Halfway Report January 2019

My January playlists are typically filled with leftovers from the previous year and a smattering of new content I download hastily just for the sake of having something new to listen to after replaying my year-end mix for a whole month. Quality doesn’t really matter at this point, and (ideally) 90% of these songs will be buried and long forgotten by the time March rolls around. The situation’s no different this year- I scoured the world wide web for anything even remotely resembling “listenable” and stuck it on my iPod. Let’s unpack.

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Year End Music Countdowns #17: 2018

I typically save my insights for the music industry and music consumption for a section after my countdown.  This observation, however, is more personal than anything and will be brought up during the countdown, so I’m going to lead with it:

A large amount of my favourite songs this year were discovered by complete accident.

I didn’t hear them on the radio, I didn’t hear them on iTunes, I didn’t hear them on Spotify, and I didn’t hear them at a concert.

I heard one over the PA in a department store. I heard one playing in someone’s car. I found one through a retweet. I heard in in a YouTube ad before a video.

There’s one that I wasn’t even intended to hear, and I’m technically “not permitted” to have it on my countdown because it was “not available in my area”- but I found a link to it on Reddit.

In fact, my very favourite song of the year I heard while tapping through Instagram Stories.

The common thread? These were all flukes. I was in the right place at the right time. Or the wrong place at the right time. I could have just as easily not been exposed to any of these songs.

That’s the nature of the industry now. You won’t find good quality music through traditional venues. You’ll find it everywhere else. In making music so accessible, the world has also made it that much harder to sift through the filler and find what’s relevant. What’s interesting. What’s good.

So here are the diamonds I’ve dug up from the dirt. The best songs of 2018.

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