Long time no talk, its been much longer than I would like to admit but I think I kinda sorta have the online college thing figured out. Hoping that this leads to blogs MUCH more frequently moving forward, but I've said that before and I hope I'm able to stick to it.
I've had of friends listening to one new song a day and being the asshole I am, I raised them one and decided I was going to listen to 365 albums in 365 days during 2021. One of my New Years' Resolutions for 2020 was to listen to more music and expand my horizons, and I did that. I went from approximately 25,000 minutes listened on Spotify in 2019 to 43,108 minutes listened in 2020. That can absolutely be equated to being locked in side for the majority of the year, but I wanted more in 2021. At the moment, my Spotify homepage looks like I'm a kid from East Texas whose discovered 90s East Coast Hip Hop while simultaneously tripping on acid.
As of publishing this blog, I've listened to 82 albums* (with a few EPs scattered in because of time restraints) and am starting to hit a wall with finding new stuff, but Spotify's recommendations have been hitting the spot as of late, and for that I'm thankful. While listening to the albums, I've been adding songs that I've enjoyed to both my library and a playlist currently sitting at 294 songs. If you do the math on that, it averages out to ~3.6 songs per day, but there have been some duds. I try to add at least one song per day, but haven't been able to for a few days just because I've added the album to my library in full at some point in the past.
BUT the point of this blog is to to point out the things I've been surprised by (both good and bad) and pointing out some artists that I believe deserve more recognition.
To start out with an album that I actually despised:
RTJ4- Run The Jewels (2020)
Disclaimer: I had never heard of Run The Jewels prior to listening to the album, but THIS was not what I was expecting. Run The Jewels was brought to me by a good friend, whose taste in music can be described as flannel-wearing, 90s dorm room alternative. I'd describe the album as an alternative Hip Hop mixed with mumble rap that just ain't my speed.
An album that was a whole lot of meh
The New Abnormal- The Strokes (2020)
I've tried getting into The Strokes multiple times, and my girlfriend (nbd) convinced me that their first album in 7 years would change my opinion of them. Welp, let me tell ya, 7-years and nothings changed, The Strokes just don't move the needle for me, and the album felt like a Monday morning coming off of a three day bender.
I have now fallen in love with this band
Blind Melon- Blind Melon (1992)
First and foremost, RIP Shannon Hoon. A band that would've been MASSIVE if it weren't for an unfortunate drug overdose, and I feel like most people (if they even know them at all) know them solely because of "No Rain." Undoubtedly their most well known song, and one of my favorite good vibes songs on the planet, but features a few more of my favorite songs by the band including "Paper Scratcher" and "Holyman." Since listening to the album in full, Blind Melon has entered my everyday rotation, and for that I'm thankful. The band actually released a new single a few weeks back and has an album on the way, I'll listen, but it's just not the same.
Artists and Albums That Deserve More Shine (all <500,000 monthly listeners on Spotify)
After The Party- The Menzingers (2017)- 360,931 Monthly Listeners
I'd describe the band and album as heartfelt punk, and was pleasantly surprised by the album, because its a genre I typically avoid. Not that I dislike it, I'm just so overwhelmed by the genre and have zero idea of where to begin. Shoutout to my high school guidance counselor and now friend for recommending this one. Three tracks I liked in particular were "Tellin' Lies," "Lookers," and "Boy Blue."
Their Entire Discography- Flatland Cavalry (2015-2019)- 469, 703 Monthly Listeners
When I say, their entire discography, I mean Flatland Cavalry's entire discography in its entirety and at this point, probably tenfold at this point in the year. The up and coming band out of Lubbock, Texas will break into the mainstream country music and outside of the Texas and Red Dirt scene with the release of their upcoming album. From lead singer and songwriter Cleto Cordero's smooth and unique vocals and how tight the band consistently plays and its unique blend of country, folk and Americana, it's only a matter of time they go from opening for Luke Combs in Texas to headlining shows just as big, in my opinion at least. To highlight my favorite songs from each of their three projects, I'll provide my favorites:
Come May (2015)- No Shade of Green and Missing You. Honestly two of my top 3 or 4 songs by the band.
Humble Folks (2016)- February Snow, Devil Off My Back, A Life Where We Work Out (feat. Kaitlin Butts). Cordero ended up dating and marrying Butts after recording the song, and not sure about you, but if singing a song together can do that for two people, you have my attention
Homeland Insecurity (2019)- Old School, Back to Me, Living by Moonlight, Sleeping Alone
Oklahoma- Josh Meloy (2020)- 80,727 Monthly Listeners
Honest music, recorded and produced at home by Meloy himself. He's 26 and has only been playing guitar for about 7 years, which is incredibly impressive to me considering I've been trying to learn the guitar for 3ish years now and have made less progress than the Catholic Church and their stance on gay marriage. I loved the album top to bottom, but in particular- "Noise," "Met the Devil in Oklahoma," and "Lost and Never Found."
If you're interested in following along with me the rest of the year, I'd love to have ya. If you have any album suggestions or want to talk about an album that I've listened to hit me up on Twitter @The1nnKeeper_