Here’s the music I’ve been listening to on repeat in the first month of 2017:

  • Nicolas Jaar – History Lesson
  • Run the Jewels – Call Ticketron
  • Typhoon – Common Sentiments
  • Typhoon – Post Script
  • The Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody
  • The Flaming Lips – How??
  • The Flaming Lips – Sunrise (Eyes of the Young)
  • The Flaming Lips – Nigdy Nie (Never No)
  • The Flaming Lips – The Castle
  • The xx – Say Something Loving
  • The xx – Replica
  • The xx – On Hold
  • The xx – I Dare You
  • Foxygen – On Lankershim
  • Real Estate – Darling

Nicolas Jaar and Run the Jewels were rollovers from December 2016. “History Lesson” is an incredible production, mixing an oldies croon with surprising and irregularly paced ‘whoop’ sounds that never stop being interesting. I haven’t gotten very deeply into RTJ3 yet but the early standout was “Call Ticketron” that just exudes braggadocio and fun and features an amazing verse from Killer Mike near the end (Verse 5 on Genius).

One of my favorite songs from the summer of 2011 was Typhoon’s “CPR / Claws Pt. 2”, and I got to see Kevin Morton do a solo set at the Swedish American Hall with Dylan the first week of the year. Kevin had incredible performance skills and seemed to be lost in his own music, often finishing a song and then setting his fingers for a new chord as if ready to start the next song on his mind, before realizing he was on stage and nodding to the crowd for applause. He played a bunch of newer songs that I hadn’t really followed but ended up listening to throughout the month, particularly “Common Sentiments” and “Post Script”, and as I hoped, finished off his set with “CPR / Claws Pt. 2”.

I’ve already written about the two big albums that came out this month, Oczy Mlody and I See You. The xx has definitely grown on me, especially the four songs I listed above. “Replica” is without a doubt my favorite song they’ve ever done (beating out “VCR”); in fact, like “On Hold” it owes a lot of its feeling to Jamie xx who played with a similar oriental and steel drum sounds in In Colour. The Flaming Lips hasn’t lost its wonder for me, and next month I’ll probably just continue on listening to the other half of the album (particularly “One Night While Hunting for Faeries and Witches to Kill”).

I’m seeing Foxygen live in April, and was excited to hear their album Hang; I didn’t end up liking most of it (more in the vein of Queen, David Bowie, Billy Joel, etc.), but “On Lankershim” shows off a really elegant Americana verse, chorus, and bridge without straying into the incomprehensible. And finally, Real Estate, which released one of my favorite albums of 2014, Atlas, announced a new album and released a single, “Darling”, which has a beautifully odd time signature play that is best described as “tickly”. I’m looking forward to the full album in March.

What other music stood out this month? I’d love to hear!


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