Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year! Here's the Music that Saved Me in 2017

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the comedy that helped me cope with depression this year. But if comedy helps me cope in times of numbness, music has saved me in times of torment.  I don't know how I would survive without music.  It speaks to my soul like no other art form.

I hear readers saying that a book has saved their life. That's never been my experience with books, although it is fulfilling to hear, as a writer. But music? Music has saved me again and again and again and again.

So I thought I'd share with you my favourite three albums that came out in 2017.
1. Fool's Paradise, Cold Specks

I'm not generally the kind of person who marks an album's release date on the calendar, but that's exactly what I did when I heard Cold Specks was coming out with new music in 2017.  I was particularly excited when I heard she'd be showcasing her Somali-Canadian heritage. The day this album dropped, I signed into my Hoopla account to listen (thank you, Toronto Public Library!), and I wasn't disappointed.

This is music to sit with.  It gets inside you. Ladan Hussein's voice is rich and mournful. Her music is glorious.
2. Masseduction, St. Vincent

Oh, I'm a sucker for St. Vincent. Annie Clark is one of those artists you love for the music, and then you see her in concert and love her for the experience.  Some of her songs are great when you hear them digitally, but then you witness an extended version live and that same song just blows you away.

Okay, so I haven't heard any of the songs from her new album LIVE, but fingers crossed I'll get that chance.

I was actually sitting in a Toronto Public Library location the first time I listened to Masseduction (which, in my head, I still call Mass Education), and I remember my initial thought was: I'm not too sure about this. heh. But I listened to it again. And again. And again. And then I couldn't stop. It had become a compulsion.
3. Belong, San Fermin

I'll be totally honest with you: when I first came up with the idea of writing a blog post about my three favourite albums of 2017, I only had two in mind and this wasn't one of them. But it belongs here (haha puns) because it's phenomenal. It's just that, when I had the idea to write this post, I hadn't listened to it yet.

Before The Signal went off the air, they played the opening track Open (I'm not even trying with the puns anymore, they're just happening), and it blew me away. I kept thinking, "Gee, I really should look into this San Fermin organization," but until I needed a third for this list... I never did.

Long story short, I spent an entire evening listening to Open in my kitchen, in a trance, holding my headphones and asking, "What does it mean? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN???" while simultaneously being very glad I live alone. Oh, hey, and try listening to the track called No Promises without flashing back to Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl!

If music means as much to you as it does to me, I hope you found the sound that speaks to you this year. Here's hoping we'll all find more music to love in the year ahead.

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