Happiest Song of the Year: “Molotov,” Jason Isbell. “If We Were Vampires” is the song I probably played most this year (it’s amazing) but this one from late in the album (one of the few albums I bought!) is a guaranteed smile-bringer. I like that they are still together at the end, I didn’t catch that the first few times I listened when I thought it was another “my high school girlfriend was so cool” exercise in nostalgia. F%$% nostalgia! (Mostly.)

Saddest Song of the Year: “Wandering Boy,” Randy Newman. Kills me every time. Perhaps I am reading too much into it.

Hey, I Recognize That Guy! Song of the Year: “You Shouldn’t Look At Me That Way,” Elvis Costello. The first Costello song I’ve wanted to play over and over since, since, since…um, maybe “Still” from 2003? Maybe he should give up rock and roll like he’s been threatening since the early 90’s and just do lounge-y MOR stuff. (What he should NEVER do again are cover versions slowed to dirge tempos to show off his “vocal chops.” Only works on his own stuff.)

Gorgeous New Voices of the Year: Joan Shelley, Molly Burch, Jade Jackson. I’d throw in Annie Clark (St. Vincent) but I’d heard a few of her songs previously…though nothing as drop-dead pretty as “New York.” (Special shoutout to including a “motherfucker” in there so it doesn’t get too pretty.)

Song That I Have No Idea What It’s About But Still Love of the Year: “Hustle Unlimited,” Lambchop. I am a lyrics guy, but I’ve never bothered to listen to the lyrics on this one. Will someday. For now, just like the groove.

Disk 1

  1. Jackpot, Nikki Lane
  2. Molotov, Jason Isbell
  3. In Undertow, Alvvays
  4. Sparks Fly, Waxahatchee
  5. Painted Yellow Lines, Dispatch
  6. Revolution, Van William featuring First Aid Kit
  7. She’s About to Cross My Mind, Red Button
  8. Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me, Ron Gallo
  9. Westermarck, Charly Bliss
  10. Out Worn, Soccer Mommy
  11. The Hustle Unlimited, Lambchop
  12. What’s That Perfume You Wear, Jens Lekman
  13. New York, St. Vincent
  14. You Shouldn’t Look At Me That Way, Elvis Costello
  15. Leaving LA, Father John Misty

Disk 2

  1. Soulfire, Little Steven
  2. Hungry Ghost, Hurray for the Riff Raff
  3. Everything is Magical, Jeremy Messersmith
  4. Sleeping By Myself, Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge
  5. Darling, Real Estate
  6. The Push and Pull, Joan Shelley
  7. Postcard from Paris, Glen Campbell
  8. Downhearted, Molly Burch
  9. Reckless, Rodney Crowell
  10. If We Were Vampires, Jason Isbell
  11. No Guarantees, Jade Jackson
  12. Wandering Boy, Randy Newman
  13. I’ll Be Your Pilot, Belle and Sebastian