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Joel

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I'm having a hard time sleeping so I came in to look for this topic. Glad it was made 30 minutes earlier!

Five Albums I Really, Really Love:

Each of these has been number 1 at some point over the past month/week/day/hour. I could make a top 10 and just have all five of them tie for first, but that would be weird. 

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free

Chris Stapleton - Traveller

Joan Shelley - Over and Even

Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle

Some Explanations: If you asked me to pick one right now? Julien Baker would take it. I honestly believe that if I'd heard this album when I was her age, my life would be very different. This 19 year old girl has been put through the wringer, is probably very much in the midst of all that, and is still clinging to Christ through it all. So very highly recommended. As for the others, Joan Shelley's sound is like a perfectly warm and comforting blanket. If I could live in album, it would be that one. Stapleton is not something I expected to like, but I fell in love with his voice and his honesty. Isbell's no surprise after Southeastern. "Speed Trap Town" is one of the truest songs I've heard this year and it feels even truer now that I'm back home in Kansas for the holidays. Enough has been said about Sufjan at this point: S'Good. 

Quick Note: I love To Pimp a Butterfly, but I can't even begin to parse it all out as a complete work. It's too much for me to take in at this point in my life and I have a hard time feeling comfortable saying much of anything about it. 

Five Songs I Really Really Love (that aren't on the albums I love):

"Alright" by Kendrick Lamar

"Sunday Candy" by Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment

"Wait For It" from Hamilton: An American Musical

"Sorry" by Justin Bieber

"All I Ask" by Adele

Some Explanations: "Alright" was the first song that hit me from TPaB, that it's become such a force since the album drops is somehow both baffling and fitting to me. "Sunday Candy" is definitely my most listened to song of the year (though "Something" by Julien Baker will probably surpass it by the end of 2016). If it comes on, I will rap every lyric along with Chance and harmonize horribly along with the hook. I don't have a grandma like the one Chance is going on about, but I definitely wish I did. Lin-Manuel Miranda uses "Wait For It" to blow through the great mysteries of life, but, more important to the story he's telling in Hamilton, he also uses it to help us to empathize with Aaron Burr. I get really bothered when we humanize fictional villains that are meant to be embodiments of evil (Maleficent) and equally as bothered when we villainize real-life humans (do you really need examples?), and this song brings a great depth to the humanity of Aaron Burr here. This song is a masterwork in the midst of a larger one. 'Sorry" is the best pure pop song I heard all year. I don't know what happened, but I guess when you combine two artists I really don't like (JB and Skrillex), you get a pop song I can't stop playing. The Smeezingtons helped Adele make the most Adele song ever. I mean, give me a break. It SHOULD be self-parody at this point. It might be, and I'm just blind to it, but every time her voice breaks, every time that key change hits, I'm so, so toast. 

Final Note: Honestly, if this post just gets even one person to check out this video of Julien Baker, I will be pleased.

 

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Here is my playlist, read more at Good Letters! (http://imagejournal.org/2015/12/31/to-illuminate-a-small-field-15-songs-for-2015/)

Sad Songs (Let’s Get This Over With)

  1. Bjork: “Stonemilker”
  2. Death Cab: “No Room in Frame”
  3. Sufjan Stevens: “Blue Bucket of Gold” (Remix)

Shouting at God (or, Faith)

  1. mewithoutYou: “D-Minor”
  2. Refused: “Dawkins Christ”
  3. Emery: “Thrash”

A Somewhat Confused and Surprisingly Long Dance Party

  1. Mates of State: “Staring Contest”
  2. Breakmaster Cylinder: “Reply All Theme”
  3. Roman GianArthur feat. Janelle Monae: “No Surprises”
  4. Erica Campbell: “I Luh God”
  5. DC Talk: “Love Feels Like”
  6. We Are the City: “Keep on Dancing”

Faith (Part II)

  1. Torres: “Sprinter”
  2. Lauryn Hill: “Feeling Good”
  3. Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus: “The Bright Field”

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Many hours of selectivity and sequencing went into this playlist, which I've been sharing the last several weeks with the group of folks who support LookingCloser.org. These are, for the most part, my favorite tracks of the year, from my favorite records of the year. 


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I will do an official blog post on my Hanvey Reviews blog but
for now, my favorite music albums of 2015

Yowler - The Offer

Schmieds Puls - I Care A Little Less About Everything Now

Nicole Dollenganger - Natural Born Losers

Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell

Siskiyou - Nervous

Moon King - Secret Life

The rest in no particular order

All Dogs - Kicking Every Day

Casa Del Mirto - The Nature

Chvrches - Every Open Eye

Deportees - The Big Sleep

Hibou - Hibou

Low - Ones and Sixes

Martin Courtney - Many Moons

Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

Purity Ring - Another Eternity

Say Lou Lou - Lucid Dreaming

Superhumanoids - Do You Feel Okay?

Tame Impala - Currents

Tanlines - Highlights

Twin Shadow - Eclipse

Best Mashup Album: Yeezer (Kanye West and Weezer)

Best Rap Album: Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

Best Hip Hop: Kwabs - Love + War

Best Covers Album: Lotte Kestner - Best of Requested Covers

Best Reissue: Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy

Best Retrowave/Synthwave: Timecop1983 - Reflections (I should explain that I just discovered this genre this year and found myself falling into it quite a bit, blame the film Turbo Kid, it's basically 80's soundtrack music, instrumental synth that sounds like all your favorite 80's movies.)



 

Edited by Justin Hanvey

"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

Justin's Blog twitter Facebook Life Is Story

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In alphabetical order here are my ten favourite new albums of the past twelve months;

Bjork- Vulnicura
Black Rivers s/t
Coldplay- A Head Full of Dreams
Duke Special- Look Out Machines
Editors- In Dream
Mew +-
Muse- Drones
Nordic Giants- A Seance of Dark Delusions
The Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus- Beauty Will Save the World
Steven Wilson- Hand Cannot Erase


If the world was my oyster I would never taste anything!!!

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Here's my Top 25 Albums of 2015.

And here's my Top 50 Songs of 2015.


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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I don't make much of an effort anymore to keep up with new releases, but these are the ten I listened to most.

1989 - Ryan Adams
Be Small - Here We Go Magic
Born Under Saturn - Django Django
Carrie & Lowell - Sufjan Stevens
The Helio Sequence - The Helio Sequence
Mythologies - Cheatahs
Ones and Sixes - Low
Recreational Love - The Bird and the Bee
Short Movie - Laura Marling <- If I had to pick a favorite
Sprained Ankle - Julien Baker

 

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