By now you have probably read 5-10 “Best Albums” lists compiled by your favorite music conglomerates. This list is different for several reasons. First, this is a list of my (Arjun’s) personal favorite projects from the year. I did not have to dilute my taste through a group dynamic. This is my unfiltered opinion, which I think makes for a more honest list. Secondly, I did not include any artists for political reasons, which larger sites are prone to do. Lastly, this list is a bit unusual in that it combines albums, mixtapes, and EPs under the blanket term “project,” which in the age of long EPs, free albums, and high quality mixtapes is a necessity.
I am not going to write about every album on the list. Nobody has time for that. Instead, let’s hit the highlights and the lesser known projects.
Raury has released his first single of 2015 and it’s his reaction to hearing that officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for the murder of Mike Brown. It’s a emotional song that speaks to the injustice surrounding the case. Malik Shakur, Raury’s best friend, is featured on the track.
I”m not a nuisance to mankind and even if I was, I don’t deserve to die.
College is a bizarre place. It is not like the actual world. It is this vacuum of constant intoxication and twisted idealism. Going to classes on a campus is weird as hell. School is the only time all of these individuals will be grouped together like this–packed into classrooms like sardines, awkwardly sweating next to your potential future wife. As much as college is about the whole higher education thing, it is also about forced socialization. You choose a major and a concentration and voilà, like robots or young wizards, you are sorted with kids with whom you share similar interests. You’ll spend years going to the same classes as these kids–some of them you will know and become friends with and others you will recognize but never really talk to. Anyway, I’m not about to start naming names like iLoveMakonnen, but there’s this girl in my major that
has a boyfriend but spends more time with me and got me in this terrible thing where I don’t care what happens, it’s just awesome hanging out with her. I know. It’s disgusting.
Lemme talk to you, I want to hear you talk to me back
*The SoundCloud mix is missing track 15, “Winning” by Just Jack.
For a moment this collaboration seemed like a dream, but it is in reality. Our favorite dark pop band The Neighbourhood have teamed up with everyone’s favorite new artist Raury and it’s a winner. The track oozes a beautiful darkness and is a cry for love. It starts as a track that is a familiar NBHD sound but suddenly there’s an intensity that builds up through the track. Raury puts his touch on it which makes this track that much more special. Listen to the pure music masterpiece below.
Raury is a 17-year-old artist from Atlanta, GA. He was previously included on the CDs for a Broken Record Tape Tuesday with his song “Bloom.” The reason I am posting about him is that his music is interesting. As music bloggers, we often get caught up in this unspoken battle to discover who is next up. Sometimes in this battle, the music gets lost, and we start to think in backwards terms like “people will like it if I post this song” rather than “I like this song so I will post it.” So here I am. As Raury is doing interviews expressing his disdain for the way the arts are treated in schools, I am expressing my desire for a greater focus on music in the music blogs. And if you need something to write about, well, I recommend you check out “God’s Whisper” by Raury. It is an electric song that is structured on a tribal rhythm and is elevated by a passionate cry for understanding of the youth and change of the status quo. Its video is immaculately directed by Andrew Donoho and sheds light on some of the big, cultural ideas held by Raury and his camp. If everything goes according to plan, Raury will be releasing his debut Indigo Child EP this summer.
Church (n.): A public gathering of like minded individuals.
I feel like everyone numbs themselves to something. It’s like Louis CK said on Conan last September cell phones are a perfect way of subconsciously ignoring true and real and beautiful feelings. So I set out to make a mixtape to draw out those emotions and prevent any possibility of numbness. If this were an episode of Friends, “CDs for a Broken Record” is “The One Where Every Song Kills.”
“I’ll be your one and only,” every time you meet someone downtown
- Ricky Eat Acid – Inside your house; it will swallow us too
- Raury – Bloom
- Emily King – Distance
- Kevin Drew – Good Sex
- Sleepers’ Reign – Four Dots
- SBTRKT – r u n a w a y
- Years and Years – Real
- Young & Sick – Willow
- Day Three – Anxiety
- Beyoncé – XO
- Lincoln Jesser – Certainty
- Yumi Zouma – Sålka Gets Her Hopes Up
- Childish Gambino – what kind of love
- Frankie Cosmos – bottom lip
- TEL AVIV – Cucca
- Javeon – Give Up
- Fickle Friends – Swim
- Yellerkin – Leave Me Be
- Stonefox – All I Want
- Tom Misch & Carmody – The Last Song
- Leo Stannard – I Could Say
- Mike Mains and the Branches – Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
- Cloud Nothings – I’m Not Part of Me
- Nick Leng – Crawled Out of the Sea