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noah gunderson

Records of the Year: 2015

ONE.  Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell. There was so much anticipation for this record and it delivered in a huge way as well as massively exceeded expectations. His faint voice and light instrumentation is perfect.

Note: in becoming a continued student of the relationships of music and spirituality, Sufjan's words and songs are especially intriguing. This article is worth a read.

TWO.  Leon BridgesComing Home. I'm a fan. I love the fresh soul he brings and tribute to Sam Cooke.

THREE.(tied) David RamirezFables. David's work has always resonated well with me. I am a fan of David as a person, as a songwriter, and as a performer. For him and Noah to team up to make this record was a really great gift this year gave.

THREE.(tied) Noah GundersenCarry The Ghost. Haunting, beautiful, arresting, tasteful, art. That's all I got.

Note: This record had PHENOMENAL album art. Philip Harder's work on this cover is really incredible.

FIVE. MutemathVitals. I knew that Mutemath was coming out with a record, but I honestly did not expect for it to be so good. I have listened to it so much, and this song is one of my favorites of the whole year.

And in no particular order:

  • Ryan Adams1989. I love that he did this. I love that he didn't care. And I actually really enjoy it.
  • Sandra McCrackenPsalms. Sandra infused so many beautiful melodies into the Pslams - so thrilled for her and how this turned out.
  • Jon ForemanThe Wonderlands. Jon's writing shines so brightly through this series of EPs
  • Adele25. I am not the only one who liked this record a lot.
  • Matthew Perryman JonesCold Answer. This record seemed to fly totally under the radar, but has some gems on it.
  • Brandon FlowersThe Desired Effect. "Between Me & You" is one of my standout tracks of the year.
  • Rayland BaxterImaginary Man. Rayland has a super fresh voice and a lot to say.
  • Chris StapletonTraveller. There are only a handful of people or guideposts that I personally look to for music recommendations. Seth posted about Chris Stapleton right when the record came out and I gave it a gander then and immediately thought "What a voice!" America has also caught on and that is fun.
  • LoveliteHopeful Strangers. Always solid.
  • The Japanese House. All releases. TJH is one of the greatest surprises of the year. Cool vocals, some heavy emotional distortion. I love it.
  • Oh WonderOh Wonder. Simple and pretty. Some great piano riffs.
  • BeirutNo No No. I never gave Beirut a listen before this year and my interest was piqued when I saw their new record released. The sonics and melodies on this record are phenomenal. 
  • James BayChaos & the Calm. Zero to hero in a seemingly short time and he deserves it.
  • Justin BieberPurpose. This is an amazingly catchy record.
  • Julien BakerSprained Ankle. Last "JB" of this list and a pretty important record as far as faith + music is concerned.
  • Hillsong UnitedEmpires. Standard greatness.
  • Tobias Jesso JrGoon. Feels old-timey and I dig it.
  • Matthew E WhiteFresh Blood. Just enough groove to keep it fresh.
  • ColdplayA Head Full of Dreams. Getting slightly better with every listen.
  • Joy WilliamsVenus. New Joy & new songs made a great combo. Some solid tracks, but "Sweet Love of Mine" is a standout.
  • Ben RectorBrand New. Ben is a kind man and consistently putting out great work. Stoked on how this record came out.
  • Slow MeadowSlow Meadow. The best instrumental music out there at this point.
  • Ivan & AlyoshaIt's All Just Pretend. Simply solid.
  • Lord HuronStrange Trails. Continuing down the trail they blazed.
  • LapsleyUnderstudy. Quite the arresting voice.

Thanks for getting this far. A Spotify playlist of some of my highlights from these records has been compiled for you here.

And I want to hear about your favorite records. Tweet me! @p_dodd

P.S. Interesting graphic Spotify gave me this from their Year In Reviewfunction:



  • You probably haven't heard about Ryan Adams covering T. Swift's 1989, have you?
  • Super talented Marc Scibillia put out a new EP a few weeks ago. Diggin' it.

  • I so dig Ben Weiland's new reel.

  • And as long as we are talking about Gundersens, Abby's new record is so peaceful.

  • A little past two months of having Friday as international music release day. How are you feeling about it?

  • How all websites look the same.

  • "A different part of our brain is activated when we think about what's possible as opposed to what's required." -Seth Godin dropping knowledge as always

  • Ryan did an amazing job directing the music video for "Jealous Love" from Noah Gundersen.

Weekend Links

  • A huge congrats to Aaron Lieber for winning the Surfer / RED Film Contest with "Wild." Take a look at the amazing film:

Records of the Year: 2014

ONE.   Blake Mills.   Heigh Ho. Blake Mills' show at El Rey in September was one of the best I have ever seen, and I don't say that lightly. The instrumentation, the songs, and the talent on display were all top notch.

TWO.    Ryan Adams.    Ryan Adams. This record was like a ice cold glass of water on a hot day: exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.

THREE.   The War On Drugs.   Lost In The Dream. This record showcases some amazing tones and great production. I probably listened to it 25 times in a row after the first time I put it on.

FOUR.    Beck.    Morning Phase. I hadn't listened to Beck too much before this year, and this record as a complete work was really impressive to me.

FIVE.   Sturgill Simpson.   Metamodern Songs in Country Music. Recording live-to-tape is getting more and more rare, and this team knocked it out of the park with that process. I love how this record sounds.

Here are several other records I really enjoyed this year in no particular order:

  • Hozier.   Hozier. I'll just say this: I am not the only person who has him on a year-end list.

  • Delta Spirit.   Into the Wide. Total rock'n'roll.

  • Young Oceans.   I Must Find You. I needed this record this year. The song "I Must Find You" was really great for re-centering and late nights.

  • Copeland.   Ixora. I love that these guys came back -- but the April Fool's announcement threw me.

  • Coldplay.   Ghost Stories. Continually solid and dominating their niche.

  • Field Report.   Marigolden. Singer-songwriter music that feels really fresh.

  • First Aid Kit.   Stay Gold. Great songs, good melodies, good harmonies. Sounds like Eisley + country, and Lacey and I loved it.

  • Taylor Swift.   1989. Her marketing people deserve some kind of award as well.

  • Tycho.   Awake. Some of my favorite instrumental music in the last decade. Love it.

  • Crowder.   Neon Steeple. Solid all-around record.

  • Luke Reynolds.   After the Flood. Just heard of this guy recently, and I really like the tunes.

  • Colony House.   When I Was Younger. Proud of these 3 ... they have been hard at work for so long. These are all really solid songs.

  • SOHN.   Tremors. Incredible voice and great programming.

  • Brooke Fraser.   Brutal Romantic. New territory for Brooke, and it's a good direction.

  • Matthew & the Atlas.   Other Rivers. New discovery this year for me. Great for working late at night.

  • St Lucia.   When The Night. These songs get me playing the air drums really hard.

  • Noah Gundersen.   Ledges. Noah really put his best into this record. Excited for people to start seeing our #SerialBoxTV episode with him.

Thanks for reading! I made a Spotify playlist of some of the highlights here.

I want to hear about your favorite records. Tweet them at me here:   @p_dodd.


Hope you all had an awesome Labor Day weekend!

  • SerialBox Presents: Season 2 released last week and we are so excited to have it out. All of the sessions turned out really great, and here is a peak of Noah Gundersen's:
  • My friend Mike Foster released his newest project, Freeway, this past week! I hope you get a chance to check it out.

  • Last but not least, thanks to everyone who "liked" the photo I posted on Facebook over the last week for the Hughes Marinocontest. We won and will be sitting in the front section at the Padres game tonight. Look for me on TV!