It was an excellent year for me in music. I got to see nearly all of my favorite bands live, which was fantastic. I’m blessed to live near a city that provides those opportunities. Thanks, Portland!
The Civil Wars – I was privileged to see them twice. The first time was a magical, otherworldly experience. They sound better live then they do on the album, which – if you’ve heard the album – is nearly unbelievable. Even my grandma is a fan, so come on. If you haven’t heard them yet, you need to remedy that right now.
Mumford and Sons – This band may always own my heart. I wrote about them twice this past year (here and here), and their lyrics still cry out the songs my soul can’t sing. I got to see them live and cry out those songs with thousands of others. It was an amazing night. Oh, p.s. I have this friend whose husband grew up with Marcus Mumford, and she tells me the best stories.
Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas – I was obsessed with this album for the entirety of December. It just is Christmas to me now. There’s no way around that.
Vice Verses – Switchfoot finally came out with their next album (their ninth, I believe). I loved their last album with my whole heart, but this one is innovative and edgy and still honest. I had to buy it on both vinyl and mp3 – that’s how much I enjoyed these tunes from the San Diego boys. And here’s a glimpse why.
Vinyl – I got back into my record player this year. It’s amazing what vinyls you can find for cheap at thrift stores. One of my favorite finds was the Breakfast at Tiffany’s soundtrack, which is a lovely and melancholy musical journey.
Pentatonix – I became super obsessed with The Sing-Off in a matter of days, but this group of youngsters blew my mind. Their arrangements were creative and clever, and the “meat and potatoes” of the group – the bass and the percussion – are fantastic. You go, youngsters!
Les Miserables/ Alfie Boe – Les Mis is nothing new to me, but I saw a PBS concert special – the 25th Anniversary Live at the O2 – and Alfie Boe just blew me away. His voice is incredible, and his personal journey is pretty neat too. So I wrote him a letter.
Adele – Okay, I know everyone and their moms love Adele, and you can’t listen to the radio for five minutes without hearing seven of her songs (someone should really time it), and she’s overdone and overplayed. But I still love her stuff. She’s evidence that autotune and showmanship are not necessary to being a singer; some may even say being a singer means rising above those two things.
Audio books – Not music, obviously, but I spent a fair amount of my commuting time listening to Harry Potter. Excellent use of a commute.
Radio – This was the first year I really listened to the radio. Ever. In my life. I can’t say I’m impressed. For once, I’m actually caught up with popular songs. Again. I can’t really say I’m impressed.
What did you listen to in 2011?
Next: The Theatre