Welcome to the new year! As many of you probably noticed, we did not post any ‘best of’ lists in December 2017. This was an intentional decision made by our entire contributing staff, and we made it for good reason. All too often the rush to be among the first to declare something the best makes us act irrationally. Sometimes we hop on the bandwagon for something we don’t fully believe in because it’s what is trending at the moment, or perhaps we forget something small we loved because so many bigger, more commercial projects took up our daily lives.
In an attempt to avoid these errors we allowed everyone the full month of December to consider their favorite records of the year. This week we are sharing their picks with you daily, one staffer at a time. Enjoy.
Joel Funk (Staff Writer)
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Boy Rex – Better Vision
This has been a particularly challenging year for a lot of us it seems. I crashed into this year in the wake of one emotional tidal wave after another and I spent the majority of this year manning a ship in the stormy seas of my own mental health. Now that the scene has been set for y’all, we can talk about the soundtrack to my tumultuous trudge throughout 2017– Boy Rex’s immaculate and thought-provoking sophomore album Better Vision.
Jack Senff’s masterful songwriting is on full display as he begins to question everything he’s been taught– from the lessons his parents taught him to a relationship with a higher power in a way that would leave many feeling scarily vulnerable. His only means of defense are a strong sense of melody and a voice that manages to emote so vividly without needing to yelp or wince or scream. In fact, one could argue that there’s a strength that shines through the delicacy of his vocal delivery that is only reinforced by the amount of courage that comes from his ability to stay so transparent lyrically. Better Vision is the kind of record that strikes a cord with something buried deep inside of most of us–an innate desire to question everything.
I walk out of each listen with a new favorite lyric, each striking me as more profound and poetic than the last. Listen to Better Vision if nothing more than this simple mantra for 2018: “I guess I’ve been gifted with the curse of better vision.”
Pet Symmetry – Vision
Bleachers – Gone Now
Oso Oso – The Yunahon Mixtape
Slaughter Beach, dog – Birdie
Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger In The Alps
Hodera – First Things First
The Front Bottoms – Going Grey
The Menzingers – After The Party
People Like You – Verse
This section mostly exists to house EPs that would have 100% made it into my top ten.
McCafferty – Thanks. Sorry. Sure.
Super American – Disposable
Fire Is Motion – Still, I Try