I must admit I’m happy 2017 is just hours from being over. It’s been one of the toughest years I’ve had in a while. It seemed like every time I would take two steps forward I would get shoved 13 steps backward. I wasn’t the only one experiencing this which was a little comforting, but not by much. It’s a bit sad when having your wisdom teeth removed is high up on your list of positive things about the year. Rather than harping on the things about this year I could not change I thought I would just not post anything at all. Even my blog posting began suffering with my existential crisis. Not that blogging truly matters in the larger scheme of things.
I truly considered not even putting together a list of my favorite albums from the past year which is incredibly unlike me. I know everyone and their mother makes their end of the year albums list and there are many more that are far more important than my own, but it was always fun for me to take a look back. This year I just felt super done with the year and just wanted it over with. Well, there’s still a few hours left in the year, but I managed to create the list in the nick of time.
The list is fulled with indie rock and some hip-hop albums that I really enjoyed over the past year. If you read this blog frequently or know me in real life, you wouldn’t be surprised by that at all. This post contains three things: the album list (in no particular order), a sampler playlist featuring gems from the albums on the list, and a link to another (recently updated) playlist featuring plenty more songs from 2017 that were played in fairly heavy rotation. My hope is that you’ll agree with at least some of my choices or that you’ll find something new to listen to you’d hadn’t considered or heard of before.
So enjoy. Have a happy new year, and I’ll catch you on the flip side in 2018.
ALBUMS OF 2017 PLAYLIST | SONGS OF 2017 PLAYLIST
There’s 6 days until Christmas (yikes) which means I will be spending more time in my kitchen than normal. I’m a stress baker (everyone knows this) but I’m also a big Christmas baker. That’s not really a thing, but around Christmas I bake way more than usual. It’s cold and there’s nothing more comforting than warm chocolate chip cookies. I’m also on a constant yearly mission to create the most beautiful (and perfect) cut out sugar cookie ever created by an untrained home baker. Last year I came pretty close, but I think this year I found a tool to make flooding royal icing much easier.
Hey, there’s a reason everyone is comparing me to Reese Witherspoon in those Crate & Barrel holiday commercials. Although even I think owning 37 ramekins might be TOO many ramekins. But I digress, cookies and other yummy baked goods make really good gifts. I bring them to parties and give them to neighbors. They are great to have on hand if people pop by or to undo the awkwardness of surprise gift givers. Why am I making excuses for baking? Baking is delicious, fun, and everyone wins.
Christmas is probably the easiest time to make a mix because there are literally thousands of songs to choose from. I mean how many renditions of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” are there out there? So I feel like it’s really easy to just grab a bunch of classics and modern takes and toss them all together. It’s apparently so easy between my Spotify and old 8Tracks account I was able to find playlists going back to my previous blog in 2012. Yeah…that’s pretty far back there.
I won’t pretend like I don’t know December’s mix is going to be holiday themed from the jump. But in order to keep it interesting (and avoid the same songs over and over) I try to come up with some kind of underlying theme to break it up. This year while listening to the local radio station playing tons of Christmas hits, I thought I would make it about the songs that remind me of being a kid and listening to that station non-stop. But when I started working on it (with a little help from that station) I realized it was a lot harder than I imagined. Despite my memory being pretty great to me, I just couldn’t chose. I also felt it would be a little weird to just open up the world to my memories they have no relation to.
Happy (early) Thanksgiving fellow Americans, and just a happy Wednesday to everyone else!
Thanksgiving is a blessing and a curse for someone who loves being in the kitchen. I love cooking and creating things that eventually satisfy others. It’s a gigantic labor of love. I’ve been making Thanksgiving dinner (among other holiday dinners) by myself for roughly 12 years now. Looking back, it was quite the task for a teenager to take on, but it’s really given me a chance to see what works. But what does this have to do with music, right?
Don’t worry, I even eye rolled myself while typing the title to this blog post.
It’s a special Music Friday here on my blog, and I have collected every Halloween playlist I have made since 2013. Shout out to Spotify for making this possible, and extra big shout out to me for apparently never cleaning out my list of playlists on Spotify. This is mainly the reason why I can’t explain their being two mixes from 2015. Like I mentioned a couple of days ago (oh my god all she does is talk about this stuff), Halloween mixes are my favorite to make even if they are widely unappreciated. What I love most about them is being able to make something creepy sounding that plays perfectly at a Halloween party or just while handing out candy to Trick or Treaters. It just adds a little something to the overall creepiness in the air. Of course, if you’re going to be soundtracking any Halloween festivities, most people are going to strictly be all “shut up and play the hits.” So I made plenty of those playlists in my time (but with a little Nicole twist).
Obviously I don’t know everyone’s Halloween plans, but if you’re anything like me, you’re probably sick of party hosts using pre-made Spotify playlists that have Thriller on them every 3rd song. So I thought I would just share the fruits of my yearly labor in one giant collection. Since it’s the Friday before Halloween it seemed like the perfect time for a musical extravaganza to soundtrack just about anything.
Find the links below, and have a good weekend!
PS: Yes, I am the queen of using strange, vintage Halloween photos as my artwork. #blessed
2013 | 2014 | 2015 Part 1 | 2015 Part 2 | 2016 | 2017 | My Favorite Horror Movie Scores
A few days ago I stumbled upon an article in my social media feed pondering how Halloween became a months long celebration rather than just one solid day. I can’t find the article now, but I never considered such an idea because Halloween has always been a gigantic deal in my family. It was always almost like my dad’s second Christmas. I didn’t pick up the nickname Wednesday Addams for just any ol’ reason. I just love Halloween. There’s a weird creepiness in the air and (usually) it’s not 100 degrees out anymore so I can finally enjoy all my favorite chilly weather things. Like a cozy sweater & joggers while watching Halloween on AMC. It’s a tradition, you know.
I know monthly around this time I drop the themed mix of my choosing, but October is going to be a little different. Halloween is probably my second favorite holiday because it really combines two of my best qualities: being dead inside and my love of (some) holidays. So it really goes without saying that making my yearly Halloween mix is one of my favorite things to do. A lot of work goes into handcrafting my mixture of horror scores, creepy songs and popular favorites not to mention the search for the ideal creepy image to accompany it. Halloween is fast approaching so that mix will be out in the next week or so (hopefully). I just hope I get to add some of the new Stranger Things soundtrack into this year’s mix since the show’s return coincides with this most frightful time of year.
Since the Halloween mix has yet to reach my high standards (standards no one else cares about), I decided to just throw together a playlist of what I’m listening to a lot right now. This 5th playlist in a series of who knows how many to come features a bunch of new releases and some classic Tom Petty. Of course it had to have some Tom Petty on it because the classic rock station around here played nothing but blocks and blocks of his work after his passing. There are just so many good Tom Petty songs.