Because of my day gig, the most common opening question I get from strangers at dinner parties and the like is, “So what are you listening to right now?”
In truth, working in music media has kind of atomized my listening habits. With rare exceptions, I no longer have the time or the processing power for obsessive and exhaustive dissection of albums and artists. Moreover, describing a pop song to someone who’s never heard it, and who often has no context in which to place it, feels like the kind of logic problem you go to MIT to learn how to solve. Except on a one-to-one level with people I know intimately, I have little interest in tastemaking anymore. That said: I’m still listening all the time, in whatever crazed, chaotic way I can manage, and sometimes it feels good to do it out loud. So here, in alphabetical order, are a few songs that have moved me this year.
- AGAINST ME! “Transgender Dysphoria Blues”
- THE BOTH “Milwaukee”
- CAYETANA ”Serious Things Are Stupid”
- DELAY ”Explanation”
- DIANE CLUCK ”Sara”
- FRANKIE COSMOS ”Birthday Song”
- FUTURE ISLANDS ”Seasons (Waiting On You)”
- GOLDEN LOOKS ”Hey Say”
- LITTLE COBWEB ”Cadmium Yellow Pale”
- MARTHA ”1967, I Miss You, I’m Lonely”
- MISSING EARTH ”New Snow”
- OWEN PALLETT ”On a Path”
- PERFECT PUSSY ”Interference Fits”
- PHOEBE NOVAK ”If You Need To”
- QUARTERBACKS ”Center”
- SPEEDY ORTIZ ”American Horror”
- SPOILS ”Burnt Jacket”
- SPOONBOY ”The Dispossessed”
- TIGERS JAW “Hum”
- WILD ONES ”Curse Over Me”
Q: Are you a beta male? I’m not even sure what the term means.
A: Well, I don’t know. I don’t really know what the term means either, but it’s something that is often bandied around: You’ll read about sad boys and beta males and just this suggestion that there’s something wrong with being that, being complacent. I’ve constantly been rejecting my maleness all my life, but unable to actually proceed to identify myself as anything else, to give up the privilege of my maleness. So that sort of state, whatever you’d wanna call it, forms a lot of the inspiration behind this record: being unable to give up one thing to be something else that you’d want.
I had a lot of fun editing this interview with Owen Pallett for work, but this is the moment that broke my heart a little.
"Advertising is like the flu. If it’s not constantly changing, people develop immunity."