I found myself in a bit of a rut this year, mostly listening to old music and making nostalgic playlists over keeping an ear out for new releases. However, there were a few things I really latched onto like Mitski’s Be The Cowboy (shocking, I know,) and, more recently, Leaving Meaning from Swans. Regardless, it’s only fitting to do a little playlist of Releases this year I saw fit to share.
1.) What is This? off Leaving Meaning is simply beautiful from a definitely more accessible album by experimental powerhouse Swans. It’s got the familiar swelling and persistent structure they’re known for without as much raw aggression featured in previous works.
2.) Nobody is undoubtedly every 20-something indie sadgirl’s favorite ballad of this year, Mitski blends this uptempo tune with her signature emotional lyrics. Great crying music, if I may speak from experience.
3.) Blue Wings by Wild Nothing is a bop, period. And that’s on yacht rock.
4.) Awon is one of those artists that popped up in my suggested artists tab and I fell in love. Awake is an homage to the black working class struggle set to a signature warm, jazzy instrumental beat.
5.) From Omar Apollo, Ashamed is a funky little jam. Apollo is a soulful singer-songwriter that really displays his range and emotive vocal ability in this punchy funk/soul single.
6.) I think the reason I love Babushka Boi so much is that it’s a fantastic horrorcore inspired track (sampling Memphis 90’s group Da Crime Click,) and for once it’s not from some white 17 year old that got famous via tiktok.
7.) Okay, throwback, but y’all remember the early days of makeup youtube when Michelle Phan would use Late Night Alumni songs in like all her videos? I loved them then and until this year had almost completely forgotten about LNA as a group. One Track Mind is a collab with Kaskade that’s dancy, sweet, and rekindled a fondness for both artists.
8.) Let Me Go from i_o is just a really solid and well-paced EDM song. i_o is signed to Mau5trap, after a rebrand having performed previously under the name Fawks, not surprising at all as he has a knack for crafting something standout from the wider EDM genre with pop appeal.
9.) More nostalgia here with a single from Benny Benassi, I first heard Inside in the club on the setlist for my favorite (and my club’s highest leveled) dancer. It’s a house song, more reminiscient of Hypnotica-era Benassi, an excellent club banger.
10.) Crumb is blowing up right now, with their catchy, languid, psychadelic slow jams. There’s nothing not to love, and I’d highly suggest them to fans of Courtney Barnett, Alvvays, No Vacation and the like. Part III I can only describe as delightful.
11.) Match Bet from Squid is a different sort of sound, somewhere between Parquet Courts, Animal Collective, and Cake. Almost like if Dillinger Escape Plan got over whatever girl most of their songs are about, did LSD and picked up a tambourine player. Lovely.
As I said earlier, I didn’t get around to much new music over the past 12 months, as I was too busy making a cringey 15+ hour scene kid playlist. That’s for another article, though. This year I promise to do better, but I hope you enjoyed these.