Going through my play history to pull together my best-of lists is one of my favorite year-end activities. It’s always tough to pare the list down to 50, but these are the tracks I’ve had in heavy rotation and/or I think I’ll want to keep listening to years into the future. As a sign that I’ve been keeping up my live music habit, I’m pretty excited that I managed to see half of the bands featured in this list live on stage this year! Some of the performance highlights for me this year were Sylvan Esso, Grandaddy, Hamilton Leithauser, and Spoon at SXSW; Perfume Genius and Wolf Parade at Capitol Hill Block Party; Lorde, SOHN, and Maggie Rogers at Outside Lands; Cold War Kids, Arcade Fire, New Order, and U2 at their own shows; and Blitzen Trapper playing an acoustic set visiting our Amazon Music offices in San Francisco. And let’s not forget Paul Allen’s inaugural Upstream Fest in Seattle that transformed Pioneer Square into a music lover’s dream for a weekend. And with that, here are my favorite 50 songs of 2017.
If you prefer, you can jump to the end to see Amazon and Spotify playlists.
Let’s get started with Songs 41-50
You can call me obsessed for seeing Arcade Fire twice in October, but if you haven’t seen a show on their arena tour, you’re definitely missing out. I also managed to catch Alt-J and Phantogram live up in Seattle this month. But even if you don’t get out to live concerts, that’s no excuse for not checking out new music. My latest list includes new singles from MGMT and Franz Ferdinand, and we have tracks from an avalanche of LPs out from ODESZA, Cut Copy, Julien Baker, Stars, Fever Ray, Destroyer, and more. Check it out.
Continue reading Dnak 102 (October 2017)
As summer fades into fall, many of my favorite artists are releasing some great new music. September saw new LPs by The Horrors, The War On Drugs, ODESZA, Cut Copy, The Killers, The National, LCD Soundsystem, and my friend Tomo Nakayama. We have tracks from new albums coming in October from St. Vincent, Wolf Parade, Destroyer, and Beck. I’m also enjoying the singles just out by First Aid Kit, Maggie Rogers, and Bjork. Enjoy.
Continue reading Dnak 101 (September 2017)
August is ending in San Francisco, which means two things: 1) Karl The Fog is in full effect, and 2) I had another fantastic experience at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park. I was able to catch 25 acts this year over the 3 days, with my favorite performances by Gorillaz, Fleet Foxes, SOHN, Hamilton Leithauser, Joseph, Dawes, Avett Brothers, Maggie Rogers, and Lorde. And of course, I loved getting a chance to see Metallica and The WHO! You can check out some of my pics below, or checkout my instagram for more. I have some awesome new music for you again this month, including a whole mess of new singles from Beck, Atlas Genius, BØRNS, Portugal. The Man, LCD Soundsystem, Car Seat Headrest, Stars… too many to name them all, so just go check it out. And oh ya, I can’t believe this is my 100th playlist! Taking a look down memory lane, some of my favorites from my first playlist: “Ageless Beauty” by Stars, “Banquet” by Bloc Party, and “Black And White Town” by Doves. Good stuff.
Continue reading Dnak 100 (August 2017)
I was lucky enough to check out Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party this month, and on this playlist I’m including some great new songs from several of my favorites from the festival, particularly Wolf Parade, Flor, Kyle Craft, and Perfume Genius. It’s a great month for new music, with new LPs out from Arcade Fire, Passion Pit, Washed Out, Broken Social Scene, and more, along with singles from upcoming albums from Manchester Orchestra, The National, The War on Drugs, and St. Vincent. Radiohead even gave us a previously unreleased gem “Promise” on their OK Computer reissue.
Continue reading Dnak 99 (July 2017)
We’re continuing to see an avalanche of early singles from upcoming albums. On that front, Arcade Fire (one of my favorite bands) has a couple of great tracks from their upcoming album Everything Now, and we have new singles from Waxahatchee, The War On Drugs, Rostam, Fleet Foxes, Kevin Morby, and The Horrors. Phoenix has released their new LP Ti Amo, and Lorde’s new album Melodrama is impressive and worth a listen top to bottom. Happy Summer!
Continue reading Dnak 98 (June 2017)
It’s been another great month for live music for me, including an absolutely epic U2 Joshua Tree Tour show at CenturyLink Field. We even got to see Eddie Vedder and Mumford & Sons joining U2 to sing the last verse of “Mother of the Disappeared”. Definitely find a way to see the show if you can. Paul Allen deserves a huge amount of credit and kudos for putting on an impressive inaugural Upstream Music Fest heavily featuring Pacific Northwest artists. It really did have a feel of what I imagine SXSW was like in the early years. A few Instagram pics are below. As for this month’s playlist, we got an avalanche of singles from upcoming albums, including from Phoenix, Grizzly Bear, Mountain Goats, The National, Flee Foxes, and more. We also have surprise singles from LCD Soundsystem and Local Natives. Check it out!
Continue reading Dnak 97 (May 2017)