New Year, New Tunes

What were you doing a year ago? Where were you? Who were you?

These questions might seem a little overly philosophical or maybe a tad cliche, but sometimes they’re harder to answer than they should be, aren’t they?

For me, the surest sign of who I was and what I was doing at any point in my life is the music I was listening to. I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but every time I listen to Big Sir’s “Lisa’s Theme,” I flash back to the first time I heard it – almost a year ago to the day, jet-lagged out of my mind on a 13-hour plane ride from Qatar to New York after six months a cruise ship (a story for another day).

Of course, musical tastes tend to change over time. In most cases, when you start listening to new music, you don’t just throw away your stack of old CDs and start a new one – you expand your collection as your palette becomes more diverse. While there’s still a special place in my heart for the angsty, detuned and needlessly profane music that blasted through my headphones in 7th and 8th grade, it’s not on my playlists today, but it’s in my library somewhere (believe it or not, some of that stuff had some respectable technical substance).

As a sort of audible time capsule, I’ve taken a few of my most favored discoveries over the last year from the pop music universe and programmed them in a Spotify playlist. Alongside these tunes I’ve added a handful of selections from the PARMA catalog that I was introduced to when I started here in January. Among the ranks of some of PARMA’s heavy hitters are a number of solid performances by recent Grammy victors Snarky Puppy and Daft Punk, as well as some just-as-bad (as in Jules Winnfield “bad”) soulful stylings of Gretchen Parlato and Lake Street Dive.

From the opening crash of Alejandro Rutty’s dynamic tour-de-force “The Conscious Sleepwalker Loops” to the final sustains of John Carollo’s hauntingly beautiful “Nothing Shall Come Of This”, I hope this music hits you like it hit me and sticks with you for the next twelve months, at least.

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