LxL’s 20 Best Songs of 2015

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We may be running a bit behind already in 2016, but better late than never. Here is what we at LxL agreed were the top tracks of 2015:

20. Alabama Shakes – “Don’t Wanna Fight”
From the moment Brittany Howards screeching intro to beers into your ears, you can feel in your bones that this track is going to be great. It does not let down one bit throughout either.

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LxL’s 20 Best Songs of 2015

LxL’s Top Ten Christmas Songs

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At 12:00 AM on Black Friday and not a second later, radio stations all across the country began blasting Christmas music, oh so ready to put the Thanksgiving holiday behind them and go headstrong into Christmas season. While we at LxL love the Christmas holiday, our relationship with Christmas music is a little more conflicted. I, for one, love Christmas music in doses but less doses of “Grandpa Got Run Over By a Reindeer” and “Chipmunk’s Christmas” and more pure Christmas carol classics. Austin, on the other hand, is a regular crotchety Scrooge, as he even balked at the idea of doing a Christmas list period. Luckily for you who love Christmas music, two-thirds is majority, and Todd and I won the day.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2012.
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LxL’s Top Ten Christmas Songs

Apocalypse NOW: The 10 Best Apocalyptic Tracks

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Editors note: This originally published in 2013. With the release of the new Walking Dead spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead, we revisit one of our favorite lists, our ten favorite apocalyptic tunes.

We all love us some Edgar Wright (and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for that matter), so with the opening of The World’s End this weekend, we thought it appropriate to dig up the top ten apocalyptic songs.  A few words about The World’s End first though.  I am endlessly excited to see this movie, but it just has the worst title ever.  The title is not bad in and of itself.  It is descriptive.  It is succinct.  But unfortunately it is too similar to another apocalyptic comedy from earlier this summer (This Is The End) as well as a Pirates of the Caribbean poopcicle (At World’s End).  This obviously won’t effect the quality of the movie, but its a pet peeve of mine from a differentiation standpoint.

Now that all that is out of the way, enjoy these top ten tracks for the end of times.

10. Prince – “1999”

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Apocalypse NOW: The 10 Best Apocalyptic Tracks

The Top 10 Songs of 2015….so far

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best songs of 2015

2015 has been a solid year in music so far as we examined last week with our list of best albums up to this point.  This week, we take a look at some of the best tracks 2015 has had to offer.  I think we have a very nice diverse list, although many of the songs have some sort of electronic element, but that’s just been the trend in the music industry the past few years.  Enjoy the list, and please let us know your favorite tracks from 2015.

10.  Viet Cong – “Silhouettes”

We all like post-punk with some teeth, and Viet Cong is currently hearkening back to some of our favorite artists of the early 80’s.  “Silhouettes” is a great example of what Viet Cong has burst onto the scene with, not just settling into the genre, but expanding on it.
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The Top 10 Songs of 2015….so far

The 10 Best Albums of 2015 So Far

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I just have to say, the first half of 2015 has been a monster. It’s rare in a year you get an album you will come back to constantly for years to come and so far in 2015, we have three of those. We’ll get to those with our top three thus far, but first, seven more albums to visit.
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The 10 Best Albums of 2015 So Far

The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs

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I’m not sure there is a bigger enigma in music right now than Sufjan Stevens. His music output has been incredibly sporadic, but when he does release music, it pours out of him. I have nearly everything Sufjan has put out, and of the 245 songs in my iTunes, 65 are about Midwestern states, 14 about the Chinese New Year, 13 about a bridge, and 98 about Christmas. That only leaves 55 songs about everything else. Yet, with as strange of a catalog as this, there is no doubt Sufjan is one of the most talented and simply brilliant creative minds around today. Sisyphus, his latest project with Son Lux and Serengeti , combines playful rap, glitchy electronics, and Sufjan’s brilliant composition. We will likely tackle this album as a review royale next week, but for now, here are our ten favorite Sufjan songs.

Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in early 2014.
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The 10 Best Sufjan Stevens Songs

Sufjan Stevens Review: Carrie & Lowell

Sufjan Stevens

Carrie & Lowell

Carrie & Lowell album cover art

Constantly making the left-turn, Sufjan Stevens stands in a small pool of artists that is always making unexpected but decidedly brilliant turns in his career. To some, it’s clearly disappointing when an artist like Sufjan is doing something that works so well and stops (two brilliant albums on Michigan and Illinois in his 50 states project and then completely dropped it) or delivers a lot of something you don’t necessarily want (over 100 of the songs in his 250 song catalog being Christmas songs), but you certainly get more than you bargained for when Sufjan does release music. Carrie & Lowell is Sufjan’s first non-Christmas album in five years since the electro-pop fantasy of Age of Adz, and it’s being billed as his return to folk. What it really is though, is his return to intimacy, as it’s a grieving album over the death his mother Carrie a few years back, who was an enigmatic figure in Sufjan’s life, struggling with schizophrenia, depression, and alcoholism.

The Lowell in Carrie & Lowell is 63 year-old Lowell Brams, Sufjan’s ex-stepfather who was married to mother for five years in the 80’s, and remains closely tied to Sufjan by helping him run his label, Asthmatic Kitty. This family focus brings out Sufjan’s most intimate album since Seven Swans, a beautifully vulnerable trip down memory lane, filled with regret, brokenness, and hope.
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Sufjan Stevens Review: Carrie & Lowell