First of all, cheers to the fact that I actually managed to keep a New Year’s resolution. *clink*
What was that resolution, exactly? To select, and post on Facebook, as well as aggregate into a Spotify playlist, a song for each day of 2018. I can’t say I always posted each song perfectly within the 24 hour window of a day, but I did complete the mission and chose for you 365 songs: songs that were new to me; songs that were old and fitted within the flow and feel of the day they were chosen; songs that made my heart leap up; songs that surprised me; songs that spoke meanings and feelings I had in words I didn’t.
And (second cheers), the playlist somehow came out just MINUTES over 24 hours. #poetic
I love music; it’s been written into whatever it is that comprises my person due to both disposition and the actions of my parents, always always playing for my siblings and me music, building the idea that music is integral to the unfolding of a day. So this resolution, this project, was just an organizing mechanism for what I’d do anyway, but beyond that, I believe so ardently in the egalitarian nature of music, the connective nature of music.
Thanks to everyone who has followed the project, liked the songs, found something new, or enjoyed revisiting something old. My heart aches a little bit to think that this draws to a close–it’s odd or maybe not odd at all how a project such as this gives one a sense of purpose.
I’ve spent the past couple of days exploring and analyzing the list a bit, in an attempt to extract some datapoints and also to see if I could identify the 10 most important songs of my 2018. Keep scrolling for the output. 🙂
(And if you want to check out the playlist, it’ll be up for the remainder of my natural life, here.)
Most Selected Artists
- Allman Brown – 3 songs
- Bayonne – 3 songs
- Blanco White – 3 songs
- Copeland – 4 songs
- Death Cab for Cutie – 3 songs
- Diane Cluck – 3 songs
- FAVELA – 3 songs
- Geographer – 3 songs
- Gregory Alan Isakov – 4 songs
- Henry Jamison – 3 songs
- Imaginary Future – 3 songs
- Jome – 3 songs
- The Kite String Tangle – 3 songs
- Manchester Orchestra – 4 songs
- My Brightest Diamond – 4 songs
- Novo Amor – 3 songs
- Phoebe Bridgers – 5 songs
- Saintseneca – 3 songs
- Sara Davis Regan – 3 songs
- Steve Benjamin – 3 songs
- Talos – 3 songs
- Vancouver Sleep Clinic – 4 songs
- Yoste – 3 songs
Notable 2018 Artist Discoveries
- Allman Brown
- Blanco White
- Can’t Swim
- James McMullen
- Mat Kerekes
- Oliver Riot
- Penny and Sparrow
- Phoebe Bridgers
- San Scout
- Sara Davis Regan
- The Western Den
- Yoke Lore
If I Can Only Get You to Listen to 10 Songs from the Playlist, They’re These
Phoebe Bridgers – Waiting Room
Phoebe Bridgers was a major discovery for me in 2018; her lyrics cut in the best way. Stick around for the outro of this one: “Whatever happens, I know it’s for the better.”
Talos – Kansas
Talos is sweeping, ethereal, other-place-making, a pocket of magic in an ordinary day.
Jake McMullen – Giving Up
In acknowledgement of brokenness and optimism.
Mat Kerekes – The Clubs / The People’s Attention
“A picture hangs on the wall and hears what I talk about.” I considered settings many times this year, what settings allow for or acknowledge in us, how settings change us, how settings hold steady while we sort ourselves out.
The Western Den – I Still Remain
“Where have you gone? Why couldn’t I go, too?”
We change, and yet we remain. It is a challenging tension, this inclination to evolve (in ourselves and in our contexts), and also the left-behind aspect of some evolutions. “Where did we get lost?” I am always trying to put my finger on hinge points in my own life; I think the year has taught me that there are not always clear and easy answers, but, yes, keep asking the questions.
Toro y Moi – Freelance
It doesn’t seem possible to write a song that’s BOTH dancey and introspectively perceptive, but here it is.
Sara Davis Regan – Waterston
I am obsessed with the fragile intensity of Sara Davis Regan (formerly “Davis”) and also her lyrics, and she’s a lovely human too–I sent her a note through FB to let her know it meant a lot to me what she was doing, and to please keep it up. She wrote back and it was all very heartening and reminded me how important it is to reach out and let creative folks know you appreciate their efforts.
The 1975 – I Like America & America Likes Me
I gotta give a shout to Matty Healy for this album; the 1975 continues to evolve and tackle deeper content with each album. He and the band are growing up, getting real, and I like it. And the beat in this song is unstoppable.
San Scout – You Instead
I found San Scout pretty late in the year but they were immediately mine, the most perfect indie electronica. Consume the entire discography.
Penny and Sparrow – Undress
This might be my 2018 song of myself, my Leaves of Grass.
“Figuring out I’m not who I swore that I would be by now…but I won’t stay. No, not for long. No, not for long.”
Let’s all keep going. It is our heart’s inclination and our privilege.