earthings! 2015: My ten favorites of the year

We’re closing up shop for another year, which means our obligatory look at the year that was – and, like in the past two years, it’s in the form of ten songs, arranged alphabetically by artist. And it’s been an interesting year, indeed. Pop music was, once again, no longer a guilty pleasure. The much-anticipated comeback of guitar music did not happen, but we had some genre-pushing, if not outright weird, alternative anyway. We’ve seen new acts make a legitimate splash, but it wasn’t for the sake of a new voice. We’ve seen old acts make triumphant returns, but nostalgia wasn’t the biggest thing. Things have not settled down to the way people want it to be (and that could mean anything depending on who you ask) but things have never looked this good in recent years either. It is weird. Interesting, but weird.

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“It’s not a new wave. It’s just you and me.”

“A New Wave” by Sleater-Kinney | So, my favorite track from Sleater-Kinney’s pretty awesome No Cities to Love collides with my favorite animated series (and indie musician darling), Bob’s Burgers. Can we all just bask in the gloriousness (sorry for the millennial-speak) of Tina Belcher bouncing up and down, full of unbridled joy that’s not because of Jimmy Jr. or horses or zombies or a combination of the three? [NB]

Review: No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney

No Cities to Love by Sleater-KinneyIt’s been ten years since Sleater-Kinney released their last record, The Woods, and ten years since they band went on an indefinite hiatus. No Cities to Love, the grrl trio’s surprising yet inevitable comeback, shows they haven’t lost their form. In fact, it seems they’ve gotten much more frustrated: the circumstances around their previous records haven’t changed much, and so their politics haven’t. too, except for it being tighter and snappier. It seems the break (and the many projects they’ve gone to – Corin Tucker’s solo project; Janet Weiss joining Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, and later, Wild Flag with Carrie Brownstein) has sharpened their senses, and the result is an album more rejuvenating than ever… despite the frustrations it is all about. [NB]4/5