As the year draws to a close, we turn to our faithful Geekade staff to tell us what they consider to be the ultimate winners (and losers) of the past 12 months. Join us as we look at 2019 with a critical eye, and please chime in with your own thoughts on a variety of categories.
Today, we ask the Geekade team…
What was your favorite song, or album, of the year?
Amy Ebeling (Editor-in-Chief) : My musical taste has been all over the place this year. Amanda Palmer’s There Will Be No Intermission is a true favorite. Jesse Malin’s Sunset Kids is great, although it took longer for it to grow on me as opposed to his other work. Others I’ve really liked is Bob Mould’s Sunshine Rock and Lizzo’s Because I Love You. One of my favorite songs that I stumbled upon this year, although it came out in 2016 is Kyle Craft’s “Eye of a Hurricane,” which is just beautiful. Check it out.
Matt Raimo (Waveback) : The first thing that comes to mind is Sound and Fury by Sturgil Simpson. This album is so not a country record, and yet is. A Youtuber commented on the video for “Sing Along” writing, “Sounds like Waylon had sex with Queens of the Stone Age while the Black Keys watched.” This statement couldn’t be more accurate. The album itself is so all over the place, but in a great way, that it quickly grew on me. This one was on heavy rotation for me for quite some time. Another favorite of the year was Slipknot’s “Unsainted.” This song truly blew me away as to the staying power of a 20-year-old band like Slipknot. Lyrical content and musicality aside, there was a period where fans were concerned because of the line up changes, but this song showed that they were not going to lose a step.
Billy Ludt (Select Your Starter) : Three-way tie: Solution A by Nosferatu, “Low Life” by Downer Edn, and [USA] by Anamanaguchi.
Dave Marconi (You Shall Not Pass Go) : “Rocks of Bonnie Gibraltar” by Kern. I watched them live in small beer garden on the roof of a bar in Drogheda, Ireland. I even have a video of them singing it. It was incredibly powerful live, and I was thrilled to discover they were on iTunes.
Karen Randazzo (This Week’s Episode, The Think Tank) : I am not current on hardly any music. The only song I love that I know came out this year is “Feels So Good” by Keala Settle, which is a decent bop. Honorable mention to “Run Boy Run” by Woodkid, which is a handful of years old, but I discovered in my beloved Umbrella Academy, and to “What a Day” by WAR*HALL, which came out on an EP last year, which is almost current. My kids are constantly requesting the latter, and it’s currently our household’s jam. Also, thanks for reminding me that Vampire Weekend came out with a new album this year. That would probably be my pick if I had remembered to listen to it. *clicks over to Spotify*
Kris Randazzo (Stone Age Gamer, This Week’s Episode, Waveback) : I’ve always been a big Collective Soul fan, so whenever they release a new album I’m usually a pretty excited guy. Their new album this year was… alright. Blood wasn’t really my bag overall and didn’t manage to find itself on permanent repeat the way most of their albums have over the years. However, there’s one standout song on the album called “Good Place to Start” that’s not only 100% everything I love about their music, but actually lyrically resonated with me as well, which isn’t something I can say happens to me a lot with their music. “Let’s love who we’ve been and love who we are, that’s a good place to start.” With all the hate in the world, the concept of finding a place to start to be better is a heck of a sentiment. Close second is “Hard Times” from Guster’s new album. On the opposite side of the spectrum from Collective Soul’s song, “Hard Times” acknowledges that these are, in fact, hard times. This song meant a lot to me, and helped me acknowledge that life is often harder than I let myself realize it is. I love both of these songs with all of my heart. As for video game music, be sure to catch the WaveBack Awards in a few months!
Dean DeFalco (Vest Lord, General Administrator) : Marnie’s battle theme from Pokemon Sword. That song is all sorts of hype.
Brenda Cierech (Tardy to the Party, 31 Days of Horror) : Does the version of The Shining theme song (the one that starts with just a piano) that plays during the Doctor Sleep trailer count? Because that is everything.