One of the things I appreciate is how subjective year-end lists really are. Who am I to say that these were “the best of the year”? These were my favorite things for sometimes very personal reasons. So why not pull back the curtain a bit and offer some insight behind the picks?
I know that it’s sort of cliché to point out how eclectic you are, but I really do love the fact that I live in a world where Sturgill Simpson and Flying Lotus play alongside William Tyler and Caribou. I love the fact that sites like Pitchfork (regardless of your thoughts about them) are helping to de-value the idea of genre boundaries. It used to be that people would listen to one genre of music and little else. I love that there is so much good music out there in so many genres.
The appearance of Leon Bridges and Shawn Skinner underscores the face that we are seeing the music industry in the midst of an identity crisis. It used to be that I never would have even heard of artists like these without label support.
But the process of discovering new music has always been a social one for me. There are friends or publications that I learn to trust. The fact that record labels are becoming increasingly irrelevant means that this is all the moreso true. The “middle-man” and the taste-makers are becoming the gateway for many people. Be vigilant in finding new music! Find people you trust and people who challenge you. And let’s all discover new music.