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2017 | The Year In Music

A Good Year For The Veterans. But Where Were The Surprises?

Unlike 2015 and 2016, this year's list is a bit lacking in 'new music discoveries' (which is, admittedly, half the fun of sharing an 'end of year list'). Instead, 2017 was a year when some dependable artists put out really solid albums of new music (ie: Hiss Golden Messenger, Dan Auerbach, The War On Drugs, Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, David Ramirez, and Cataldo). The exceptions to this generalization are the other albums stirred into the favorites list below, notably Jake Xerxes Fussell, Ana Tivel, ALA.NI, Overcoats, and Bedouine.

And although I scoured list after list of other people's 'Best Albums' of 2017, very little from those lists caught or captured my attention (I'm looking at you NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, etc.), which is really disappointing because December is usually a time when I stumble upon several new artists / albums that end up becoming long term favorites. But none of the favorite 'new artists' below (those artists that are 'new to me' at least) knocked me out in the same way that Wet, Chance The Rapper, Foy Vance, and Sturgill Simpson did in 2016.

But maybe I missed some amazing 'knock-me-out' artists or albums from 2017? Perhaps you can help...please comment below and share any favorite albums from 2017 that I omitted and that I need to hear. 

Anyway, here's my list (the album names link to artist videos)...

  1. Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up
  2. Jake Xerxes Fussell, What In The Natural World
  3. Cataldo, Keepers
  4. ALA.NI, You & I
  5. Bedouine, Bedouine
  6. Hiss Golden Messenger, Hallelujah Anyhow
  7. Lillie Mae, Forever And Then Some
  8. Iron & Wine, Beast Epic
  9. The War On Drugs, A Deeper Understanding
  10. David Ramirez, We're Not Going Anywhere
  11. Anna Tivel, Small Believer
  12. Overcoats, Young
  13. Dan Auerbach, Waiting On A Song



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15 From 16 | New Music From The Old Year

I know, I know, this 'best of' list is REALLY late. Nonetheless, (in no particular order) here are the albums and artists that kept us singing along during a joyous and strange and anxious 2016.

Click the album artwork for video links from each artist.

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10 Favorite Albums of 2015

It has been a very good year for music. Below are the ten records we have listened to the most throughout the year. Hope you find some new tunes to fall in love with (click the covers art to hear music from that album). -A&A

*These Are The Honorable Mention Albums: 

**What albums should have been on our list? We would love to hear your favorites from this year...

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An Introduction To Van Morrison

It's October 1st, which has, for some reason, always felt like the first real day of Autumn. And along with the return of woolen socks, gray skies, and pumpkin flavored everything - the Fall has also meant that it's time to return to the music of Van Morrison, whose music feels about as autumnal as any music ever could: full of nostalgic remembrance and seasonal meditation.

Last month, 'Van the Man' celebrated his 70th birthday in style, with a pair of live shows on Cypress Avenue, the Belfast street he made famous on his iconic Astral Weeks record (1968). But September was also the month that Van's entire catalogue of recordings finally arrived on Spotify. So, in honor of the turning leaves of fall and Morrison's 70th birthday, I've crafted two Spotify playlists to help you get in the true spirit of Autumn and to get more familiar with one of music's most diverse, atmospheric, and enduring songwriters. Bundle up and enjoy.

Playlist I : An Introduction to Van Morrison (more folksy, emphasis on 1970s - 1980s)

Playlist II: Van Morrison Swings (more upbeat, jazzy, emphasis on 1990s - 2010s)

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The Wayfarer Mix No. 8 // 2014 in Review

Every January, we compile a mix of some of our favorites from the previous year's music. The 2014 Wayfarer Mix features tunes from Beck, St.Paul and the Broken Bones, PHOX, Tweedy, Hooray For the Riff Raff, Saintseneca, TV on the Radio, The Lone Bellow and many others. We hope you enjoy it and discover something new to love. Listen here.

And even though no one asked us, here are our 14 Favorite Albums from 2014:

14. Wilco What's Your 20 / 13. St. Paul & The Broken Bones Half The City / 12. Cataldo Gilded Oldies  / 11. Hiss Golden Messenger Lateness of Dancers / 10.Saintseneca Dark Arc / 09. Jenny Lewis The Voyager / 08. Noah Gunderson Ledges / 07. PHOX Self-Titled / 06. First Aid Kit Stay Gold / 05. Bahamas Bahamas Is Afie / 04. Tycho Awake / 03. The War on Drugs Lost In The Dream / 02. Andrew Bird Things Are Really Great Here, Sort of... / 01. James Vincent McMorrow Post Tropical