Viewing entries tagged
john mayer


  • Beautiful work with Kevin Garrett by Micah and team at Vevo.

  • Madi’s voice is pretty ridiculous. Love this tune:



Streaming music services thrive on both discovering new artists and creating compelling playlists — a top curator could easily be worth the expense if they encourage millions of people to switch services.
  • Can't get enough of these smooth tones:

Records of the Year: 2017

I love looking back at a year and rediscovering the music that carried me and inspired me through the year. Here are some of the favorites.


ONE. The War on Drugs.  A Deeper Understanding.

One of the best rock bands that currently exists is putting out really special work. When your record includes an 11-minute experience  that seemingly transcends time and space, you know you have a winner.

There are so many amazing sounds on this record. I'm still blown away with the tones I hear in each listen.

TWO.   John Mayer. The Search for Everything

The consistent quality in the    songs  John Mayer has been putting out for so long now is incredibly impressive.

This collection is extremely solid and grows with each listen.



THREE (tied). Phoebe Bridgers. Stranger in the Alps.

This record came out of nowhere this year.  The lyrics are poignant, and her voice is a strong whisper of delight.

Sonically, she breaks a lot of barriers of what a singer/songwriter should sound like and it's a treat for the listener.



THREE (tied).   Ethan Gruska. Slowmotionary.

This is definitely my favorite collection of songs from a new artist. I had seen Ethan's  name online, but I hadn't listened until I saw him open for Asgeir in the summer and his voice immediately won me over. (The exact song that did is featured in the video below.)

I went home that night and listened all the way through twice. It was so smooth and  unique, and even cinematic.


FOUR. Feist. Pleasure.

Feist is always pushing the envelope and I really enjoyed what she did with this record. And while the songs are really cool, it is mainly her voice that I am obsessed with. I can't get enough.

FIVE. Fleet Foxes.   Crack-Up.

The return from their 6-year  hiatus was strong, and the live show accompanied it so well.   Robin Pecknold's return to songwriting after his time at Columbia  University  and not being sure that he wanted to make music anymore  really pushes the envleope in the best way. I am glad he decided that making music was worth it!

I especially enjoyed the Song Exploder episode with Robin talking about "Mearcstapa."


And in no particular order:

  • Leif  Vollebekk. Twin Solitude.  Leif has a rich voice and tells great stories with his songs. (Bonus: some of the instrumentals of these songs are used in  The Heights.)
  • Hiss Golden MessengerHallelujah Anyhow. Hiss Golden Messenger came on my radar this year for the first time via "Cracked Windshield", and it came out just in time to turn me onto the light Americana goodness that is his new record.
  • Upper Room Music. Center of Your Love. This really special group of people from Dallas drove out to Ranch Land Studios and made an incredibly heartfelt work - and Pete really nailed the production.
  • The National.   Sleep Well Beast. Simply loved it.
  • Sleeping At Last. Atlas.  Ryan has long been one of my favorite songwriters, and his Atlas project continues to push the boundaries. It was one of the coolest honors for me to be a part of his song, "Two," based on the Enneagram. (Bonus: Listen to his  fantastic podcast about his process for "Two.")
  • David Ramirez. We're Not Going Anywhere.  A really raw and special new effort from David.
  • Noah Gundersen. Bad Noise.  Directionally a lot more pleasant noise, and it worked really well.
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. The Nashville Sound. A master class in songwriting.
  • Blond Piano. Piano Tribute to Frank Ocean. Keiran posted this at some point early in the year and  I was intrigued enough to give it a shot and it became a working staple of the year for me.
  • Colony House. Only The Lonely. Getting more heartfelt with lyrics and impressive musically.
  • Madi Cunningham. Love, Lose, Remember. In my opinion, Madi is one of the best new and clear  voices in music, and  Tyler Chester did a killer job producing this.
  • Taylor Swift. reputation. The production and those tracks are SO good.
  • Sufjan Stevens. The Greatest Gift. A spin on some already released songs, but Sufjan can do no wrong.
  • Gangs of Youth. Go Farther In Lightning.  A fresh batch of songs that I stumbled into and really enjoyed this year.
  • Kendrick Lamar. DAMN.  Kendrick takes some really exciting and daring steps with this.
  • HAIM. Something To Tell You. Synth pop dreams.
  • Slow Meadow. Costero. My favorite  ambient compositions.
  • Joseph. Stay Awake. Really special collection of B-sides. Their  harmonies don't get old.  
  • Tyson  Motsenbocker A Kind Invitation / Almira. These are some of my favorite songs of the year. Carefully crafted - and I love playing bass on some of them live.
  • Wild PonyEncinitas. Another really excellent collection of instrumental music.

Honorable Mentions: Liza Anne, Vulfpeck, Joey Dosik, The Belonging, U2

Also of note:

  • This Khalid video VEVO / Ryan / Micah / Contrast did was really a highlight for me.

Anticipated Records: 2015

After watching some of the Grammys this past weekend and collectively reflecting with music fans everywhere on music in the year past, I got excited about making a list of the records I am really looking forward to hearing this year from artists who have (at least) hinted there is new music to come this year:

  • The Lone Bellow. This record already came out, and people are taking notice. Cool move for them to work with Aaron Dessner from the National.
  • Local Natives. They are only getting better with time.
  • John Mayer. Come on! Nothing better than a good Mayer record, so hoping this one is good.
  • Macklemore. Highly anticipated follow up. I hope the energy stays the same.
  • Frank Ocean. More hype to follow.
  • Coldplay. I am not sure the extent of this release, but they usually put out gold, so I feel good about it. (Goldplay ... see what I did there?)
  • Lord Huron. Their first release was so solid and loved by so many other artists (including this one), that big things are expected here. 
  • Sufjan Stevens. I have never been more excited a vinyl coming. (It's clear ... another pun.)
  • Sandra McCracken. An honest take on the Psalms that will be really refreshing for everyone who listens.
  • Josh Garrels. Josh has been posting bits and pieces here and there. 
  • Hawai. Now that they have changed their name from JThoven, everything is in line to go well for these guys.
  • Phil Wickham. Every release gets better, and with Phil and Pete working together again, great things are destined to happen.
  • Passion Pit. They just released a trailer for their new record on Pitchfork which was short, but got me excited for April.
  • BONUS A few great records that are already out that I really recommend you check out:

  • Cody Culberson. Tyler Halford has been super hard at work with Cody, and it is paying off big time.
  • Father John Misty. J. TIllman is definitely shaking up the boat -- and it's a good thing.

Let me know what the records you are looking forward to most are on Twitter! (@p_dodd)