We polled our crew and asked for a list of things that inspired them over the last year. What came back obviously skews toward music but also includes insight from the contributors. The results are diverse, though there is always room for improvement, and we try to shine a light on some self-released and DIY.

If you were ever curious of our tastes, here they are:

Joshua Van Tassel

Bjork – Utopia
Bjork is at a point where the only references I have for comparing her music is her own music. This album is challenging in terms of content and duration, beautiful and super inspiring

Ennaga Vision – self titled
Completely unpredictable and weird, sounds like what 2 aliens from different homewards would play at a mating ceremony

Outre Tempo – Electronic and Contemporary Music From Brazil – 1978 -1992
I can’t tell what decade some of these songs come from, could be the future and the dates on the cover are a misprint. Tough to say. But it’s fresh and really fun.

Moses Sumney – Aromanticism

Dan Misha Goldman

Frank Ocean – Blonde
Alt J – Relaxer
Common Holly – Playing House
Feist – Pleasure
Juana Molina – Halo
Laurindo Almeida and Salli Terri – Bachianas Braziliene #5
Lena Platonos – Sun Masks

Charles Austin (Isador)

Mama’s Broke
I found this duo to be really good, I had nothing to do with anything they recorded… they remind me of Gillian Welch and Clarence Ashley. They have ties to Halifax but are fairly nomadic I gather.

Tim Crabtree

From 2017:

Feist – Pleasure
Bing & Ruth – No Home of the Mind
SZA – Ctrl
Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked at Me
The National – Sleep Well Beast
Jon McKiel – Memorial Ten Count
Land of Talk – Life After Youth
Richard Dawson – Peasant

Not from 2017, but I’ve been listening to a lot this year:

Milton Nascimento – Milton
PM Dawn – Jesus Wept

Michelle Yorke

Bedouine – (self titled)
This one fell in my lap in the final month of the year & took ahold of me instantly. I fell hard and fast. Simple, quiet, effortless and stunning. She’s has managed to make a classic album on her first try. A gem. Just trust me.

Carla Dal Forno – You Know What It’s Like
Dark, gloomy, atmospheric heaven…this is what it’s like inside my brain.

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Just wanted to give this little album a shout out. I kid but I would be remiss not to include it since it’s my most played album if the year and I’m still not sick of it. Every track is 👌

SZA – Ctrl
To put it simply, this record fulfilled all of my r&b needs and I’m picky so that is saying a lot.

Robbie Grunwald (DoubleTooth)

Rival Consoles
Totally inspiring music made in a small space with few tools. Sounds amazing! A good place to start is Odyssey and Howl.

Floating Points
Started as a solo idm project and has blossomed into a dark psychedelic jammy explosion.

Anderson .paak
Do I need to say anything about this guy?

Jay Crocker

Jlin – Black Origami
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Kid
Irreversible Entanglements – Irreversible Entanglements
Chik White – Stranger Calls to Land

Michael Feuerstack

Ora Cogan – Crickets
Kind of familiar and totally unexpected all at the same time. Dark and bright, magical and real.

Baxter Dury
The grooves are cool, and you never know what he’s going to say! Gives me a weird feeling.

Allen Toussaint
I was late to this party. I knew who he was, and I knew he was a heavy figure, but I really only dug into it this year, and it’s been really good.

Jesca Hoop – Memories Are Now
This record is lovable, annoying, complex and comforting. Kind of like spending time alone.

I really love this band, especially live. 2017 seems to have been a really good year for them. Here’s to more in 2018.

Other cool stuff that happened in 2017:

– Willie Thrasher on the Golden Bus at SappyFest
– got to see Zadie Smith read and speak and she did not disappoint
– awkward hotel breakfast next to Billy Bragg where I didn’t really want to talk, but then wigged myself out because the more I did not talk, the more it seemed like I should say something. When I finally spoke, one particular type of awkwardness supplanted another. He came to check out the Luyas later – apparently thought it was neat.

Michael Belyea

Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet – Jersey

Kyle Cunjak

some albums I loved in 2017:

Laura Marling – Semper Femina (More Alarming Records)
SZA – Ctrl (Top Dawg / RCA)
Leif Vollebekk – Twin Solitude (Secret City)
Tony Allen – The Source (Decca France)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Sketches of Brunswick East ft. Mild High Club (ATO)
Mocky – How To Hit What And How Hard (The Moxtape Vol. IV) (Heavy Sheet)
Luke Temple – A Hand Through The Cellar Door (Secretly Canadian)

some songs I loved in 2017:

Jon McKiel – Unknown Source (You’ve Changed) //
Hand Habits – Flower Glass (Woodsist)
Frank Ocean – Chanel (Blonded)
Kendrick Lamar – YAH. (Top Dawg)
Daniel Caesar – Japanese Denim / Get You (Daniel Caesar)
Ryan Driver – It Must Be Dark Tonight ft. The Weather Station (Tin Angel)
Un Blonde – Nerve For The Ages (Anti)
Merganzer – Mirror Maze (self-released)

some musical things I loved in 2017:

Noname’s Tiny Desk Concert
Nate Smith’s drumming