Friday, January 5, 2001

McQ's Best Of 2015 Vol 11 - Nancy's Favorites

1. My Type - Saint Motel
2. Trying - Bop English
3. Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party - Courtney Barnett
4. Surface Envy - Sleater-Kinney
5. Summer Of Love - Waxahatchee
6. Queen Of Peace - Florence + The Machine
7. Don't Wanna Fight - Alabama Shakes
8. Like A Mighty River - St. Paul & The Broken Bones
9. Smooth Sailin' - Leon Bridges
10. Windows - Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment
11. Cherokee - Kamasi Washington
12. Death With Dignity - Sufjan Stevens
13. Cavalry Captain - The Decemberists
14. Tennessee Whiskey - Chris Stapleton
15. How To Forget - Jason Isbell
16. Shine A Different Way - Patty Griffin
17. Without You - Tobias Jesso Jr.
18. Million Years Ago - Adele
19. Leaves - Miguel

Track List / Mix Write-up / Spotify /
McQ's Favorite Albums Of 2015
McQ's Favorite Songs Of 2015
Nancy's Favorites 2014
Nancy's Favorites 2013
Nancy's Favorites 2012
Nancy's Favorites 2011
Nancy's Favorites 2010
Nancy's Favorites 2009
Nancy's Favorites 2008
Nancy's Favorites 2007
Nancy's Favorites 1967

About The Albums/Songs On This Mix:

Let's start with a couple of 2014 efforts Nancy pilfered from the original version of my Coachella Starters mix.

Like A Mighty River comes to us courtesy of the Birmingham, Alabama retro-soul act St. Paul & The Broken Bones, from their 2014 full-length debut Half The City. A blistering live act, fronted by the pudgy, bespectacled Paul Janeway who looks much more like an Silicon Valley nerd than a classic soul singer until he starts ripping into the band's songs like a smoother-voiced James Brown, I was lucky enough to catch some of their 2015 set at Coachella, where they were, quite simply, on fire.

Like A Mighty River itself, however, is a bit of an anomaly from the just decent Half The City, one of only a few bouncy, uptempo barnburners on an album too repetitively stacked with individually good but too samey Try A Little Tenderness-like slow-building ballads. A few more tunes in the vein of River would have served the album well.

As good as St. Paul was at Coachella, a quartet of young Chapman Film School upstarts named Saint Motel were even better - lively and joyous as one can be, boasting a Tropicalia meets Franz Ferdinand musical style, and joined by sextet of young Can-Can dancers on stage.  It comes as no surprise to me that Nancy lifted their unbelievably catchy hit single and set closer My Type to open her mix this year.

To replace My Type on my Coachella Starters mix, I pulled another recent song from the band, Cold Cold Man, which is almost as good.  If the band can deliver another few songs like this on their soon-to-be-released full-length follow-up, they could be in for very big things in the years ahead, because without being cheesy, they've come up with a smooth, upbeat musical style that appeals to fans of pop, rock, and dance, and is just very, very easy to like.

Smooth Sailin', a super slick slice of mid-tempo soul, comes to us courtesy of Leon Bridges from his decent-not-great White Denim-produced 2015 debut Coming HomeIt's a perfect introduction to Bridges' work, as it highlights the Fort Worth, Texas retro-soulster's predilection for the more restrained, super-smooth stylings of early 60s crooners like Sam Cooke and young Marvin Gaye over the funkier, more explosive late 60s soul sound that most of today's other retro-soulsters, including label-mate Raphael Saddiq and the Dap King Artists, tend to gravitate toward today. Another Bridges' track, The River, appears on our Black Music, Circa 2015 mix.

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