When I tell people that I have an exact record of almost all the music I’ve listened to since my junior year of highschool, they’re usually pretty impressed. I’ve been using Last.fm religiously for years now, and while I haven’t been happy with the changes they’ve made post-Spotify-acquisition, I’m still addicted to their stats. I love being able to have daily/weekly/monthly/yearly/all-time counts of the artists and songs I listen to. Every now and then going through my library brings out forgotten gems that I haven’t listened to in years, or helps me discover similar artists. It also tracks every guilty pleasure I listen to, too (those occassional pick-me-up Britney plays sure do add up).
I thought that since it’s a new year and all, I’d go through last year’s stats and do a year in review of what I’ve discovered, listened to, and rejected!
Most played artist: The Cab
This really surprised me, since Natalia Kills has ruled my charts ever since Zombie came out a few years ago, but I’ve been obsessed with their EP and their new album Symphony Soldiers. I don’t usually listen to a significant amount of rock, but they just hit the spot. Vegas Nights is still one of my go-to acapella dishwashing songs, and Temporary Bliss and Animal are just plain addictive. They win the highest rank by 22 plays at a whopping 248 plays this year.
Most played song: COBRA by Marie-Mai
This one also surprised me. It’s a catchy song, but by no means my favorite. It was definitely on repeat a lot on my gym playlist though, which is probably a big reason why it got here. Marie-Mai is a French Canadian artist that I don’t imagine many people outside of Canada have heard of, which is a real shame. She’s not anything special musically, but she delivers solid albums on a regular basis and one of her songs usually makes it on whatever playlist I’m making at the moment.
Top 8 Artists:
Top 5 Songs:
Top Artists in December for the Past 5 Years:
2010 – Orianthi, Amy Pearson, and FM Static
2011 – Annie, Cassie Davis, and Lillix
2012 – Jessie J, My Favorite Highway, and Example
2013 – This Providence, The Classic Crime, and Dinah Washington
2014 – Banks, The Cab, and Tove Lo
I definitely cannot stomach all of the sickly sweet pop I used to listen to, and you can see how I’ve branched out over the years. I haven’t listened to half the artists in 2010-2012 in a long time. I think it shows how I’ve matured, and how my music taste has matured. There are more artists I respect musically in my library now than there were before. I feel like I’m able to appreciate different styles now that I’ve taken my own musicianship more seriously. I love seeing how much I’ve changed- or how little in some cases (My Favorite Highway is an enduring love).
Musicians I Can’t Believe I Just Heard This Year
Agnes Obel – I don’t usually like downbeat, relaxing, acoustic music. It’s not the kind of music I make or listen to. But Agnes… Agnes is different. She is simple and beautiful and yet interesting all at once. I listen to Tokka on repeat a lot still- it will never get old for me.
Tove Lo – She just appeared on the scene this year, and while I think Habits is definitely overplayed by now, I don’t think she’s overrated. Musically, she’s not the most talented I’ve ever heard, but some of her gritty lyrics just get me in a way that I haven’t been gotten before. I’m not sure if that’s me growing up or just her talent, but either way, she was one of my top five this year.
Karmin – Not usually the type I listen to, but there’s no denying that these kids have style. It’s a guilty pleasure. I’m not sure whether it was the intro to Gasoline that won me over, where it shows off the male half of the duo’s smooth as melted chocolate voice, or whether it was her honesty in the Acapella bridge where she sings falsetto and can’t hit the high notes. Either way, I don’t care what anyone thinks. They’re catchy and fun and I need some of that in my life.
Foxes – I played White Coats, Youth and Clarity on repeat so much that I’ve started to get a bit sick of them all, to be honest. Foxes rides the line between ‘basic pop’ and ‘interesting electronic’ to create chemistry without seeming dull or too obscure. Plus, her hooks are so much fun to belt out, it’s hard not to get addicted.
Broods – Some of their songs are absolutely haunting, and I think they’re a good embodiment of the kind of music that I didn’t start falling for until recently. They hit all the right notes for what they’re trying to achieve and I fell hard for Sleep Baby Sleep this year.
Adele – No, seriously. I didn’t start listening her until this year. Someone Like You made my breakup playlist, and I gotta admit, it’s hard not to sing along.
My musical new years resolution: listen to more of the good stuff, and less pure ear candy! What does your music library look like now compared to a year ago?