Obsessive Year-End List Fest 2015: Favorite Songs

The first order of business as 2015 comes to a close is to sift through all of my favorite songs that I first heard this year (or perhaps late last year, and it just took me a little longer to appreciate them) and attempt to put them in order, which as usual starts to get a bit silly below the top 30 or so. Music videos and some live performances are embedded for that first chunk of the list. As I’ve done in previous years, I’ve also got a Spotify playlist that covers a lot of these, limited to a song per artist and more in chronological order of when I discovered them.

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What Am I Listening To? – March 2015

Here are my first impressions of the latest releases from The Decemberists, The Last Bison, Kevin Max, Modest Mouse, Neulore, and Sufjan Stevens.

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Divad’s Soundtrack #69: July-August 2007

We returned to California in July to find summer in full blast. Maybe it was the sudden change of environment, or maybe it was just a sense of “What now?” after fulfilling that lifelong dream by going on the Alaska trip, but I got sick and rather depressed for most of July, and I felt this general sense of weakness and unidentifiable malaise most days, especially if I put off eating a meal. It took me a while to figure out that it directly correlated to mealtimes, but I also think there was an emotional/spiritual component to it that led me to make more of a deliberate effort to reconnect with friends in my faith community, and especially with my wife, with whom I celebrated two years of marriage that summer.

In with the New:
Deas Vail
Andrea Corr (as a solo artist – appears previously with The Corrs)
Wavorly

Out with the Old:
Fort Minor
Chevelle

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #68: May-June 2007

In late June 2007, I finally achieved my lifelong dream of taking a trip to Alaska. I had been obsessed with the far-flung corners of our country since first learning about the 50 States as a child, and being with Christine had given me ample opportunity to explore Hawaii, but this far-off northern land eluded me due to the logistical difficulties of getting there. We finally took the plunge and flew into Anchorage (with a few days’ layover in Seattle to hang out with Jennie and her husband Dave), rented a car, and took a road trip throughout the southern and western parts of the state – excluding the Panhandle, most of which you can’t drive to. The trip still dominates my memories of that summer, as one of the absolute most superlative places I’ve ever laid eyes on.

In with the New:
Björk
Anathallo
Matt Wertz
Fort Minor

Out with the Old:
Skillet
The Wreckers

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #67: March-April 2007

Some interesting themes pop up on this mix I made in the spring of 2007. A few are intentional, just due to how well certain songs fit together: Sleeping and dreaming. Travel and transportation. Retreating to quiet, natural places. Other themes might not have been intentional at the time, but are interesting upon looking back at them now: How people deal with loneliness. Wondering if your life has a clear, God-ordained purpose. Gender roles and sexism. What it means to show empathy, and when to cut fake friends loose. Some heavy stuff here, particularly in the back half, which is interesting because I was relatively happy at this point in my life.

In with the New:
The Shins
Lost Ocean
Meg & Dia
Hellogoodbye
Copeland

Out with the Old:
Toby Mac
Peter Bradley Adams

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #53: November-December 2004

Listening to these songs brings to mind a lot of urban imagery. With Christine working a lot of nights at the AMC movie theater near her apartment in Montebello and a lot of time spent planning our upcoming wedding, we didn’t get out as much, so when we had free time, it was often spent with ridiculously sized buckets of popcorn and soda that she scored us for free, planted in front of a huge screen, watching a movie that she also scored us for free, which we were glad we didn’t have to pay to rent.

In with the New:
Alter Bridge
Macrosick
Day of Fire

Out with the Old:
Plus One
Bebo Norman

Listen on Spotify:

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Divad’s Soundtrack #52: September-October 2004

Here is where the dream that got deferred finally started to come true. This was the season when I made the transition from introducing Christine as “my girlfriend” to introducing her as “my fiancé”. It’s hard to enumerate all of the thoughts that went through my head as I prepared to take this great leap forward… but hesitance was no longer one of them.

In with the New:
Mute Math
Bethany Dillon
Iron & Wine
Starfield

Out with the Old:
dc Talk
Abra Moore
Eastmountainsouth

Listen on Spotify:

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