We’re aware that most music is listened to in shuffle mode these days. Those reading that remember what it was like to actually purchase CDs, or continue to purchase vinyl, know what some people are missing out. Good music is good music, and artists choose song placement carefully. An album can take up to a year, and in the case of Arthur Russell, never stops evolving. (Russell was noted to having trouble finishing a track, and instead having many ongoing versions that he’d continue reworking.) We’ve got music for you that’s good with or without marijuana, but since we know that weed makes everything sound amazing, we suspect these albums will make mincemeat of a Sunday afternoon. Very hard to choose just 5, but we do our best.
- The Saint Soundtrack. For those that don’t know, The Saint is a thriller film that came out in 1997, and stars Val Kilmer, Elizabeth Shue and Rade Serbedzija. Directed by Philip Noyce, the film earned 169.4 million at the box office, making it the 28th film of 303 in 1997. Although it received mixed reviews, mostly due to the meandering screenplay, it’s soundtrack was, and is, tight. It features amazing electronic artists from the late 90s, like The Chemical Brothers, The Sneaker Pimps, Underworld, Daft Punk, Everything But The Girl, Moby, and more. Starting strong.
- Fatou – Fatoumata Diawara If you’re into chill vibes, this is definitely an album you’ll want to hear. Diawara is a Malian singer-songwriter that’s been active since 1999. She draws on Wassalou traditions as well as drawing from international influence for her music. She’s performed with a plethora of artists, like the Roots, Paul McCartney and more.
- Clean – Soccer Mommy Another chill record, but this time written by Sophie Allison and released this year. At just 20 years old, the Nashville native has a hazy voice that reminds us of playing 7 minutes in Heaven in middle school. The album is a bit poppy, youthful, perceptive and varied in mood. “Blossom” is our favorite track, although “Cool” is pretty close behind. Close your eyes for this one, ya’ll.
- In a Poem Unlimited – U.S. Girls. U.S. Girls consists of Meg Ramy, an Amercian- Canadian (former) punker with an expansive stylistic lexicon. In a Poem Unlimited, released this year, is an album brimming with 70’s influence… we’re talking disco pop, glam rock, and surf rock. Smooth, groovy, atmospheric, Ramy uses this album to express feminine anger in a striking, sometimes beautiful way. She’s been making music since 2007 and is currently signed to 4AD records, which she signed with in 2015.
- The Party – Andy Shauf. This album is hands down our favorite discovery this year, although it was released in 2016. Shauf also hails from Canada and plays several instruments. This album cover the experiences of someone that might be a wallflower in social situations, but does it through blending 70’s pop with folk. Shauf exhibits his sharp melodic and textural ear, and plays every instrument on the album except strings. The Magician is our favorite track and has a great video too.