Really, this thing isn't freaking over yet? I'm going to try and wrap this thing up. Here are some other obvious best albums of the year, just to get them out of the way. If I have time left over, I will add some of the other albums I've gotten from this  year that got less attention.

Forgiveness Rock Record - Broken Social Scene
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Though I've been a long-time fan of Broken Social Scene, I really wasn't as interested in Forgiveness Rock Record as I thought I would be. The only track that really stuck with me was "Sweetest Kill", which really just overshadowed the entire album. I know that I'm kind of selling this album short; the concept of forgiveness is fantastic, and the album does a great job of balancing the gravity of forgiveness without getting crushed by it.

Broken Dreams Club - Girls
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I'll be honest, I didn't actually listen to this one until last night before falling asleep. As per usual, Girls has made quite a few beautiful, heartbreaking songs. These songs feel wistful, while at the same time managing to still feel hopeful. And it always helps that Christopher Owens included a hand-written letter.

Halcyon Digest - Deerhunter
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Again, here is another album that I really haven't spent a lot of time with. Even so, you don't need to know every technical detail of the album or have every lyric memorized to recognize that Deerhunter has once again made a beautiful, hard to pin down album. The whole thing feels languid and weird, but with Deerhunter's unique take on "pop music". 

I am sure that I am missing a few, but looking through all of the albums I've reviewed thus far, I feel as if that's already a pretty good summary of the year so far.  There may be a couple more albums that I will tack on as I listen to them (unbelievably, there are still twenty or so more albums I have yet to listen to).

I have to say that listening to some of these albums and being reminded of where I was when I last heard them has been weird. The start and the end of the year feel like they were lifetimes away; in this blog alone there are miles upon miles of sentences I have written between who I was last January and who I am now.



This morning I woke up to a tiny dusting of snow on the roof and on our deck. By the time I finished eating my breakfast the snow had already almost completely melted. I keep hoping it will snow more sometime during the day, but seeing as this is Bellevue, I highly doubt we'll get anything more.

Yesterday's break was much needed; I hadn't realized that cramming all of the music I could listen to in a small span of time would actually burn me out so much. Luckily today I have no real distractions, other than relocating music files. I will have to write about these albums without actually listening to them, which is harder than it sounds sometimes.

Subiza - Delorean
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Last year I listened to Ayrton Senna EP and had hoped that they would make a full album in the same vein. Subiza, then, was a fantastic album building on all of the the things that they did right with Ayrton Senna EP without being stale. Delorean manages to make effortless pop music, combining Balearic disco influences with dance pop and indie. It really doesn't matter if you can identify all the different influences in a single track on Subiza, because ultimately the album wins you over with its beautiful pop music.

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

There are any number of reasons why you might not like Crystal Castles, from their horrible behavior to just plain not liking their first album. Their second album is a move closer to pop music, with moments of clarity and sparse sound instead of the pounding barrage of noise their debut delivered. Even so, Crystal Castles is still familiar; all they're doing here is adding depth to their craft.

Cults 7" - Cults
Pitchfork Rising | Bandcamp

These three tracks seem hardly enough to warrant a place on any list, but all the same, they are three very solid tracks. As could be expected, there is a hell of a lot of anticipation for their debut album, not just based on "Go Outside", but also their successful single "Oh My God', recorded for Adult Swim.

I would attempt a couple more, but simply don't have the time. Perhaps tomorrow!



So I am in the middle of switching over all of my music files onto my new external hard drive, which means there is no music today. Plus there's a chance that I'll have to go on another stupid night jog, hopefully sans the creepy man standing on the street corner and minus all the rain.



One might have thought that it was both too rainy and too dark to run tonight, but it was surprisingly enjoyable. Each house was all decked out in Christmas decorations, and it was finally peaceful after several days cooped up with the family. Aside from the hooded man standing alone at the street corner, jogging at night is barely scary.

Autre Ne Veut - Autre Ne Veut
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I wasn't really sure I would enjoy this album. Like Jamie Lidell's masterful MultiplyAutre Ne Veut is disarming and surprisingly enjoyable, though that may not occur to you right away (at least, if you are not a very open-minded person towards modern R&B). Though at times his voice may feel harsh and his music seems a little more out-there than you're used to, there is a substantive amount of hooks and melodies to make it feel at once unfamiliar but still pleasant.

The Suburbs - Arcade Fire
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I think Ian Cohen sums it up best: "This is another 2010 example of a Boss-indebted band (see also: the National and Titus Andronicus) making epic outpourings of modern disillusionment and disappointment for people who can commiserate and return to fretting about their jobs and bank accounts once the house lights go up. But just because the concerns of The Suburbs are at times mundane, that makes them no less real. And that Arcade Fire can make such powerful art out of recognizing these moments makes our own existences feel worthy of documentation. By dropping Neon Bible's accusatory standpoint,The Suburbs delivers a life-affirming message similar to Funeral's: We're all in this together."

Lasted - Benoit Pioulard
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I think some might find this one a little bit boring. Most of the time, you can't always hear exactly what Thomas Meluch is singing, and for those that are heavily dependent on lyrics for their music experience may be frustrated. But Lasted is more about garnering a feeling than it is about clever turns of phrase and obscure references that will have you cross-referencing encyclopedias.

Special Affections - Diamond Rings
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I'm sure that this one will bring at least a couple of smiles. It is admittedly a little endearing that John O'Regan's debut album also came with something of a transformation, admitting that at times he's "feeling like a bit-part actor". It helps that his music is interminably catchy, and O'Regan does us the favor of making his love songs feel universally relatable.

Blooming Summer - Blue Hawaii

I only heard of this band because of a friend that brought it to my attention in early November. At the time I wasn't even listening to music very exclusively, instead trying to find my escapism in a few television comedies. Instead, Blooming Summer offers a kind of lush, dreamy, hazy avant-pop album. Every once in a while we need an album that feels at once removed from everything while still feeling deeply affected by it.



I will wish everyone the obligatory holiday wishes that are so expected. People can consider this my Christmas present to everyone, though, like fruitcake, it has an expiration date. I do still plan to remove the download links within the first couple weeks of the new year. I wanted to post something yesterday, but I must've taken something like five or six short naps that day. And even as I write now, I am watching the Seahawks game (and am unable to listen to music as I write).

I have to say that I am a little thankful for writing about these albums. I forgot how nice it is to not be in my own head for a while. If I were relied on to write on something truly my own, I would be forced to trawl my memories for just a remnant of a memory of a feeling. And it feels better to write about something concrete rather than forcing myself to write empty words that hold little interest for me. Anyways, these next few albums do not hold any themes or patterns in common other than their release date.

Black Noise - Pantha du Prince
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I originally intended to add this to my list of albums that required a little bit of effort. I say this because this particular album seems a little bit lackluster; there is no shortage of techno albums out there. This only came on my radar because of their collaboration with Panda Bear. At times the album feels so dense it could be impenetrable, and the album really only rewards those that truly invest themselves into it. But, even if you cannot really break the album down, it still offers a few worthwhile moments.

Go - Jonsi
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Not everybody finds Jonsi endearing. For those of us that always wondered what Sigur Ros was really singing about, well, it's true, they really were singing about running elephants, icicles and tying strings to clouds. Though this album will hardly win over people that didn't like Sigur Ros in the first place, what is finally nice is that Go seems to be more about the uplift rather than the long building formula that Sigur Ros is so well known for.

Just a little sidenote, my sister is going through her things to throw away old stuff she doesn't want anymore. Anyways, she just found her birth certificate, and she drew on the back "I do not like Amanda. I just like Momy (sic) and me. Hmmm."

Big Echo - The Morning Benders
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

This one was an early favorite of mine. Though the second half of the album feels denser and slower than the first half, Big Echo has quite a few winning moments, particularly "Promises". The album feels truly effortless, and the concepts and emotions behind each song is easy enough to relate to. Big Echo is a nice reminder that you do not always need to work hard to make an album rewarding; sometimes it just comes easy.

Plastic Beach - Gorillaz
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I'll be honest and admit that I have not truly listened to Plastic Beach, primarily because I've never really listened to Gorillaz. Though the concept of the cartoon characters is indeed originally and at times very intriguing, Plastic Beach makes them feel a little superfluous; Gorillaz is now at the point that their appeal can be based just on their music.

One Life Stand - Hot Chip
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

You could say that this is their best album to date, you could call it sophistication or growth, but personally I just love that these songs are about love. Because each song is of the same consistent quality, it almost feels as tied together as a concept album, though it doesn't require beating your brain trying to figure out the plot or concept of the album. And it's very impressive that these songs express an honest desire to just have a committed, reciprocal relationship rather than the more common songs of frustrated love.

Okay, my mom is practicing shooting a bb gun, and I really want to watch while the game is still in halftime.



Ideally I'd be farther along on my list than this, but there are still several albums that I haven't even gotten around to listening to yet, and there are several more that I need to listen to again just to remind myself what they sound like. It's a lot harder to write them now, considering the fact that it is Christmas Eve afterall, and between helping out with dinner and all the family activities we have going on, there really isn't much left over to waste on well-written reviews. So instead, here are some hastily written reviews, written in between various family functions.

Facit - Sakert!
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

So maybe you've heard of Hello Saferide. Maybe you thought her music was endearingly silly, and though at first you were drawn to it on that premise, you eventually felt that you're just a little more serious than that. Facit is a chance for people to hear Annika Norlin without the pigeonhole. Without having to rely on her lyrics (unless, of course, you speak Svenska), you might actually hear Norlin as a musician and not a public figure.

Epic - Sharon Van Etten
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Epic doesn't exactly break ground. It doesn't need to; the album simply aims to explore relationships and love in as many different angles possible. With only seven tracks, the album is surprisingly ripe with emotion, owing a lot to Van Etten's beautiful voice. The music doesn't rely on a diverse palette of sounds, nor does it rely on popular trends in music to carry it along, instead favoring simpler arrangements and all the emotional performance Van Etten can pack into a single note.

The Age of Adz - Sufjan Stevens
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It's honestly a little bit shameful how long I waited to listen to this album (I think I heard it for the first time last night). But anyone knows that a Sufjan Stevens album is not something to dip your toes into: his albums require a thoughtfulness that only his fans and people that pride themselves in trying to understand albums can muster. And Sufjan does not disappoint the listener; The Age of Adz is at once carefully orchestrated and emotionally chaotic, with Sufjan leaning towards a darker tale of love. Even naysayers, who have in the past felt that Sufjan was just a little bit too cute to stand, will enjoy this album.

Okay, well, I would have preferred to add just one more album, but you know, it's Christmas Eve and all that.



The great thing about writing all of this stuff is that it takes up such a huge part of my day that might otherwise be spent playing game and after game of minesweeper. Though I am beginning to feel that I am really just writing all of this for myself. So I guess, either way, my time would be wasted. The following are albums that took a while for me to like, for one reason or another. Though some were worth the effort of growing into it, others are just things you aren't going to like very much right away, and even after you see its merits, you're still just not that interested.

Odd Blood - Yeasayer
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Despite a very promising single and a whole lot of hype, I think that most people would agree with me that Odd Blood kind of fell short of everyone's high hopes. Aside from "Ambling Alp", Odd Blood has been all but written off as a flop. And though even I have not listened to Odd Blood anywhere near as many times as I have listened to other albums, it still has its moments, particularly "O.N.E.", "Madder Red", and "I Remember". 

High Violet - The National
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I know quite a few people personally that would never, ever touch an album by The National. And I wouldn't quite blame them; Matt Berninger seems to have a hard time emoting. But I also know a few other people that believed The National hit it out of the park with Alligator and Boxer (myself included). Personally, listening to High Violet for the first time was something of a disappointment — it felt entirely unfamiliar and just a little too ornate. Even so, High Violet is something of an intense album, exploring the same old themes of just trying to muster all the effort it takes to live life the way everyone expects you to.

Sisterworld - Liars
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Okay, I think this might anger a few people. But what can I say, I've just never really been a fan. I don't think I really understand the appeal. I am entirely aware that Liars has put out consistently great albums, but for all the energy I put into them, I just can't ever seem to pay attention long enough to hear what everybody else is hearing. But even so, I can understand the merit. When it comes to tension, Sisterworld really delivers.

Romance Is Boring - Los Campesinos!
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I'm not sure how many people have listened to this album (I don't know any people personally that listen to Los Campesinos!), but as far as truly relate-able albums go, Romance Is Boring is at once incredibly honest and endearingly humorous. The whole thing feels like it's about to explode with emotional catharsis; Gareth is direct and honest about his personal life, but at the same time poetic, witty, and insightful (whatever the moment demands). There are really few albums that are as quite satisfying.


I guess these next few albums can be considered my summer albums. Some of these might feel summer-y, and others are just things I listened to during the summer. I didn't really listen to a lot during the summer, mainly relying on my whatever was on my iPod at the time.

Crazy For You - Best Coast
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

An obvious pick for "summer album" would have to be Crazy For You. The album is about as straightforward as you can get; instead of attempting grandiose or poetic statements about love and other feelings, Bethany Cosentino tells you exactly how she feels and what's on her mind. At best, Crazy For You is easily relate-able and honest, and at worst Cosentino uses a few too many crazy/lazy rhyme schemes. But the album is more likely to win you over through its effortless melodies and endearing sentiments than make its faults felt.

King of the Beach - Wavves
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I'm not entirely sure everyone likes Wavves. It might be the level of noise they put out, it might be the curse words (some of us have parents that listen in on our music!), or simply the string of bad PR post-Wavvves. In a lot of ways, King of the Beach is a bit redeeming; each track is just a little bit cleaner and more melodious. And it's hard not to empathize with Nathan Williams when he sings about how all his old friends hate him, feeling inadequate, feeling like an idiot, and the feeling that even if you apologize for everything you've done wrong, it wouldn't make a difference anyways.

The Wild Hunt - The Tallest Man On Earth
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Surprisingly, I listened to this album almost every single night during the summer when I needed something to calm my nerves enough to fall asleep. I'll be the first to say that if you're the type of the person that finds unique voices distracting or even detracting from the music, you might want to put this album down (my mom thinks John Lennon sings nasally; imagine what she'd say about Kristian Matsson). But most people that have ever truly listened to an album by The Tallest Man On Earth will know that there is so much more going on than just a Bob Dylan-like voice. Though the album may seem a little simple with mainly guitars and Matsson singing, it at once feels very intimate and aching with emotion. (And, "King of Spain" has to be one of the best songs of the year.)

In Evening Air - Future Islands
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I didn't know much about Future Islands when I listened to In Evening Air. In fact, the only reason it even showed up on my radar was because my friend, whose taste in music is impeccable, suggested it to me. When you listen to them for the first time, Samuel T. Herring's performance can seem at times a little over-the-top. But their music seems to necessitate it; most of the songs seem to tell a narrative that requires a bit more theatricality than the standard album. In any case, the album almost achieves catharsis at times, and is incredibly rewarding.

Beach Fossils - Beach Fossils
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I might have paid a little less attention to this album as I would have to something like Teen Dream, but all the same this is possibly one of my favorite "summer-y" albums. Not a surprise that it sounds like that whole strain of bands that seem to be occupied with beach-scapes and masking their voices in as much reverb as possible. You could accuse these guys of sounding like a lot of other lo-fi bands, but the album offers a breezy album that is easy to enjoy.

Sun Bronzed Greek Gods - Dom
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I can easily imagine some people hating me for thoroughly enjoying this band. Especially if you're on Christopher Owens' side when it came to Dom's comments on the possibility that it was all just "his publicist's idea". But when it comes to effortlessly enjoyable albums, Sun Bronzed Greek Gods is damn near perfect. Catchy, sincere, and at times incredibly amusing and funny, each of the seven tracks are manage to feel refreshing.

Done done done done done! I have been writing this thing for six hours, thanks.



After a crazy long day running around Seattle (with a cold, mind you), I will attempt to write another installment of my list. Since I must have walked somewhere around 2 or possibly even 3 miles today, I don't have much energy to write about anything other than some of the albums that I enjoyed early on in the year, and so in all likelihood these albums will seem like old news to you.

Contra - Vampire Weekend
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Well, here's an obvious one. It was one of the first albums of the year to get a high rating on Pitchfork, and unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last year, you've probably heard at least one song off of Contra sometime during the year, whether from performances on late night television or the many commercials that have used their song (and if you wanted, you could say that these guys started the whole vintage-polaroid-for-the-album-art thing). You can accuse these guys of whatever musical crimes you will, but you can hardly get any closer to a funner pop album than the stuff these guys turn out, and if you actually spend any time with their lyrics sheet, you might find that you actually like what they're writing about.

Teen Dream - Beach House
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

It's hard for me to put into words exactly how I feel about this album, particularly because the whole thing evokes a sort of hazy, uncertain, lonesome feeling that just makes you want to curl up with this album and feel sorry for yourself for a while. Though the lyrics are choppy and the phrasing strange, the emotion of the album is very clear; each song explores themes of loneliness and estrangement, sometimes not recognizing the people around you or even recognizing yourself. 

Have One On Me - Joanna Newsom
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Maybe you've heard of this little album. If you are anything like me, you were nothing less than thrilled to hear that Newsom was releasing a triple album, simply because you can't get enough of her amazing songwriting. Or maybe you were just intrigued by the idea of an album that lasted nearly 2 hours and wanted to see if you could actually sit still long enough to listen to the whole thing in one go. Newsom's music can be surprisingly polarizing, whether it is the incredibly dense and cryptic lyrics or (much more likely) her unique voice. For those of us that enjoy unraveling puzzling songs, Have One On Me does not disappoint.

There Is Love In You - Four Tet
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Anyone that has been around in the last year will know that I love Four Tet. Hebden has released an impressive number of albums and EPs, and they have all been consistently great, and as per usual, the album has some actual sounds from Hebden's personal life ("Pablo's Heart" is literally Pablo's heart).. There Is Love In You was apparently born on a dance floor while Hebden was DJ-ing in London, though it doesn't necessarily feel like something to be written off as a dance album. Though it is certainly a moving album, it is also thoughtful, demands attention, never to be relegated to background music.

Heartland - Owen Pallett
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Full disclosure, I haven't actually spent as much time with this album as it truly deserves. The album has a very well thought out imaginative world, with a very specific character and a storyline. Though Owen Pallett has been making great music for a very long time, Heartland is obviously a step up in songcraft, and though everything seems just a bit grander and more eloquent than Has A Good Home, there are still moments of fantastic hooks. And though the album is rooted in an imaginative land, the emotion is completely relate-able. 



I guess that if I want to share all the albums I have, I should post at least one more segment today. And since I woke up from a nap and feel as refreshed as I can possibly feel when my throat feels like someone decided to grate it with a cheese grater in my sleep, I will attempt to post some more albums right now. (Oh, and in case you can't tell, I am not really trying to be eloquent here. I would invest more time proofreading and trying to sound like I have some command of the English language, but...well, I'm just not going to until after I'm not sick anymore.)

Kilimanjaro - Superpitcher
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Again, I have only listened to this album for the first time today, and this is my first time ever listening to Superpitcher. Even with just a cursory listen, the album expresses a lot of gloom and loneliness, but is still surprisingly enjoyable. The album rarely drags along, and Superpitcher does an expert job of using a very wide palette of sounds, but never makes any of them feel out of place. Although there are only 11 tracks, each one is actually quite lengthy, and the album tips the scale at just over an hour. And even if you don't have the patience for the whole album, the song "Joanna" makes it all worth it.

Astro Coast - Surfer Blood
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Okay, well obviously this album has my vote for best album cover of this year. Even if the album cover is a little bit too intense for you, the music itself is sure to please. Each song is chock-full of hooks, and if you have a craving for an album that just has some really great guitar-playing, this one is it. There really isn't much to say about this album, other than its appeal speaks for itself. At just 10 tracks, the album is just short enough to necessitate a second listen without making the guitar sound tired or too familiar. I couldn't recommend any album more than this (and yet my words couldn't fall more short. Seriously, guys, listen to it if you haven't already!!!)

Ring - Glasser
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

To my personal frustration, Glasser has been compared to Bat for Lashes a little bit too much for my own comfort. The comparison is easy to understand; both artists have a signature kind of   breathy vocal and a penchant for music that seems to attempt to achieve a higher art than just being popular. But unlike Bat for Lashes, Glasser's music manages to be effortless rather than put on, and is instantly easy to like.

Two Thousand and Ten Injuries - Love is All
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

To me it seems like such a shame that Love is All isn't more popular. Since their debut, the band has put forth two other albums that have largely been swallowed up by the swarm of other albums we have access to, thanks to the internet. In fact, Love is All has released consistently amazing albums and offer a very unique sound, but enjoy far less recognition for it than would be expected. True, the incredibly intense saxophone playing might put off a few of the weak-hearted. And true, not everyone thinks singing with an accent is adorable. But above all that, Love is All sings honest songs about making out then falling out and then making up, about how a million injuries and getting drunk and regretting it, about thinking you are over your ex until you see them with someone else, and wanting to show that you've matured. And not to mention, in the age of chillwave, sometimes it's fun to have an album that tries to make as much noise as they can possibly muster.

Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier - Sun Airway
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I'll be first to admit that there are moments when Sun Airway feels like they're floating right up into their own dreamy world. If at moments their language seems a little too dreamy to be believable or relate-able, they redeem themselves with moments of honesty, like the lines "I'm just waiting on you to bring yourself to justice" and "I'm just looking for a perfect sentence to keep us alive". And above all else, Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier is remarkably warm. Besides, who doesn't want a little more dreaminess in their life?


Considering the fact that I am trying to cram listening to a whole year's worth of albums into the last few days, I hardly know where to start, and having the attention span of a goldfish really isn't doing me any favors right now either. I should state that I do not want to emphasize any album over the other; of course there are favorites, but I really have no interest in categorizing anything. So I will just start the list based on whatever I am listening to at the moment.

 Pope Killdragon - Strand of Oaks
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

I'll be honest, as I'm typing this, this is the first time I have listened to the album (I only got it yesterday), but even with a preliminary listen, it's quite obvious that the album necessitates an hour set aside with nothing but good headphones and a lyrics sheet. Each track is at once mesmerizing, heavy, and incredibly imaginative.

O - Oval
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Okay, so maybe 70 tracks seems a little daunting. You might even think, how is it even possible to write 70 separate tracks for a single album, let alone actually listen to them all. But, have no fear, for most of the tracks stop short of 2 minutes. And, in all likelihood, you probably spent as much time trying to listen to Have One On Me by Joanna Newsom as you would on this album. Though not everybody likes electronic music, or even like spending so much time on a single album, people that enjoy testing their patience and really want to invest into an album will enjoy O.

Innundir Skinni - Olof Arnalds
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You could blame Bjork, or Sigur Ros, but for whatever reason I just happen to love music that comes out of Iceland. Whether it is their accent when singing in English, the beautiful Icelandic language, the charming quirkiness of the musicians, or just my own fascination with the country, I can't help but enjoy Olof Arnalds. Without the crutch of understanding the lyrics, the appeal of Innundir Skinni relies solely on the warmth the music evokes, Olof Arnalds' voice, and the impeccable songcraft. Though the songs present themselves as common little folk songs, the wide and surprisingly diverse instrumentation provide plenty of surprises.

Tomorrow Is Alright - Sonny & The Sunsets
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Every once in a while, you might discover a sneaking feeling that you'd just like to return to another time. Sonny & the Sunsets manage to encapsulate that feeling in Tomorrow Is Alright, immediately reminiscent of an earlier era but never a direct homage to any one influence. And what's more, the songs feature delightfully absurd narratives, but even in the face of women on a strange planet that enslave men, Sonny & the Sunsets make their music feel completely effortless.

oOoOO EP - oOoOO
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There isn't much for me to say about this EP. I am no expert in the kind of music oOoOO makes, nor do I have any real physical reason why I enjoyed this EP. Though there is definitely something eery in the music and even the album cover, it is still surprisingly accessible. Not to mention, "Hearts" might actually be one of my favorite songs of the year.

I think that is all I can write about for now. This cold is making me sleepy.


One of my favorite parts of the end of the year is all the Best Of music lists. Though I have attempted my own lists in the past, I really hadn't planned on making one this year. Any album I have listened to has either been heard in the first six months of the year or in the last week; I hardly feel prepared to write about any of it. But because I have been on a music binge and I am currently battling a cold (and therefore have nothing else to do), I will attempt my own little year-end music wrap up. I can hardly call it a "best of" anything, since I plan on putting up all the albums I have enjoyed this year, which numbers over 100 albums. And, since I am in such a great mood for it, I will temporarily post links to download the albums for free, though all those links will be taken down within the first two weeks of the new year (or maybe not at all, I can be kind of lazy like that).

It should also be noted that not all of the albums may be to your liking. There are a lot of different albums, and they are not necessarily all instantly likable.


when did we start the end

As I rode the bus home yesterday, realizing that there was very little keeping me from leaving the front door anymore, it dawned on me that it has been a long time since I had bothered to think in first person. The last half of the year has been an exercise in removing me from myself, so that I couldn't even write without pretending to be someone else.

Anyone can clearly see that this 365 project has ended long before I started writing its ending, but it deserved a clear ending all the same. And though the project is not completed, I wouldn't call it an entire waste. It was a good occupation of time that might have otherwise been spent on dwelling on everything that went wrong this year (and a lot went wrong this year).

I could list the regular excuses, like the fact that I am perpetually doomed with all computer hardware, having to go through disaster after disaster with an old external hard drive. Or the mishap with my headphones, in which I just snapped them in half because I was a nervous wreck again. But the project wasn't ever really about having to trudge through album after album, or trying to complete it within the timeframe I gave myself. I started the project because I just wanted to slip into someone else's world for just a moment.

There is really only one way to describe the year that I had: light and dark. During the white light of winter and spring, I spent my days with the best and closest friend I had made in years, and in the yellow light of summer and fall I had the comfort of family, repairing a relationship that had spent the last four years languishing. But there were so many nights when I suffered through panic attacks alone, clutching a telephone but terrified to dial. There were a lot of closed doors, shut curtains, crying in the shower, and screaming in bed until I felt like someone had scratched their nails across my throat.

The year finally came together when I finally figured out what was "wrong" with me: I am an agoraphobic, and I have PMDD. When I finally figured these things out about me, I felt as if my life had suddenly realigned and everything I had done up to this point suddenly made sense. And a part of me kind of expected the self-diagnosis to be like a veil that was lifted off of my life, and that everything I had messed up in the last year would suddenly turn out to all just be a test, and everyone who had ever thought I was just some lazy, awful person would have to apologize to me and admit that they were wrong about me, but ultimately it all turned out to be very This Person by Miranda July, in which I still ended up drawing a bath and laying in bed reading Sylvia Plath and pretending I hadn't just missed the chance to be loved by everyone.

I have only one plan for 2011. I will get diagnosed for agoraphobia, I will be reinstated into UW, I will take treatment for my illnesses, I will learn Chinese, and I'll get my financial aid back. Of course there are smaller goals (like finishing all the albums on my list), but for once in my life I feel prepared for the fact that my life isn't perfect, that I am not normal and I do not always handle things the way a responsible person would.


everything was beautiful and nothing hurt

At night I watch my breath disappear into thin air, and a small part of me wonders if we're even breathing the same air anymore. I try to remember that you exist. I can't rationalize your existence by my memories, which are fickle, unreliable things that change shape right underneath my fingertips. I'm relying on physics, on thermal equilibrium more precisely. Because I know that a body creates heat, which raises the temperature of all the objects surrounding it.

And I think to myself, if you didn't still exist, the world would be a much colder place. Wouldn't it?

It was around Thanksgiving when I thought I lost you. It snowed heavily in early November, which never happens in Bellevue. And I remember numb toes and fingers and how you let me just walk away and I almost got hit by a car on the way home because I couldn't believe you didn't care about me anymore and I couldn't warm up even when I was indoors because the world just felt so cold.

"Hey, I'm around."

I still get emails from you. But if I ever faced you, I don't think it would make any of this any more real. Because I've looked into your eyes and seen that you have no love for me, and I felt all the heat in the world extinguish.

But the world isn't so cold now. And I know that I'm not going to die alone.