New music content + 2015 in music

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In early 2015 I embarked on a quest to share regular music-related content on this blog.  “Music Mondays,” I called it.  Every other Monday I would share a music post—an album review, a playlist, musings on an artist, whatever it might be.

As you may have noticed, I had a bit of a hard time sticking to that every-two-weeks posting plan.  Life got in the way of serious music searching sometimes, and even when it didn’t, I simply don’t know that I casually listen to music voraciously enough to deliver fresh content every other week.

So I’m proposing a new game plan.  At the end of every month, I’ll share my music favorites and discoveries from that month.  I’ll call it Been Listening.  I want to keep sharing music on this blog, but I think it’ll just have to happen less often (but hopefully still on-schedule).  Sound cool?  Cool.

Instead of doing a December recap with this post, though, how about a 2015 recap in general?  2015 was a pretty good music year for me.  It might not have been filled with as many new artist discoveries as I wanted, or as many live shows as I would have liked, but it was splendid nonetheless.

Here were some of my highlights:

  • Cry Monster Cry, a lovely little folk duo from Dublin, released their gorgeous debut album, Rhythm of Dawn. Give them a listen; they’re still rather up-and-coming and they deserve an audience.  They even have a Flo + The Machine cover on Spotify!
  • Lord Huron released a dark, dreamy second album, Strange Trails. Forever swooning.  And forever listening to “La Belle Fleur Sauvage.”  So pretty.
  • Mumford & Sons returned! Wilder Mind is a pretty darn good third album, and the new sound suits the Sons well.
  • Noah Gundersen made me feel things with his latest album, Carry the Ghost. Put it on and get ready to cry.
  • Can we talk about Twenty One Pilots? Why did it take me so long to start listening to them?  Their eclectic mix of piano/synth pop/hip-hop sound and hard-hitting lyrics are masterfully displayed on their new album Blurryface.
  • Nathaniel Rateliff made his smoldering debut with his new project, The Night Sweats, and they’re still on fire.
  • This is the year that I really got into U2’s latest, Songs of Innocence. There’s some quality stuff on there.
  • Speaking of U2, I had the great privilege of catching their tour in Chicago this summer. Such a great show, such an iconic band.
  • I fulfilled a long-time wish of mine and visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in the spring.
  • Have you ever heard of Mike Mangione? He’s a Midwestern blues guy.  My boss knew him from his work in Kansas and he came to Steubenville this past year, so my boss and the missionaries went to see him.  He’s the realest.  He also made fun of me for using my phone during his show.
  • In the world of Christian music, I can definitely say that David Crowder takes the cake for unique live shows. Folk-tronica sound with a stage set-up that looks like a hillbilly back porch.  So freaking fun.  I have got to see a full set by him.
  • More Christian music finds: Matt Maher is bae, Audrey Assad slays, and Gregorian Chant and Taize music are great for praying with.  So Catholic.
  • The Beatles finally came to Spotify! All is right in the world.
  • I probably disliked “Hotline Bling” as much as anyone else, but I loved the memes that came from it. My favorites?  This Star Wars-inspired one and this Halloween one.
  • This year was definitely the year of the Spotify playlist for me. Wanna see what I’ve got?  Follow me here.

What about you?  What was your favorite music of this year?  Give me a shout in the comments, if you want!

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