It appears that at the end of its first decade this site transformed into a space for me and Nate to post our annual mix. Perhaps 2016 was just so staggeringly awful, one gob-smacked, shit-gibbon, trumped-up day after another, that no one had the stamina to transcend the parameters of their favorite social media platforms. Artisanal, non-corporate blogging hasn’t quite made a comeback yet. Maybe we’re the vanguard. We’ll be with you when the buildings turn to ash.
For me, 2016 was all processed vocals and old-school synths. I don’t know if anyone’s explained that phenomenon adequately, and I don’t really have big theories myself. It’s just something I noticed. As Nate and I passed favorite 2016 tracks back and forth to each other at the end of the year I also noticed that we’re much less wedded to American music than we’ve sometimes been. Some of those tracks — say, this one, from last year’s amazing album from Noura Mint Seymali — didn’t make the final cut, but many of the U.S. artists here seem themselves to have an expansive embrace of world forms. I don’t know what the “NIV” in the title of the Lambchop tune refers to, but we decided it should mean New International Version, as in a new translation of old revelations. So here we are, translating and revealing.
2017 promises to be worse than last year, so we can only hope the music stays at a decent level, because 2016 had a lot to offer. We both left out some favorites but thought this short, sweet set had its own coherence. Hope you enjoy.
Lambchop — NIV
Mary Lattimore — Jimmy V
The Comet Is Coming — Journey through the Asteroid Belt
Aries — Eclipse Total
Maxwell August Croy — Maternal Afghan
Ian William Craig — Contain (Astoria Version)
75 Dollar Bill — Cummins Falls
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith — Envelop
Horse Lords — Truthers
Chris Cohen — Yesterday’s on My Mind