My Top Songs of 2019

20. “Darjeeling”Barrie
19. “Rocket Fuel”DJ Shadow, De La Soul
18. “Lover”Noah Gunderson
17. “Darkness & Cold”Purple Mountains
16. “Kids in the Dark”Bat For Lashes
15. “Wasted Nun”Cherry Glazer
14. “Pink & Blue”Tycho, Saint Sinner, RAC
13. “Bruise”Yumi Zouma
12. “Ultrafiche of You”Com Truise
11. “Everyday”Weyes Blood
10. “Easy”Chaud
9. “Saying Goodbye”J.S. Ondara
8. “Con Altura”ROSALÍA, J Balvin, El Guinicho
7. “Not”Big Thief
6. “No Way Sit Back”And The Kids
5. “Harmony Hall”Vampire Weekend
4. “Far From Born Again”Alex Cameron
3. “Uncomfortably Numb”American Football
2. “Blood of the Fang”clipping.
1. “Pang”Caroline Palochek

Listen to the rest of the top 100 songs here on Spotify
Doublehalo best of 2019 

There was so much great music this year, its almost impossible to fit it all onto an arbitrarily numbered list.
Here’s another playlist of all the amazing tunes I also absolutely loved

More from 2019

Best Band Name Award: Ringo Deathstarr

If you liked the bands and hopefully introduced to new sounds, go and support them! Buy their music, merch, or better yet, see them live!

Happy New Year !!!
Very exited for what the next decade will bring.
As always, thanks for listening

My Best Albums of 2019

10. Purple Mountains – Self-Titled 
Heartbreak, grief, and disappointment. David Berman comes back after a long hiatus and then leaves us forever. The world will miss you.

9. Anamanaguchi – [USA] 
Bitpop, chiptune, digital soundjams. I never want to leave the video game world they created.

8. Freddie Gibbs, Madlib – Bandana
What do you expect when Freddie & Madlib get together? They just bring the best out of each other. Gritty and smooth at the same time.

7. Lightning Bolt – Sonic Citadel
Loud and punishing but still fun and melodic. Move fast, break everything. We need more intensity in this world. This band brings it.

6. Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
Ambitious baroque pop with incredible production. Natalie Mering creates a fantasy full of magic and daydreams. Album is so lush you can feel it.

5. Alex Cameron – Miami Memory
A slight departure from his previous 2 albums that I loved, Miami Memory celebrates a 70’s soft rock sound. Alex does a good job of painting different personas but this release has an obvious lean into his own life with actress Jemima Kirke. The album is tender, playful and triumphant. The entertaining narrator explores love and masculinity through his male perspective by the use of witty pop songs. The way Alex expresses himself and doesn’t shy away from anything is admirable and alarming. The album is a non romantic celebration of love and truth. His live shows match his jubilation with a compelling on-stage persona and delightful dance moves. One of the most entertaining shows of the year.

4. black midi – Schlagenheim
Despite being named after a dense computer crashing composition, this uk-based debut album only borrows the disorienting feeling that the music genre produces. It is explosive, energetic and challenging. The band takes cues from mathematical noise rock and experimental post punk but fuse these genres into something bizarre and new. Because there are familiar musical qualities one can latch on to, when the band goes anarchistic into uncharted dark inhuman sounds there is still a sense of control in the uncontrollable. The album is full of detours but always returns to a creative center. The album is bold and reckless balancing vulnerability and chaos.

 3. Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
The sixth studio album is full of her best melodies to date. Blending allusive and romantic songs for this modern age we live in. Much like how the painter Rockwell depicted American life in highly stylized scenes, Del Ray depicts moments of old Hollywood, summertime and hope weaving them into a atmospheric personification of the American Dream. There is a Hemingway-esque quality to the songs with deliberate syllables and sounds which heighten the emotional tension contained within. It’s an honest masterpiece full unfiltered beauty, emotion and heartbreak.

2. clipping. – There Existed an Addiction to Blood
Clipping. always hits my “best of” lists, but this is the first time the band has delivered an album full of deep and powerful cuts. This release takes cues and draws inspiration from elements of horror and the occult. With this diabolical theme, Daveed and company is able to use anxiety to heighten the intensity of the songs. There Existed an Addiction to Blood has several layers of meaning seeping throughout, from invoking fear of your fellow man to exposing how we are all under siege. The album is a manifestation of the seemingly nightmarish times we seem to living in and the band’s sounds and lyrics invite this confrontation. The final 18 minutes is the sound of a piano burning (created by avant-garde Annea Lockwood) and it is a fitting end for such an apocalyptical album. A final scene that we would expect from a journey full of horror, pain and rage. The vinyl design on this release also matches the mood of the album.

 1. Caroline Palochek – Pang
Caroline Palochek has an uncanny ability to lure you into her unique musical world. Pang is her first album under her own name since ending Chairlift and although apprehensive at first, Caroline delivered a wondrous art pop album. She takes you on a journey from sweeping symphonic songs to intricate and delicate melodies. The album had its share of tension, pain and remorse but also intense bliss. Her enchanting voice guides you through such varied songs that can be natural or synthetic. Pang has such a musical range and is full of new surprises on every listen.

 

2019 Concert spotlights.

The Memorable

Daughters at Warsaw
I didn’t see how it was possible for Daughters to capture the intense mood and sense of dread that is found on their latest album. Listening to You Won’t Get What You Want drags you to such a state of unease anxiety, that a live setting would feel awkward. Boy was I wrong. The band pulled off the complicated abstract shrills in front of a ravenous crowd. The energy was palpable and downright scary being surrounded by possessed bodies.

clipping. at Zone One
Clipping previewed their new album to the smaller stage at Elsewhere. They played a tight set of their experimental hip-hop, including some of from their yet to be released There Existed an Addiction to Blood. Sharp dynamics and a great crowd.

Caoline Polachek at Bowery Ballroom
I was excited to see a live performance by Caroline as I was already immersed in the world of her new album Pang. The new songs came alive and made me appreciate them in an entirely different light. Her stage presence and visual backdrops were beautiful and technically clever. She plays again in January.

Ken Stringfellow at Mercury Lounge
Touched came out on a dubious release date of 9/11/2001. A day for me filled with confusion and sadness. Despite the timing, Ken’s album came out it exactly at the time we needed. The album was filled with songs of grief and healing. I was unsure of many things that week including whether anything would be back to normal. When Ken decided to play in NY nine days later it was the beginning of a return to something familiar and feeling safe. As the city still smoldered, Ken played an emotional set to about 50 people that were encapsulated with sadness but also needed some comfort. For Mercury Lounge’s 25th Anniversary Ken revisited Touched to reconnect with a city and to bring songs of the celebration of life, renewal, resilience and joy.

Youth Code at Elsewhere
Youth Code gave one of their best performances I’ve seen from them and gave one of the most intense shows of the year. They brought a total assault with their relentless energy. The set was full of their aggressive tracks as well as unveiling some incredible new ones.

Honorable Mentions

JPGMAFIA at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Sold out, sweaty, frenetic show. A one man tour de force who did not disappoint.

The Forgettable

Health at Elsewhere
I was very excited to catch HEALTH live supporting their solid V4. Slaves of Fear. However the lack of charisma and energy made the show boring, especially after being upstaged by openers Youth Code. HEALTH shows usually contain an intensity that makes their music even more captivating. They played one of the best shows ever at Market Hotel in 2016 but this show was a far departure from that. The sound, performance and crowd never really reached the frenetic pace you’d expect. They closed the evening with Youth Code coming out to play Innocence (my fav song of 2018) and was the only redeeming moment by blasting out the best closer of any show.

Black Midi at Warsaw
I unfortunately had to walk out on Black Midi. The sound at Warsaw was terrible and the live performance was bland and sloppy. Disappointed that the band couldn’t match the beautiful elements found on Schlagenheim, one of my favorite albums of this year.

Best of 2018 – “Innocence can only last a little while”

When a year ends, I always look forward to reflecting back on all the music that passed through my ear drums. The music that was born in 2018 reflected the mood of our current social and emotional situation in this world. Full of anxiety, fear, angst and downright anger. Within this tumultuous spin of turmoil there were beautiful glimmers of hope and warmth. Despite the rollercoaster of what this year was, the following soundtrack will hopefully be a nice guide to all the amazing sonic high points.

Starting with over 5000 new tracks, editing them down to my 101 was not an easy task. Going through the arduous process made me appreciate all the gems that came through and I hope you enjoy the journey and get exposed to some new bands.

OK, enough blah blah

The list

_______________________________________________________________

My Top Albums of 2018

10. Screaming Females – All at Once

9. U.S. Girls – In a Poem Limited

8. Half Waif – Lavender

7. Noname – Room 25

6. Sleep – The Sciences

5. Camp Cope – How to Socialize & Make Friends
Hard to not include a band from Australia on any top list. This punk trio from Melbourne doesn’t pull any punches on this lyrically charged album with songs full of resilience. Themes of inequality, loss and growth come through with emotional and shrieking vocals. Reminds me of early Rainer Maria in all the best ways.

4. Snail Mail – Lush
A strong solo album by Lindsey Jordan. Moody, emotional and introspective lyrics over heartfelt guitars. Her deadpan delivery of earnest lyrics are carried along with instrumental flourishes and jangling chords. This guitar driven dream pop album was a gem.

3. JPEGMAFIA – Veteran
Was very excited when the underground and experimental rapper and producer from Baltimore dropped this full length. It is a clusterfuck of mastery production full of weird, crazy, aggressive sounds. The frenetic album is one of the most creative and unique rap glitch hop albums of the year.

2. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
This somewhat schizophrenic album was on a heavy repeat all year. Elements of post punk and art punk weave throughout the album. The lyrics and instrumentation are powerful and engaging. This album is far more polished but the band hasn’t lost their edge and if anything they are flexing their musical and emotional range.

1. Daughters – You Won’t Get What You Want
With their first album in 8 years, Daughters come back with a frightening tour de force of avant-garde noise rock. The production on this is incredible, highlighting the shrill guitars, violent dissonance and barking vocals. The songs are longer than in previous releases which allows the listener to fall into the abyss on these songs. My emotions were swirling when this album finished and needed to take a mental pause before I played it all over again. This album is pure dread and it’s absolutely amazing. One of the most intense and powerful releases I have heard in a long time.

_______________________________________________________________

My Top Songs of 2018

10. “Future Me Hates Me” – The Beths

9. “Killshot” – Emimem

8. “Jetty” – Tycho

7. “Dead Eyes” – Dusted

6. “Prom Queen” – Beach Bunny

5. “Leveler” – Half Waif

4. “Baby Love” – Nilüfer Yanya

3. “Palindrome” – Azure Ray

2. “In Camera” – Yumi Zouma

1. “INNOCENCE” – Health, Youth Code

Listen to the rest of the top 101 songs here on Spotify
Best songs of 2018

There was so much great music this year, its almost impossible to fit it all onto an arbitrarily numbered list.
Here’s another playlist of all the amazing tunes I also absolutely loved
More from 2018

Best Band Name Awards:
Shred Flinstone
Menace Beach
Naked Giants
Nap Eyes
Animal Electricity
Coma Pony

Thanks for tuning in
If you like the bands or hopefully introduced to new sounds, go and support them!
Buy their music, merch, or better yet, see them live!
here is a sampling of upcoming shows from bands featured on the list.

Noname  1/5-6 @ Brooklyn Steel
Palehoud – 1/17 @ Brooklyn Steel
Azure Ray – 1/19 @ Bell House
HEALTH – 1/23 @ Elsewhere
Lala Lala – 1/26 @ Rough Trade
Bodega – 1/31 @ Rough Trade
Cup – 2/1 @ Alphaville
Nilüfer Yanya – 2/9 @ Beacon Theater
Naked Giants – 2//13 @ Rough Trade
Adrianne Lenker – 2/14 @ Luke Temple
Cherry Glazer – 2/16 Bowery Ballroom
Anderson .Paak – 2/22 @ Hammerstein
Kamasi Washington – 2/23 @ Apollo
Julia Holter – 2/22 @ Warsaw
The Beths – 3/01 @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Viagra Boys – 3/12 @ Elsewhere
Daughters – 3/13 @ Warsaw
Dilly Dally – 3/21 @ MHOW
Numb.er – 3/23 @ Baby’s All Right
Let’s Eat Grandma – 4/5 @ Elsewhere
Black Belt Eagle Scout – 4/24 @ Bowery Ballroom
HEALTH – 4/25 @ Elsewhere

Happy New Year !!!
and so exited for what 2019 has to come

As always, thanks for listening

2017: A look back on – “It might be fiction but I see it ahead”

Well, in all honesty I don’t want to remember 2017 all that much, but there was a lot of great music that grabbed my attention. Here is my end of the year list with my favorite 101 songs. I’m sure you will find some new tunes and bands on there.
 
 
 
I was fortunate to catch many of the bands live on the list and got introduced to new bands that really impressed me. 
 
Here are the top 15 tunes that got stuck on repeat for me.
 
“The Underside of Power” – Algiers
“Bed” – Cende
“Love is Mystical” – Cold War Kids (finally a decent album!)
“Tummy Ache” – Diet Cig 
“Ran” – Future Islands (why can’t your whole album be like this?) 
“Near to the Wild Heart of Life” – Japandroids 
“Everybody Wants to Love You” – Japanese Breakfast
“Europe is Lost” – Kate Tempest (see her live!)
“Little River” – Loamlands
“Hidden Driver” – LVL UP
“The Sound” – Noah Gundersen (a nice departure into new areas)
“Hot Thoughts” – Spoon (quite possibly the best song of the year)
“Modern Woman” – Tennis
“Below” – White Lung
“Soak” – Zola Jesus (one of the best live shows of the year)
 
My pick for best album of the year was a surprising one as it came out in early January and was generally overlooked. Austra released their 3rd album Future Politics on Domino Records and the album calls for “a commitment to replace the approaching dystopia.” And although Katie has stated that it’s not about being political, I think the album couldn’t have arrived at a better time. As 2017 began, we embarked on governmental uncertainty and a general clusterfuck of a presidency, so this album resonated with me on all fronts. Considering she worked on this album in Mexico City a year before, the album has a weirdly prophetic message about society, government and love. At times haunting and dystopian, there are shreds of optimism throughout. As she states, the album is “about reaching beyond boundaries, in every single field.” Let’s hope that we break through more barriers in 2018.
 
Other Great Albums
Antisocialites – Alvvays
White Noise – Noah Gunderson
S/T – Rainer Maria – (solid comeback album)
Yours Conditionally– Tennis  
Willowbank – Yumi Zouma 
 
Find me on Spotify
Search for “doublehalo” 
click on profile and follow me or my playlists
 
 
As always, thanks for listening
Pablo

Best of 2016

Friends
It’s been awhile since the Supacomp days, but this year deserves a music compilation for your ears.
and Spotify has made the editing and curating process much easier.
So here are my picks for 2016. (and some late 2015 entries)

https://open.spotify.com/user/doublehalo/playlist/6QpO4atqVoHd2AgcAlQsyf

Over 100 tasty tunes to keep you busy.
Hopefully it’ll bring back some good memories and point you to some new tunes to check out.

My picks for album of the year are out on a limb,
but it’s gotta be the Coathangers with Nosebleed Weekend, which also
gave me one of the best live concerts of the year.

Other top albums were
Frightened Rabbits: Painting of a Panic Attack
Angel Olsen: My Woman
Mitski: Puberty 2
Operators: Blue Wave

and have you listened to the new Monkees?? It’s a gem.

until next time.