeI played this song all summer after I discovered it. Loved the EP, and I’d love to see Brett perform live in 2017!

2. “Instantané,” Paradis, Recto VersoEvery. Single. Heart. String. Every single one is sent afflutter when I hear this gem. This full length album was well waited for.

3. “Always,” HalfNoise, Sudden Feeling. I love how the instrumentals on this albums have a smidge of hopefulness in them, yet the lyrics come across a bit heart-wrenching.

4. “Belong,” Roosevelt, Roosevelt. Another full length album that was well worth waiting for. So happy I got to see Roosevelt perform live this year!

5. “Breaks,” Goldroom, West of the West. Not going to lie, I still want Goldroom to reissue this album with his vocals on all of the tracks.

6. “Baby You’re Bad,” Honne, Warm on a Cold Night. Almost saw them live, but I was in the process of getting settled in my new apartment when they came to NYC. So many great songs on the album, but this one stood out the most.

7. “Onirism,” REFLEX, Lucid Dreams. Such a quirky album. If you’re looking for a good Balearic/House band, look no further.

8. “Coast to Coast,” Satin Jackets (ft. NTEIBINT), Parnorama Pacifico. Satin Jackets blew me away with this album. Those beats hit deep.

9. “All Over You,” LEISURE, LEISURE. The most laid back band with the most laid back album of 2016. Guaranteed.

10. “Public Radio,” TW Walsh, Fruitless Research. I feel like I’ve been transported to the 1970s whenever I listen to this album. Love the distortion on this track specifically.

11. “Knew Better / Forever Boy,” Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman (Deluxe). This “Dangerous Woman” told ’em like it is.

12. “House on Fire,” Sia, This is Acting. I remember coming down with a cold while listening to this album at work. Played this album on repeat while getting better (thanks Sia!).

13. “Somebody Else,” The 1975, I Like It When You Sleep… So many different emotions on one album. The 1975 is just too many vices not to enjoy.

14. “Go!” M83 (ft. Mai Lan), Junk. I was really sad about this album not having Morgan Kibby on it, and the title didn’t calm me until I heard it in it’s entirety. Loved Mai Lan’s vocals, and I hope she works with M83 again soon.

15. “There’s No Need,” Empire of the Sun, Two Vines. “I think I said goodbye to [2016] tonight…”

Here’s to 2017!

6 Things I Learned from My Spotify #YearinMusic

Music junkie that I am, I decided to check out my year in music using Spotify. The results were curated in a pretty cool infographic, which included data about my most played artists, songs, playlists and more using the data collected from the listening habits on my Spotify account.

It was quite the education lesson, I’d say. Here are six things I learned.

1. Apparently I’m into a genre called “Metropolis.” Um, that’s a thing in music-land?

Screenshot 2014-12-21 at 9.01.09 PM

2. I played the daylights out of RAC, Young the Giant’s Mind Over Matter and Goldroom’s Endless Summer playlist. My ears affirm this algorithmic discovery.

Screenshot 2014-12-21 at 4.30.52 PM

3. I don’t know how Prince managed to sneak into my fall listening cycle… #ThisShouldntBeUsButHePlayin’

Screenshot 2014-12-21 at 4.29.46 PM

4. “I Should’ve Guessed” is like, the biggest eargasm in my Starred folder on Spotify. Literally music to my ears.

Screenshot 2014-12-21 at 9.00.41 PM

5. My music life was empty without Spotify Premium. Now I can listen on the subway all the time! (Until my three months for $0.99 is up in March :/)

Screenshot 2014-12-21 at 9.02.24 PM

6. Apparently this is how I got over the fact that the weekend was over. Seems legit.
Screenshot 2014-12-21 at 9.02.32 PM

Spotify also curated a playlist to drool over in 2015. Nothing really stood out to me on it, but I appreciated the opportunity to learn about some new artists!
Screenshot 2014-12-21 at 9.02.40 PMThank you for being a friend, Spotify. My ears are your biggest fans!

Rock out to my Play It Forward playlist in 2015: 

View your #YearinMusic here.

CANstruction Presents: Hunger Games, StaTUNA of Liberty & More

canstruction hunger games

CANstruction, “May the odds be ever in your favor”

Who knew food charity could be so creative!

The CANstruction exhibit at Brookfield Place in NYC is a display of can art sculptures created by artists who entered the food charity competition this year. The food charity competition is held every year, and this particular exhibit is open until November 20th.

I was really shocked at how great these were. My favorites are the Hunger Games symbol, the StaTUNA of Liberty (love the word play there) and the NYC subway.

Enjoy some photos of the exhibit below!

1. StaTUNA of Liberty (made with cans of tuna!)

statuna of liberty canstruction

2. Pavlov’s Dog (aka “Hounding Hunger”

canstruction dog

 

3. NYC Subway

city harvest station

4. Hunger Games (aka “May the odds be ever in your favor”)

may the odds be ever in your favor

5. Hunger Picnic

hunger picnic

6. End Hunger (made out of Chef Boyardee and Goya cans!)

canstruction hunger

7. RIP Hunger

rip hunger canstructionI definitely recommend that you visit this exhibit if you have the time!

Learn more at http://brookfieldplaceny.com/Canstruction14.

 

Taylor Swift Pulls Music from Spotify

Looks like some of us Spotify users will never get to hear 1989.

Taylor Swift made the decision to boycott Spotify, pulling every single song from her artist profile except Hunger Games track “Safe and Sound.”

Spotify issued a statement after the singer’s harsh move, saying,

We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.

PS – Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.

Too bad we’ll never hear the song that lyric is from.

Taylor Swift's Spotify

According to TIME, “Artists earn on average less than one cent per play, between $0.006 and $0.0084 to be exact.” It’s no wonder Swift took her music off the app.

As an avid Spotify user, I demand that artists be paid more per play. Spotify has many advertisers and premium users, and they should be able to pay artists their fare share.

As Swift said,

Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.

I hope Spotify will once again host Swift’s rare music gems sometime in the near future.

56th Grammy Award Show

grammys

Last night’s Grammy award show was full of amazing performances. Our favorite artists came together to dance the night away as their fellow musicians performed the songs we love live. From Beyonce’s sexy opening all the way to Pharrell’s ridiculous idea of a hat accessory, some of the biggest award show moments happened last night at the Grammy’s.

Here is a list of the best, must-see performances:

“Drunk in Love,” Beyonce ft. Jay-Z: Beyonce worked that chair! The ending of the number was so cute as the couple stood back to back on stage.

“Royals,” Lorde: This girl ruled the stage last night! I loved the intro arrangement for the song. So amazing!

“Dark Horse,” Katy Perry ft. Juicy J: Very unexpected performance featuring Halloween themed get-up. I loved the way Katy Perry and the other two dancers swung on the poles in unison as Juicy J rapped his verse.

“All Too Well,” Taylor Swift: I love how she still managed to flip her hair back and forth while sitting at the piano. (She may have over done it, though). Such a beautiful song and performance.

“Radioactive” with “M.A.A.D. City,” Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar: No words. Can explain. The amount. Of awesome.

“Get Lucky,” Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder: Only Daft Punk could make so much magic happen in one night.

And I can’t tell which was more hilarious: Pharrell’s hat or Yoko’s dance moves.

Here is the winner’s list:

Record of the year
“Get Lucky” — Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers — WINNER
“Radioactive” — Imagine Dragons
“Royals” — Lorde
“Locked out of Heaven” — Bruno Mars
“Blurred Lines” — Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell

Album of the year
“The Blessed Unrest” — Sara Bareilles
“Random Access Memories” — Daft Punk — WINNER
“Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” — Kendrick Lamar
“The Heist” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
“Red” — Taylor Swift

Song of the year
“Just Give Me a Reason” — P!nk featuring Nate Ruess
“Locked Out of Heaven” — Bruno Mars
“Roar” — Katy Perry
“Royals” — Lorde — WINNER
“Same Love” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Best new artist
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — WINNER
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Best pop solo performance
Sara Bareilles — “Brave”
Lorde — “Royals” — WINNER
Bruno Mars — “When I Was Your Man”
Katy Perry — “Roar”
Justin Timberlake — “Mirrors”

Best pop duo/group performance
Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers — “Get Lucky” — WINNER
P!nk featuring Nate Ruess — “Just Give Me a Reason”
Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko — “Stay”
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell — “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake and Jay Z — “Suit & Tie”

Best pop instrumental album
Herb Alpert — “Steppin’ Out” — WINNER
Boney James — “The Beat”
Earl Klugh — “Handpicked”
Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot — “Summer Horns”
Jeff Lorber Fusion — “Hacienda”

Best pop vocal album
Lana Del Rey — “Paradise”
Lorde — “Pure Heroine”
Bruno Mars — “Unorthodox Jukebox” — WINNER
Robin Thicke — “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake — “The 20/20 Experience — The Complete Experience”

Best dance recording
“Need U (100%)” — Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK
“Sweet Nothing” — Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
“Atmosphere” — Kaskade
“The is What it Feels Like” — Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie
“Clarity” — Zedd featuring Foxes — WINNER

Best dance/electronica album
“Random Access Memories” — Daft Punk — WINNER
“Settle” — Disclosure
“18 Months” — Calvin Harris
“Atmosphere” — Kaskade
“A Color Map of the Sun” — Pretty Lights

Best traditional pop vocal album
“Viva Duets” — Tony Bennett and various artists
“To Be Loved” — Michael Bublé — WINNER
“The Standards” — Gloria Estefan
“Cee Lo’s Magic Moment” — Cee Lo Green
“Now” — Dionne Warwick

Best rock performance
Alabama Shakes — “Always Alright”
David Bowie — “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
Imagine Dragons — “Radioactive” — WINNER
Led Zeppelin — “Kashmir”
Queens of the Stone Age — “My God is the Sun”
Jack White — “I’m Shakin’ ”

Best metal performances
Anthrax — “T.N.T.”
Black Sabbath — “God is Dead?” — WINNER
Dream Theater — “The Enemy Inside”
Killswitch Engage — “In Due Time”
Volbeat featuring King Diamond — “Room 24”

Best rock song
“Ain’t Messin’ ‘Round” — Gary Clark Jr.
“Cut Me Some Slack” — Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear — WINNER
“Doom and Gloom” — The Rolling Stones
“God Is Dead?” — Black Sabbath
“Panic Station” — Muse

Best rock album
Black Sabbath — “13”
David Bowie — “The Next Day”
Kings of Leon — “Mechanical Bull”
Led Zeppelin — “Celebration Day” — WINNER
Queens of the Stone Age — “… Like Clockwork”
Neil Young with Crazy Horse — “Psychedelic Pill”

Best alternative music album
Neko Case — “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You”
The National — “Trouble Will Find Me”
Nine Inch Nails — “Hesitation Marks”
Tame Impala — “Lonerism”
Vampire Weekend — “Modern Vampires of the City” — WINNER

Best R&B performance
Tamar Braxton — “Love and War”
Anthony Hamilton — “Best of Me”
Hiatus Kaiytoe featuring Q-Tip — “Nakamarra”
Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar — “How Many Drinks?”
Snarky Puppy with Lala Hathaway — “Something” — WINNER

Best traditional R&B performance
Gary Clark Jr. — “Please Come Home” — WINNER
Fantasia — “Get It Right”
Maysa — “Quiet Fire”
Gregory Porter — “Hey Laura”
Ryan Shaw — “Yesterday”

Best R&B song
“Best of Me” — Anthony Hamilton
“Love and War” — Tamar Braxton
“Only One” — PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder
“Pusher Love Girl” — Justin Timberlake — WINNER
“Without Me” — Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott

Best urban contemporary album
Tamar Braxton — “Love and War”
Fantasia — “Side Effects of You”
Salaam Remi — “One: In the Chamber”
Rihanna — “Unapologetic” — WINNER
Mack Wilds — “New York: A Love Story”

Best R&B album
Faith Evans — “R&B Divas”
Alicia Keys — “Girl on Fire” — WINNER
John Legend — “Love in the Future”
Chrisette Michele — “Better”
TGT — “Three Kings”

Best rap performance
Drake — “Started From the Bottom”
Eminem — “Berserk”
Jay Z — “Tom Ford”
Kendrick Lamar — “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz — “Thrift Shop” — WINNER

Best rap/sung collaboration
J. Cole featuring Miguel — “Power Trip”
Jay Z featuring Beyoncé — “Part II (On the Run)”
Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake — “Holy Grail” — WINNER
Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige — “Now or Never”
Wiz Khalifa featuring the Weeknd — “Remember You”

Best rap song
“F***in’ Problems” — A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar
“Holy Grail” — Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
“New Slaves” — Kanye West
“Started From the Bottom” — Drake
“Thrift Shop” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — WINNER

Best rap album
Drake — “Nothing Was the Same”
Jay Z — “Magna Carta … Holy Grail”
Kendrick Lamar — “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — “The Heist” — WINNER
Kanye West — “Yeezus”

Best country solo performance
Lee Brice — “I Drive Your Truck”
Hunter Hayes — “I Want Crazy”
Miranda Lambert — “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Darius Rucker — “Wagon Wheel” — WINNER
Blake Shelton — “Mine Would Be You”

Best country duo/group performance
The Civil Wars — “From This Valley” — WINNER
Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill — “Don’t Rush”
Little Big Town — “Your Side of the Bed”
Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban — “Highway Don’t Care”
Kenny Rogers With Dolly Parton — “You Can’t Make Old Friends”

Best country song
“Begin Again” — Taylor Swift
“I Drive Your Truck” — Lee Brice
“Mama’s Broken Heart” — Miranda Lambert
“Merry Go ‘Round” — Kacey Musgraves — WINNER
“Mine Would Be You” — Blake Shelton

Best country album
Jason Aldean — “Night Train”
Tim McGraw — “Two Lanes of Freedom”
Kacey Musgraves — “Same Trailer Different Park” — WINNER
Blake Shelton — “Based on a True Story”
Taylor Swift — “Red”

Best Latin pop album
Frankie J — “Faith, Hope y Amor”
Ricardo Montaner — “Viajero Frecuente”
Draco Rosa — “Vida” — WINNER
Aleks Syntek — “Syntek”
Tommy Torres — “12 Historias”

Best Latin rock, urban or alternative album
Café Tacvba — “El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco”
El Tri — “Ojo Por Ojo”
Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas — “Chances”
La Santa Cecilia — “Treinta Dias” — WINNER
Los Amigos Invisibles — “Repeat After Me”

Producer of the year, nonclassical
Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams — WINNER

Best compilation soundtrack for visual media
“Django Unchained”
“The Great Gatsby” (deluxe edition)
“Les Miserables” (deluxe edition
“Muscle Shoals”
“Sound City: Real to Reel” — WINNER

Best score soundtrack for visual media
“Argo”
“The Great Gatsby”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Skyfall” — WINNER
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Best song written for visual media
Coldplay — “Atlas” — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Jessie J — “Silver Lining” — “Silver Linings Playbook”
Adele — “Skyfall” — “Skyfall” — WINNER
Colbie Caillat featuring Gavin DeGraw — “We Both Know” — “Safe Haven”
Lana Del Rey — “Young and Beautiful” — “The Great Gatsby” (deluxe edition)
Regina Spektor — “You’ve Got Time” — “Orange is the New Black”

Best music video
Captial Cities — “Safe and Sound”
Jay Z — “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton — “Can’t Hold Us”
Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z — “Suit & Tie” — WINNER
Jack White — “I’m Shakin'”

Best music film
Coldplay — “Live 2012”
Green Day — “¡Cuatro!”
Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite — “I’m in I’m Out and I’m Gone: The Making of Get Up!”
Paul McCartney — “Live Kisses” — WINNER
Mumford & Sons — “The Road to Red Rocks”

2013’s Best in Music

music illustrationA lot of great art came to be in the entertainment world this year. The music industry especially saw some amazing projects across all genres. From pop/rock to indie, the albums that were produced in the year 2013 were spectacular, and have been on my Spotify playlist since the first week of their release. Here are 20 of the best albums created in 2013, along with my favorite song from each one:

1. Santa Fe,” Andrew Belle, Black Bear
Andrew Belle really blew me away with this album. His new dream pop sound is eargasmic, and I hope he sticks to it for a little while.

220px-Prism_cover
2. International Smile,” Katy Perry, Prism
Prism was a mixture of sentimental Katy and fun Katy, her wild side tamed to a bare minimum. The upbeat tracks on the album are a blast to listen to.

3. Deja Vu,” Urban Cone, Our Youth
Thanks to the MTV VMAs, ever since “New York” played during the award show commercial break, Our Youth is one of my most played albums of the month. Their relaxed alternative vibe is definitely one to tune into.

220px-Artpop_cover
4. Fashion!,” Lady Gaga, ARTPOP
What would Lady Gaga be without  her fashion?! ARTPOP is a giant koons ball of a treat for the Little Monsters.

220px-Bangerz
5. Rooting for My Baby,” Miley Cyrus, Bangerz
The most talked about celebrity of the year managed to blow up during the second half of 2013 with her VMA performance and raunchy music videos. Had a bad day at work? There’s a Miley song for that!

220px-In_a_Tidal_Wave_of_Mystery_by_Capital_Cities_artwork
6. “Origami,” Capital Cities, In A Tidal Wave of Mystery
Capital Cities is one of 2014’s bands to watch. Their 80s electro-pop vibe is groovy like no other.
220px-Vampire_Weekend_-_Modern_Vampires_of_the_City
7. Everlasting Arms,” Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
Vampire Weekend has done it again, coming in at number one on Rolling Stones “Best Albums of the Year,” and rightfully so. Each track on MVOTC has its own unique story.

220px-Phoenix_-_Bankrupt!_cover
8. Trying To Be Cool,” Phoenix, Bankrupt!
The French invasion by band Phoenix proved to be a success with the fans in New York after an amazing night at Barclay’s Center this year. Wish I could have been there!

9. “Mountains,” Yuna, Nocturnal
Yuna’s combination of sweet songbird and vibrant melodic sass come together to create a beautiful array of island paradise on Nocturnal.

220px-Justin_Bieber_Journals
10. “Confident,” Justin Bieber, Complete My Journals
I can’t even handle how grown up Justin Beiber’s voice is on this album. It’s unreal how the little kid that once upon a time had a song called “One Time” on Radio Disney turned out to sound like this!

220px-Random_Access_Memories
11. “Instant Crush,” Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas, Random Access Memories
Daft Punk + The Strokes = Perfection. Have you seen the amazing music video for their latest single?!

220px-When+It+Was+Now+PNG
12. “When It Was Now,” Atlas Genius, When It Was Now
The smooth alternative rock of Australia’s Atlas Genius is “almost too much to be enough.” It really is.

220px-Stars_Dance
13. “Save The Day,” Selena Gomez, Stars Dance
Even though Selena is planning to take a break from singing after this year, I have to admit, despite her inability to sing well live, Stars Dance is her best music project to date.

14. “Closer Than This,” St. Lucia, When The Night
How we all long to get closer to Jean-Phillippe Grobler. The old fashioned synth of St. Lucia is so addicting!

220px-Lorde_Pure_Heroine
15. “A World Alone,” Lorde, Pure Heroine
I sometimes forget that this girl is only 17. She’s got such a bright future ahead of her. Just keep it coming with the bedroom confessionals, Lorde.

220px-IceOnTheDune
16. “DNA,” Empire of the Sun, Ice On The Dune
“Be mine, be my DNA,” Luke Steele. Trust me, you’ll want some of it too. Everyone does. (Except for the horrified woman whose house they invaded in the music video).

220px-Avicii_-_True_(Album)
17. “Dear Boy,” Avicii, True
You can always count on Avicii to be true to his fans. This entire album is about dedication to the EDM fandom.

18. “Thunder,” Gold Fields, Black Sun
Without Empire of the Sun, Black Sun would not be on this list, because I only know of them due to the fact that Gold Fields opened for them earlier this year. “Thunder” is literally the first song I play on Spotify whenever it’s pouring rain outside.

220px-Washed_Out_-_Paracosm
19. “Great Escape,” Washed Out, Paracosm
Earnest Greene, can I live inside your head? Can I be in your paracosm, as a fairy perhaps?

220px-Toro_y_Moi_-_Anything_in_Return
20. “Rose Quartz,” Toro Y Moi, Anything in Return
The sexual tension on this album is too much for words. “I feel weak. Uh huh.”


2013 music

Here’s to a great year of music, and another opportunity for loads more in 2014!