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I’ve been putting together a year-end favorites compilation since 1992. It’s a much easier undertaking in these days of digital music! I used to worry about having to buy an entire album for one song or about songs cutting out at the end of the cassette, and now that anything I want is a click away my biggest concern is keeping it under 40 songs. (30 is really the optimal number.)

Emphasis here on “favorites”: these are not intended to be the best or most representative songs of the year, just a personal time capsule of songs that for whatever reason connected with me. I reserve the right to further explicate the “whatever reason” for a few of these at some point in the future; ones I’ve done that for already are linked.

Disk 1

  1. Diane Young, Vampire Weekend
  2. Weight, Mikal Cronin
  3. Waiting for Something to Happen, Veronica Falls
  4. Lean on Me, Telekinesis
  5. Demon Dance, Surfer Blood
  6. Nothing Arrived, Villagers
  7. Royals, Lorde
  8. Heart Beats, Hey Marsellaise
  9. Varsity, Smith Westerns
  10. I Missed Your Party, Camera Obscura
  11. Recovery, Frank Turner
  12. Master of My Craft, Parquet Courts
  13. Au Revoir, The Front Bottoms
  14. Delicate Cycle, Uncluded
  15. Step, Vampire Weekend
  16. Deepens With Time, Ron Sexsmith

Disk 2

  1. Joy, Iron & Wine
  2. Stockholm, Jason Isbell
  3. Man, Neko Case
  4. Ramona, Night Beds
  5. Shake, The Head and the Heart
  6. Dallas, Caitlin Rose
  7. Pray to Jesus, Brandy Clark
  8. Cold October, Escondido
  9. Mexicali Waltz, Southside Johnny and the Poor Fools
  10. Tower of Song, Tom Jones
  11. Graceless, The National
  12. I Thought I Knew, Alela Diane
  13. Red & White & Blue & Gold, Aoife O’Donovan
  14. Small Plane, Bill Callahan
  15. Traveler’s Song, Hem
  16. Traveling Alone, Jason Isbell