Read on
January 21, 2024

Trapital's best posts

The season of best lists is over, but not at Dan Runcie's Trapital. He has segmented their best content - essays, podcasts, memos, and more - into different categories like fanbase, partnership, investing, ownership, labels, and streaming. Runcie promises that's just the start, and the page will be built out in the meantime. Find it - here.

Sheet music
December 28, 2023

The best articles of 2023

Music writer Ted Gioia has made a selection of the best online articles and essays published in 2023, including ones on music topics. Goia, among others, recommends “I Started Playing My Sax Outdoors. Then the Fans Came” by Harvey Dickson from the New York Times, “The Origins of Creativity” by Louis Menand from The New Yorker, as well as “How Alice Cooper Cleaned Up and Became a Pop Star All Over Again” by Dave Everley from the Louder Sound.

The needle and the recovery done
December 28, 2023

The Needle Drop's album of 2023: Jeff Rosenstock's 'HELLMODE'

The YouTube music critic Anthony 'The Needle Drop' Fantano also made a selection of the 50 best albums of 2023, with punk veteran Jeff Rosenstock's 'HELLMODE' coming out at the top. Still, a list of fresh, even some avant-garde music.

"...A document of a road-tested rock band riding high, a landmark of songwriting as world-building, and as a reminder that well-worn sounds can still be combined into something brilliantly, bracingly new" - Stereogum wrote about their choice for the best album of 2023. Check out all the 50.

"'False Lankum' defies genre while yanking classics into the 21st century... An undeniable work of scale and dynamic builds, with few songs ending sounding as they started" - Guardian points out in favor of their choice of the best album of 2023, released quietly by the Irish folk band Lankum. Check out all the 50 selected.

"This year, favorite artists like SZA, Sufjan Stevens, and Fever Ray returned with reliably stunning releases, rising artists like Nourished by Time, Amaarae, and yeule pushed the boundaries with breakthrough releases that set the tone for where music might go next, and some of the year’s biggest surprises also happened to be just the thing we needed (hello, André 3000 flute album!)" - Pitchfork points out introducing their selection of the best 50 albums of 2023. It's Pitchforky, of course, but still, worth checking.

"Do you remember when the guitar was a wild, unpredictable instrument? (...) Well, Daniel Champagne still plays the guitar in that bold, unconstrained way" - Ted Gioia recommends the Australian guitarist (now living in Nashville). "You feel as if he just invented the instrument yesterday and was discovering its possibilities afresh. And I haven’t even started telling you about his singing and songwriting—but go find out for yourself."

It's definitely not a definitive list, but rather an interesting perspective by the rock journalism institution on the history of heavy metal (which they believe started with 'Black Sabbath' by, ahem, Blach Sabbath). The list starts with Venom's 'Wellcome to Hell' at No. 100, and reaches the high-point with, well, guess which song!?! A great lead of the article by the way - "Thousands of years after the Bronze and Iron Ages, the true Metal Age dawned half a century ago"!

The time is now
March 16, 2023

The best UK metal bands right now

"The scene Def Leppard and Judas Priest helped consolidate 40-plus years ago has never had this much talent, or represented as many disaffected voices, as it does today" - Guardian argues in its piece about the current British heavy metal scene. Some of the important names the G is picking out are Bristol post-hardcore collective Svalbard, black metal trio Dawn Ray’d, masked prog-metal Londoners Sleep Token, noise-punk duo Nova Twins, anti-fascist metalcore fivesome Ithaca...

Everything everywhere all at Dans
March 14, 2023

Five best music videos by the Oscar winners The DANIELS

Directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, the team behind 'Everything Everywhere All At Once', won three Oscars in a single evening - Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. At 35 years old, they’re two of the youngest Best Director winners in history, and also the first Best Director winners ever to come from the world of music videos. Stereogum had a tough time selecting only five of their videos as the best ones.

Daisy Jones & The Six

An amusing list in Rolling Stone - "It’s a strange but often hugely appealing musical subgenre, and this is our attempt to figure out which are the true best songs of the fake best songs". Plenty of interesting music among the 50 chosen ones, set between ‘Time To Change’ by The Brady Bunch from the 1972 movie 'The Brady Bunch', and ‘That Thing You Do!’ by The Wonders from 'That Thing You Do!' (1996).22

The day after
February 15, 2023

The 20 best breakup albums

"Feelings of loneliness, anger, and, perhaps most potently, loss seem like they’ll never end. The experience is utterly overwhelming, and it’s frankly not healthy to keep all of those emotions bottled up. The best way to get them out? The tried-and-true breakup album" - Consequence introduces their list of 20 best break-up albums. The interesting selection includes Adele, Bright Eyes, Converge, The Cure, and Taylor Swift, among others.

Kendrick Lamar's landmark 2015 album 'To Pimp a Butterfly' had overtaken the top spot on the popular community review site Rate Your Music, surpassing Radiohead’s 'OK Computer' as the highest-ranked album of all time. 'To Pimp a Butterfly' now has a 4.34 rating, the highest on the platform; 'OK Computer' is at 4.26. Rate Your Music uses a complex algorithm to calculate an album’s score, which considers factors including total number of reviews, each user’s activity level on the site, and more. Radiohead, however, have a total of three albums in the Top 10, Pink Floyd have two.

Happy being sad
January 29, 2023

The 20 best sad albums

Consequence has rounded up a list of "20 of the most bleak, grim, melancholic albums out there for the most efficient commiserating", because "sad songs are so cathartic". The interesting list starts with Greet Death’s 'New Hell', at No. 20, to reach the catharsis with Mount Eerie's 'A Crow Looked at Me' at No. 1. Check out the full list.

Strangers in the Alps
January 19, 2023

The best of Slovenian electronic music

Pouch Envy

The Quietus' dance music columnist Jaša Bužinel sheds light on the "small Slovenian electronic music scene and shares his favourite recent releases from the likes of Vid Vai, POUCH ENVY, dvidevat and Black Dot". "By including mainly names which you may never have heard of before," the writer says he hopes "to shed some light on all the talented Slovenian producers and artists who really deserve to be heard abroad".

Will be happy to say "told you so"
January 13, 2023

MixMag chooses 24 best new artists

"There’s an exciting energy in the air at the start of each year, knowing that a whole new wave of exciting music and dancefloors moments are soon to be experienced" - MixMag introduces the selection of 24 DJs, producers, and rappers to watch in 2023. Included are English rapper Clavish with "some of the most formidable wordplay in UK rap right now", Irish DJ Fio Fa - "expect to see him get dancefloors shaking in 2023", Chinese DJ Hao who "pulls dancers through pneumatic beats up to blinding trance-inflected climaxes with a sense of momentum that’s relentless and exhilarating", and LA DJ Introspekt because "any artist who can master the full stylistic range garage offers is immediately essential".

Alpha, beta, gama, metal
January 11, 2023

Heavy Blog is Heavy chooses the 50 best albums of 2022

The good people from Heavy Blog is Heavy have waited for the year 2022 to end, listened to all the albums coming out in December, and have served us now with a very good list of the 50 best (mostly) metal albums (and one interesting non-metal addition). Since HBIH considers music not to be a contest, they listed the 50 chosen ones from the "phenomenal year for music" in alphabetical order. A good one.

"Deep, empathetic bond between artist and listener is the most elemental connection in music" - Rolling Stone introduces its list of the 200 best singers of all time, which, "encompasses 100 years of pop music as an ongoing global conversation". The ultimate criteria was "originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog, and the breadth of their musical legacy". Here are the top 10:

10. Al Green

9. Otis Redding

8. Beyoncé

7. Stevie Wonder

6. Ray Charles

5. Mariah Carey

4. Billie Holiday

3. Sam Cooke

2. Whitney Houston

  1. Aretha Franklin

Music writer Ted Gioia made a list of his favorite online articles and essays from 2022 on music, arts, and culture - "if the article is good enough, I include it, no matter what the subject". Interesting pieces about heavy metal’s fascination with Roman emperors, the connection between Mozart na J Dilla, using music as torture, and many more.

Defying high expectations
December 20, 2022

Brooklyn Vegan chooses 50 best punk albums of 2022

"In the punk world, 2022 was a year of innovation, a year of new generations staking their claim, a year of new trends emerging and old trends making comebacks. For the purposes of this list, "punk" incorporates punk, pop punk, indie-punk, emo, hardcore, post-hardcore, screamo, metalcore, ska-punk, and various other microgenres that fall under those" - Brooklyn Vegan introduces their list of 50 best punk albums. The top 10 are:

10. The Interrupters - 'In The Wild'

9. Pinkshift - 'Love Me Forever'

8. JER - 'Bothered / Unbothered'

7. The Wonder Years - 'The Hum Goes On Forever'

6. Pool Kids - 'Pool Kids'

5. Mindforce - 'New Lords'

4. The Callous Daoboys - 'Celebrity Therapist'

3. Drug Church - 'Hygiene'

2. Anxious - 'Little Green House'

  1. Soul Glo - 'Diaspora Problems'

Listen and read!
December 19, 2022

Variety chooses the best music books of 2022

There are many, many great books released this year - Variety introduces its list of the best music books released in 2022. "Bono writes beautifully about his relationship with his parents and his wife... Tom Breihan’s new book looks at how 20 top tracks affected the culture, and/or changed the game, musically and sociologically... Stunning 'The Byrds: 1964-67', a comprehensive oral history and a gorgeous coffee-table photo book all in one...  In his first book, the ace New York Times reporter Coscarelli puts a microscope on the thriving and enormously influential Atlanta hip-hop scene".

The most precious metals
December 15, 2022

The best metal albums of 2022

"This has proved a fantastic year for extreme music and metal, and the new wave is masterfully progressing" - PopMatters points out about the year 2022 in metal. They selected 20 albums with technical death metal band Aeviterne's 'The Ailing Facade' on top. Stereogum selects 10 albums - Blut Aus Nord's 'Lovecraftian Echoes' takes the top spot. Treblezine expanded its list from 25 to 30 albums, with grindcore band Cloud Rat taking the No. 1 spot with 'Threshold'. Loudwire is the most generous - they selected the 50 best rock and metal albums.

Watch and enjoy
December 15, 2022

The best music videos and movies of 2022

"From show-stopping set design and performances in videos by Björk and Rosalía to stirring documentaries on Phil Elverum, Sinéad O’Connor, and Poly Styrene, music-focused visual media helped to flesh out the stories and aesthetics of great artists past and present" - Pitchfork introduces its selection of the best music videos, movies and TV of 2022.


"Electronic music may have its problems and peculiarities... but one thing the genre doesn’t suffer from is a lack of quality music" - First Floor introduces its list of best dance electronic music of 2022. Three albums "that resonated the most this year" are: Hudson Mohawke's 'Cry Sugar' - "a manic album in which elements of happy hardcore, stadium rap, emotive R&B, swaggering EDM and kaleidoscopic bass contortions all live side by side"; Moin's 'Paste', a "guitar-driven post-hardcore album... made like a techno record"; The Range's 'Mercury' which melds "elements of electronic music, hip-hop, soul and R&B into remarkably potent little pop packages".

Turn the pages
December 12, 2022

Five recent music books worth reading

usic books released recently. Among them are 'Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music' by Ann Powers - "an ambitious and brilliant examination of US pop that puts sex front and centre in the importance of music", as well as 'Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm' by Dan Charnas, the "rare biography that explains the how and why of the music".

"Vigorous, explorative and righteously angry, nothing struck quite so profound a chord with us in 2022 as this extraordinary record from Baltimore’s Infinity Knives and Brian Ennals" - Loud And Quiet argues in favor of their choice of the album of 2022. Their top 10 are:

10. They Hate Change: 'Finally, New'

9. Dry Cleaning: 'Stumpwork'

8. Katie Alice Greer: 'Barbarism'

7. Kendrick Lamar: 'Mr Morale and the Big Steppers'

6. Thank: 'Thoughtless Cruelty'

5. Caroline: 'Caroline'

4. Charlie XCX: 'Cream'

3. Kai Whiston: 'Quiet As Kept, F.O.G.'

2. Jockstrap: 'I Love You Jennifer B'

  1. Infinity Knives and Brian Ennals: 'King Cobra'

They love you electro-pop
December 06, 2022

Jockstrap top Quietus' best albums list

Quietus' writers have assembled a wide list of best albums of 2022. It looks into the art, alternative, metal, classic, alt-pop and other scenes. Plenty to listen to there. The top 10 are:

  • 1: Jockstrap – 'I Love You Jennifer B'
  • 2: Diamanda Galás – 'Broken Gargoyles'
  • 3: caroline – 'caroline'
  • 4: Richard Dawson – 'The Ruby Cord'
  • 5: Decius – 'Decius Vol. I'
  • 6: Sea Power – 'Everything Was Forever'
  • 7: Kendrick Lamar – 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers'
  • 8: The Ephemeron Loop – 'Psychonautic Escapism'
  • 9: Emeka Ogboh – '6°30'33.372"N 3°22'.66"E'
  • 10: Oren Ambarchi – 'Shebang'

"2022 was the year of the comeback. As the music industry stumbled out of its pandemic fog, many artists finally delivered long delayed, highly anticipated, and sonically experimental albums that met some of the expectations built up for them" - Pitchfork introduces its Top 50 albums of 2022 list. The top 10 are:

10. Alex G: 'God Save the Animals'

9. Yaya Bey: 'Remember Your North Star'

8. Lucrecia Dalt: '¡Ay!'

7. Big Thief: 'Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You'

6. Rosalía: 'Motomami'

5. Bad Bunny: 'Un Verano Sin Ti'

4. Special Interest: 'Endure'

3. Alvvays: 'Blue Rev'

2. Sudan Archives: 'Natural Brown Prom Queen'

  1. Beyoncé: 'Renaissance'

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