Peter Koch

Jacqui Detwiler

Beth Heyde

Marlow Riley

Claire Eckstrom

Tim Haney

Ellie Clayman

Sean Manning

Justin Goldman

Tim Vienckowski

Hunter Slaton

Caitlin Goodspeed

+ not on Spotify: Adele's When We Were Young and Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

Sam Polcer

+ not on Spotify: Thee Oh Sees' "Web"

Shane Lukas

“S.O.B” - Nathaniel Rateliff and the NightSweats

I have been sober my whole life, but this beer brawler compels me to throw fists up. At the gym, I swear I stack one heavier weight than I would normally when this pops on. It's the middle finger to the world I need sometimes.

“Ah Ha” - Nate Ruess

This song is everything all at once, ranging from quotable literary moments (via e. e. cummings) to recalls of the fun. frontman's previous album closer to that wicked refrain where you just have to laugh at the world to keep it from killing you.

“Dreams” - Beck

A surprise funk-fused stepper helmed by the prolific Scientologist. Wonderfully-written, full of unexpected shifts and completely pleasurable. I found myself caught up in the chorus for weeks. 

“Again Animal” - Pearl and the Beard

No matter how much I want to intellectualize music, the tracks that appeal to my most base instincts to flail wildly and stomp out my frustration (glee, even?) get me going.

“Glitterball” - Sigma (w Ella Henderson)

Underappreciated in the US, drum-n-bass electro is enjoying a comeback overseas and this track (along with all of Sigma's album) is a gluttonous collection of hands-in-the-air style electronica. I disappear into this and the world goes neon.

“Spark” - Until the Ribbon Breaks

Likely the most uplifting track from this guy, but it still taps into the brooding desire to find that nugget that pushes you forward and yields a nicer homage to house than anything on Disclosure's second go around. 

“Shame” - Young Fathers

It isn't only that these guys deliver a wonderful live experience, but this album like the past, is such a magnificent pastiche of global influences all with an underbelly to punk although that's hard to fin under all the samples and choruses and kitchen sinks thrown in.

“The Hills” - The Weeknd

A couple years ago, I lamented R&B's death. And then, in a wave that included Frank Ocean, The Weeknd popped on the scene corralling the burgeoning UK underground's reinvention of soul music, grime and '90s-style hooks. This track just lines up so many moments and unites them in that potent refrain.

“I Run Roulette” - Boots

This is probably my song of the year, and sure, critics panned this album while I love it. Maybe it's because this is the guy that gave Beyonce' her best sound in years. Maybe it's because he came out of nowhere. Maybe it's because this sounds like what Depeche Mode would sound like if they weren't reproducing their greatest hits all the time. Sexy, moody, thick and heavy - and I feel like it's a scene where I am in a ripped tank top covered in gun powder and gasoline being chased through the forest by folks with torches. This is my year.

“Fourth of July” - Sufjan Stevens

Death may be one of the most common themes in popular culture, and yet there are few rare creations that preserve realizations of regret, celebration and vulnerability all at the same time. Never before has a closing refrain felt more soft and intense.