Last December, amid the usual swarm of Year’s Best This/Year’s Greatest That lists, I put together a Spotify mixtape — not a big best-of, but about fifty tracks and artists I’d been loving, and thought you might enjoy. (Yes, you specifically. By the way, you look great today.) The end of the year, though, can be overwhelming: You’re just ambling through late fall, minding your own business, when suddenly heads are popping from every window and shouting about all the great albums you should hear, films you should see, books you should read, and every other conceivable thing.
So this year we’re starting early and quietly, in late May. Here’s another mixtape: some things I’ve been loving so far this year, and that I thought you might enjoy (yes, you specifically; did you do something with your hair?), and that — unlike, say, Led Zeppelin, or rap mixtapes — are available on Spotify in the first place. If you’re a regular Spotify user, consider subscribing: Every couple of weeks, I’ll be pulling more favorites onto the list.
In the meantime, enjoy. There’s indie rock and rap and R&B, synth-pop and electronic music, Erykah Badu singing jazz, brutalist New York bands yelling about rats and worms, and a three-part folk-opera song about an Elizabethan marriage. Also: nineties R&B stars singing over a sample from Legend of Zelda, the year’s best metaphor involving a vulture, a hip-hop track about some really terrible driving habits, an Orbital track whose main synth motif really does sound like the army of evil cats that appears in the video, Swedish people singing about “blowin’ dro in this bitch,” and one extremely beautiful song about watching the shopping channel while bored and depressed.
Here’s the link to the Spotify playlist.